Entering the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the Houston Astros were leading the American League with a 69-40 record. At the buzzer of the 2019 trade deadline, the Astros acquired former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league players RHP J.B. Bukauskas, RHP Corbin Martin, OF Seth Beer and IF Joshua Rojas.
The Astros are fully embracing the win-now mentality. Acquiring the veteran starting pitcher and giving up young prospects puts them in the driver seat for the World Series in October. The Astros rotation now includes Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Greinke and Wade Miley. This rotation would have to rank among the best as the postseason nears. Teams in the AL will be sweating every time they approach the plate. Every night will be a challenge. Because of this move, the Astros are the consensus World Series favorite moving forward.
Verlander, Cole and Greinke are a combined 36-13 with a 2.85 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 11.1 K/9, 6.1 K/BB, .197 Opp BA and 13.3 WAR. The only challenger who can present problems is potentially the New York Yankees, whose offense has carried them through the majority of the season.
The Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, two teams in the World Series mix, made no significant moves at the trade deadline. Fans of both teams have to be sweating after the Astros acquisition of Greinke. The Dodgers spent the past few seasons on the cusp on winning the World Series, but ultimately unable to put it together to win. The Yankees are consistently relevant in the MLB world, but have finally shown World Series promise in the past couple seasons, leading to this season where they have gone all-in on competing now.
The MLB season is nearing an end, with around two months left. Once the postseason begins, the Astros rotation will be in the driver seat and in control of how everything plays out.