New York Yankees versus the other super six, win-now teams

(Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros

There can be no more win-now team than the ‘Stros as it is the current WS champion. And there is perhaps, even more, to like about the 2018 version than there was about the 2017 one.

Starting pitching is stronger heading into this season, as their first five (along with last season’s ERAs) are Justin Verlander (3.36), Dallas Keuchel (2.90), Lance McCullers (4.25), Charlie Morton (3.62) and newly-acquired Gerrit Cole (4.26).

The bullpen is beefed up a bit with the additions of Joe Smith and Hector Rondon, as well as by a more substantial role for Brad Peacock. And having closer Ken Giles (2.30) at the back end solidifies the entire staff.

On the other side of the ball is an offense that dominated baseball. Houston led all teams in average, on-base and slugging (.282/.346/.478). But what makes the Astros so exciting is that their success was created overwhelmingly by their young hitters.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old second baseman Jose Altuve is one of the best players in baseball (.346/.410/547); his 2017 MVP award speaks for itself. Not to be outshined is his 23-year old teammate SS Carlos Correa (.315/.391/.550) or OF George Springer and the 27-year old’s team-leading 34 home runs.

But the regular season is only half of the story. While the Red Sox are still hoping to see production from their young stars in the playoffs, these boys have already won a WS.

That’s the good news. Now for some cautionary notes, and we’ll start again with the pitching.