Houston Astros a good bet to repeat in 2018

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Friday, January 12th, 2018
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The Houston Astros are well positioned to repeat as World Champions in 2018 especially with a full year of Justin Verlander and the likelihood they add another front of the rotation starter. Earlier this week it appeared that the Astros had acquired Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates before the wheels fell off on the deal so they are obviously motivated to add a quality arm.

It is difficult to win back-to-back Championships however if you are betting on baseball than the Astros would be the smart money at this juncture in the offseason. The New York Yankees will rival the Astros in futures wagers however the Jose Altuve led Astros still have a leg up on the competition and should better their 101 win total from last season.

The Yankees made a big splash earlier in the offseason acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, the Bronx Bombers will have the best one-two punch in the majors with Stanton teamed up with Aaron Judge. Pitching is still a big question mark for the Yankees who have already committed to bringing back veteran CC Sabathia. Expect the Yankees to add a legit starter before the season gets underway.

In 2017 the Astros ran away with the AL West finishing 21 games ahead of the second place Los Angeles Angels who in all probability will be much better this season after adding Shohei Ohtani and Ian Kinsler.

Verlander only made 5 starts during the regular season for Houston after being acquired from the Tigers at the end of August, a full season of J.V. coupled with Dallas Keuchel should add a handful of wins to their record.

With nearly 20 of the top free agents still unsigned the landscape around the majors still may shift before Opening Day, however, the Astros are in the driver’s seat with their core of Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer firmly in place.

Championships aren’t won in January but the Astros look pretty good.

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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