- They had the run differential of a 101 win team, and just added a 6 WAR player. They were one of two Justin Verlander God-Mode playoff performances away from making the WS last year. They aren't content with waiting the Astros out until their free agent armageddon hits, they want more rings now and Cashman will trade and fire anyone to achieve this goal.
Sevy should be the frontrunner to win the Cy Young, he's simply unstoppable when he's on and he's only 23. Tanaka had some bad BABIP luck to start the season but closed it well, if he fully recovers from his surgery he and Sevy could be the best 1-2 punch in the AL. The bullpen is nigh-impenetrable, and should bode well for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Aaron Judge had a slow finish to the season, and an awful start in the postseason. Already at 26, this season should tell us if his MVP runner up campaign was just a prolonged BABIP luck streak, and pitchers have figured him out, if his rookie season is what we should expect from him, or if he has another level to acend to. Giancarlo's stats should explode in the cracker box that is Yankee Stadium, his contract may take the Yankees out of next years free agent class, seeing that they will have to pay Judge, Sanchez, and Sevy, but Stanton is arguably better than anyone in that class, even Harper.
PROJECTED WIN TOTAL: 107
The Astros' recent moves state that they are going to maximize their chances of winning during their 3-5 year window of contention, and prove that last year was no fluke, the AL runs through them until further notice.
While the Astros pitching stats last year were highly misleading (having Mike Fiers lead the team in innings pitched will do that), I am mixed on how the pitching will preform. Justin Verlander is an ageless wonder, and is my pick to win the Cy Young this year. Dallas Keuchel overpreformed his FIP by 2, and you saw the regression to the mean hit hard starting in game 5 of the ALCS. It wouldn't surprise me if he puts up a stinker like he did in 2016. Lance McCullers is a beast when healthy, but at his size health is always a question. Gerrit Cole is the wildcard, if he can regain his 2015 form, Houston might have the best pitching in the AL, hopefully they can pull a Charlie Morton on him, whom also transformed himself into a good pitcher in Houston.
The offense should be fine, Springer and Altuve should deliver similar results, and Bregman should improve further. Carlos Correa would have been a 9.2 WAR player at 22 years old if he played all 162 games, don't be surprised if he leads the MVP race this year.
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