Houston Astros Win Second World Series
The Houston Astros have become one of the most dominant teams in Major League Baseball history, capturing their second world series title and becoming the first team in history to do so with back-to-back victories. The Astros finished the season with a record 106 wins and went 7-0 in the playoffs to beat the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees before beating the Philadelphia Phillies to capture the title. Houston Astros World Series
The defending champions have won eight of their last nine games, with a pitching staff that has posted a 2.38 ERA and 31.8-percent strikeout rate over 12 postseason contests. They've also hit more home runs this postseason than any other team in the game and have scored a slew of runs against Philadelphia's bullpen.
Their batting line has been nothing short of sensational, with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve leading the way in slugging percentage (OBS+) and OPS+. In addition, Yordan Alvarez, the star acquired in a trade from the Kansas City Royals in 2018, has slashed a.306/.406/.613 slash line this year.
In the dugout, Houston is surrounded by veteran stars and young stars who have shown they have the potential to be elite MLB hitters. In fact, several of these players are on contract extensions that could keep them in Houston for years to come.
They are a deep roster with an abundance of homegrown talent, and their pitching pipeline is unmatched in this era of overpowering moundsmen. In a year when many teams were forced to make high-cost trades, the Astros were able to retain their starting rotation, along with the likes of Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander.
There was a lot of resentment against the team after revelations that they had used technology to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 championship seasons. But they've kept their title despite those issues, and this season’s success proves that they are still a formidable force in the game.
The front office has stayed busy this offseason, as they look to cement their place among baseball’s elite. They’ve signed pitcher Dallas Keuchel and outfielder Carlos Correa to multiyear deals and added a top prospect in catcher Mike Zunino, who hit two homers in his first major league game in the Series.
Despite all the changes in the clubhouse, the core of the main characters has remained the same: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Yuli Gurriel. They’re joined by a group of young players who are ready to make the next big step, including Framber Valdez and Carlos Pena.
Some of these players are just coming out of college, others are just on the cusp of being free agents. It’s hard to know how long they will stay in Houston, but it’s an opportunity for the Astros to continue building on their foundation of a winning culture.
The franchise has reached the playoffs six straight seasons, and they have won a franchise-record 103 games in 2018. They were one win away from a second world series in 2019 before their sign-stealing scandal became public.