Fred Faour: Astros are still the team to beat in the AL no matter what the Yankees do

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock (13482090e) Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez is congratulated as he returns to the dugout after striking out the side in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees in game two of their American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Thursday, October 20, 2022. Alcs Yankees Astros, Houston, Texas, United States – 20 Oct 2022

Fred Faour: Astros are still the team to beat in the AL no matter what the Yankees do

So the Yankees signed lefty starter Carlos Rodón on Friday. The national media started the narrative that this put the Yankees starters on par with the Astros. After all, Houston lost Justin Verlander to the Mets. So the Yankees are back to being the favorites in the American League, right?

To sort of quote Lee Corso, “not so fast my friends.”

The Astros added 2020 AL MVP José Abreu to a lineup that was already better than the Yankees, who are basically Aaron Judge coming off a career year, the ghost of Giancarlo Stanton, and a bunch of nobodies.

Is their rotation better with Rodón? Absolutely. But will that keep them from being swept by the Astros again?

Just adding great players and spending money does not always work in New York. It’s the best market in American sports, but also the most demanding. A lot of players fail in that spotlight.

Even if he doesn’t, the potential playoff rotation of Gerrit Cole, Rodón, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino, or Frankie Montas may be sexier names, but are they really better than Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier (who owns the Yankees), Lance McCullers and/or Hunter Brown, Luis Garcia and José Urquidy?

The easy answer is no. Cole is good but has never matched his Astros run since going to New York. Rodon is dominant, but we will see what New York does to him. Valdez and Javier were better than both, especially in the postseason.

Verlander was amazing in the regular season and will be missed. But the Astros are built for postseason dominance. One starter will not make a difference for the Yankees when it comes to the playoffs. They were swept in the ALCS by the Astros. Can one starting pitcher change that? Maybe it goes five games?

The answer once again is no. The Astros are still the team to beat in the American League. There are bigger, less sexy threats next season. The Mariners. The Jays. The Rangers. Even Tampa is always scary.

The Yankees? Not so much. Even with the addition of Rodón, the Astros are still better.

It is an amazing place these Astros are in. Everyone is trying to load up to beat them. To quote Taken …

Good luck.

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1 Comment

  • Sure is fun dad. This astro team will not take a backseat to yankee rotation. The astros pitchin staff is best in league…

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