Chicago Cubs of 2016 mirrored by this year’s Houston Astros club
With a wealth of talent, the Astros hope to make the postseason look easy
There is no mistaking that the Astros have one, if not the best, groupings of talent in the majors. That amount of talent was only increased on Aug. 31 when Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander was traded to Houston. Prior to the trade, Verlander was enjoying success as a Tiger. The 34-year-old right-hander went 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA in 28 starts for the Tigers. Since the trade, Verlander has been lights out for Houston. Verlander is 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched (five starts).
Just as the Cubs added Aroldis Chapman for their playoff push, the Astros acquired the best player on the market for their postseason battle.
That is exactly what the postseason is, a battle. It does not matter what a team did during the regular season; once October hits all gloves are off. The Astros do have a couple of things going for them. They have the best line-up, top to bottom, of anyone in the postseason. In addition to that, the Astros hold a two games to none lead over the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. That lead was acquired after back-to-back offensive outbursts resulted in the Astros outscoring Boston 16-4 in the first two games.
The 2016 Cubs also jumped out to a commanding 2-0 lead in the division series last season. Despite that, the Cubs would need four games to down the Giants, six to down the Dodgers and seven to down the Indians.
Just as with the 2016 Cubs, the Astros have a drought to end
I think many people will agree with me when I say the Cubs were the best team in the postseason last year. Coming off 103 wins in the regular season, the Cubs went into October ready to end a 108-year World Series drought. The Astros entered this postseason with a drought of their own. Since 1962 when the Astros came into the league (then named the Houston Colt .45s), they have not won a World Series title. That’s 55 years of falling short, little more than half of the 108 years endured by the Cubs.
Even though the Astros did not come into the postseason with the regular’s best record like the Cubs did in 2016, their mindset is the same. End the drought and prove to the world that Houston baseball is alive and strong.
Next: Chicago Cubs: No weight attached – Cubs can just play ball
The Astros just better hope they don’t meet the Cubs because Chicago would love to run that drought to 56 years.