In the beginning, the Houston Astros were born in 1962 as the Colt 45’s. Until 2013 they were members of the National League. Since joining the American League in 2013 they Astros have enjoyed their most successful era. Houston has been one of the most popular teams in baseball betting. To begin with they won the 2017 World Series. In 2019 Houston lost a seven-game thriller in the Fall Classic to the Washington Nationals. A sign-stealing scandal did much to tarnish those accomplishments. However, the Astros are still a talented team that could win it all in 2020.
2020 Houston Astros Odds to Win
Odds to win World Series: +650
Odds to win American League: +350
2019 Record: 107-55
Standing: 1st place in American League West
2020 Season Overview
As expected, ace starter Gerrit Cole departed for the riches of the New York Yankees. Notwithstanding that Will Harris was allowed to get away which thins the bullpen. On the positive catcher, Martin Maldonado and relief pitcher Joe Smith were both re-signed. The biggest offshore betting moves were in leadership positions. Cause by the infamous sign-stealing fiasco was general manager Jeff Luhnow fired. Manager A.J. Hinch also got clipped for his role in the wrongdoing. James Click is the new general manager. While Dusty Baker takes over as field manager.
Manager Dusty Baker
Veteran baseball man Dusty Baker could prove to be the calming influence that the Astros need. Following the team scandal and COVID-19 shutdown, the 71-year-old Baker brings experience against adversity. Baker was a successful player from 1968 through 1986 with four teams. To show he was a two-time All-Star. Likewise, as a manager has Baker enjoyed considerable success. Baker is a three-time Manager of the Year awardee. He has led four different franchises to nine playoff appearances. Baker led the 2002 San Francisco Giants to the National League pennant.
Houston Astros Starting Pitching
Anchoring the starting rotation is 37-year-old right-hander Justin Verlander. Specifically, Verlander is a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner (2011 and 2019). Verlander is an eight-time All-Star including the past two seasons. Last year he reached the 3,000-career strikeout plateau. Among a multitude of accomplishments by Verlander are three no-hitters. For 2019 Verlander was 21-6 with a 2.58 earned run average, 300 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.80. With Cole gone the Astros will rely on Verlander more than ever before.
Right-hander Zack Greinke is 26 years old and a National League All-Star in five of the last six seasons. Last year Greinke was 18-5 with a 2.93 earned run average, 187 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.98. Since 2013 Greinke has had an ERA of 3.21 or lower in all but one season.
The rest of the rotation includes right-handers Lance McCullers Jr., Jose Urquidy and Josh James. While many are reacting to the departure of Cole, Houston’s rotation remains upper class.
Houston Astros Relief Pitching
Right-hand setup man Ryan Pressly was a 2019 All-Star. Additionally, he holds the MLB record of 40 consecutive scoreless appearances. Pressly was 2-3 with a 2.32 earned run average and WHIP of 0.90 in 2019. Pressly is coming off the two best years of his career.
Closer Roberto Osuna was 4-3 with a 2.63 earned run average and 38 saves in 2019. In turn, the right-hander was a 2017 All-Star. He has saved 36 or more games in three of the last four seasons.
Houston Astros Key Hitters
Third baseman Alex Bregman is coming off two All-Star seasons. Specifically, he is hitting his prime at the age of 26. In 2019 Bregman produced 122 runs, 37 doubles, 41 home runs, and 112 runs batted in.
Second baseman Jose Altuve is a six-time All-Star and was the 2017 American League Most Valuable Player. For 2019 Altuve scored 89 runs with 27 doubles, 31 home runs, and 74 runs batted in. Few second basemen have contributed more value with MLB odds.
Houston Astros Restart Betting Outlook
Despite the fallout of the sign-stealing controversy, the Astros remain the deepest and most complete team in the American League East. It follows that they are a near certainty to make the expanded playoff. And with Baker at the helm, they could make a deep postseason run.
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