The Houston Astros are most villainous team in Major League Baseball to fans and opposing players alike considering the sign stealing scandal from 2017. However, the 2021 Astros do deserve some respect. Yes, players from that 2017 season like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and Yuli Gurriel are still driving factors but you have to admire how the Houston organization has established an identity with player personnel and once again have an opportunity to be crowned champions.
The Astros have made their way back to the Fall Classic in a different form. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and George Springer were once major parts of the equation for Houston and they have managed to continue the formula without them. Heck, even their current ace Lance McCullers missed the Boston series and is not likely to pitch in the World Series. The Astros organization always seems to find players that can pick up the slack. Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia have carried the rotation while the Kendall Graveman acquisition at the deadline saved their bullpen. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker have added a left-handed element to their lineup that makes them "Murderer's Row 2021."
As a Yankee fan, it is tough to stomach at times but at some point you have to tip your cap. Also, how could you root against 72-year-old baseball icon Dusty Baker who has done an incredible job since taking over the managerial job in the midst of all the turmoil. In the podcast clip below, Stefan and myself preview the World Series.