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Should Bettors be Concerned about Astros After Gerrit Cole’s Injury & Losses to Orioles & White Sox?

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Aug 15, 2019 · 7:51 AM PDT

Houston Astros
The Astros remain the favorite to win the World Series despite their recent slump. Is Houston a good bet to win it all? Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • Houston has hit a bit of a slump dropping 3 of 4 to AL bottom feeders
  • The Astros remain the World Series favorite, ahead of the Dodgers and Yankees
  • Is Houston a good bet to win it all?

The Houston Astros are in a mini-swoon but there’s no need to hit the panic button just yet. The AL West leaders lost for the third time in four games Wednesday, but despite their recent skid they still remain the World Series favorites.

2019 World Series Odds

Team 2019 World Series Odds
Houston Astros +190
Los Angeles Dodgers +220
New York Yankees +440
Atlanta Braves +850
Washington Nationals +1800
Chicago Cubs +2000
Cleveland Indians +2000
Minnesota Twins +2000
Tampa Bay Rays +2000

*Odds taken 08/14/19

Houston has shorter odds than both the Dodgers and Yankees, despite having fewer wins, and their 2019 Pennant odds are barely worse than even money. They’ve assembled a near perfect roster and one lousy stretch in the middle of August shouldn’t scare anyone away from this championship calibre team.

A Sigh of Relief

There’s no better one-two starting pitching duo in the big leagues than Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.  After Cole was scratched from his start Tuesday night, critics were quick to speculate on how his loss could affect Houston, but fortunately for Astros fans Cole’s issue seems minor.

Verlander and Cole each have a WAR above 4.0, the only two teammates in baseball who can say that, and are part of a staff that got considerably stronger at the deadline by adding Zack Greinke and Aaron Sanchez.

Their depth on the mound is just as excellent as their depth at the plate and let’s not forget prior to this mini slump they reeled off eight straight wins, including a 23-2 drubbing of the Orioles.

A Line-Up Full of Stars

There isn’t a single weak link in Houston’s line-up which makes pitching to them an absolute nightmare. They lead the Majors in OBP and OPS, and they’re one of only four teams in baseball to hit over 200 home runs.


78% of their starting line-up has a WAR of 2.4 or higher, and three of their position players were starters on the American League All-Star team. No team in baseball is going to be capable of shutting them down for seven games, and if they maintain their season average of 5.5 runs per game in the postseason, they’ll be nearly impossible to beat.

Stay the Course With Houston

Every team in baseball goes through slumps during a 162 game season, and obviously the Astros are no exception. They did more at the deadline than any other contender to solidify their championship prospects, and they have the added benefit of having one of the softest remaining schedules in the league.

Just three of their final 41 games are against teams currently holding a playoff spot, and none are against division leaders. They’ll likely wind up with the best record in the AL, which is huge since  they have the best home winning percentage in the entire league.

Their World Series odds are short but given the strength of their remaining schedule this might be the best price you get for the rest of the season.


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