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Dodgers Envious of Houston Astros, Says Sporting News

The Dodgers have been one step behind Houston for three years running.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JUNE 09: Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros flies out to left field in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park on June 09, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

For the second time in a period of three years, the Houston Astros are in the World Series. This time around, they are heavy favorites against the NL pennant-winning Washington Nationals. More likely than not, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow will deliver another World Series to the city of Houston.

In a recent column by Dan Bernstein of Sporting News, the concept that the Houston Astros are the class of Major League Baseball and are in a tier by themselves is discussed. All season long, the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers were in the discussion to be baseball’s best team. Only one of them made it to the World Series.

Astros Making Moves

The Houston Astros have consistently made the big move and like the Dodgers, have also supplemented their roster by not making certain trades. The Dodgers’ unwillingness to part with prospects has undoubtedly been the smart way of approaching it considering that the prospects they did not trade have become well above-average major leaguers.

The difference, though, is that the Astros make free agent acquisitions that pan out in addition to big trades. Gerrit Cole, the league’s best pitcher as it stands, was acquired for next to nothing from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros’ amazing analytical department helped turn him into potentially the richest pitcher in the history of the game come winter. At the trade deadline in 2018, they acquired All-Star reliever Ryan Pressly. They acquired Roberto Osuna. They got Justin Verlander. They also got Zack Greinke this July.

The Dodgers got Manny Machado and Yu Darvish, the market’s hottest commodities at the time, but they still never translated into a World Series title. The Astros’ moves might translate into two.

In 2013, when the Dodgers won their first NL West division title of their seven consecutive, the Houston Astros were a 51-111 ball club. Now, six years later, the Astros have won a title — possibly two — and the Dodgers have not.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

12 Comments

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  1. Yes the Astro’s have been active when it comes to picking up the best Players available. No Mention of Brantley , Hits and plays great defense as we witnessed. Another thing not mentioned here is the Astro’s ability to lay down a bunt for a hit. Hit and run, and steal bases. Somehow somewhere along the lines the Dodgers lack in such basic fundamental baseball. Smoltz brought it up about the difference of the Astro’s and the Yankees. The Stro’s do and did the little fundamental things that beat the Yankees, just like they did to us a couple years back. Also, the Astro’s play with a set line up, not shuffling the line ups every day against lefty righty pitchers, and they are all used to their set positions. If the Dodgers should be envious about what is the gap between them and the Astro’s,it’s basics.

  2. Dodgers could have signed Brantley or Lamehieu this offseason, and signed Pollack. They could have gotten Verlander, got Darvish… Could have traded for Cole and hoarded prospects instead. Friedman needs to go. And something is off in their development as well. Funny how the one Astro flopping in the postseason was a Dodgers Farmhand!

  3. Pathetic. Bet you the Giants come back and win another in a few years and we won’t have one still, Padres too

  4. Think this off season Dodgers may finally make some moves as I believe they realize at last changes need to be made, real changes, not the tinkering around the edges kind..

  5. Think this off season Dodgers may finally make some moves as I believe they realize at last changes need to be made, real changes, not the tinkering around the edges kind..!

    • We’ve all been optimistic every off season,and excited for the Winter meetings. Then, same ol’ same ol’. Nothing because it’s too expensive, or it’s a sellers market, or he’s injury prone,or blah blah blah. We already know 200 to 240 hitters on this roster don’t deliver, yet Kike, Taylor,Pederson, remain. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the FO packaged 2 of them, some money and a prospect or 2 to acquire Strasburg Before FA begins?.Or just flat out paid Rendon or Cole? This team is so close to winning a Title if they just made a few moves, yet we all wait year after year..

      • None of that it’s going to happen because management doesn’t care for any fan suggestions as we already have seen in the last four years. We keep seeing the same dumb mistakes over and over and it will probably Be the same next year. To me, this loss in the fifth game was the most painful and disappointed and I have almost lost faith in the Dodgers way as long as Friedman and Roberts remain in charge. God help us!!

  6. Envious might be too strong a word, but you have to think that if the FO is as smart as it constantly tells us it is, it would be scouring the Astros “process” in order to see why it is more successful to this point. Both teams are developing great players, but the Astros seem to have players that rise to the occasion while the Dodgers don’t. Both teams make significant deadline trades, but the Astros ones work out and the Dodgers don’t. The longer this goes on, the less it seems like random chance or bad luck. One thing that clearly is not working is the Dodgers obsession with adding bottom of the 40-man roster “depth.” Yes, our 25-40 can beat their 25-40. But that’s not where the playoffs happen. It also may be time to rethink the other obsession with positional versatility. It’s nice to have someone who can play three positions. But maybe it is time now for a couple of guys who only play one position, but do it really-really-really well and can also hit when it matters.

  7. What Kirk says here is a real difference on how the Astros are run as opposed to what Dodgers do:
    ‘Also, the Astros play with a set line up, not shuffling the line ups every day against lefty righty pitchers, and they are all used to their set positions. If the Dodgers should be envious about what is the gap between them and the Astro’s,it’s basics.’

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