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Houston Astros versus New York Yankees ALCS preview

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HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 10: The Houston Astros celebrate after their 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 10, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 10: The Houston Astros celebrate after their 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 10, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 03: (L-R) Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros, Joe Smith #38, Gerrit Cole #45 and Justin Verlander #35 chat during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on August 03, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

When a team has a starting rotation that consists of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke, is it even fair to compare them to any other team? Well for argument’s sake, let’s take a look anyway.

The one-two punch of Verlander and Cole are simply unmatched in baseball today. They’re the top two candidates for the 2019 Cy Young Award and if you ask me, they should share it. They are #1 and #2 in the American League in ERA, WHIP, K/9IP, Ks and ERA+. Then when you add a pitcher like Greinke to that rotation just before the trade deadline, well, what can you say.

The Yankees have James Paxton and Domingo German as their top two starters, with J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka following. None of these starters even show up in the top ten in the American League in most statistical categories other than in wins.

The Astros starting pitchers had the lowest ERA in the AL with a 3.61 while the Yankees’ 4.61 was almost a full run higher. The pitching WAR for the two team’s rotation wasn’t even close between the Astros and the Yankees with a 19.4 and a 10.6, respectively.

Astros starters have amassed a league-high 1063 strikeouts on the season, a full 279 Ks more than the Yankees rotation. The Astros own the best strikeout rate at 28.9% and one of the lowest in walks with 6.8%. The Yankees are middle of the pack with a 23.8 k% and a 7.3 BB%.

As far as the starting rotations between these two teams, I really don’t even see much of a comparison. I give the Astros an easy edge over the Yankees.

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