Can the Astros win a World Series with their current bullpen?
The Astros have done it before.
This was a magical season for the franchise, where they dominated the regular season and ended up beating the Dodgers in a seven-game series to win their first World Series title. The Astros only real weakness that season was their late inning pitching. Although Houston was a respectable 10th in late inning WHIP during the regular season, the Astros were 24th in late inning ERA – a very unusual trend for an elite championship team. We all can remember the inconsistencies from the bullpen throughout the season, and the blood-curdling anxiety we’d all get when the streaky Ken Giles would come in to close the game.
So how did the Astros win the World Series? They had the best offense in baseball – perhaps the best offense ever. The Houston Astros were #1 in OPS with .823, #1 in batting average .283 by a mile who are the most explosive offense since perhaps the 1927 New York Yankees. (And for those haters out there that think the Astros only hit that well because they cheated – Houston’s OPS, slugging, am batting average were all 5-10% higher on the road. Look at the stats, birdbrains).
But other factors played in today’s World Series title: the acquisition of Justin Verlander gave the Astros on the best starting rotations in the game, and during the playoffs Houston was able to utilize Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock in relief. But I think it’s fair say that the Astros primarily relied on their offense to get them a championship.