Houston Astros defending champions come to the new Major League season with many chances to repeat their reign in a year in which the mythical New York Yankees offensively premiere a fearsome duo with Aaron Judger and Giancarlo Stanton.
When still in the air you feel the exciting moments of the last World Series between the Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the American national sport begins this Thursday its exhausting season with 15 games.
Among the most striking are the champions, who for the first time were named, against the Texas Rangers, with a duel pitchers based star stellar Justin Verlander (Astros) and Cole Hamels (Rangers).
Verlander, premiering the World Series ring, will face the southpaw who in 2008 helped win the ‘Fall Classic’ to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The question is: Can the Astros repeat in consecutive years?
It is somewhat difficult, only seven franchises have won consecutive World Series. Nobody has done it more times than the Yankees.
The last set to win consecutive series were precisely the ‘Mules’, which did it from 1998 to 2000.
But since the beginning of the new century, no group has managed to repeat the crown it won the previous year.
The Houston Astros could break that pattern, with a version of 2018.
This year they count from the beginning with the right Verlander, acquired by the Astros in the middle of last season from the Detroit Tigers and that was a key piece in the conquest of the scepter.
Verlander will open the Inaugural Game of the campaign, to head a rotation that added during the winter to also stellar right Gerrit Cole, coming from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The other three members of the starting rotation will be the left-hander Dallas Keuchel and the rights Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton.
As far as offense is concerned, the only fissure, at least at the beginning of the season, will be the absence of the Cuban Yuliesky Gurriel.
The West Indian visited the surgery room and was operated on his left hand and is recovering, coupled with a suspension of five games that must be met by the incident in the World Series with the Japanese Yu Darvish, so it will be a bit of a problem. he came back.
Venezuelan star Marwin Gonzalez can make up for the lack of the West Indian, as he was key last year for his ability to play any position every day.
The Venezuelan is considered as the best’utility’ nowadays.
The Astros are also very close to the Venezuelan Jose Altuve, MVP (Most Valuable Player) in the American League last year, as well as the Puerto Rican torpedo Carlos Correa.
But it will not be so easy. There are the reinforced Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians as the main candidates to stop the Astros their second straight crown.
Dupla of terror.
The Yankees start against the Toronto Blue Jays, with a pitching duel between the Dominican Luis Severino and J.A. Hape.
Hape will see if it is possible to stop the conformed duo of terror between Judge and Stanton.
Six years ago, the Yankees hit 245 homers this season, one team mark above, which had been established in 2009, when they won the World Series on the Phillies.
In the next edition, the ‘Mules’ have everything not only to overcome those 245 homers of 2012 and set a new record, but to threaten the historical record of the Mariners of 1997 (264 home runs).
The Yankees have now assembled Stanton and Judge, both leaders in homers the previous season in the National and American League, respectively, with 59 and 52 in that order.
Judge was the Rookie of the Year in the Americana while Stanton was the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the National.
It is not known for sure if the Yankees will reach the World Series, but what is certain is that there will be a home run of Judge and Stanton during the season.
Among other attractive duels the opening day will be Cardinals (Martinez) -Mets (Syndergaard); Dodgers (Kershaw) -Giants (Blach); Nationals (Scherzer) -Red (Bailey) and Mariners (Hernandez) -Indians (Kluber).