MLB Power Rankings: Astros vs. Rockies would make for a fun World Series
The Astros cling to the top spot, but the Yankees aren't too far behind
A few weeks ago, we established that it is already time to stop saying "it's early" when discussing the Major League Baseball team performances in an attempt to dismiss the already-banked results. It is still too early, however, to say what teams are going to make the World Series. There will be injuries, trades, streaks both good and bad and, of course, the playoffs themselves are a fickle mistress. We can always declare what matchups in the World Series would be fun, though.
Sure, everyone has different parameters and the scale is relative because every possible matchup is fun for true baseball fans. Some are more than others and I think last year's Indians-Cubs bout was something we'd have declared very fun back in the middle of June.
Looking at the best teams in the league right now, there is one that sticks out to me as incredibly fun.
Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies
Not everyone will agree and that's OK, but this is my platform and I think it would be all kinds of fun.
First off is the obvious. Neither team has ever won the World Series. Actually, neither team has ever won a game in the World Series. The Astros won the NL pennant in 2005 but were swept by the Chicago White Sox while the 2007 Rockies were swept by the Boston Red Sox .
So right off the bat we've got some starved fan bases, which means an utterly electric atmosphere in the stands. Sure, it's always electric, but there's a little extra oomph from fans who have never experienced it.
Look at the teams, too. Both have offensive firepower with plenty of opportunities for series-changing home runs in big spots. There are superstars like Nolan Arenado , Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa who aren't household names among casual fans who like to tune in late in October to check out the games.
There's Carlos Beltran , the 40 year old possibly in his final season who has hit .323/.432/.646 in the postseason in his career yet hasn't yet won a ring.
There's Carlos Gonzalez , who has been with the Rockies for nine years and umpteen trade rumors. He's gotten to see one series in the playoffs, where he hit .588/.632/.882 but his team lost three games to one.
What about the possibility of two strong-armed rookies like Lance McCullers and Jeff Hoffman squaring off in the Fall Classic? Former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel coming through with an ace-like performance with his team's back against the wall? Greg Holland -- who got a ring in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals but was hurt and didn't appear in the playoffs -- coming through with four saves in close games to grab another ring?
Rockies manager Bud Black has never managed a postseason game (his one-game playoff loss to the Rockies in 2007 was technically a regular-season game). Astros skipper A.J. Hinch hasn't been past the ALDS.
And finally, there's the Astros' storyline of being the first-ever team to win both an AL and NL pennant, beating out the only other team with a chance to do so in the Milwaukee Brewers .
We could do this exercise with many different teams, of course, it's just that these two teams are playing exceptional baseball this season. It appears a realistic possibility and a very fun one at that.
Rockies vs. Astros in the World Series? No argument here. Bring it on.
||The 'Stros have lost six of their last eight, but a slide was inevitable. They've still won 2/3 of their games and their pitchers will start to recover from injuries in the upcoming weeks. They're fine.||--||52-25|
||Flying. Just flying. I hear what they did to the Orioles over the weekend was a federal offense. I mean, I can't prove it, but someone told me it was. So that totally counts.||2||40-33|
||Three losses in a row, but before that it was a seven-game winning streak. They belong right here, right now.||2||47-31|
||The best bet to end up with the top record in the NL this season.||1||51-26|
||Fun series this weekend coming up in Houston. With the Astros' rotation so banged up, it's a chance to take a tough series.||1||41-34|
||That's wins in six of seven where they've shown the ability to win a slugfest or a duel. And, man, Robbie Ray is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now.||1||48-28|
||The bullpen has been among the worst in all of baseball. Without major upgrades, the Nats can probably still win the NL East, but is that good enough? They've been there and done that. It's time for a deep playoff run, which means they need to add something at the trade deadline.||5||45-30|
||Those Rays, they are getting sneaky again. We shouldn't be looking at this yet, but I can't help it: Did you know the Rays are sitting in the second AL wild-card spot right now?||7||40-38|
||Heading into Tuesday, the Twins had scored at least 12 runs in a game just one time. They'd allowed that many eight times. I guess they got tired of being pushed around -- especially as a first-place team -- as they put a 20-spot on the Mariners. It was only the 14th time in franchise history with that many runs.||--||39-34|
||Barely staying above water here at two over .500, but I'd have loved to see the look on Brewers' fans faces if we went back to March and told them their team would be in first place in mid-June.||1||41-37|
||I'm confident the offense as a whole will come around -- and maybe Tuesday's hilarious lineup leading to 14 runs was the start -- but on the rotation I'm not so sure. Speaking of, John Lackey is on pace to allow 49 homers this season. The MLB record for homers allowed is 50 (Bert Blyleven, 1986).||3||38-37|
||Who had the Indians hovering around the bottom five in baseball in rotation ERA heading into the season? Get your hands down, liars.||--||39-35|
||Thanks to a five-game winning streak, over first-place teams, the Rangers are back to .500. They have the talent to make a second-half run. Especially these days with the two wild cards, just hang around and you never know.||6||38-37|
||There's a glass ceiling so far: The Jays are now 0-6 when they've had a chance to climb back to .500 this season.||1||36-39|
||So they've slowed down in the short-term. That was bound to happen. As noted on the Rangers' blurb, though, just hang around and things can happen.||1||39-39|
||If Mike Trout doesn't make it back in time, you know who I'd love to see as the Angels All-Star rep? Andrelton Simmons. He's long been an elite defender and he's having his best all-around offensive season. Alas, he's surely behind Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Xander Bogaerts and maybe even Elvis Andrus, depending upon who is making the pick. Instead, we'll get stuck with a random reliever or something. Please come back, then, Trout.||--||40-39|
||So did the coaching changes or coming home to play the Phillies help turns things around after the 0-7 road trip?||3||34-40|
||Of all the things they need right now, Francisco Rodriguez complaining about how he's being used is pretty far down the list.||1||33-42|
||Now I'm FREEEEEEEEEEEEE FREE FALLLLLLLLLLLLIN' Sorry, but the Orioles deserve that. They've only won nine of their last 30 games.||9||37-38|
||You just can't say enough about the mental toughness of Jameson Taillon. He's got some physical skill as well, of course.||1||35-41|
||Steven Matz and Yoenis Cespedes are back while the Mets have won four of their last five. Things are slightly looking up.||6||34-41|
||Jason Vargas is in the midst of a career year at age 34 (2.10 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 81 1/3 IP), less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery. Oh, and the Royals are likely to be sellers next month. Vargas hits free agency after this season. Fancy a cheapish rotation rental, anyone?||1||37-37|
||Don't feel bad, Reds. The Dodgers-Padres six-game West coast swing sent the Cubs home 0-6.||5||31-43|
||Not half bad at this point. The Marlins have won four of six and 11 of 16.||1||34-40|
||Not a good team, sure, but you know where they are really good? In the bullpen. They sit top four in the AL in bullpen ERA and have only blown four saves. Take a look at setup man Tommy Kahnle with his 1.42 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings.||1||32-42|
||The Braves traded for Matt Adams after Freddie Freeman got hurt and now he's playing well enough that they can flip him for more than they gave up. That's obviously much better than him flopping, eh?||--||36-39|
||It's the middle of June and a Billy Beane team is moving right into sell territory, having lost five of six. Go get your pennant race veterans. Everything must go. We've got Alonsos, Grays, Lowries, Doolittles or perhaps even a Casilla, Joyce or Rajai if they are your type. It's a Green Light Special.||5||34-42|
||Lost in the shuffle of the futility is Buster Posey having one of the best seasons of his decorated career.||1||27-51|
||A 3-4 week gets your promoted down here.||1||31-45|
||As if a seven-game losing streak isn't enough, four of those games have been by one run and the last two were of the walk-off variety.||2||24-50|