Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke- The Astros New Big 3
Zack Greinke being dealt to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline is easily the best and most talked-about move this season. Not only did it make the Astros instant World Series favorites it also gave them something that has been going on throughout baseball history but is getting much more recognition these days, a “Big 3” in the starting rotation of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Greinke.
The season is far from over but right now we are going to play the “what if they fully live up to the expectations” game. To do this we first have to look at what the Astros big 3 are doing this season and their projections. I give them an extra edge for this season on how great they are considered all-time when everyone in the entire world knows MLB has juiced the balls.
To start with either Verlander or Cole will win the AL Cy Young this season (I’m giving a slight advantage to Cole at this point. Very slight.) and that is an incredible feat on its own to have two pitchers on the same team battling it out for the prestigious prize. Let’s look at some numbers…Verlander is currently on pace to 21 wins, 290 K’s and a 2.68 ERA. Cole is currently on pace to 19 wins, 318 K’s and a 2.85 ERA. Greinke is currently on pace for 15 wins, 192 K’s and a 3.07 ERA.
Now these numbers are “on pace” not exact, so they could go down or up but just to take a glance at them and think what if is mind-boggling. Greinke’s numbers will improve with his arrival in Houston too. No lineup wants to face those 3 in a playoff series. Not a single lineup in all of baseball would say that does not scare them out of their jockstraps.
Between these three pitchers, the awards are stacked. MVP, two Cy Young Awards, Pitching Triple Crown, three ERA Title’s, 17 All-Star game appearances, five Gold Gloves, Major League Player Of The Year, ALCS MVP, 6 seasons leading the league in strikeouts and to top it off a Silver Slugger. Most of these belong to Verlander and Greinke seeing that Cole is the young up and comer of the group, the other two already on their road to Cooperstown.
It’s World Series Champions or bust for the Astros in 2019. They went all in. Just as they should have, and now they have a Big 3 that could do something very special. I recall the Big 3’s of the Braves in the ’90s (everyone should baseball fan or not) Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz. And I will never forget watching the press conference when the Phillies introduced their rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.
Those are just a couple of the Big 3’s in a long line of MLB history. There is just something a little extra special with this Big 3 in Houston Texas right now. To look at the ridiculous, almost unfair stacked lineup and know that the pitching might actually be the strength just puts this Big 3 into perspective (we cant forget about Mr 10 win Wade Miley and his 3.05 ERA to date either) . MLB fans and especially Stros fans you are about to witness a pitching display in Houston that you will never forget.