The Astros have announced the roster that they’ll put up against the Nationals in this year’s World Series. It’s nearly the same exact unit that the club trotted out to success in the divisional series. The ’Stros feature mid-prime hitting and pitching stars as well as a variety of useful additional component parts, making for one of the more imposing overall rosters we’ve seen in recent memory.
Here’s the 25-man group:
- Gerrit Cole (probable game 1 starter)
- Chris Devenski
- Zack Greinke (probable game 3 starter)
- Will Harris
- Josh James
- Roberto Osuna
- Brad Peacock
- Ryan Pressly
- Hector Rondon
- Joe Smith
- Jose Urquidy
- Justin Verlander (probable game 2 starter)
Going without a southpaw seems like a bold strategy, but it hasn’t yet hurt the Houston club. The Nats do feature a star southpaw slugger in Juan Soto, but he’s not particularly susceptible to left-handed pitching and the overall D.C. lineup balance makes it tough to mix and match too match. The Houston club continues to prioritize overall pitching ability over handedness, a stance that’s made easier with hurlers that can retire batters on both sides of the dish.
The one switch that the Houston team did make involved relief pitchers. Young power hurler Bryan Abreu has loads of upside, but was knocked around in his lone ALCS appearance. He’ll be replaced by the veteran Devenski, a changeup artist who hasn’t been in peak form but represents another reliable arm. The availability of Pressly had been in some doubt, but he was obviously deemed good to go.
Since the Astros were able to close out the Yankees in six games, they didn’t need to use Cole in an all-or-nothing contest at the end of their just-completed series. That means they’ll be able to line him up for the first game, with Verlander and Greinke to follow. And it reduced the need to add further length to the staff, which helps explain why Wade Miley continues to watch from the sideline. Other roster candidates — Myles Straw, Abraham Toro, Framber Valdez — will also wait to see if a need happens to arise by way of injury.