Houston Astros: Five things Dodgers fans have to come to grips with

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yuli Gurriel /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander /

#4 The Trades

July 31, 2017 is a day that changed both franchises forever. That was the day the Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers while the Astros acquired Francisco Liriano?

Ask yourself this question? Who’s better of the two pitchers? The answer should be obvious. Sparing the gory details of August, let’s just say the Astros struggled while Darvish was slowly becoming accustomed to his new home.

Then one month later, the Astros made a stunning acquisition in the August 31 deadline by taking Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers. Now ask yourself this question? Who’s better of the two pitchers mentioned above? You might think it was Verlander easy. But that’s not the case.

Let’s look at the ERAs of both pitchers prior to their moving to their teams.

Yu Darvish – 7-5 W-L, 3.41 ERA

Justin Verlander – 10-8 W-L, 3.82 ERA

While neither pitcher was having a sensational year, Darvish appeared to be the more dominant pitcher with a lower ERA. Somehow, the Dodgers felt that Darvish would be the perfect fit to add to their team to join Kershaw, Hill, and Wood to form a dominating rotation. There’s nothing wrong with that decision except they overlooked one small detail.

Around mid-July, Verlander was 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA. Since then until August, Verlander went 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 48 innings pitched. Now the Dodgers could’ve easily acquired Verlander and they would’ve had a dominating rotation that would’ve been one of the best in history. Instead, they were content with where they were in August and Verlander ends up in Houston.

Now let’s see how their moves worked out for the rest of the season.

Yu Darvish – 4-3 W-L, 3.44 ERA

Justin Verlander – 5-0 W-L, 1.06 ERA

How about the postseason?

Yu Darvish – 2-2 W-L, 6.14 ERA

Justin Verlander – 4-1, 2.09 ERA

So you’re telling me that a pitcher that went 7-5 for Texas was better than a pitcher that was 5-1 in his last six starts for Detroit? Come on now! The Dodgers made a mistake here. The same mistake the Astros made two years ago when thy acquired Scott Kazmir right before the Rangers got Cole Hamels. Because of the Astros’ previous mistake, they had to wait and see if there was a better option then what Los Angeles got. Sure enough, they kept targeting Verlander and it paid off for them.

The Astros won the overall trade deadline with the better acquisition. This just shows that even though the July 31st deadline is still important, the August 31st deadline is just as vital as well. The Astros saw an opportunity late and had to get Verlander to agree to the deal. It paid off big for them. In other words, while the Dodgers picked up Nemo, the Astros caught Jaws.

Two reasons, three more to go.