Oakland Athletics Get Swept by Astros

Oakland Athletics

The Houston Astros are the defending World Series champions. In 2018, they have played like a team that is intent on defending their title. They are now 24-15 after completing a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics. Oakland had been a surprise team this season. They came into the series against Houston with a winning record. However, they are now 18-19 after three straight losses to Houston. Gerrit Cole of the Astros has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year. He continued his dominance against the A's by striking out nine in six innings and only giving up one run. He now has a 4-1 record and a 1.43 ERA this season. He is now showing the same dominance that he did a few years ago when he almost won a Cy Young award while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Oakland was picked by many experts to finish in last place. That seems like a very safe bet because the talent on their roster just does not stack up to the other teams in their division. That A's have by far the smallest payroll and look to dump salary every chance they get. This is why Oakland has continued to have losing teams in recent years. It appears as if that trend will continue this season. Billy Beane has been a very good general manager for the A's. However, even he cannot put a decent team together with the tiny budget he has been given to work with.

The Astros are the exact opposite. They are loaded with talented players that are making a lot of money. They also have an owner who is willing to add payroll at the trade deadline to pick up a key player who can help the team. The acquisition of Justin Verlander was a huge one when it came to winning the World Series. The biggest player that will be available at the trade deadline this year will be Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. The Orioles have been terrible and will certainly want to unload Machado in order to get something for him because he will be a free agent at the end of the season. However, it is not known if the Astros will be willing to part with the package of young players that the Orioles will be looking for in exchange for Machado. We will have to wait and see.