Bowden: Yankees And Astros Evenly Matched

The Yankees and Astros are the best teams in baseball, Jim Bowden says, and either could beat the other in a seven-game series

Bill Reiter
June 22, 2018 - 2:08 pm

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There's no denying it: Major League Baseball is being dominated this season by a few outstanding teams, including the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees. But which one is the best?

"I think the Astros and the Yankees right now are the two best teams in baseball, and I think the Yankees can play with Houston – and I'm going to tell you why,” former GM and current analyst Jim Bowden said on Reiter Than You. “Number one, because Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. The Yankees’ lineup is now deep, top to bottom. The bottom third of their lineup is now better than the Astros' bottom third of their lineup."

The Yankees lead the majors with 5.29 runs per game, while the Astros are second with 5.18.

“I think the one thing about both the Yankees and Astros lineup that we also have to keep in mind is they can hit good pitching,” Bowden said. “So, the Yankees lineup can hit Cole, they can hit Morton, they can hit Keuchel – just like the Astros lineup is capable of hitting all of the Yankees pitchers outside of Luis Severino. So, I think they're evenly matched, and I don't think Houston is way better than New York.

“I would argue that if they played a seven-game series, they would go to Game 7 or go to the 9th inning and who knows who's going to win?”

Another team to watch are the Seattle Mariners (46-29), who have more wins than any team in the National League. Bill Reiter wonders if the Mariners are contenders or overachievers.

Bowden sees potential in them.

“The way I see it,” Bowden said, “I see Yankees-Red Sox in the East, one's going to win the division, the second one's going to get the first Wild Card. The Indians are going to win the Central by 10 games, and the Astros are going to blow Seattle out in the West by the time we get to the end of September. I see Seattle as the team to beat for the second Wild Card."

Bowden, however, does not say this without concern.

"I worry a little bit about Seattle's starting rotation the second half of the year,” he said. “We’ve never seen James Paxton pitch more than 130 innings, we've never seen Marco Gonzalez pitch like this. We don't know which Felix Hernandez we're getting yet. . . . So I think there's a lot of questions, but at the end of the day, the Mariners are contenders."