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Some point to his numbers. Harper had a down 2016 after winning the MVP in 2015, but he’s finished with an OPS higher than .800 in every season but one an injury-riddled 2014 and through six seasons he’s amassed a 24.0 WAR. In 2017, he’s leading the NL with 15 bangers and 44 runs scored. He’s also hitting .331 and has an OPS of 1.106.
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Lester was not good for the Cubs, but even worse was utility player Ian Happ, who went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts while batting in the cleanup spot.
At least Happ only stranded three runners on base. Braves first baseman Matt Adams left seven runners on the basepaths while going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in Atlanta’s 7-1 loss to the Giants.
Teams like the Phillies have already learned the hard way from their spending mistakes. The Tigers may soon follow suit. But the Astros, like the Cubs last year, have a roster full of young top prospects who have turned into stars.
The Cubs proved last year that patience pays off. Trying to quick-fix a team in baseball doesn’t always work. Sometimes a general manager has to make moves for the future and not just the present.
The Astros, mainly because they couldn’t financially compete financially with some of the other teams, refrained from offering huge contracts, took their lumps, and now sit in an enviable position.
There are no guarantees in baseball, but this Astros squad bears a shocking resemblance to last year’s World Series-winning Cubs team.