In acquiring reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins last week, the Yankees are now in prime position to contend for a championship next season. In fact, some sports books in Las Vegas already have New York listed as favorites to win the Fall Classic in 2018.
But the 2017 World Series MVP isn’t counting out his own team’s chances of defending their title — even with a formidable slugger like Stanton joining the American League.
“I think that [the Yankees] understand who they have in their organization, and they wanted to add a piece,” Houston Astros’ outfielder George Springer said of Stanton on CBS Sports Radio’s The D.A. Show on Tuesday. “He’s obviously a big part of that team now. It’s going to make an already hard team to play even harder with him in their lineup. A lot of teams, including ourselves, are going to have their hands full.”
Before defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series this past November, the Astros had their hands full against the underdog Yankees in the ALCS. After winning the first two games at Minute Maid Park, Houston fell in three straight games at Yankee Stadium. But, the Astros overcame a 3-2 deficit, and in the final playoff round, Springer hit .379 with five home runs, three doubles, and seven RBI, earning the MVP trophy.
Considering the bevy of youth and talent both Houston and New York possess, Springer hopes there will be a long-lived battle between the clubs for the American League pennant.
“That’s a great team over there with a lot of great players,” Springer said of the Yankees. “They obviously had a tremendous season. For them to go out and add Stanton is going to make them harder. It’s only going to make them better. I believe that our team is just as good. I expect a lot of battles throughout the year.”
In 2018, the Yankees and Astros will meet in two regular season series. The first takes place in Houston (April 30-May 3), followed by the latter in the Bronx (May 28-30).