HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The beloved 2017 Houston Astros World Series-winning team is forever etched in Houston history, but there are some who believe the 2019 version of the 'Stros could be even better.
Here's how the two teams compare:
The 2017 team had great pitching with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, and Brad Peacock. For 2019, Keuchel and Morton are gone and McCullers is hurt, but the Astros still have Verlander, plus Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke.
The core of the team is essentially the same as in 2017 with Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick. Marwin Gonzalez is gone but was replaced by veteran Michael Brantley, who is having a great year.
An unexpected boost to the Astros this year has been the promotion of Yordan Alvarez. Yordan, who is expected to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award, was still in the minor leagues in 2017, but will hopefully make an impact in this year's series.
Catcher Brian McCann is gone, replaced by Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado, who was part of the 2018 team.
The closer for the 2017 Astros was Ken Giles, who was traded in 2018 for his replacement, current closer Roberto Osuna. Will Harris is still a go-to-guy in the pen, plus the Astros added set-up reliever Ryan Pressley.
The 2019 'Stros are being led by the same man who took them to the 2017 championship, and that's manager A.J. Hinch.
2019 vs. 2017: How Astros World Series teams stack up