The MLB Trade Deadline was busy this year, but two teams stole most of the headlines. The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros both made massive trades with the New York Mets, landing former Cy Young winners Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, respectively.
With only half a game separating Texas and Houston for first place in the AL West, these two teams are poised to do battle for the rest of the summer in what's shaping up to be the most exciting divisional race in baseball.
But before that happens, which team had the better trade deadline? Here are three reasons why the Rangers outdid the Astros.
Better Trade Deadline: Astros or Rangers
1. Scherzer Over Verlander
As mentioned at the top, Houston and Texas made the two biggest deals at the deadline by fetching Verlander and Scherzer, bringing in a much-needed ace for the stretch run. Both pitchers are future Hall of Famers and are World Series winners, so there's a lot to like about both.
That said, I'd rather have Scherzer at this stage in their careers. For starters, he's a year and a half younger than Verlander. That's a pretty big difference in sports years, especially when both players are around age 40.
More importantly, Scherzer has a lot less mileage on his arm. He's logged 2,789 2/3 regular-season innings during his 16-year career, plus another 133 1/3 in the postseason. Verlander has thrown considerably more in his 18-year career, with 3,257 1/3 innings in the regular season and another 207 2/3 in October. That overall difference of roughly 550 innings is quite sizable, especially at their age.
Scherzer has also been better in the postseason, especially in the World Series. Scherzer is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in three World Series starts, helping the Nationals win it all in 2019. Verlander's been horrendous in the Fall Classic, however, going 1-6 with a 5.63 ERA.
At the end of the day, I'd rather have Scherzer for the rest of the year and especially for a big game in October, which is the whole point of acquiring a pitcher like him in the first place.