Astros vs. Cubs Position Players

A fun little question came to mind when I heard Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker got called up – when full-strength, whose position players would I rather have, the Astros’ or Cubs’? Both teams focused heavily on bats in recent drafts and have both enjoyed World Series victories in part because of those approaches.

To formulate an answer, let’s go position by position. And remember, we’re assuming full health for each team’s starting player.

Catcher
Astros – Brian McCann
Cubs – Willson Contreras

From a leadership standpoint, you have to go with McCann, but we’re looking more at production – although, Contreras has made great strides in leadership – so we give the edge to the Cubs’ backstop at this point in their careers. Astros 0, Cubs 1

1st Base
Astros – Yuli Gurriel
Cubs – Anthony Rizzo

Despite the down year, Rizzo’s consistency (until this year) and age still puts him in the lead. Astros 0, Cubs 2

2nd Base
Astros – Jose Altuve
Cubs – Javier Baez

With all do respect to Baez and his incredible first half of 2018, Altuve is the best second baseman and a top 5 player overall in the game. Astros 1, Cubs 2

Shortstop
Astros – Carlos Correa
Cubs – Addison Russell

Here’s where assuming health starts to come into play as Correa has the clear edge. Since his debut in 2015, he has ranked in the top 5 (3?) of shortstops MLB-wide whereas Russell hasn’t quite lived up to his also lofty expectations. Astros 2, Cubs 2

3rd Base
Astros – Alex Bregman
Cubs – Kris Bryant

Bregman’s breakout this season makes this potentially the tightest race, however, Bryant’s start to his career gets the nod. Astros 2, Cubs 3

Left Field
Astros – Kyle Tucker
Cubs – Kyle Schwarber

If Tucker can replicate his AAA numbers at the big league level, he could overtake Schwarber. For now, though, we go with the Cubs’ LF. Astros 2, Cubs 4

Center Field
Astros – George Springer
Cubs – Albert Almora

Like Baez, Almora’s first half (better than Springer’s) makes this closer than you may realize, but we’ll stick with track record and go with Springer. Astros 3, Cubs 4

Right Field
Astros – Josh Reddick
Cubs – Jason Heyward

Surprisingly similar players over the course of the season and careers, but just a gut feeling says go with Heyward in case he’s figured something out this year.

Final tally: Astros 3, Cubs 5

Just for fun, now let’s combine the teams to make one super team with the positional winners above and pitchers.

1.) George Springer, CF
2.) Jose Altuve, 2B
3.) Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4.) Kris Bryant, 3B
5.) Carlos Correa, SS
6.) Kyle Schwarber, LF
7.) Willson Contreras, C
8.) Alex Bregman, DH/IF
9.) Jason Heyward, RF
Bench: Brian McCann, C
Bench: Javy Baez, IF/DH
Bench: Albert Almora, OF
Bench: Marwin Gonzalez, UT
SP: Justin Verlander
SP: Jon Lester
SP: Gerrit Cole
SP: Lance McCullers Jr.
SP: Charlie Morton
RP: Brad Peacock
RP: Collin McHugh
RP: Tony Sipp
RP: Chris Devenski
RP: Carl Edwards Jr.
RP: Steve Cishek
CP: Brandon Morrow

Cubs win the position players but looks like the Astros take the pitching. Share your thoughts or grievances on Twitter (@thelongreliever) or in the comments.

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