John Smoltz Says Astros' Starting Trio 'Way Better' Than Braves' Big Three

The Astros boosted their starting rotation at this week's trade deadline by acquiring starter Zack Greinke.
Publish date:

The Astros won the trade deadline earlier this week by acquiring Zack Greinke, and the move earned the team high praise from Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz.

According to's Brian McTaggart, Astros owner Jim Crane said Smoltz called him called him on Friday to "gush" about Houston's starting rotation.

"Smoltz said, 'Man, you really did a great job of putting that together.' I said, 'Yeah, it looks like Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux.' He said, 'No, no, you guys are way better than we ever were.'"

The Astros' starting rotation, which is considered the best in baseball currently, features Greinke, Gerrit Cole and 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. News of Greinke's trade came just minutes after Wednesday's trade deadline ended. Arizona received four of the Astros' top 30 prospects in exchange for the righty.

Smoltz certainly knows what he's talking about, considering he's part of the Braves' "Big Three" with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. The three Hall of Fame starters helped the Braves win the 1995 World Series and combined to win six National League Cy Young Awards during their time with Atlanta.

Verlander was part of the Astros' 2017 World Series squad, and after the club traded for Greinke, it became the favorites to win this year's Fall Classic at +200. 

Houston currently leads the AL West at 71–40 and sits 8.5 games ahead of the second-place Athletics. Only the Dodgers (72–40) and Yankees (70–39) boast better records than the Astros. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the Dodgers have the second-best odds at winning the World Series at +300, while the Yankees are in third at +600.