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Astros’ Dallas Keuchel on potential World Series hangover: ‘We’re not the Cubs’

Dallas Keuchel scoffed at the the notion the Houston Astros conceivably could suffer a World Series hangover by taking a crushing shot at the World Series champion that preceded his team.

“We’re not the Cubs,” Keuchel’s bluntly stated. “I firmly believe we have better players.”

The case could be made that the Astros boast a better overall roster heading into this season than the Cubs did entering 2017. However, it’s not like the Cubs were expected to fall off the face of the earth in their quest to defend their World Series championship.

That said, the Cubs nevertheless stumbled out of the gate to the tune of a 40-40 record through the month of June. Despite rebounding nicely, the Cubs were incapable of recapturing the same level of postseason magic following an overall solid 92-70 campaign, losing 4-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.

That is of course hardly an awful season, as most MLB teams would gladly take such a run. But the Cubs had bigger aspirations, as do these Astros. Although Astros pitcher Charlie Morton realizes, as the Cubs undoubtedly learned, there are many obligations, distractions and potential pitfalls that come with being world champions.

“It certainly wasn’t a normal winter,” Morton told The Orlando Sentinel, via CBS Sports. “I have a greater appreciation for the teams that are in the postseason every year, because the guys on those teams — that’s a lot of baseball. That’s a lot of high-energy, high-pressure games. It’s exhausting to watch it, let alone play it. I don’t know if I would call [the next year] a hangover, but let’s just say I understand the sentiment.”

Whether or not Keuchel comments prove to be sage wisdom or words he’ll have to eat come October remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: The Astros are not short on confidence heading into their 2018 campaign.