The Greatest Astro/Phillie

The time is here. The lesser contenders have been dispatched (it seemed like it was gonna be the Mets’ year, didn’t it?) and we have our World Series matchup; the seemingly unstoppable Astros, who just keep pennanting and pennanting and are so far without a loss this postseason, and the scrappy Phillies, third in the NL East this year but hot at the right time.

And that brings us to our annual question: who was the greatest ever Astro/Phillie? Our methodology, as usual — pull up the top 200 career WARs for each team on Stathead (the best subscription on the Internet, if you like this kind of thing) and find the player who maximizes (WAR with Astros) times (WAR with Phillies.)

This year it’s not even close: Roy Oswalt, the Astros’ career leader in WAR from a pitcher. I’d forgotten that after most of a career in Houston, he went to Philadelphia halfway through 2010 and was terrific, helping the Phils get to the NLCS. He pitched just a year and a half in Philadelphia but that, combined with his record in Houston, is enough to give him the title by a long ways.

But if you really dislike the imbalance here, you can instead rank players by min(WAR with Astros, WAR with Phillies) and get a different greatest Astro/Phillie: Turk Farrell, who started and ended his career a Phillie with six years of Houston in between, usually good, never great. He was an all-star once as a Phillie and four times as an Astro, though two of those times were in 1962. Why were there two All-Star Games in 1962? No idea. Mysteries of baseball.

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