Despite working for the NY Yankees these days ... even Carlos Beltran had to admit the Houston Astros CRUSHED the MLB treadline -- telling TMZ Sports he loved the Zack Greinke pickup!
"I mean, Greinke's one of the best pitchers in the game," Beltran says.
Of course, Carlos did have two stints as an Astro during his 20-year MLB career ... but the 42-year-old now works as an adviser to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
But, Beltran just had to put work allegiances aside when our camera guy asked about the league's trade deadline moves ... saying the Astros are going to be VERY tough to beat now.
"They have three starting guys over there that are No. 1 on any team in baseball."
Beltran ain't kidding, the two favorites for the AL Cy Young this year are Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander ... and with a 2.90 ERA and 135 Ks, Greinke was a leader for the award in the NL before the trade.
But, Carlos still showed his Yanks love despite their inability to make a big move at the deadline ... saying he still thinks NY has enough to win the World Series!!