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Houston, We Have Another All-Star: Astros Dallas Keuchel Voted In By Players

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Dallas Keuchel, the Ace of the Houston Astros pitching staff, was voted in by the players to represent the American League in the upcoming All-Star Game. Everyone in Houston, who has followed the Astros, so far this season knew that Keuchel was going to receive this honor today. It’s nice as an Astros fan to know that other players around the MLB have taken notice of Keuchel and what he has done on the mound thus far. The players more than took notice. They made a statement with their voting today:

Let’s take a look at how Dallas Keuchel has gained the respect of the majority of his peers for his pitching performance, through his stats:

  • 11 Wins (1st in AL)
  • 2.14 ERA (2nd in AL)
  • 130 1/3 Innings Pitched (1st in AL)
  • 110 Strikeouts (5th in AL)
  • .206 Opponent Batting Average (4th in AL)
  • 0.99 WHIP (3rd in AL)
  • 4.6 WAR (1st in AL)
  • 3 Complete Games (T-2nd in AL)
  • 2 Shutouts (1st in AL)

He’s the true ace that Astros fans have looked for ever since the departure of the great Roy Oswalt in a trade to Philadelphia a few years ago. Keuchel really has it all when it comes to his game. He’s an absolute grinder in every sense of the word. When you’re at the top of your profession in complete games, innings pitched, and shutouts, you’ve deserved that title. Then, he knows how to punch people out without being too aggressive and giving up the big swing. The .206 average against him and 110 Ks will show you that. For all you fans of sabermetrics, well, he’s your guy too. Leading all AL pitchers in WAR is not an easy task, but the Astros pitcher has done that with ease.

This is Dallas Keuchel’s first appearance in the All-Star game. He had great success in 2014, but much of that success was found after the All-Star break. That is a great sign for Astros fans. If Keuchel really is a second half pitcher, then the rest of the MLB better watch out. Keuchel will join Jose Altuve, who was voted by the fans as the AL starter at second base, to represent the Astros in Cincinnati.

There’s a strong possibility that Keuchel will be named the starter for the American League and join his teammate Altuve when the squad takes the field. When asked about the possibility of him starting, Keuchel said, “I’d like to but it’s nothing that I’m going to fret over. There’s plenty of deserving candidates, so I think there’s guys a lot more nasty than I am and I’m just happy to be at the game and watch some of the best players in the world go at it.” (MLB.com)

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost will be the manager for the AL, but he promoted Astros manager A.J. Hinch to his staff, so you know Hinch will be in Yost’s ear about Keuchel. If the coaching staff takes the opinions of the players into account at all, then there’s no question in my mind that Dallas Keuchel will be the starting pitcher for the AL. Yost has no viable candidate from his own club, and Keuchel has one of the strongest cases out there. Sonny Gray and Chris Sale are also qualified for that honor, but I think Keuchel still edges them out.

Dallas Keuchel: The AL Cy Young Favorite

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With the Midsummer Classic almost upon us, the numbers are starting to take shape with pitchers around the league and a clear Cy Young race is beginning to form. Looking at the numbers above, you would have to think that Dallas Keuchel is in the front of all AL Cy Young discussions. Well, if you think that, then you’re right. The ESPN Cy Young Predictor has Dallas Keuchel clearly ahead of the pack in the AL thus far. Keuchel has a predictor score of 117.6, with Chris Archer being the next closest at 92.0. Sonny Gray isn’t far behind either, in 3rd place with a 90.9 score.

The Astros ace not only is deserving of the award because he would win the “best pitcher on the best team” argument, but he’s also deserving for continuing his success from 2014, staying in games and eating up innings for his team, and keeping his numbers up with the best in the league. I’ve watched him fan hitters like Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, and Alex Gordon. He has the numbers, competitive fire, and WAR that could easily lead him to winning the AL Cy Young award. Now, Astros fans, we need to appreciate the fact that the best pitcher in the AL resides in Houston and sell out every single home game that he pitches. No more excuses, people. These Astros are for real, and they’ve got a real good ace leading the charge in Dallas Keuchel.

Next: The Astros’ Jose Altuve voted into All-Star game

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