Houston Astros: Top 10 Starting Pitchers in Franchise History

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Best All-Time Astros Starter

Apr 5, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; former Houston Astro Roy Oswalt is honored prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Roy Oswalt by Blake Permenter

For the greater part of the 2000’s, the city of Houston was engulfed with the “Killer Bees” and the devastating, famous pitching staff. Not only did the likes of Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens dwarf the presence of Roy Oswalt in height, but also in the national spotlight. Both Pettitte and Clemens left New York for Houston, picking up all of the headlines, yet there has never been a better pitcher in Astros history than the other guy, Roy Oswalt.

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The importance of “The Wizard of Os” to the Houston Astros organization cannot be overstated. Being a fixture at the top of the rotation from 2001-2009, Oswalt piled up 5 top 5 Cy Young award finishes and three seasons of 19+ wins. I am not a big WAR guy, but this stat speaks for itself:

Top 3 WAR in Astros History for a pitcher:

Roy Oswalt: 45.5 – 1932 IP
Larry Dierker: 34.2 – 2294 IP
Don Wilson: 27.7 – 1748 IP

Along with Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, and Craig Biggio, Roy Oswalt WAS the Astros. While the “star power” of Pettitte and Clemens was short lived, the longevity of Oswalt is what makes him different than all of the others. Oswalt had a career win % of .636 as an Astro (143-82), the only other player with a winning % over .600 and an inning count north of 1,500 is J.R. Richard (.601).

Next: Houston Astros: Assessing the Catcher Situation

While All-Time greats such as Ryan, Randy Johnson, and Clemens have all worn Astros uniforms, there is little doubt Roy Oswalt’s accomplishments and dedication to the franchise trumps them all. Since Oswalt won 20 games back-to-back years in 2004 and 2005, no other Astro has been able to accomplish this feat. Your move, Keuchel.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs***