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Houston Astros: How does this team look now?

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Aug 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (left) and second baseman Jose Altuve against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (left) and second baseman Jose Altuve against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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2016 Starting Rotation (2015 stats)

Jun 18, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister (58) throws a pitch in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister (58) throws a pitch in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 1.02 WHIP, 2.48 ERA)

Collin McHugh (19-7, 1.28 WHIP, 3.89 ERA)

Doug Fister (5-7, 1.40 WHIP, 4.19 ERA)

Lance McCullers (6-7, 1.19 WHIP, 3.22 ERA)

Mike Fiers (7-10, 1.25 WHIP, 3.69 ERA)

The Astros have something they haven’t had going into a regular season in a long time; they have to starting pitching depth. At the top of the rotation, Keuchel, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner comes in as the ace of the staff for the second year in a row. The ace role, occupied in years past by multiple pitchers including Bud Norris and Scott Feldman, now has stability.

That is not what is impressive about this rotation, though. McHugh, Fister, and McCullers have the potential to put up the numbers of a number two guy. McHugh, who has gone a combined 30-16 with a 3.39 ERA in his two seasons as an Astro, has been not only a solid part of this rotation but one of the most underrated and undervalue pitchers in all of baseball.

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McCullers, who will be on an innings limit next season according to Luhnow, is a young arm impressed many Houstonians last season with his strikeout ability and fastball velocity. Fister, who signed with the Astros on January 28th for a one-year, $7 million dollar deal, is looking for a bounce back season after struggling with injuries in 2015. If Fister ends up putting up stats like he did with the Nationals in 2014 (16-6 2.41 ERA), the Astros will have one of the most complete starting rotations in baseball.

Next: 2016 Bullpen (2015 Stats)

2016 Bullpen (2015 Stats)

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Josh Fields (4-1, 1.14 WHIP, 3.55 ERA)

Will Harris (5-5, 0.90 WHIP, 1.90 ERA)

Pat Neshek (3-6, 1.12 WHIP, 3.62 ERA)

Tony Sipp (3-4, 1.03 WHIP, 1.99 ERA)

Luke Gregerson (7-3, 0.95 WHIP, 3.10 ERA)

Ken Giles (6-3, 1.20 WHIP, 1.80 ERA)

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With the trend of “Super Bullpens” sweeping the baseball world, the Astros seemed to have gotten on board with the signing of Ken Giles this offseason. This multiple year project of revamping the bullpen, with the seemingly underwhelming acquiring of both Sipp in May of 2014 and Harris in November of 2014 to the signings of Neshek and Gregerson before the 2015 season, is looking like its going to pay off for being the worst bullpen in baseball two short years ago.

Now again with the Astros answering the question of who is going to be closer with the signing of Giles, they have the stability needed at the back-end of the bullpen to trust these pitchers in big and close games next season. You have seen from multiple teams in the playoffs that their bullpen is their secret weapon for why they are so successful. The Astros, on paper, have the ability to have that advantage going into 2016.

Next: 2016 Infield (2015 Stats)

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