Astros: Justin Verlander, take a bow!

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Justin Verlander
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Justin Verlander /

The Astros have to be pleased with the Justin Verlander trade thus far.

Doesn’t the Justin Verlander acquisition look mighty good right now for the Astros?

Sure, it is only two starts. Two regular season starts in early September doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of everything. But the results of Verlander’s first two starts in an Astros uniform has been a delight to witness.

It was also much-needed.

As you all may or may not know, Lance McCullers didn’t pitch last night in Anaheim. Mike Fiers replaced him in the rotation in what is hopefully nothing more than a spot start. Arm fatigue is the term being mentioned by the Astros.

Regardless of how you view arm fatigue, this is rather worrisome news. It is never good for one of a team’s top pitchers to miss time. It is a rather simple concept.

All of that said, I do not expect McCullers to be on the shelf for more than one start.

*Knock on wood*

However, there is no telling how well McCullers will hold up over the rest of the season. And this is why the Verlander acquisition looks better and better by the day right.

I will admit though that Verlander does little to move the needle on the Astros actual playoff chances. They were getting into the postseason even if they didn’t have Verlander and McCullers looks rather mortal for the rest of the season.

The postseason itself is whole another beast.

Verlander adds value as he can, in theory, start two to three times in a series. Three times in a seven-game series is probably not likely, but you never know. Especially if McCullers remains out or pitches ineffectively upon his return. This would essentially leave Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers as the other starting options. After all, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are already getting starts in the postseason. The remaining options can provide quality outings. But it is not a guarantee.

Next: Astros: Justin Verlander or Dallas Keuchel for game one?

The Astros may not go far in the postseason, regardless of McCullers’ status. But adding Verlander does help their chances. If his first two starts are of any indication, I feel a bit more confident about Houston than I did a few weeks ago.

**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference**