The Houston Astros pitching staff has been solid this season, but the ace this season is not who you think it was.
29-year-old Starting Pitcher Brad Peacock has been the Astros most consistent starter all season long. His 11-2 record stands out, and his 2.98 ERA is the best out of the teams starting pitchers. Throughout his career, Peacock has been solid, but never spectacular. 2017 was the year he excelled, and the team would have struggled more if it weren’t for Peacocks play.
Brad Peacock was drafted in the 41st round by the Washington Nationals in 2006 and made his debut with the team in 2011. He then joined the Astros and has been on the major league squad since 2013. Coming into the 2017 season, Peacock had not been guaranteed a spot on the opening day roster. The righty made the roster as the long relief arm in the bullpen.
Injuries to starters Lance McCullers Jr. and Dallas Keuchel thrust Peacock into a starting role.
Peacock stepped up to the call for his team and has not let us down. He went on to take flight this season in the back end of the rotation, and one could argue that he has been the teams ace this season. As I already pointed out, his 2.98 ERA is tied with Keuchel for the best on the team. He is 11-2 in 19 starts and has thrown over 120 innings.
The 29-year-old veteran has been a workhorse for a team that needed consistency from their rotation. His 153 Strikeouts is second only to Charlie Morton for the team lead.
How Peacock would fit into the playoff picture
The Astros, as I write this, are one win away from clinching the American League West title, and a spot in the playoffs. Ideally, the first three games of a playoff series would go Keuchel, newly acquired ace Justin Verlander, and then McCullers.
Now, who would pitch game 4 is up for debate. Morton has been solid all season, and his velocity has stayed high. His arm still possesses the stuff that can strike guys out, and Morton is an experienced pitcher. In my opinion, Mike Fiers is way too unreliable to go to in a playoff game.
His tendency to either be great or terrible scares me, and I do not trust him in a big game. So my move would be to pitch the guy who has been your best pitcher all season and throw Peacock. This will be an exciting moment when it comes to it, as the Astros have several ways they could handle it.
Peacock may not be an ace or a household name, but the 29-year-old veteran has done his job. He has been a big piece of the puzzle this season in Houston and deserved his credit. Every great team has unsung heroes who step up and contribute, and Peacock is our unsung hero.
***Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference***