Projecting the Astros ALDS roster
RHP Justin Verlander
LHP Dallas Keuchel
RHP Brad Peacock
RHP Charlie Morton
The top of the Astros’ starting rotation for the ALDS should be easy. Justin Verlander is the number one pitcher. Dallas Keuchel is number two. Verlander’s first five starts in a Houston uniform – 1.06 ERA in 34 innings – makes him the easy number one in my eyes. Keuchel has pitched well in September- 2.87 ERA in 31.1 innings – but his rough August makes it a bit more difficult to trust him over Verlander.
If I can be frank, there is no purpose to having a fifth pitcher in the rotation during the postseason. If something unfortunate or unforeseen happens, you transition a long-relief pitcher back to the starting job. That said, the final two rotation spots should go to Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton. Not Lance McCullers or Collin McHugh. Honestly, the former have outperformed the latter, especially in the second half.
Last 30 days split as of 9/30:
Brad Peacock; 2.57 ERA in 28.1 innings
Charlie Morton; 2.54 ERA in 28 innings
Lance McCullers; 3.06 ERA in 17.2 innings
Collin McHugh; 5.19 ERA in 8.2 innings
I’m honestly surprised I would type that statement. McCullers has a great start to the season before injuries crept back into the equation. And I think McCullers should get another opportunity at starting next season. But he hasn’t been right since his return from the DL. Saturday’s start in Boston, McCullers’ last of the regular season, didn’t help the situation.
4.1 innings, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 83 pitches-51 strikes
McHugh would normally be included in a postseason rotation. But the results of Peacock and Morton make it too difficult to replace one with McHugh.