Seven pitchers made the top 350, four starters and three relievers. The position designated for each player is based on last years appearances. A pitcher that was a reliever in 2018 will still be shown as a relief pitcher, even if that player moves to the starting rotation and vice versa. Once that pitcher gets a designated number of the appearances in the second pitching role, that player will have both SP and RP designations.
Verlander is the highest ranked pitcher from the Houston roster listed as the 24th overall player in the league and ranked as the 5th best pitcher. Surprisingly though, he has averaged out so far as the seventh pitcher drafted with an ADP of 26.8, a high third-round pick.
FantasyPro has projected Verlander to earn 16 wins on the season with an ERA of 3.15 and a 1.05 WHIP. They are calling for him to strike out 250 batters in 203.3 innings with one complete game. These numbers are slightly below last year’s performance along with his career averages. I see no reason why he doesn’t duplicate last year’s performance, in any case, you know you can’t go wrong with him on your team.
Gerrit Cole SP
Cole isn’t far behind Verlander at 28th overall and one spot back as the 6th best pitcher. He is also one position behind Verlander with an ADP of 29. Cole’s projected stats consist of 15 wins, 243 Ks, an ERA of 3.34 and a 1.15 WHIP. Again very similar to Verlander and reliable top-notch pick.
Spring Training will tell a lot as to where and when these two prospects end up on the roster. But in any case, James and Whitley made the top 350 players ranked 228 and 326 overall respectively. James is ranked 59th out of the 100 starting pitchers and Whitley just made it in at 90. James has been picked in the 18th round on average with an ADP of 217 and Whitley approximately the 20th round with a 242.2 ADP.
James is predicted to win 10 games with a 3.91 ERA and striking out 156 batters. They projected Whitley to garner 5 wins while striking out 78 and having a 4.20 ERA in the process. Although I will add, not yet knowing the extent of either pitcher’s role in the upcoming season, you can take these predictions with a grain of salt.
Collin McHugh SP/RP
McHugh’s situation is kind of tricky. He is currently listed as a relief pitcher, even though it’s expected that he’ll start the season as a starter. As stated above, once he gets a few starts under his belt, he’ll have both designations. His rankings and projections by FantasyPro are as a relief pitcher and really don’t have much merit as a starter.
He is ranked at 271 overall and 34th on the list of relief pitchers. His ADP is 268 averaging a 22nd round pick. But when looking at his stats between 2014-16 when he was a regular starter for the Astros, he might be worth a look. Especially his 2015 season when he was 19-7 with a 3.89 ERA and 171 strikeouts.
Osuna is ranked pretty high among relief pitchers rated as the 6th best and a 104 overall ranking. He’s been averaging a 7th round pick with an 88.8 ADP. He’s expected to be the Astros primary closer and is projected to earn 37 saves and 65 Ks in 60 innings of work with a 2.90 ERA. A valuable closer to have on any fantasy team.
Brad Peacock RP
Peacock barely makes the list ranking 334 overall and rated at 50 as a relief pitcher. Although there is talk that he may be in competition this spring for the 5th spot in the starting rotation. His ADP is 358 bringing him in as an average 29th round pick in leagues with extended rosters.
His projections show him getting credited for 13 holds and no saves with an ERA of 3.74. Not really numbers that would be of value to many fantasy teams. Worth keeping an eye on through Spring Training though, to see where he winds up.
Chirinos was ranked 16th out of 50 catchers and just made it on the list at 339 overall. Even though he came in at 339 in the rankings, he is the 14th catcher picked on average and has an ADP of 283.2. His projected slash line is .226/.305/.734 with 17 HRs on the year. Not great averages, but enough power to be considered as a secondary or back-up catcher in most leagues.
As you can see there are plenty of Astros to add to your fantasy team come draft time. A word of advice, don’t pick with your heart and try not to stack up too many players from one team, I know that can be hard to do. Good luck with your fantasy teams and enjoy the season!