The pitchers have been the Astros strong point in the past. Is that still the case? Who’s the most reliable and who pitched above or below expectations?
The pitching staff of the Houston Astros have undergone some changes this season and it’s showing in the results. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still ranked among the top teams in the league in many pitching categories. But last season they weren’t among the top, they were at the top. Since last year, the Astros have seen a drop in ERA, ERA+, WHIP and several other statistics.
But when a team has to make the overhauls the Astros had to do this season, it’s expected you might see a drop-off in performance. When you lose pitchers like Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. from your starting rotation, you’re going to feel it. When two of your relief pitchers move from the bullpen to start games and you lose a few top relievers to free agency and injury, it’s going to affect you.
It’s still early in the season and there will be some fine-tuning and player movements. There’s always the midseason trade deadline, where teams make bold moves to get that elite pitcher to boost their team for that playoff run. We all know the Astros have pulled off a couple of slick summer trades that proved to be very successful and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another one.
So let’s take a look at where Houston is, at this point in the 2019 season. Who has been their MVP, their Ace, the one pitcher that they know they can depend on? What pitcher has failed to live up to expectations and who has surprised us this season?