5: Dallas Keuchel, 2015
Part of what vaulted the Astros into contention was having a legitimate ace, and Keuchel was that guy in 2015. He won the Cy Young Award after going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA, leading the league in innings pitched, batters faced, WHIP and shutouts. He was also an All-Star and won his second of four Gold Glove Awards.
4: Jose Altuve, 2017
Altuve has had several superb seasons, but this is the one that got him the MVP Award. He led the majors in batting average at .346, which is still a career best, and led the league in hits for the fourth straight year. He added 24 homers, 39 doubles and 32 steals and a career-best OPS+ of 160.
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3: Alex Bregman, 2019
Tough call between Altuve and Bregman for this spot, but Bregman had superior numbers even though he didn’t win the MVP. He put up a 162 OPS+ and 1.015 WHIP, leading the majors in walks and putting up a ridiculous .296/.423/.592 line with 41 homers and 119 RBIs. His performance was worth 8.4 WAR.
2: Gerrit Cole, 2019
In almost any other year, Cole could have won the Cy Young Award. He went 20-5 with a league-leading 2.50 ERA, leading the majors in strikeouts (326), ERA+ (185) and strikeouts per nine innings. He made it into the Top 10 of the MVP voting and was the planet’s most dominant pitcher in the second half of the season.
1: Justin Verlander, 2019
In an effort to not rehash the Cy Young debate, Verlander led the majors in wins (21), innings pitched (223), WHIP (0.803) and hits per nine (5.5). He also led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio and put up a 179 ERA+ and 7.8 WAR. He was consistently excellent all season and had arguably his best season yet.