Astros History

Astros: Best individual seasons in club history – rotation

ST. LOUIS, MO - CIRCA 1987: Mike Scott #33 of the Houston Astros pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during an Major League Baseball game circa 1987 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Scott played for the Astros from 1983-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - CIRCA 1987: Mike Scott #33 of the Houston Astros pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during an Major League Baseball game circa 1987 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Scott played for the Astros from 1983-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 18: Former Houston Astro Larry Dierker waves to the crowd during a pre-game ceremony for the 1965 Astros before the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Minute Maid Park on April 18, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 18: Former Houston Astro Larry Dierker waves to the crowd during a pre-game ceremony for the 1965 Astros before the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Minute Maid Park on April 18, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

5. Roy Oswalt – 2002

Like Niekro, this wasn’t one of The Wizard’s 20-win seasons. The young Oswalt went 19-9 with a 3.01 ERA in 2002, fanning a career-best 208 batters in 233 innings. He finished fourth in the Cy Young voting, one of his six top-six finishes, and totaled an even 7.0 WAR.

4. Justin Verlander – 2019

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Now we come to Verlander, who blazed a trail through the AL this past season. He led the majors in wins (21), innings (223), WHIP (0.803) and hits per nine (5.5), winning his second Cy Young award. He also led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio and compiled 7.4 WAR.

3. Roger Clemens – 2005

The Rocket won his seventh Cy Young in 2004, but his next season was actually better. He led the majors with a 1.87 ERA in 32 starts, but a pedestrian 13-8 record kept him from No. 8. He ended up finishing third in the Cy Young voting and compiling 7.8 WAR.

2. Mike Scott – 1986

One might have thought this would be No. 1, but alas. Still, Scott’s season was remarkable as he led the majors in ERA (2.22), innings (275.1), strikeouts (306), WHIP, hits per nine, strikeouts per nine and strikeout-to-walk ratio. He won the Cy Young award and capped off the regular season with a no-hitter to clinch the division title and was named NLCS MVP despite his team losing the series. His performance was worth 8.4 WAR.

1. Larry Dierker – 1969

What Dierker was able to do in 1969 was impressive as he compiled 8.7 WAR. He went 20-13 with a 2.33 ERA in 37 starts and two relief appearances, tossing 305.1 innings and striking out 232 batters. Of those 37 starts, 20 were complete games. Remarkably, he didn’t get any Cy Young consideration as Tom Seaver and his 25 wins nearly monopolized it. Regardless, at least by WAR standards, Dierker put up the best regular season by an Astros starting pitcher.

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