Excluding Justin Verlander, which Astros starting pitchers have the best starts at home and which starters have the best on the road?
The Houston Astros had a road-trip heavy start to the year and as such a majority of their pitchers starts are away but now they are getting closer to even. With a bevy of starts this week by the 2-5 starters, it is often assumed who has been the top pitcher outside of Justin Verlander but the stats might not agree.
In two starts, not counting May 24, Framber Valdez has been less than stellar at home. Valdez is 1-1 at home with a 4.67 ERA in 17 innings and a 1.731 WHIP. Valdez’s last two starts have been solid giving up one run over seven against the Rangers and two runs over six against the Tigers.
Valdez was torched however early on when the Los Angeles Angels were hot, giving up six over 4.1 innings April 19. On the other hand, Valdez away has been stellar giving up five earned in 29.2 innings with a 0.978 WHIP.
Jose Urquidy has been quite the opposite story to that of Valdez. Urquidy on the road has been a struggle giving up 16 earned in 22 innings so far this year with a 1.636 WHIP. Urquidy was touched up by Seattle for six over four innings, four over five innings in Toronto and most recently four over five innings in Boston. At home, however, Urquidy is a different story.
Even though Urquidy is 3-1 away, his 1-0 record at home doesn’t quite tell the picture of his performance. Urquidy has logged three games at home and given up only three runs over 18.1 innings with a WHIP of 1.146 and averages two more strikeouts per nine innings at home as well.
Cristian Javier has been much the same story as Urquidy with his home starts being masterful, and away, he has had some bumps. In his two starts away, Javier has given up two runs over five at Texas and seven runs over 3.2 in Washington.
With almost a 9.00 ERA in away starts and a 1.90 WHIP, he hasn’t shown the dominance he has at home. At home, Javier has given up one run in two starts over 11.1 innings, giving him a 0.88 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP.
Luis Garcia is another exception to the rule guy as his away games started have a lower ERA. At 2.37 in four starts over 19 innings along with a 1.316 WHIP, Garcia has shown his prowess away from the Juice Box.
Garcia did struggle, however, over his last start away in Boston, giving up three earned in four innings along with five hits and three walks, which was an anomaly compared to his other away starts in which he gave up a total of two earned runs.
Garcia has been a mixed bag at home with a 4.18 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP, going 1-2. Garcia’s start versus Toronto he gave up five over six innings, and his average start versus the Angels giving up three over 5.2 were his worst home performances. In his most recent two starts at home, he has done much better giving up three earned over 12 innings.
If it was even possible to plan for home and away starters, it is a clear cut path between the four non-Verlander pitchers as far as who is best where. Valdez is your away game ace with a 1.52 ERA and 0.978 WHIP with Garcia in the two spot behind him.
If you could plan for home starters, both Javier and Urquidy have lights out stats giving up a total of four runs over five starts and 29.2 innings total at a 1.21 ERA. You can’t go wrong so far with either one starting at home.
Verlander has an amazing 0.55 ERA away in five starts with a 0.636 WHIP which is just amazing, and that followed by his three games started at home with a 2.41 ERA and 0.857 WHIP. It just goes to show why Verlander is the ace, but the Astros have some great pitchers to put them in a position to win both at home and away from Minute Maid Park in addition to Verlander.