3 big Roadblocks to the Astros Continuing their streak as Division Champs post trade deadline, and 1 hope

This years road to the championship will be tougher. Let's look at why.

Chicago White Sox v Texas Rangers
Chicago White Sox v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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1 hope - The return of JV

Justin Verlander was a team staple for the Astros rotation over the past 5 years and his stats last year show just how big of an impact he has on the team.   Last season Verlander led the league in wins, innings, starts, WHIP and won the Cy Young Award.  Verlander makes a huge difference to the struggling Astros rotation that has been injury plagued.  

In his first start back with the Astros, he did not disappoint.  JV went 7 innings and gave up 7 hits, walked 2, struck out 4 and allowed 2 earned runs.  The Astros couldn’t have asked for a better start in New York against the Yankees, and he put the team in a position to win.  If the Astros ace can continue his old track record as an Astros starter, the future looks bright.  

Verlander joins the rotation with some familiar and new faces.  Both Framber, Urquidy, and Javier pitched with him last year, as well as Brown for a short spell, but JP France is a new face. Verlander’s veteran leadership will prove valuable as well for all the Astros arms.  It will be an exciting end of the 2023 season, and I think JV will help the Astros make it into the postseason.