Concern #3 - Starting Pitching
The Astros starting pitching has been a concern most of the season as the Astros has two of their starting pitchers go down. As a result the Astros looked to young starters to fill the void and although the future looks bright for JP France and Hunter Brown, they are not the same as the spoil of riches the Astros have had in the past with regards to their rotation.
The addition of Justin Verlander was definitely a needed step and the Astros probably wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for JV’s leadership and consistent play in August and September. Outside of Verlander however the Astros best pitchers have been inconsistent and have not pitched their best.
Cristian Javier has posted a 5.0 ERA since August began and he went 7-4 over the course of that time. Javier truly struggled in August with a 6.17 ERA which he improved upon in September with a 4.11 ERA. Javier is in now way a 4.11 ERA pitcher and will have to regain his postseason magic of last year if he is to make an impact for the Astros.
Framber Valdez was the ace until Justin Verlander arrived and although he has pitched well he is showing a bit more emotion than you might like. August and September months combined he was 6-5 with a 3.75 ERA. That might not be too bad but for your Ace is is a problem. Valdez should have crushed it in September, instead of going 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA. Again that might not seem bad but it was against the the Royals 2 times and the A’s 1 time, with Texas and Seattle 1 time. Framber needs to be an ace this postseason if the hope to continue on.