4 Reasons Why Justin Verlander Back In Houston Could Be A Mistake

While the return of Verlander to the Houston Astros certainly brings a boost to the struggling rotation, there are several reasons why this may backfire.

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game One
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game One / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
2 of 4

Reason 2: Postseason Woes

Despite regaining his ace form in the 2022 regular season, Verlander failed to bring that same performance to the 2022 postseason. Each start felt like a struggle, with a particularly challenging game against the Seattle Mariners in Game 1 of the 2022 American League Division Series. While his starts in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees and Game 5 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies were strong, Verlander had to work hard for key outs. Verlander finished the 2022 postseason with an underwhelming 5.85 ERA across four starts.

His postseason difficulties date back to 2018, when he posted a 4.15 ERA over three starts. These struggles continued into his 2019 Cy Young season. Verlander's postseason opener against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019 was impressive, delivering seven shutout innings with eight punchouts. However, his performance waned over the next five starts, culminating in a 5.81 ERA.

Look, even at 40, Verlander maintains solid regular season performance. We know that. It's all about the postseason. Aside from 2017, the postseason has posed ongoing challenges since his first World Series ring. Despite these struggles, the team's decision to acquire him is an answer to help defend their World Series title. Based on his postseason stats, it's questionable if his performance will shift. It's likely that Verlander's postseason inconsistencies reprise the Achilles heel role that inevitably undermine the Astros' ambitions.