Five Players The Astros Need More Production From Before The End of The Season

If the Astros are going to repeat as AL West and World Series champs, these five players will need to up their production down the stretch.
Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
4 of 5
Cristian Javier
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The Astros need ace Cristian Javier back.

Cristian Javier was one of the best pitchers on the planet last year. He used his "invisiball" fastball and slider combination to post a 2.54 ERA and 11.7 strikeouts per nine with a 0.95 WHIP. He started two combined no-hitters, one of which came in Game 4 of the World Series.

He signed a contract extension this offseason and was a preseason AL Cy Young candidate. With the season 2/3 of the way through, Javier currently has a 4.39 ERA. He's never finished a year with an ERA above 3.55.

His three starts from June 21 to July 3 were especially nightmarish. Javier allowed 18 earned runs in 10.2 innings of work after his velocity and VAA diminished.

He's still been a little rocky his last three starts, but his velocity and arm angle have returned since the Astros built in more rest for him. Their return to a six man rotation will help limit Javier's work load. They need the move to pay dividends.

When Javier is right, he can't be touched. No team wants to face JV, Framber and Javier in the first three games of a playoff series if Javier (and Framber) are on their a-game. Houston needs him to find his a-game ASAP.