4) World Series speech in Game 2
Verlander's contributions in 2017 weren't limited to just on-field performances. The Astros dropped Game 1 of the 2017 World Series before giving the ball to their ace in Game 2.
Verlander for the most part was fantastic, giving up only two hits over six innings. Unfortunately, both hits he yielded were big flies. He was taken out of the game in line for the loss, and with Houston in danger of going back home down 2-0. JV made sure that wouldn't happen.
He came out of the clubhouse and implored the offense to keep going rather than fear the vaunted Dodgers bullpen. We all remember what happened next.
Down 3-2 in the 9th inning against the Dodgers' closer, Kenley Jansen, Marwin Gonzalez took the biggest swing in franchise history.
Verlander's World Series woes have been well-documented, but even without the ball in his hands, his impact is invaluable. The Astros went on to win in 11 innings, propelled by home runs in extra innings from Altuve, Correa and Springer. They of course went on to win the series in seven, their first championship in franchise history.
They don't get to that moment without Verlander's arm, and they perhaps don't rise to meet it without his leadership.