#3 Starting Rotation
Speaking of a young rotation...
Elite pitching has been an Astros hallmark since 2017. Each year they've turned out at least one, and often two Cy Young candidates.
Needless to say they don't have any this year.
Cristian Javier, a preseason Cy Young candidate, has regressed mightily, battling fatigue from his workload last year, the WBC, and a new career-high in innings.
J.P. France and Hunter Brown have also blown past their previous career-high workloads. Brown has a 6.64 second-half ERA, and an especially heinous 9.14 ERA in September. First-half hero J.P. France has regressed in the last two months, posting an ERA of 6.13 since August 1.
And their co-aces have struggled. Justin Verlander has a 3.93 as an Astro. He's been untouchable at times, and thrown BP at others. Framber Valdez looked like the AL Cy Young winner through three months, but posted an ERA over 7.00 in July.
He's stabilized in the last few months, but got shelled for seven runs (six earned) in a must-win his last time out against the hapless Royals.
The Astros starting rotation, especially in the second-half, has let them down.