In many ways, RHP Justin Verlander has felt like the final piece for the Houston Astros 2017 playoff run.
There is nothing new for Justin Verlander. Verlander is in his 13th season in the majors, he led the Detriot Tigers to the World Series twice (2006, 2012) and has won a Cy-Young and a MVP (2011). But he is missing one thing in his career. A World Series. Something that too has been missing for the 50-plus years of Houston Astros baseball. Verlander and the Astros were a perfect match.
Now the Astros need Verlander in their biggest game of the year in Game Six in the 2017 American League Championship Series and the big righty’s track record says he’ll be able to step up for Houston.
Verlander is 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA in four playoff elimination games with 55 strikeouts. He has allowed a run in the past 17 innings in an elimination game entering Friday. The last two elimination games were in 2013 (ALDS vs. Oakland, 8 IP) and 2012 (ALDS vs. Oakland, 9 IP).
Of course, Astros county being the far superior Astro historian then I, also broke down Verlander playoff outings a second time around in the same series. Basically he found that Verlander had a higher game score in all of his starts (2006, 2011x2, 2012, 2013).
Verlander had a 2.58 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 38 1⁄3 innings pitched in his second game of a series compared to a 4.50 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 24 IP in the first game.
In Verlander, we trust.