Houston Astros: Justin Verlander’s track record in ALDS Game 1’s

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros’ ace Justin Verlander will be on the bump today to kick off the ALDS series against the Rays. What’s his track record in ALDS Game 1’s?

Houston Astros fans — here were are, it’s the start of the postseason for the franchise and the road starts at the Minute Maid Park on their quest for a World Series trophy.  One has to think that the team has to just accumulate 11 wins through this period to get to the coveted yet promised land.

It won’t be an easy task to complete but the Houston Astros have a ton of weapons to ensure that they will be among the last two teams standing when the dust settles at the end of this month.

Appearing in October has been a regular, yet refreshing occurrence for the Houston Astros as of late and I’m extremely proud of what they’ve done.  They’ve built themselves into a perennial contender that the national media cannot ignore anymore because this team is the cream of the crop and they now boast the league’s best record, finishing a franchise-best 107-55 on the season.

This ensures that the postseason will have to come through Houston first for any series and the home-field advantage is as good as any when it comes to the Houston Astros.  When were all down in the dumps after Hurricane Harvey made his visit, the team was able to pull us up by the bootstraps and deliver us a championship that we will never forsake again.

They’ve got a good shot to get it done this season and I can’t wait until things get started today.

You know, that Justin Verlander is an incredible specimen to watch, isn’t he?  A guy that should legally change his middle name to Clutch — his middle is actually Brooks — has been all that we had hoped and more when the team traded for him back during the now-defunct Aug. 31 waiver deadline in 2017.

When he’s on the bump, you have no doubt that he’s going to get the job and do it well.  That’s reason why he’s in the running — and the likely winner — of this season’s AL Cy Young Award.  The things I’ve seen this guy do with a baseball is nothing short of amazing and I still want to see more.

But how great has Verlander been in opening games of the ALDS?  He has appeared in four over his career — two with the Detroit Tigers and two with the Houston Astros — so how does he size up?

Let’s take a look to examine this:

ALDS Game 1: DET @ NYY  (Sept. 30, 2011):  L (9-3), 9.00 ERA, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1.0 IP, 25 pitches 

ALDS Game 1: DET vs. OAK (Oct. 6, 2012):  W (3-1), 1.29 ERA, 1 ER, 4 BB, 11 K, 7.0 IP, 121 pitches

ALDS Game 1: HOU vs. BOS (Oct. 5, 2017): W (8-2). 3.00 ERA, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 6.0 IP, 99 pitches

ALDS Game 1: HOU vs. CLE (Oct. 5, 2018): W (7-2), 3.38 ERA, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 5.1 IP, 102 pitches

Outside of his Game 1 performance in the ALDS back in 2011, Verlander has been quite solid thereafter.

He possesses a 3-1 record, a 4.17 ERA — 2.56 ERA over his last three Game 1’s — while posting

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22 Ks, 6 ERs and walking 10 batters.

He has averaged one earned run, 2.5 walks and 87 pitches through 4.78 innings.

Just like Verlander continues today, he keeps his walks to a minimum while keeping his pitch count low while not letting his earned runs affect the overall outcome of the game.

Yep, he’s been pretty darn good since 2012 and it certainly helps when you have run support as the Houston Astros provide for Verlander.  He can still be successful without it but he’s SO MUCH BETTER when he does have it.

I’d expect the same for Verlander this afternoon and I think he’ll solidify the already-tabulated votes that he deserves the AL Cy Young Award for the 2019 season.

Next. Astros: Three keys to an ALDS series win over the Rays. dark

Let’s do this — go Houston Astros!

The Houston Astros take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park for ALDS Game 1.  The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CDT and will be televised on FS1 while being broadcast on SportsTalk 790 AM.