5 Greatest Astros Pitchers of All-Time

Roy Oswalt throws out the ceremonial first pitch.
Roy Oswalt throws out the ceremonial first pitch. / Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros have had a litany of star pitchers since they were founded as an expansion team in 1962. Some of the greatest pitchers of all time, including Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan, spent some time in Houston.

We looked at the record books and compiled a list of the five best Astros pitchers of all-time.

5. Billy Wagner

Billy Wagner's career has been overlooked, both by fans and Hall of Fame voters, but he was quietly one of the best relief pitchers of all time. 225 of Wagner's 422 career saves came with the Astros, his original team. Over nine years in Houston, Wagner tallied a 2.53 ERA with a 12.4 K/9, which were outstanding numbers for the time.

4. Larry Dierker

Signed by Houston at age 17, Dierker became the franchise's first 20-game winner in 1969 and continued to produce strong numbers for his 13-year career with the club. Dierker had a 3.31 ERA over 2,333 2/3 career innings, but he only made two career All-Star teams. He later managed the Astros in the late 1990s.

3. Mike Scott

Mike Scott will always be remembered for his remarkable run from 1985 to 1990. Scott was a mediocre starter for the Mets before he learned to throw a splitfinger in 1985, which changed his career. He won the 1986 Cy Young Award with a 2.22 ERA and 306 strikeouts, and he also finished as the runner-up in 1989.

2. Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan spent nine memorable years in Houston, establishing himself as the franchise's all-time strikeout leader. He led the majors in ERA in 1981 with a career-best 1.69 mark. Although he blew away batters with his trademark 100-MPH fastball, Ryan was hampered by awful run support and old age. However, by fielding-independent pitching (FIP), he had his two best years in Houston.

1. Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt broke onto the scene with a stunning rookie year in 2001, where he went 14-3 with a 2.73 ERA. From there, Oswalt was a perennial Cy Young candidate and a dominant force for Houston. Oswalt was a key member of the team that made the 2005 World Series and was the staff ace for a decade. He leads the Astros in Baseball Reference's career pitching Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric with 45.7 – 11.4 more than the next-closest pitcher.

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