With the American League Division Series kicking off on Tuesday, the Houston Astros have announced their starting pitchers for Games 2 and 3 against the Seattle Mariners.
While Justin Verlander will get the ball for Game 1, he'll be followed by Framber Valdez in Game 2 and Lance McCullers in Game 3.
Astros Starting Pitchers
According to manager Dusty Baker, there's a sickness going around Houston's locker room, which is why he waited an extra day to reveal his pitching plans for Games 2 and 3.
As expected, Valdez will get the nod in Game 2 in Houston. The 28-year-old lefty was one of the best pitchers in baseball this year, leading the AL in innings (201 1/3) and making his first All-Star team. He also has considerable playoff experience from his past few seasons with the Astros, going 4-2 with a 4.53 ERA in 9 postseason appearances (8 starts).
McCullers will start in Seattle in Game 3. The 29-year-old righty missed most of the season recovering from an injury suffered during the 2021 playoffs. He pitched well after returning, though, posting a 2.27 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings across 8 starts.
Together with Verlander, Valdez and McCullers give the Astros an excellent chance to potentially sweep the series. Houston has loads of postseason experience after reaching the World Series three times in the past five years, whereas Seattle is in the midst of its first playoff appearance since 2001. The Astros are currently -235 favorites to win the series on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds with +300 odds of winning the series in three games.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.