The Houston Astros' quest to win the World Series gets going on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Seattle Mariners. Justin Verlander will start the series opener, but Houston has yet to name a starter for Game 2 on Thursday. Astros manager Dusty Baker explained why:
Houston Astros News
Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported that Baker mentioned the team is dealing with a sickness in the locker room right now. Houston is being patient and waiting to see how everyone feels before announcing their starting pitcher. It's a crucial decision that could come at any point before first pitch on Thursday.
The most likely candidate to start Game 2 remains Framber Valdez. The 28-year-old left-hander is 17-6 on the year with a dazzling 2.82 ERA. He also led the American League with 201 1/3 innings and 3 complete games.
Lance McCullers Jr. could also give it a go on Thursday night after logging a 2.27 ERA in 8 starts after coming back from injury. Cristian Javier is another option after posting a 2.54 ERA with 194 strikeouts in 148 2/3 innings this year. As you can see, Houston has plenty of qualified candidates.
As of Monday, this "sickness" is not being seen as something that could impact the Astros' rotation or lineup plans in a drastic way. That could change, though, so keep an eye out for updates. Houston is slated as a -215 moneyline favorite against Seattle in Game 1, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.
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