Lance McCullers Jr. Nearing Astros' Return

Pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. is nearing a return for the Houston Astros.
Pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. is nearing a return for the Houston Astros. / AP Photos/David J. Phillip

The Houston Astros already sport the second-best team ERA in baseball (2.98), but will soon be getting another boost to the rotation. Lance McCullers Jr. is set to make another rehab start for the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys on Sunday. It will be his fourth rehab start overall this summer.

Lance McCullers Jr. Injury Update

McCullers was pushed to 76 pitches his last time out across 3.1 innings. He gave up a pair of earned runs on three hits and three walks. The 28-year-old struck out five opposing batters as his sinker checked in at 94.7 mph. Manager Dusty Baker reported nothing but general soreness afterward.

Houston Astros News

"It's not really about the health so much anymore. I am healthy. I just have to build up that stamina a little bit."

Lance McCullers on his injury rehab

A four-pitch arsenal featuring a sinker, knuckle curve, changeup and slider was put on full display for the fans in attendance and it will be again on Sunday. McCullers next steps include getting his two-seam fastball back to the level he wants it to be at and avoiding deeper counts whenever possible.

McCuller's 30-day rehab clock started back on July 22 when he first appeared at the Double-A level, meaning he will need to be activated by August 21. The All-Star's return may force the Astros to turn to a six-man rotation down the stretch. He could also take on a long relief role in the middle innings.

Getting back a pitcher capable of providing quality starts down the stretch is never a bad thing. Houston currently has odds set at +430 to win the World Series, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.