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Astros scoop up Verlander
No City Deserves Verlander More Than Houston

Fans of the Houston Astros were probably a little miffed that their championship caliber team didn’t make any moves at a buys trade deadline. Well, good things come to those who wait. The Astros have landed Justin Verlander to shore up their pitching rotation.

Verlander has always been on the block since the Detroit Tigers stopped being seriously competitive, but it’s always seemed impossible to move his massive contract. The ace is on contract for $56 million through 2019. So to help facilitate the deal, the Tigers sent an additional $16 million to the Astros in exchange for three awesome prospects.

Not only is Houston getting Verlander for an extremely good price, they’re giving their fans something absolutely imperative – hope in a time of absolute crisis. This will not repair the damage done by Hurricane Harvey, but it will certainly aid in the healing process.

The Houston Astros were already the +475 second choice to win the World Series at, as well as the preference to take home the American League pennant at +210. Of course, they have plenty of competition.

The Boston Red Sox are featured at +300, while the Cleveland Indians are the second favorite in the American League at +250. After that you’re betting on relative longshots like the Los Angeles Angels at +1400 and the Minnesota Twins (for some reason) at +2000.

Over the course of the year, Verlander has gone 10-8 SU with a 3.82 ERA and 176 strikeouts in 172 innings. As is usually the case with him, he’s been getting better as the year goes on. During his last 11 starts he’s lowered those numbers to a 2.31 ERA while scalping 84 strikeouts in 76 at-bats.

But it almost doesn’t matter what Verlander’s numbers are because there’s no doubting how good he is. He now gets to a middling offence with one of the worst defences in all of baseball to an Astros team that ranks 1st in offence and is well above average on defence.

Pitchers in the playoffs need to deliver a sense of “guaranteed” wins in the playoffs. It’s what boosts the confidence of teams in the dead heat of competition. Dallas Keuchel offered one of those. Now Verlander adds a second. This doesn’t make Houston a lock, but it certainly makes a bet on them much more sturdy.

This move also bolsters a rotation that was largely considered the weakest link on an otherwise championship team. Jose Altuve is still the leading candidate for the MVP at, while Dallas Keuchel is just two years removed from his Cy Young season.

Houston was already in contention for the World Series, and now their chances just got better even if their odds haven’t (yet). No matter what your opinion is of the Astros as a fan, you’d be stonehearted to not root for the city in its most trying time.

Bet on the Houston Astros with the newly acquired Justin Verlander at!

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