Chicago Cubs of 2016 mirrored by this year’s Houston Astros club

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Addison Russell
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Addison Russell /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Dallas Keuchel
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Dallas Keuchel /

A good enough pitching staff has been key for Houston

As stated earlier, the Cubs were near the top or at the top of the majors in most categories last season pertaining to the line-up and pitching staff. While Houston’s offense dominated opposing pitchers this season, the rotation struggled a bit, but was still very solid.

Led by Dallas Keuchel for much of the season, the Houston pitching staff finished with a 4.12 ERA, good enough for 11th in the league. In addition to that, the Astros’ rotation notched 37 quality starts in 2017, landing them in the bottom half of the majors in that category.

Keuchel, who served as the ace of the rotation, turned in a solid campaign. The left-hander started 23 games and logged a 2.90 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings pitched.

Also turning in a nice season was Charlie Morton. The 33-year-old right-hander compiled a 3.62 ERA and tied Keuchel for the team lead with 14 wins. In addition to that, Morton led Houston with 163 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings pitched, averaging ten per game.

The Astros also had a good bullpen

Along with having a solid rotation, the Astros had a three-headed monster in the bullpen. Luke Gregerson, Ken Giles and Chris Devenski led the charge for the Astros’ bullpen, appearing in 65, 63 and 62 games respectively. Giles had the lowest ERA of the trio, posting a 2.30 mark in 62 2/3 innings pitched. Along with that, Giles struck out 83 batters, averaging almost 12 punch-outs per nine innings. Giles served as Houston’s primary closer during the 2017 season, notching 34 saves in 38 chances.

Devenski, who led the Astros in holds this season, was the most worked reliever on the roster. The 26-year-old logged 80 2/3 innings, recording a 2.68 ERA. To go along with that, Devnski struck out 100 batters, and compiled a 0.94 WHIP. Gregerson had perhaps the roughest season of the three. The 33-year-old right-hander recorded a 4.57 ERA in 61 innings pitched. He also struck out 70 batters and walked 20, leading to a 1.34 WHIP.

As a group, the Astros’ bullpen recorded a 4.27 ERA, putting them right around the middle of the pack in the majors.