Two Truths, One Lie: Astros Edition
By Trevor Pedro
Truth #2: Framber Valdez will slide into the Ace spot.
Left-hander Framber Valdez threw 25 straight quality starts last season, playing Robin to Verlander's Batman. Now that the sure-fire Hall of Famer is in New York, Valdez was slotted to take over as the #1 starter in Houston's rotation. Early season results are promising, as the 29-year-old Southpaw is sporting a 2.25 ERA over his first five starts.
Baseball Savant's deep dive into the analytics has Valdez in the fortieth percentile in barrel percentage, which means he is still creating considerable weak contact. But when batters barrel him up, they hammer pitches at an average of 92.9 miles per hour. That is knocking on the doorstep of hard-hit territory. So despite the rise in the barrel and hard-hit rate (50%), Valdez still qualifies as the Astro's ace.