This upcoming season for Astros pitchers will be an interesting one for fantasy owners. With Brett Myers’ 2010 success, a strong second half from Wandy Rodriguez, and J.A. Happ’s potential, Houston has a chance to showcase three top-100 starters this year.
In his first season with Houston, Brett Myers had one of the best years of his career. He successfully took over the role as ace of the rotation, especially with Oswalt’s move to Philly.
Myers (2010: 14-8, 223.2 IP, 3.14 ERA, 180 K) was able to stay healthy and even went 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA at home. Last season may be considered a fluke to some, but I am a Myers believer.
Entering 2011 he should be ranked in the mid to high twenties. His ERA may go up a little, but the strikeouts, wins, and fantastic home field benefit will be there as long as he can remain healthy.
I’d like to find out how many fantasy owners dropped Wandy Rodriguez half way through the 2010 season. As a Rodriguez owner myself, there were a few times of yelling at my computer while glaring up and cursing Wandy to the heavens above… but I digress.
Wandy was able to turn his season around. After the All Star break, he went 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 93.2 innings pitched. The second half of last season was the Rodriguez we are all used to seeing. Rodriguez’s post-All Star stats to continue into 2011, and he can be your team’s solid third starter. Expect him to get around 14 wins while posting a mid-3.00 ERA.
Houston’s third starter, J.A. Happ, made 16 starts in 2010 and seemed to fit nicely in his new role with the Astros. His 2010 totals (Philadelphia and Houston) include a 5-4 record with a 3.40 ERA.
Looking forward to 2011, Happ needs to pitch further into games to be a solid fantasy play. Only going seven innings or more in two of his 16 starts proved to be detrimental to his fantasy value. Happ does has the Minute Maid home field advantage, going 4-1 with 38 strikeouts in 44.1 innings with a 3.22 ERA, so fantasy owners can use this to their benefit.
Expect Happ to be a fourth or fifth starter in most mixed leagues, and possibly see 13 wins, a 7.0 K/9 ratio, and an ERA between 3.20 and 3.50.