Sports

Verlander, Bregman Lead List of Six Astros Headed to the All-Star Game

Bregman headlines a crew of six representing the Astros at the All-Star game this year.
Bregman headlines a crew of six representing the Astros at the All-Star game this year. Photo by Jack Gorman
The Astros are one of the most talent-laden teams in baseball and, not surprisingly, they will have the largest contingent of players from any team representing them at the All-Star game this season. The midsummer classic will feature third baseman Alex Bregman, outfielders Michael Brantley and George Springer, starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, and reliever Ryan Pressly.

Bregman is having another phenomenal season. He has 22 home runs (third in the AL) 55 runs scored, 52 RBIs and an OPS of .922 to go with fantastic defensive numbers (only two errors) and a steady influence in the lineup while others have been out.

Springer making the team is a testament to his incredible play early in the season given he was out for nearly a month with a hamstring injury. His slash line of .306/.387/.617/1.004 is stellar as are his 18 homers and 45 RBIs, even with the injury.

Brantley has been the absolute perfect complement to the Astros lineup. He is 12th in the majors with a .313 average but has added 11 home runs, 45 RBIs and 21 doubles. He has been fantastic with runners in scoring position and a quiet contributor in the clubhouse.

Pressly probably gets about as little attention as a pitcher of his caliber can. His role as setup man may not be sexy, but his effectiveness is unquestioned. His ERA is 1.47 and his WHIP is .74. Batters are hitting .174 against him. He has been nothing short of a shut down reliever on a very good staff.

Cole has struggled at times, but when he bears down, he can be almost un-hittable. Like many pitchers have found out this season, the ball leaves the yard easier than in the past, and Cole has had his homer issues, but he leads the majors in strikeouts and remains one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.

There isn't much to be said about Verlander other than he continues to be a brilliant ace pitcher for the Astros. He is on pace for another 200-plus innings with a 2.86 ERA and a .79 WHIP. He has given up some long balls, but there are few guys in the game with his determination and he shows no signs of slowing down.

The MLB All-Star game will take place Tuesday, July 9 in Cleveland.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke