Expectations are high for the Astros Ace after coming off of a 14-5 record in 2017. Keuchel had a 2.90 ERA, the second lowest of his career, as well as a 1.119 WHIP, which was also the second lowest of his career. Dallas Keuchel is playing on a one-year contract and could possibly be playing elsewhere if he and the Astros are unable to come to a long-term deal.
After being acquired from the Tigers at the trade deadline, Verlander finished with a perfect 5-0 record and a 1.06 ERA in the regular season. More importantly, he posted a 4-1 record in the Postseason and was pivotal in clinching the World Series for Houston.
The new face in the starting rotation is Gerrit Cole, who found his way to Houston after a trade with the Pirates. Cole had a tremendous 2015 season, in which he finished 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA. If he can shore up inconsistencies and reproduce the numbers from his 2015 season, Gerrit Cole could find himself in the discussion for the Cy Young Award.
McCullers had 22 starts in 2017, up from 14 in 2016, despite a couple of stints on the 10-day disabled list. Unfortunately, 11 of those starts were no decisions. Hopefully 2018 is more forgiving to McCullers, who found success in the Postseason run by the Astros.
Morton posted a career best 14 wins in 2017 with Houston, along with a 3.62 ERA. Much like the rest of the starting rotation, Charlie Morton was great when it mattered, sporting a 1.74 ERA in the World Series.