Verlander will start Sunday against the Royals, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic Houston reports. With the Astros off the schedule Thursday, Verlander will flip places in the rotation with Gerrit Cole -- who is now slated to pitch Monday against the Blue Jays -- in order to stay on regular rest. Verlander has been absolutely lights out this season, posting a 1.60 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 130:21 K:BB across 16 starts (107 innings), so it makes sense the Astros want to trot him out as often as possible.
Verlander did not factor into the decision Tuesday, striking out 10 over 6.2 innings while allowing one run on six hits and a walk against the Rays. Verlander was incredibly sharp all night, inducing 24 swinging strikes and throwing 87 of his season-high 122 pitches for strikes. The lone mistake came in the second inning when C.J. Cron served a fastball into the seats in left for a solo blast -- the fourth homer he's allowed in the last three starts. Recent long ball issues aside, Verlander has been dominant all year long, tossing quality starts in all but one of his 16 turns. He'll sport a pristine 1.60 ERA heading into Monday's start against the Blue Jays.
Verlander (9-2) threw seven innings Thursday, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking none in a 7-3 win over Oakland. It wasn't his sharpest performance, as Verlander allowed a pair of homers on the day, but it got the job done. At the end of May, the 25-year-old owned a 1.11 ERA, but that number has jumped to a still-incredible 1.61 after Thursday's contest. Verlander will have a very enticing matchup early next week at home against the Rays.
Verlander (8-2) struck out nine and walked three in a win over the Rangers on Friday, allowing three runs on five hits in six innings. Verlander gave up a leadoff home run to Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run double to Nomar Mazara, but kept the Astros in the game until the offense got going to pick up his fourth win in his last five starts. Verlander's 1.45 ERA and 0.76 WHIP lead all MLB starters, and his 113 strikeouts are good for fourth in the majors. He'll look to continue his dominance in his next start against the A's in Oakland.
Verlander allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six over six innings in a no-decision in Saturday's loss to the Red Sox. Verlander was hurt by the walks as both runners came around to score on singles by J.D. Martinez, but he left with a lead after 101 pitches through six innings before Boston hammered reliever Will Harris for a pair of seventh-inning home runs. The Red Sox were pesky and fouled off a ton of pitches, forcing Verlander to expend 44 pitches to get through two innings. He left the game with a minuscule 1.24 ERA over 87.1 innings and is expected to make his next start Friday against the Rangers in Arlington.