MLB Network: Here are the biggest reasons Houston Astros will continue to “ascend”

One of the biggest factors that helped the Astros win a World Series title last season had to be the brilliant pitching. Both the starters and the bullpen paved the way for Houston to hoist the trophy at the end of the year.

But as we look to the 2023 season, how much will the loss of Justin Verlander impact the Astros? Any team that loses the previous year's Cy Young winner is likely to experience a bit of regression. However, no team is more equipped than the Astros to move on from a future Hall of Famer and not miss a beat.

Framber Valdez: 2.82 ERA, Cristian Javier: 2.54 ERA, Lance McCullers: 2.27 ERA, Luis Garcia: 3.72 ERA, Jose Urquidy 3.94 ERA, Hunter Brown: 0.89 ERA (only 20.1 innings pitched).

What makes this Astros staff so impressive starts with the amount of high leverage playoff experience these pitchers have already experienced. Even rookie pitcher Hunter Brown has dealt with some big moments with a lot on the line. The other factor that the crew from MLB Network points out, is the entire rotation is approaching or in the prime of their careers.

And let's not forget about the best bullpen in baseball. All the key pieces are coming back for the Astros, which has the team poised for another deep playoff run.

When you consider the overall strength of the Astros pitching staff, they conclude that the Astros are on a trajectory to “ascend” despite losing Verlander to the Mets.

Be sure to check out the video above to watch the full breakdown!

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The Astros have been staying afloat in spite of injuries to several of their starting pitchers, in large part due to contributions from Brandon Bielak and JP France.

Does this mean they don't need to make a trade for an arm?

Make sure to watch the video above as Paul weighs in on the team's options at the trade deadline.

Listen to The Paul Gallant Show from 10am-12pm weekdays on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 FM!

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