Is it too late for Houston Astros left-hander Framber Valdez to win the AL Cy Young Award? Probably so, considering he's a +9000 long shot and either teammate Justin Verlander (-160, although he's now injured) or the White Sox's Dylan Cease (+105) will win it. However, Valdez is in the midst of a streak on the mound not before seen by an Astros pitcher or any left-hander in MLB history. He's on the bump tonight against the visiting Rangers with Houston a huge favorite at Caesars Sportsbook.
On April 19 vs. the visiting Los Angeles Angels, Valdez (14-4, 2.63 ERA) was hit around for six runs and eight hits over 4.1 innings in a loss. The 28-year-old has since turned in 22 consecutive quality starts, which means he's gone at least six innings and allowed no more than three earned runs in each of those 22 outings.
That is the longest such streak by a southpaw. The only other big-league pitchers with at least 22 in a row in a single season are Jacob deGrom (24 straight in 2018), Bob Gibson (22 in '68), and Chris Carpenter (22 in '05). Those three right-handers all won the Cy Young Award that year. The overall record for consecutive quality starts is 26 by deGrom in 2018-19 and Gibson in 1967-68.
The odds are pretty good that Valdez will have another tonight as he's 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA and just 21 hits allowed in 28 innings this year against Texas and given an over/under outs recoded total of 19.5.
Incidentally, Houston's 1-0 win over Texas on Monday got the Astros franchise back to .500 all-time for the first time since 2006. Houston is now 4,812-4,812. The Colt .45's/Astros are the only team born in the expansion era (since 1961) to currently be at .500 or better. The other 12 teams that have a winning record are the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Cubs, Guardians, Reds, Tigers, White Sox, Braves and Pirates.
It's Glenn Otto (6-8, 4.82 ERA) starting for Texas. The Houston native and former Rice player is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA and .183 opponents' batting average in six starts since beginning of August, dropping his season ERA from 5.50 to 4.82. Otto is 0-2 with a 4.94 ERA in five career starts vs. the Astros.
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