2018 Houston Astros season
The 2018 Houston Astros season was the 57th season for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in Houston, their 54th as the Astros, sixth in both the American League (AL) and AL West division, and 19th at Minute Maid Park. The Astros were the defending World Series champions, having won the 2017 World Series four games to three over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Houston began the season March 29 against the Texas Rangers and finished the season on September 30 against the Baltimore Orioles. They repeated as American League West champions and swept the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series to advance to the American League Championship Series, where they lost in five games to the Boston Red Sox.
|2018 Houston Astros|
|American League West Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Jeff Luhnow|
|Manager(s)||A. J. Hinch|
|Local television||AT&T SportsNet Southwest|
(Todd Kalas, Geoff Blum)
|Local radio||Sportstalk 790|
Houston Astros Radio Network
(Robert Ford, Steve Sparks, Geoff Blum)
(Francisco Romero, Alex Treviño)
|< Previous season Next season >|
The Houston Astros entered the 2018 Major League Baseball season as defending World Series champions after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. In addition to achieving their first-ever World Series championship, they claimed both their first American League (AL) pennant and AL West division championship. Center fielder George Springer was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) and right-handed starting pitcher Justin Verlander was the American League Championship Series (ALCS) MVP. A number of regular season and multiple-sport awards went to second baseman José Altuve, including the AL MVP, Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, and The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year awards, among others.
On January 23, 2018, first baseman Jon Singleton and pitcher Dean Deetz were suspended after testing positive for substances violating MLB's drug policy. Singleton, a former Astros' number-one prospect, had tested positive for the third time and was banned for 100 games.
- November 2, 2017: The following players became free agents at the conclusion of the World Series:
- Carlos Beltrán (DH): Announced retirement from playing career on November 13, 2017.
- Tyler Clippard (RHP): Signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
- Luke Gregerson (RHP): Signed two-year, $11 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, with a vesting option for the 2020 season, on December 13, 2017.
- Francisco Liriano (LHP): Signed one-year, $4 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.
- Cameron Maybin (OF): Signed one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Miami Marlins
- December 13: Signed free agent right-handed relief pitcher Joe Smith to a two-year contract worth $14 million.
Justin Verlander was the Opening Day starting pitcher for Houston at Globe Life Park in Arlington, versus Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers. It was Verlander's tenth career Opening Day start and first with Houston, as all nine previous had come as a member of the Detroit Tigers. George Springer led the game off with a home run, becoming the first MLB player to lead off with a home run in consecutive Opening Days. He had homered off Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of Opening Day 2017 at Minute Maid Park. Verlander pitched six shutout innings and struck out five. The Astors won by a final score of 4–1.
On May 7, 2018, Springer homered versus the Oakland Athletics and became the first player in Astros franchise history to record six hits in a nine-inning game. Joe Morgan had six hits in a twelve-inning game for the Astros on June 8, 1965.
On May 16, 2018, Verlander threw a complete game shutout against the Los Angeles Angels for his eighth career shutout and 24th complete game. He struck out Shohei Ohtani in the top of the ninth inning for his 2,500th career strikeout, becoming the 33rd pitcher in Major League history to cross that threshold. He was second among active leaders in strikeouts behind CC Sabathia.
Over three games versus the Cleveland Indians spanning May 25–27, Altuve realized a base hit in each of 10 consecutive at bats, breaking his own club record of eight which he had set the year prior. The streak included three doubles, one triple, and one home run.
Verlander was named AL Pitcher of the Month for May, his fifth career award. In six starts, he produced a 0.86 ERA and .437 OPS against, allowed nine extra base hits, while striking out 50 over 41 2⁄3 innings. He started and ended the month by dominating the Yankees—the only lineup in baseball with an OPS over .800—with 20 strikeouts in 14 2⁄3 innings, eight hits, and one run allowed.
On July 13, 2018, Charlie Morton was added to the American League roster for the 2018 MLB All-Star game making the Astros the only MLB team at the time to have all of their starting pitchers having at least one selection to participate in the MLB All-Star game.
American League WestEdit
|Los Angeles Angels||80||82||0.494||23||42–39||38–43|
American League Wild CardEdit
|Boston Red Sox||108||54||0.667|
Wild Card teams|
(Top 2 qualify for 1-game playoff)
|New York Yankees||100||62||0.617||+3|
|Tampa Bay Rays||90||72||0.556||7|
|Los Angeles Angels||80||82||0.494||17|
|Toronto Blue Jays||73||89||0.451||24|
|Chicago White Sox||62||100||0.383||35|
|Kansas City Royals||58||104||0.358||39|
Record against opponentsEdit
2018 American League Records
Source: AL Standings Head-to-head
Updated with the results of all games through September 30, 2018.
|2018 Game Log: 103–59 (Home: 46–35; Away: 57–24)|
March: 2–1 (Home: 0–0; Away: 2–1)
April: 18–9 (Home: 10–6; Away: 8–3)
May: 16–12 (Home: 7–5; Away: 9–7)
June: 19–8 (Home: 8–6; Away: 11–2)
July: 13–11 (Home: 7–7; Away: 6–4)
August: 14–12 (Home: 3–6; Away: 11–6)
September: 21–6 (Home: 11–3; Away: 10–3)
|2018 Postseason Game Log (4–4)|
AL Division Series (3–0)
AL Championship Series (1–4)
|2018 Houston Astros|
- Castrovince, Anthony (November 2, 2017). "Springer swats his way to MVP honors". MLB.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- McTaggart, Brian; Gurnick, Ken (November 2, 2017). "Houston Astros win 2017 World Series". MLB.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Kelly, Matt (October 21, 2017). "Verlander named ALCS MVP after superb starts". MLB.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- Kaplan, Jake (November 17, 2017). "Astros' Jose Altuve named American League MVP". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Associated Press (December 27, 2017). "Jose Altuve is selected AP male athlete of the year". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Barshop, Sarah (December 5, 2017). "Sports Illustrated names J.J. Watt, Jose Altuve its Sportspersons of the Year". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Houston Chronicle Sports (October 26, 2017). "Astros' Jose Altuve voted Sporting News Player of the Year". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- Associated Press (January 23, 2018). "Former top Astros prospect Singleton, Deetz banned for drugs". KPRC-TV. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- McTaggart, Brian (November 6, 2017). "No qualifying offers to Astros' free agents". MLB.com. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- Beltrán, Carlos (November 13, 2017). "Muchas Gracias, Béisbol". The Players' Tribune. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Feinsand, Mark (November 13, 2017). "Beltran retires a champ after 20-year career". MLB.com. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Langosch, Jennifer (December 13, 2017). "Cards, Gregerson agree to 2-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Pitcher Francisco Liriano agrees to 1-year deal with Tigers". The Blade. Associated Press. February 23, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- McTaggart, Brian (December 13, 2017). "Astros reach a deal with RP Smith". MLB.com. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- McTaggart, Brian (December 1, 2018). "Astros opt not to tender Fiers a contract: Houston righty, who threw a no-no in '15, is a free agent". MLB.com. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- RotoWire Staff (February 3, 2018). "Astros' Ken Giles: Wins arbitration case". CBSSports.com. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Todd, Jeff (January 12, 2018). "Astros avoid arbitration with Dallas Keuchel". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- "Tigers agree to $6M, 1-year deal with RHP Mike Fiers". USA Today. Associated Press. December 8, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
- O'Brien, Dennis (December 20, 2017). "Braves trade for outfielder Preston Tucker from Astros". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Taylor, Jon (January 13, 2018). "Grading the deal: Gerrit Cole gives Astros' rotation a scary-good look". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- McTaggart, Brian (March 5, 2018). "Verlander to start 10th opener, first for Astros". MLB.com. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- Crasnick, Jerry (March 30, 2018). "Astros' George Springer hits leadoff HR for second straight Opening Day". ESPN. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
- Stevenson, Stefan (March 29, 2018). "Astros' Justin Verlander keeps Rangers' bats down on Opening Day". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- Rome, Chandler (April 18, 2018). "Jose Altuve reaches milestone of 1,000 games with Astros". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
- Rome, Chandler (April 17, 2018). "Astros' Justin Verlander named AL Player of the Week". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- McTaggart, Brian (May 7, 2018). "Springer's 6-hit night, 462-foot HR lead romp". MLB.com. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- Yang, Avery (May 17, 2018). "Justin Verlander spins 5-hit shutout, gets 2,500th K". MLB.com. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- Baer, Bill (May 27, 2018). "José Altuve records hit in 10 consecutive plate appearances". NBC Sports. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
- Rome, Chandler (June 2, 2018). "Astros' Justin Verlander named AL Pitcher of the Month". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 2, 2018.