The Houston Astros were established in 1962, playing their first few seasons as the Houston Colt .45s before changing to the Astros in 1965. At first they were in the National League West division before moving to the Central in 1994 and then balancing out the leagues by moving to the American League in 2013. They claimed a handful of division titles in the NL and even won the NL Pennant in 2005 thanks to excellent play from the likes of Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, and a rotation featuring Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. They suffered a sweep in the World Series that year and soon fell to the bottom of the Majors.
In 2011 the Astros registered their first 100-loss season in franchise history and ended up three-peating, peaking with a 111-loss season in 2013, but it was all with a plan in mind. The Astros gathered young talent, drafted well, and exploded back into relevance in 2015 with a playoff berth. In 2017 they won their first AL West title and went on to win the franchise’s first World Series title with a dramatic game 7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2018 they won a franchise-record 103 games but lost in the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox.
The current Astros team is brimming with talented players hitting their peak, can you take them to another World Series before time and free agency break this team up?
*All stats correct at time of writing
MLB The Show 19 doesn’t give you a single OVR with which to compare teams like other sports games. Instead you have different rankings to see how one team measures up to another. The Houston Astros are ranked second in The Show 19 behind only the New York Yankees. This is thanks to having very strong contact and pitching ranking. The Astros worst ranking is their defense which sits right in the middle of the league at 15th, making them a very balanced team overall.
One thing you won’t need to worry too much about with the Astros is money. Their team budget of $210 million is among the highest in baseball, and while some of that is tied up in lucrative long-term deals for their stars there should be enough to retain key players who are about to hit free agency. So who are the players you want to build a winning roster around?
Jose Altuve, Second Base (99 OVR)
Contract: 6 years/$140.1 million
Secondary Position: SS
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Contact vs R (99), Clutch (99), Contact vs L (91), Vision (88), Durability (84), Arm Accuracy (80), Baserunning Aggressiveness (80)
Jose Altuve joined the Houston Astros as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He got his MLB debut in 2011, playing 57 games and not showing much other than solid defense and reasonable contact skill. It took Altuve a few years to blossom in the Majors, but in 2012 people were already seeing his talents. With 33 steals and a .290 average he made the All-Star team, but 2014 was his real breakout season as he hit a massive .341 with 56 steals. In 2015 he developed a power swing and by 2017 he was AL MVP with 24 homers, 32 steals, a .346 average and plus-defense.
In The Show 19 Jose Altuve is a superb hitter. He has elite contact skills (99/91) and is amazing in the clutch (99). Along with being a contact machine Altuve has the speed (78) to be a menace on the basepaths and enough power (65/56) to drive the ball regularly.
Justin Verlander, Starting Pitcher (94 OVR)
Contract: 3 years/$94 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, 12-6 Curve, Changeup
Best Stats: Break (99), Arm Strength (96), Stamina (92), H/9 (85), K/9 (84), Clutch (81)
Justin Verlander was the second-overall pick in the 2004 draft for the Detroit Tigers and developed into perhaps the greatest pitcher of his generation. He got his MLB debut in 2005 but took some time to establish himself. By 2007 he was a 200+ inning pitcher with a good 3.66 ERA, but it was in 2011 that Verlander really exploded into the consciousness of baseball fans. He pitched a monster 251 innings, winning 24 games with a 2.40 ERA, 250 strikeouts and claimed both the AL Cy Young and MVP award. He suffered a blip in form in 2014 and was traded to Houston in 2017 where he has been excellent and took home the 2017 ALCS MVP award.
In The Show 19 Justin Verlander is still a superb pitcher despite his age. He has elite break (99) on his pitches and the stamina (92) to go deep in every start. He has a strong 4-pitch repertoire that meshes well with that break stat. His 12-6 curve and slider are deadly strikeout pitches (84) and make him tough to hit (85).
Roberto Osuna, Closing Pitcher (94 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$6.5 million + 2 years Arbitration
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slurve, 2-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Cutter
Best Stats: Break (99), BB/9 (89), Clutch (85), Control (85), Velocity (85), H/9 (81)
Roberto Osuna was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays in August 2011 from a Mexican team and got his MLB debut with the Blue Jays in 2015, picking up 20 saves along with 75 strikeouts and a 2.58 ERA in 68 appearances. Osuna quickly established himself as a superb arm at the end of games and by 2017 was an All-Star with 39 saves and a stunning 11.7 K/9. In 2018 he was traded to the Houston Astros to aid their World Series bid and registered a 1.99 ERA in 23 games for them.
In The Show 19 Roberto Osuna is an elite closer. He has elite break (99) and is strong in the clutch (85). With those aspects comes good control (85) and velocity (85), as well as the ability to limit walks (89). Osuna also has a 5-pitch repertoire that includes a slurve and a deadly cutter.
Houston Astros MLB Roster
There can be some fluctuation in OVR from save to save in MLB The Show 19, and depending on how recent a roster update you have they can be substantial. However, the baseline stats of a player rarely move. We will start our look at the Houston Astros roster with the position players and move onto the pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Age||Position||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Jose Altuve||99||28||2B||R||99 (R)||65 (R)||67||78|
|Alex Bregman||91||25||3B||R||93 (L)||70 (R)||68||61|
|Michael Brantley||83||31||LF||L||90 (R)||53 (R)||62||34|
|George Springer||83||29||CF||R||78 (L)||85 (L)||61||70|
|Robinson Chirinos||81||34||C||R||61 (L)||80 (L)||57||21|
|Carlos Correa||81||24||SS||R||89 (L)||71 (R)||68||61|
|Josh Reddick||81||32||RF||L||84 (R)||54 (R)||68||59|
|Yuli Gurriel||78||34||1B||R||78 (R)||53 (L)||58||58|
|Aledmys Diaz||73||28||SS||R||78 (R)||61 (R)||51||64|
|Jake Marisnick||72||28||CF||R||53 (L)||65 (R)||81||83|
|Max Stassi||72||28||C||R||44 (L)||53 (R)||79||28|
|Tony Kemp||66||27||LF||L||58 (R)||44 (R)||57||65|
|Kyle Tucker||66||22||LF||L||61 (R)||57 (R)||54||72|
|Lance McCullers Jr||84||25||SP||R||79||62||80||92|
The Astros MLB roster has 13 position players and 12 pitchers. This gives you a 4-man bench for your lineup, a 5-man rotation, and a 7-man bullpen including the closer.
The two superstar hitters for the Astros are Jose Altuve (contact R 99, contact L 91) and Alex Bregman (contact L 93, vision 81), but the supporting cast around them is also very strong. Carlos Correa (contact L 89, contact R 75), George Springer (power L 85, contact L 78), and Michael Brantley (vision 91, contact R 90) are very good players in their own right while Robinson Chirinos (power L 80, contact L 61), Josh Reddick (contact R 84, contact L 70), and Yuli Gurriel (vision 93, contact R 78) can produce too. The bench is solid with young outfielders Tony Kemp (vision 75, contact R 58) and Kyle Tucker (contact R 61, power R 57) offering some future upside.
The star of the show though is Houston’s pitching. Justin Verlander (break 99, stamina 92) headlines the rotation along with Gerrit Cole (break 94, velocity 93) and Lance McCullers (break 92, velocity 80), making one of the best trios in baseball. Brad Peacock (break 99, velocity 72), Collin McHugh (break 92, control 88), and Wade Miley (break 78, stamina 76) can fill the remaining 2 spots in the rotation, with the odd-man out becoming your long relieve option in the bullpen.
Speaking of the bullpen, the Astros one is loaded. Roberto Osuna (break 99, velocity 85) is the star closer, but Hector Rondon (velocity 97, break 75) and Will Harris (break 97, velocity 70) are excellent setup men while Ryan Pressly (velocity 85, break 81) and Chris Devenski (break 99, control 81) are better than some teams bullpen stars. One thing the Astros do lack is a quality lefty. Wade Miley is the only left-hander in the Astros staff.
MLB The Show 19 gives you four lineups to set for your team, these are against a right-handed starter with and without the DH and against a left-handed starter with and without the DH. As the Astros are in the American League most of your games will be played with the DH so these are the lineups you want to focus on the most.
The Show 19 gives you a pre-set lineup against righties that has LF Michael Brantley at the top of the order with RF Josh Reddick and 2B Jose Altuve next. CF George Springer takes the #4 spot followed by SS Carlos Correa, 3B Alex Bregman, DH Aledmys Diaz, 1B Yuli Gurriel, and C Robinson Chirinos. Against lefties the only change is that Bregman and Correa swap places.
These are pretty solid lineups, but they aren’t as streamlined as you could make them.
The biggest changes we have made is to push Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman further up the order. The Astros stars need to be getting as many at-bats as possible and to do that we want them both within the top 3 of the order.
Due to Altuve’s relative lack of power but good speed he will be our new lead-off man, with another contact and speed combo in Carlos Correa batting second. Alex Bregman slots into third in the lineup with the power bat of george Springer behind this trio looking to drive them all home. Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick slip to #5 and #6 while the bottom 3 remain unchanged. We can run out the same lineup against lefties at the top of the order, with the only change being putting Max Stassi in for Robinson Chirinos so we get a natural rotation at catcher while Gurriel is promoted to #7.
The farm system in MLB The Show 19 can be frustrating. Fluctuations in OVR and potential from save to save, along with the lack of some real life prospects, means it can be difficult to plan for the long-term. However that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some good young players in the Astros farm system.
Babe Foxx, Left Fielder (74 OVR)
Secondary Position: CF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Durability (92), Speed (84), Arm Strength (81), Stealing (80), Contact vs L (78), Reaction (70)
While the Astros do have some young left fielders on their bench already, Babe Foxx may soon be better than Tony Kemp or Kyle Tucker. Babe Foxx already has excellent durability (92) and very good speed (84) to help his range in the field. He also has a strong arm (81) to threaten baserunners. Foxx isn’t great at the plate just yet but he does have good contact vs lefties (78).
Michael Cammarata, Center Fielder (70 OVR)
Secondary Position: LF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Speed (83), Stealing (81), Baserunning Aggressiveness (78), Fielding (74), Arm Strength (71), Arm Accuracy (66), Power vs L (64)
Another outfield prospect, Michael Cammarata is just 18 years old but has the speed (83) and stealing (81) to be a useful player. His fielding (74) is solid but at the plate he still has a lot of development ahead of him. His power vs lefties is ok (64) but his contact skill is poor (45/49).
AJ Reed, First Base (61 OVR)
Secondary Position: None
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Durability (76), Power vs R (61), Fielding (61), Contact vs R (57), Power vs L (53), Contact vs L (50)
AJ Reed was a second-round draft pick for the Houston Astros in 2014. To date he has appeared in just one game for the Astros, taking 3 at-bats without a hit, but he has a lifetime 123 homers and .285 average in the Minors.
In The Show 19 Reed still has a long way to go to be a star first baseman, but with Yuli Gurriel aging and with his own A potential he could get there soon. He has good durability (74) and ok ability against righties (contact 57, power 61), but his vision (38) and discipline (42) are poor, as is his ability to hit lefties (contact 50, power 53).
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