HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- The Astros have shuffled their rotation for this weekend's series against the Royals, allowing Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander to pitch during next week's crucial series in Seattle.
Valdez will start Friday's series opener at Minute Maid Park, allowing him to get the ball for the series finale next Wednesday at T-Mobile Park, while Verlander's next start appears to have been pushed to Monday's series opener against the Mariners.
J.P. France is scheduled to start on Saturday against the Royals while fellow rookie Hunter Brown will take the mound for Sunday's home finale.
Had the Astros kept the same rotation, Valdez and Verlander would've pitched Saturday and Sunday, keeping them out of the Mariners series.
The move does not impact how many starts the Astros top two hurlers will make the rest of the regular season, but it could impact how they are deployed if the Astros don't win the AL West and are forced to play in the Wild Card Series.
Assuming he starts on Monday, Verlander would then be available to pitch next Saturday in Arizona, but unless he were to pitch on short rest, that would keep him out of the Wild Card Series until a possible game three.
Valdez's start in Seattle would likely be his last of the regular season, but he could be brought back on short rest if the Astros need to win their regular season finale. If that were to happen he would not be able to start a game on normal rest in the best 2-of-3 Wild Card Round.