This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Over the past five weeks, we have checked in on the spring happenings around each division. This sixth segment features a look at the American League West. Hopefully you've had a chance to weigh the pros and cons of the majority of arms competing for rotation spots, and you are prepared to field a value-laden pitching staff heading into the 2019 season. We're in deep stretch, so let's look at the:
American League West
Houston Astros – The Astros have a couple of proven, quality starters, a few young guys with upside, and they all have the luxury of pitching in front of an exceptionally potent offense. Justin Verlander has enjoyed the move to Houston, where he pitches in games every five days that can result in post-season play. Hopefully you bought low when he was turning in a couple mediocre seasons in Detroit. He's not done yet. And that worked so well, they then went and landed another potential ace in Gerrit Cole. He was haunted by the long ball last year and posted numbers well below his ceiling. He found his groove with the Astros, too, and I think you can expect the same going forward. Beyond the top pair, the rotation looks a little different. With Lance McCullers out for the year (Tommy John surgery), they will be followed by Collin McHugh and Wade Miley. That's a significant dropoff – at least temporarily. McHugh is better suited to bullpen work (note his performance out of