Coming into the season, the Houston Astros had an idea about who would be their best pitcher, and I honestly believed it would Lucas Harrell. On Opening Night, the Astros decided to go with Bud Norris as their ace, and for good reason. Norris is a monster at Minute Maid Park, but he has been a pleasant surprise as whole this season. While the Astros’ pitching as a whole has been downright terrible, Norris is holding together the starting pitching, and he has now thrown back to back quality starts. While neither one of those quality starts have resulted in wins, he has kept his team in the game.
Last season, Norris was one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball at home second only to Justin Verlander. Before the season started, I believed that the Astros should trade Norris so that his value wouldn’t drop. Not only has his value not dropped, but I am pretty sure his value has actually taken a few steps up.
Last season at home, Norris had a 1.96 ERA and has most certainly continued in that same direction this year. So far this year, Norris hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start at home. While throwing seven innings and only allowing two runs, Norris lowered his ERA down to 3.71 this season.
Before the season started, I said Norris looked like an NL only type of pitcher and he would more than likely get shelled in the AL West this season, but so far I have been completely wrong. As the season continues to move on full steam ahead, Norris continues to surprise me, and he is slowly becoming a much sought-after pitcher.