Starting Pitcher Preseason Power Rankings

3. Dallas Keuchel

Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

Dallas Keuchel is one pitcher who will not be getting paid in 2016. He is eligible for arbitration in 2017 though, so expect this season to be just as dominant as last season, when he won the American League Cy Young Award and a Gold Glove. Keuchel led the American League in wins (20), WHIP (1.02), and innings pitched (232), while also finishing second in ERA (2.48) and fifth in strikeouts (216). His WAR climbed up to 7.2 by the end of his 20-8 year despite having a “rough” end of the season.

Keuchel started off the season hotter than any pitcher in baseball. From out-dueling Corey Kluber on opening day through the end of April, he went 3-0 with 22 strikeouts over five starts while surrendering just a 0.73 ERA. The rest of the season his ERA remained stagnant at about 2.20 until September and October when he posted back-to-back 3.00-plus ERAs.

One thing did remain consistent about Keuchel throughout 2015, though: opposing teams do not want to face him at Minute Maid Park. Keuchel was 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA and two complete games in 18 home starts last season. With the Astros’ young offensive talent continuing to develop throughout spring training, it may be even more difficult to defeat Keuchel in Houston in 2016.

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