Jul 29, 2022 - Sports

At 39, Justin Verlander is better than ever

Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander at the All-Star Game. Photo: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

What Justin Verlander is doing right now, at 39 years old and in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, is ridiculous.

By the numbers: Entering tonight's start against the Mariners, Verlander leads MLB with 13 wins, ranks second with a 0.88 WHIP and ranks third with a 1.86 ERA — the best mark of his career.

  • The future Hall of Famer has been even better recently, allowing one or fewer earned runs in seven of his last eight starts.
  • He also threw his hardest pitch since 2017 last weekend (99.3 mph). Not bad for the AL's second-oldest active player.

The backdrop: The Astros understandably didn't want to commit too much to a 39-year-old coming off Tommy John, so last offseason they re-signed Verlander to a one-year, $25 million contract with a second-year player option triggered only if he threw at least 130 innings.

  • He's already at 116.1 innings and could soon become the 11th pitcher in MLB history to win at least three Cy Young awards.
  • Verlander is a decent investment for a team gunning for its sixth straight ALCS.

🎥 Watch: Highlights from his last start (MLB)

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