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Astros tab Justin Verlander to start ALDS opener vs. Twins

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander will start Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the visiting Minnesota Twins on Saturday, according to manager Dusty Baker.

Verlander has a 16-11 record and 3.64 ERA in the postseason over 34 starts and one relief appearance. He has been solid in 14 career ALDS appearances (13 starts) by going 8-1 with a 3.08 ERA.

Left-hander Framber Valdez will start Sunday’s Game 2 of the best-of-five series for the Astros.

Verlander, 40, is 7-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 starts for Houston since being reacquired from the New York Mets at the trade deadline. Overall, he is 13-8 with a 3.22 ERA in 27 starts.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2011 AL MVP is 22-10 with a 2.76 ERA in 40 career starts against the Twins. He didn’t face Minnesota this season.

Valdez, 29, is 12-11 with a 3.45 ERA in 31 starts this season. His top moment was throwing a no-hitter against the Cleveland Guardians on Aug. 1.

Valdez is 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA in seven appearances (four starts) against Minnesota. He also didn’t face the Twins in the regular season.

The Twins haven’t yet announced their pitching plans. Minnesota completed a two-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays in the wild-card round on Thursday.

The Astros had a first-round bye after winning the American League West.

–Field Level Media

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