Jered Weaver becomes first AL pitcher to reach 20 wins this season

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It’s silly to put much stock in pitcher wins, but it’s still noteworthy when someone gets there.

Jered Weaver became the first American League pitcher to reach 20 victories this season with a 7-4 win over the Rangers last night. Most importantly, it helped the Angels keep pace with the Athletics and Orioles, who also won last night. The Angels sit two games behind the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot and three games behind the Orioles with five left to play.

Weaver allowed two runs over seven innings while striking out five and walking a pair. He has won four straight starts and now holds a 2.73 ERA and 141/43 K/BB ratio over 187 2/3 innings in 29 starts this season. Probably not enough to top David Price or Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award, but still pretty fantastic.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.