The Houston Astros are working hard on locking up the top playoff spot in the American League over the final few weeks of the season. They have been locked in a tight battle with the New York Yankees for most of the second half of the season, and currently hold a four game lead over them in the standings. Unfortunately, it looks like they are going to be without their ace Justin Verlander for a stretch of that run.

Verlander was placed on the injured list this morning with a calf injury he picked up in his start for the Astros last night. Verlander was running to cover first base during a rundown last night in his start against the Baltimore Orioles when he sustained the injury, and immediately came out of the game, which wasn’t a great sign. Now, Verlander will hit the injured list until he’s recovered.

Luckily for Houston, it doesn’t sound like Verlander’s injury will keep him out for too long. An MRI of Verlander’s injured calf showed fascial disruption, but no muscle fiber disruption, which is good news in the world of calf injuries. Verlander said he felt fortunate to have not suffered too bad of an injury here, and is looking forward to making his return soon.

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Houston is going to need Verlander back sooner rather than later, as he has been absolutely dominant for them this season. He has a 1.84 ERA on the season, and is the frontrunner to take home the American League Cy Young award at the end of the season.

More importantly, though, Houston is hoping to make another run to the World Series this season. If they intend to do so, they are going to need Justin Verlander healthy, so it’s a good sign that he believes he dodged a bullet with his calf injury here.