The Houston Astros are relatively new in terms of their tenure as a ball club in the MLB. They officially started as the Houston Colt .45s in 1962 and then settled into their present day name in 1965 in honor of the nearby NASA facility.
That doesn't mean that the Astros haven't produced excellent players in that short period of time. From the likes of Justin Verlander to all-time greats like Larry Dierker, let's take a look at the best Houston Astros pitchers of all time.
Houston Astros Top 5 Pitchers
#5 Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander will surely make his way into the Hall of Fame one day. For now, he'll have to carry the load for the Houston Astros pitching staff. The ageless wonder, touted by some as the Nolan Ryan of the modern era, has certainly proved his excellence and endurance through the years.
Verlander has barely spent five seasons with the Astros, but he has already won a World Series title, an American League Championship Series MVP award, two All-Star team selections, and had a historic 2019 campaign wherein he was selected to the All-MLB First Team. He has also won the AL Cy Young Award, led the MLB in wins, and thrown a no-hitter. All of those when by the time he was 36 years old.
#4 Mike Scott
Mike Scott has been a reliable hand in his nine seasons with the Astros. He was voted into three All-Star teams, was the National League Champtionship Series MVP, led the league in ERA and strikeouts, and threw a no-hitter in 1986. In doing so, he became part of a group of pitchers who threw a no-hitter and struck out 300 batters in a single season. His number 33 was retired by the Astros in 1992.
#3 Larry Dierker
Larry Dierker was a stellar pitcher during his time with the Colt .45s/Astros, he spent 13 seasons with the team and earned two All-Star team nods. In 1976, he pitched a no-hitter.
He then served as the Astros' manager from 1997 to 2001 that earned him an NL Manager of the Year Award in 1998. In 2002, the Astros retired his #49 jersey.
#2 Nolan Ryan
No one is more synonymous with Texas baseball than Nolan Ryan. From 1980 to 1988, Ryan spent his career with the Houston Astros before transfering to the Texas Rangers. Ryan is only one of 29 players in MLB history to have played in four different decades.
Surprisingly, he never won a Cy Young Award in his career. He did, however, lead the league in strikeouts for a record 11 times. His 5,714 strikeouts are one of the most unbreakable records in major league history. The man in the runner-up spot, "The Big Unit" Randy Johnson, is 839 punchouts behind.
Ryan also has seven no-hitters, the most in MLB history and is tied with Hall of Famer Bob Feller for the most one-hitters with 12. In 1999, he was voted as a first ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
#1 Roy Oswalt
Along with Craig Biggio, Roy Oswalt was the face of the modern-era Houston Astros and the best pitcher in the team's history. The Mississippi native started his career with the Astros in 2001 and spent 10 seasons with the team.
Oswalt was selected to three All-Star teams, won an NLCS MVP award, led his team to the World Series in 2005, and pitched a no-hitter in 2003. He was instrumental in the Astros' first World Series trip in 2005. In 2020, he was inducted into the Houston Astros Hall of Fame.