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Get2Know: Astros' Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros smiles in the dugout after finishing the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners only giving up only one run at Safeco Field on September 5, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.
Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros smiles in the dugout after finishing the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners only giving up only one run at Safeco Field on September 5, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – The 2018 season has been a record season for Justin Verlander in which he recorded a career-high 290 strikeouts. 

Entering the American League Division Series with the Cleveland Indians, Verlander has a 2.52 ERA and a 16-9 record for the regular season. 

The seven-time All-Star will start the series off as starting in Game 1 against the Indians at Minute Maid Park. 

Verlander was the AL Pitcher of the Month for May, and received two AL Player of the Week awards this season. 

JV finished the season especially strong with four consecutive double-digit strikeout games. In his five starts in September, he went 3-0, posting a 1.09 ERA. 

The Astros added the likely Hall of Fame pitcher in August 2017.

The deal made major waves around the league because Verlander had resisted leaving the only organization he'd ever known but agreed to a deal for the Astros literally minutes before the deadline.

Verlander starred for the Tigers for 12-plus seasons after they selected him with the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2004 draft. He made his MLB debut the following season, and he made two starts in the 2006 World Series.

He's been one of the elite pitchers in baseball ever since.

In his five 2017 postseason appearances, which included his first-ever relief appearance, Verlander went 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 36.2 innings pitched.

Off the field, Verlander has long been known for his charity work through the efforts of his foundation, Wins for Warriors.

"I started Wins for Warriors Foundation because I want to give back to the men, women and families that are making countless sacrifices every day to give others the ability to pursue the American dream," Verlander said. "Our goal at Wins for Warriors is to continue to launch an impactful and sustainable veteran organization."

When the 2017 postseason began, he announced the start of the Hurricane Harvey Patriot Grant, which is a grant-making program to assist military and veteran families hardest hit by the natural disaster.

Verlander donated $100,000 to the fund and said he would also donate his playoff share to the cause. 

Verlander is very active on social media, as is his supermodel fiancee, Kate Upton. Upton made waves inside the KPRC2 newsroom when the fashion icon was spotted during the Astros' American League Championship Series-clinching celebration wearing a vintage Astros rainbow sweater. 

Upton and Verlander are expecting a child.

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