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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander has been unstoppable in this recent stretch of games, and that could spell trouble for the New York Yankees.

This offseason, one of the more intriguing names on the free agent market was veteran and multi-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery.

His contract with the Houston Astros expired and he tested the open market. He even received an offer from the New York Yankees. Ultimately, he  opted to stay in Houston on a one-year, $25 million deal with a player option for 2023. That move has worked out tremendously for the Astros thus far, as he is on his way to winning yet another Cy Young award.

On Thursday night, Verlander pitched six scoreless innings, where he struck out five batters and allowed just two hits in Houston’s 6-0 win over the Cleveland Guardians. That was enough to give Verlander his 15th win of the season and lower his ERA to 1.73.

Justin Verlander dominant in recent stretch of starts for Astros

But this game speaks nothing to how impressive Verlander has been the last seven games he took the mound. He has a 0.76 ERA and allowed just one run or less in all seven of those starts. Take a look at his full stats below, courtesy of FOX Sports’ Ben Verlander.

Last 7 starts for @JustinVerlander:

0.76 ERA / .176 OBA / 0.80 WHIP / 46-8 K-BB / 1 R or less in ALL 7

Just insane

— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) August 5, 2022

Remember the player option we mentioned earlier for next season. Well, as a result of his latest outing, he has reached the required 130.0 innings pitched to trigger the option.

Verlander now leads the league with 15 wins, a .833 winning percentage, a 1.73 ERA, a 221 ERA+, and a 1.6 walks per nine innings rating through 20 starts.

If Verlander keeps it up for the remainder of the regular-season, he is not only going to help his case to win a third Cy Young award, but he could very well put the Astros over the edge as World Series favorites. That, and could further solidify their status as a dangerous threats to the Yankees.

Next: MLB executive predicts where Shohei Ohtani will land in free agency

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Mark Stoops, former Kentucky football player fire back at John Calipari

John Calipari called Kentucky a basketball school, and football coach Mark Stoops and former football player Max Duffy fired back.

On Thursday, John Calipari called the University of Kentucky a basketball school in regards to wanting a better practice facility. Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops was not pleased.

Stoops fired back at Calipari’s response, asking whether or not the football team was also part of the SEC. Additionally, former Wildcat punter Max Duffy also chimed in, bringing up Kentucky basketball’s loss to Saint Peter’s in the most recent NCAA Tournament.

Basketball school? I thought we competed in the SEC? #4straightpostseasonwins https://t.co/xUoKmUeonH

— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) August 11, 2022

https://t.co/tapqyEepfa pic.twitter.com/F87VFMOiyJ

— Max Duffy (@Max__Duffy) August 11, 2022

Completely out of the blue question but has the Kentucky football team ever lost to St.Peters? ????

— Max Duffy (@Max__Duffy) August 11, 2022

Duffy also began questioning other aspects of the University and the other athletic programs that represent the school. All in all, these were merely shots at John Calipari’s claim that the University is primarily a basketball school.

Kentucky football: Mark Stoops, former player fire back at John Calipari calling UK a ‘basketball school’

To Max Duffy’s point, Kentucky basketball did suffer a low moment last season when Saint Peter’s beat them en route to the Peacocks’ first Elite Eight appearance, falling short to North Carolina. Wildcats fans will recall how Luke Maye hit a clutch shot against Kentucky to deny them a chance at possibly winning a title.

Moreover, the basketball program, as great as it has been, has largely underachieved in Calipari’s tenure, with two trips to the national championship, leaving with one win, and the loss of a potential perfect season in the Final Four in 2015. A lot has left to be desired.

What will be interesting to see is how Mark Stoops and John Calipari interact with each other. Frustration is one thing, but sometimes, the words spoken can lead to other incidents, and based on what Calipari said, Kentucky’s football season in 2022 will be one to watch. Stoops’ players will no doubt be fired up about this comment.

Next: John Calipari likens Kentucky basketball to Alabama, Georgia football demanding new facilities

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