Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will take the ball for Thursday's Game 5 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, a start that could be the last of Verlander's five-year run in Houston.

Verlander, 39, holds a $25-million option for 2023 and could be one of the offseason's most intriguing free agents if he tests the market.

Despite the uncertainty, Verlander said he's trying to remain focused on the task at hand.

"It's premature," Verlander said Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome.