Boston fans have grown tired of right-hander Clay Buchholz, who is 2-3 with a 5.90 ERA and 1.43 WHIP this season. The 31-year-old also owns a 5.48 ERA and 1.56 WHIP at home and a 5.40 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over his last three starts.
Buchholz’s underlying metrics provide little hope for the Fenway faithful: 4.98 FIP, 4.99 xFIP, 4.88 SIERA, 3.89 BB/9, 1.30 HR/9 and a 41.0% GB rate. In his lone start against Houston this season, Buchholz yielded five earned runs in just 5 2/3-innings of work.
While Houston starter Collin McHugh toes the rubber with a 5.51 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 2016, he has posted a decent 3.57 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over his last three starts. McHugh has been unlucky with a .374 BABIP so his surface numbers should regress closer to his 4.03 FIP and 4.16 SIERA in the near future.
The 28-year-old’s command has not been an issue (2.10 BB/9), but he has given up more long balls than usual (1.31 HR/9 vs. 0.84 HR/9 in 2015).
The Astros are 17-5 in McHugh’s last 22 starts versus teams with a winning record and 11-5 in his last sixteen starts overall, including 4-0 in his last four outings in game 3 of a series. In contrast, Boston is 8-20 in Buchholz’s last 28 home starts, including 2-10 versus .499 or worse opposition.
With Boston standing at just 8-15 as a home favorite with Buchholz on the mound, take the Astros at a very good price as Oskeim Sports’ free MLB pick for Saturday, May 14.
Oskeim Sports’ Free MLB Pick for Saturday: Houston Astros (+120)