Houston Hopes to End Slide Behind Collin McHugh

May 3, 2016

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The Twins are a money-burning 8-21 in their last 29 games overall, including 2-10 in their last twelve road games and 1-10 as road underdogs this season. Matters won’t get any easier tonight for Minnesota with right-hander Alex Meyer on the mound.

The 26-year-old was considered one of the game’s better pitching prospects before struggling in the upper minors, posting a 4.79 ERA in Triple-A last year.

Meyer’s 6-9 frame has caused significant command and control issues, resulting in alarming walk rates at the Triple-A level (4.42 BB/9 in 2014 & 4.70 BB/9 in 2015). Meyer’s has been called up from Triple-A to make his first career Major League start after the Twins optioned outfielders Byron Buxton and Max Kepler to Triple-A Rochester on April 25. Meyer, who has made three career relief appearances in there Majors, replaces struggling lefty Tommy Milone in the Twins’ rotation.

Minnesota’s bullpen owns a pedestrian 4.64 ERA and 1.59 WHIP on the road and a 4.58 ERA and 1.75 WHIP at night this season. In addition, Meyers can’t rely upon getting run support from an anemic Minnesota lineup averaging 3.4 runs per game (.242 AVG; .308 OBP), including 3.1 runs per game on the road (.226 AVG; .296 OBP).

Houston starter Collin McHugh is pitching much better than his surface statistics would suggest. The 28-year-old right-hander owns a 3.39 FIP and has been plagued by an unsustainable .420 BABIP and a 62.8% LOB%.

McHugh finished 2015 second in the American League in wins and posted the highest totals of his four-year career in almost every cumulative pitching category. McHugh has also enjoyed success against the Twins, going 2-0 with a career 2.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over three starts.

With Houston standing at 19-7 in Collin McHugh’s last 26 home starts, take the Astros and invest with confidence.