Tim Lincecum Looks to Solve his Pitching Woes in Houston

Jul 24, 2016

Tim Lincecum, Tim Lincecum betting preview, Tim Lincecum pitching stats

Houston has now won ten straight games against the Angels following last night’s convincing 7-2 victory before the home faithful. Houston is also 16-5 overall in this series, and I expect that domination to continue in light of the fact that the the Astros are 20-6 in their last 26 home games, 22-8 in their last 30 versus American League West foes, 11-4 during game 3 of a series, 53-23 versus right-handed starters and 36-16 in their last 52 overall.

Following a strong outing to start the 2016 campaign, Los Angeles right-hander Tim Lincecum has fallen on hard times. The two-time Cy Young Award winner toes the rubber with a 6.59 ERA, 2.05 WHIP and a 5.47 FIP (4.08 BB/9; 1.88 HR/9; 23.1% HR/FB).

Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Tim Lincecum has garnered a 4.76 ERA and 1.42 WHIP so he’s clearly not the answer to the Angels’ injury-depleted starting rotation.

The last time Lincecum faced the Astros (June 28), he allowed seven hits and five runs in just 4 1/3 innings. The declining hurler owns a triple digit ERA-, FIP- and xFIP- so there is little room for optimism moving forward.

Tim Lincecum also has a career-high hard contact rate in 2016 (39.0%), although to be fair he has also been hampered by an unsustainable .436 BABIP (small sample size, however). The veteran’s lack of control (9.1% BB%) works well for a Houston squad that is 25-9 versus starting pitchers with a WHIP exceeding 1.30.

Houston right-hander Mike Fiers has been very good at home this season, going 5-2 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He possesses a 20.8% strikeout rate at Minute Maid Park, together with a 5.6% walk rate and a 3.53 xFIP.

Following a rough road outing in his last start, Fiers is determined to bounce back today. “Every time out is a new time to show what I have and convince these guys that I can be one of the five starters,” Fiers said. “I’m excited. I need to put down a quality start and just keep it rolling.”

Fiers is also backed by a very good Houston bullpen that owns a 3.11 ERA and 1.11 WHIP this season, together with a 2.68 ERA and 0.95 WHIP at home, a 2.47 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in day games and a 1.77 ERA over the last seven games. In contrast, the Angels’ relief staff has a 4.74 ERA and 1.56 WHIP on the road and a 4.38 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in afternoon contests.

Finally, Houston is 4-0 in Fiers’ last four home starts and 5-0 in his last five starts during game 3 of a series, whereas the Angels are 4-11 in their last 15 division games and have dropped four straight road games.

The Astros are also a remarkable 22-5 with umpire Jerry Layne calling balls and strikes! Take Houston as Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick for Sunday and invest with confidence.