Game 144, Astros at Mariners
Roenis Elias vs. Collin McHugh, 7:10pm
Wildcard Odds – Fangraphs.com: 59.3% Baseballprospectus.com: 55.6%
You can see what last night’s comeback win did for the M’s wildcard odds. That was a huge comeback, and while it perhaps shouldn’t have taken a late-innings triple to salvage a game against the Astros started by Felix, a win is a win. Felix was not sharp at all last night; I felt his change-up was missing all over the place (usually down, which is better than missing up) and he got through it by throwing some curves and by being Felix.
Today’s match-up features two of the least-likely average-ish starters in all of baseball. Last year, Collin McHugh was cut by two teams, and in a handful of big league innings, compiled an ERA over 10, and a FIP near 6. He did not make the Astros starting rotation out of spring training, which isn’t quite as damning an indictment of one’s big league prospects as it once was, but is not an encouraging sign. In a few PCL appearances in the beginning of the year he was underwhelming. He came up to make a spot start against the M’s during the M’s spring tailspin and pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings with 12 Ks and no walks. Who the hell is Collin McHugh?
Apparently, the biggest change for him is when a Houston coach told him to scrap his sinker and stick with a four-seam fastball that (apparently) hides his curve ball well. As you’d expect, he doesn’t get too many grounders, but with a good enough fastball (at 92), and a surprisingly effective curve, he’s nearing 3 fWAR on the year.
1: Jackson, CF
2: Chavez, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Seager, 3B
5: Morales, DH
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Saunders, RF
9: Miller, SS