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The might Verlander doesn’t appear to have it anymore; pitching that is. He still has Kate Upton and plenty in the bank, so congrats, but back to baseball. Injuries have had definite effects on the 33-year-old. He has had core and triceps injuries over the past two seasons, and the fastball that used to average 95 mph is now down to 92 mph. Decreased velocity probably hasn’t been as big of an issue as location. He did rebound last year and put together a good finish to 2015, so it remains to be seen if he can pick that back up. He has had success against Astros hitters, holding the bulk to a very low average. Altuve is hitting .500 in six at-bats against him. Over his career, Verlander has started four games in Houston going 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA.
Collin McHugh put the worst start of his career in New York behind him and turned in a seven-inning shutout performance against the Kansas City Royals. This was needed as the Astros’ starting pitchers got blasted in New York and Milwaukee for the most part. It’s tough to pinpoint the difference between the two starts, given the extremely small sample of his first outing, but we can assume that his pitches might have had a bit more movement and bite in the second outing, and bottom line, the Yankees bats were on fire. McHugh will look to further lower is 6.14 ERA against a Detroit team he has only started two games against. For his career, McHugh is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA. Both J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton have taken McHugh deep.
Game Prediction: Tigers 4 – Astros 1
Next: Game 3