Week 8 Pitcher:
Lance McCullers (Owned in 46.4% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues)
After a tough first start at Boston, McCullers pitched very well in his first home start against the Texas Rangers. In six innings pitched, McCullers gave up two runs on five hits and three walks, striking out seven.
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With the velocity on his fastball down a bit to 93.4 miles per hour average, McCullers strikeout numbers are down to start the year. In his first 10.2 innings pitched, McCullers has only struck out 11 batters.
However, his walk numbers have gone up as he has walked six batters in his first two starts on the year. The good thing for McCullers is that his next opponent, the Baltimore Orioles, is ranked 19th as a team in walks, walking only 126 times this season.
That should be the least of the Orioles worries as they face McCullers for the second time in his career. His first one was one to remember.
In his fourth major league start, McCullers threw a complete game giving up only one run on four hits, striking out a season-high 11 batters. That was a defining start for McCullers early in his career showing the home crowd what he could do.
With McCullers seemingly accommodating his decrease in velocity with an increase in ground ball outs, the Astros should not be worried about their starter against this first place team.
Writers have said wondered throughout the season when would be the turnaround series for this Astros team. If the offense were to get going and with starting pitching the way it is, the Astros could shock some people this series. McCullers could be a big part of that as he has just gotten better in his first two starts on the year. Look for his start against the Orioles to be very impressive.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***