Week 12 Pitcher:
Jun 15, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Collin McHugh (31) pitches to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Collin McHugh (Owned in 29.5% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues)
Like Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh has come down to earth after putting up remarkable numbers in his first two seasons with the Astros. In his 14 starts on the year, McHugh has a record of 5-5 with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.
Like Keuchel, McHugh’s stuff has become a lot more hittable. His batting average against is up to .297 with a BABIP against at .359. He gives up an average of 11.1 hits per nine innings.
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One team that hasn’t figured McHugh out though is his next opponent. In 44 career innings against the Los Angeles Angels, McHugh has given up 14 earned runs on 35 hits while walking 12 and fanning 39.
The main key for McHugh’s success is keeping runners off base. With no runners on, McHugh is tough to beat with an ERA at 1.91. Even with runners on first, McHugh has been successful with an ERA at 2.51. When it comes to runners in scoring position, that’s when McHugh starts to struggle. In 20.2 innings with runners in scoring position this season, McHugh has a 12.63 ERA with a .321 batting average against.
However, with a strikeout percentage back on the rise, after only striking out batters 19.9% of the time in 2015, McHugh can leave runners in scoring position. As a member of the Astros, he has always found success with leaving runners on, with a left on base percentage up over 70% in all three of his seasons here.
The Angels haven’t had a chance to face the right-hander McHugh yet. If he can continue his success against them in his home ballpark, fantasy owners should pick him up for a spot start this week.
***Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, MLB.com, and ESPN.com***