Week 24 Pitcher:
Collin McHugh (Owned in 30.3% of ESPN Fantasy leagues)
As I have written about many times before, McHugh has struggled in 2016. In 28 starts this season, he has a 9-10 record with a 4.96 ERA and a 1.51 ERA. His home run per fly ball ratio is at 14.2%, which is the highest since he has been an Astro.
With all of these stats against him, why is he a good fantasy choice against one of the best offenses in baseball, the Chicago Cubs? It may not be a good idea, but some numbers go in McHugh’s favor.
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First of all, McHugh has been solid against National League opponents in 2016. In 20.2 innings of work, he has given up seven earned runs on 19 hits, including three home runs, and four walks while striking out 18.
Next, this young Cubs lineup, even though they are scary statistically, is not experienced against McHugh. The top hitter against him is Chris Coghlan, who has a .500 batting average in four at-bats against him. The majority of this roster has never faced McHugh though.
Finally, to say that McHugh is ready to pitch may be an understatement. He would like to erase his last start from his memory. In 4.1 innings against the Texas Rangers, he gave up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out three in the Astros 7-6 win on Sunday.
Although it is a tough matchup for any pitcher, McHugh can shock some people Friday night against the Cubs. This could be a game that keeps McHugh in consideration for a starting rotation spot next season.
***Stats provided by FanGraphs and MLB.com***