Astros Countdown: Top Five Second Half Storylines
The injured starters
When it comes to starting pitching after the All Star break, Astros fans should be focused on two names, Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh. Both will be coming back from their respective injuries after the All Star break and will bring the starting rotation to what the Astros thought it would be out of Spring Training for the first time this season.
McHugh, in the middle of a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi, has not pitched in a major league game this season. However, historically, he has done better in the second half of seasons. Last season, the veteran right-hander went 8-4 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 15 starts. With his opposing batting average decreasing by .20 points, he struck out 83 batters in 82.2 innings.
The second half of the 2016 season was the time in which Keuchel started to pitch well again. After a rough first half in which he had a 4.80 ERA with a 1.37 WHP, the left-hander had a 3.94 ERA in seven starts, allowing hitters to hit only .230 against him.
Next: Astros: Chris Paul will throw the first pitch to open second half
Keuchel, who is already in the middle of a career year, and McHugh will determine what general manager Jeff Luhnow and the rest of the Astros front office staff will do at the trade deadline.
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