Houston and Baltimore play game two of their three game set and it features the return of Astros right-hander Collin McHugh. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Houston’s righty, Collin McHugh, has missed all 93 games this season with a posterior impingement in his throwing elbow and will oppose Baltimore’s RH Chris Tillman (1-5, 7.20).
McHugh’s return to the Astros’ rotation sends Joe Musgrove to the bullpen after the right-hander has registered an 0-2 mark in his past three starts with a 10.67 ERA, dating back to June 23. McHugh didn’t throw off a Spring Training mound and was labeled as “dead arm.” this spring, a label that was later diagnoses as an elbow ailment resulting in him missing the entire first half of the 2017 campaign.
McHugh’s Tuesday afternoon bullpen session at Minute Maid Park went as planned and his much anticipated season debut for the Astros is a go. McHugh made his last rehab start in Class AA this past Sunday completing six innings on 69 pitches plus 20 additional pitches in the bullpen after the outing. McHugh continued to stretch himself out in early July and his post-Independence day start saw him go 4 1/3 innings, throwing 74 in what was his third rehab start, on July 10th. He allowed three unearned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four against Arkansas.
McHugh closed out the 2016 campaign on a positive note throwing 7.2 shutout innings allowing three hits and striking out five. The win earned him is 13th of the 2016 season and despite his underlying peripherals suggesting last year was a step back from previous years his bottom line numbers, his 4.34 ERA, was due to an career high in home runs per nine innings. His SIERA, xFIP and FIP all outperformed his ERA and his 1.410 WHIP.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman threw just his 3rd quality start of the season this past Monday surrendering a single run on two hits in 6 innings of work against the Texas Rangers. However, there is a big red flag in the performance that suggests his 2017 scuffles will continue. The O’s righty walked four batters in the turn and over his last seven trips to the mound he has walked 19 batters in 32 frames while striking out just 23. His ERA stands at 7.20 while his FIP is a still ridiculous 6.02.
McHugh vs. Tillman and behind the Astros offense is a matchup that offers the 2017 debut of the Houston righty to be a positive one.
Prez’ Saturday MLB Free Pick to Click is a play on Houston (McHugh) -129.
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