Collin McHugh (17-7, 3.93 ERA) and the Houston Astros (80-74) go up against Derek Holland (3-3, 4.75 ERA) and the Texas Rangers (84-69) in the second of a three-game division series at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers won the last game 6-2 and Texas leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sep. 26 and will air on FOX.
In his last start, McHugh pitched 8.0 innings, allowing one run, striking out eight and walking two in a 5-1 victory over the Athletics. Evan Gattis (.243, 64 Rs, 26 HRs, 85 RBIs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run. The Rangers were unsuccessful the last time Holland pitched. He did not do well, pitching 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs, striking out three and walking five in a 9-2 loss to the Mariners. Mitch Moreland (.284, 50 Rs, 23 HRs, 82 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run.
Houston is a -140 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is eight runs. The Astros are 50-43 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -610. They have a 34-37 record SU and are 18-26 as favorite within their division. The Astros rank second in the majors in home runs with 210. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking third in all of baseball with 113 steals. As for the pitching staff, the Astros lead the AL in home ERA with a 3.10 team average. The Astros don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fifth in the league with a 1.20 WHIP. An area where the Astros are particularly strong at home is striking batters out, where they average 8.6 K's per home game.
Across the field, the Rangers have a record of 59-53 when they are the underdog and are +3,144 overall with the money line. Over the last 10 games, they were unbeaten as the underdog with a perfect 3-0 record and 8-2 SU. During the last 10 games, they averaged 7.3 runs per game, above their 4.6 season average.
The Rangers had the upper hand against the Astros in their previous 17 games this season, earning a 13-4 record. The Astros will take on a left-hander (Holland) in this game and have a 27-28 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Rangers will be the right-hander McHugh. They sport a 53-41 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
The Astros are 34-37 against their divisional rivals, while the Rangers are 34-36 against their division.
When leading after 7 innings, Houston is 35-27, while Texas is 34-33.
The Rangers are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Astros have a 22-41 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Astros are 13-52. The Rangers have an 18-53 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 13th in home runs, Texas has hit 161 this season. Houston ranks second with 210 home runs.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.26 per game. Texas ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.74.
Houston and Texas both rank in the top 10 of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Houston sits at seventh with an OPS of .742 and Texas ranks ninth with an OPS of .741.
When the Rangers allow at least one home run, they are 42-52. When the Astros allow one or more homers, they have a 30-52 record.