Collin McHugh (4-1, 3.50 ERA) and Mark Buehrle (5-2, 5.54 ERA) take the hill in the last of a four-game series between the Houston Astros (24-13) and the Toronto Blue Jays (17-21) at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 6-5 and Houston can finish out the series sweep with a win in this game. Action begins at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, May. 17 and can be seen on RSN and ROOT-SW.
McHugh pitched 4.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering three runs (four unearned), striking out three and walking two in an 8-1 defeat to the Giants. Jake Marisnick (.296, 16 Rs, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs, 9 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run and one RBI. Buehrle is 4-0 with a 0.89 ERA when pitching against the Astros. He takes on a below-average Houston offense which is hitting just .230 this season. Josh Donaldson (.311, 28 Rs, 8 HRs, 25 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run.
Houston is a -129 favorite against Toronto and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Astros have an overall money line of +1,011 and a record as the favorite of 8-7. The Astros have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 3.3 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.4 runs per game. The Astros are one of the best in the MLB in terms of extra base hits with 119. Houston is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 38 bases. Houston's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 4.9 runs per game, well above its season average of 3.9. The Astros are the top team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.13 so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, Toronto is coming in with an overall money line of -403 and a disappointing record of 7-14 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 1-5 record, and a 4-6 record SU. The Blue Jays have a dynamic offense, ranking second in the league with 125 extra base hits.
The Astros have the edge in the season series, 3-0. The Astros have a great 9-4 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Buehrle takes the mound. McHugh (RHP) will be on the hill against the Blue Jays, who have a 12-18 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
The Blue Jays lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Astros are 10-2. The Blue Jays are 2-6 in close games this season.
Neither Houston nor Toronto has lost a game in extra innings. The Astros are 3-0 in such matchups, and the Blue Jays are 1-0.
The Blue Jays managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Astros who are heading in with a 13-5 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Blue Jays are 2-17. The Astros have a 7-9 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Houston has hit 55 this season. Toronto ranks sixth with 43 home runs.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.64 per game. Toronto ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.62.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.721). Toronto ranks in the top five at fifth with an OPS of .753.
The Blue Jays are 9-16 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Astros are 10-7 when they allow at least one homer.