Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros – 8:10 PM EST
The Blue Jays are in Houston for the second of a four-game set against the home Astros tonight. The Jays are on a tear as of late, winning nine of their last ten contests including the first game of this series. J.A. Happ takes the mound for Toronto, and he is opposed by Collin McHugh of Houston. Happ has been reliably mediocre throughout his career post-Philadelphia, always posting a FIP between 4 and 4.7, with generally high WHIPs and strikeout rates. This plays to his advantage against the free-swinging Astros, a team long notorious for its propensity to strike out in droves. I believe the value today is with Toronto, and here’s why:
1. Collin McHugh has pitched out of his mind this season. He has come out of virtually nowhere in his age 27 season to post a 3.61 FIP, double digit K/9 rate, and 116 ERA+. These numbers just simply aren’t sustainable for him. The market is very high on his abilities, but he has to come back to Earth at some point.
2. The price for this game is absurd. As I said before, the Jays have won nine of their last ten games and yet can still be found in the market as an underdog to the 44-65 Astros. The line just doesn’t make sense and should rise.
3. Offense Offense Offense. The Blue Jays have produced 512 runs this season, third in MLB behind Oakland and the Angels. The void left by Edwin Encarnacion’s injury looms large, but Toronto still enjoys a hefty offensive advantage against the Astros. Despite playing in the AL and thus having a DH to help boost offensive stats, Houston still sits 20th in the league in runs scored, 19th in OPS, and 29th in batting average.
I understand why others are high on McHugh today in this spot against Happ, but I just believe the value is all with Toronto and their hitting strength. They should be able to out-mash the Astros and post a win today.
PLAY: TORONTO BLUE JAYS ML -105