Hello from California, the first of three stops on my Tour of America this week. Albuquerque tomorrow, then Charlotte and Greensboro. The Astros have their own “tour” this week through New York and Cleveland as the embark on the last 37 games of the season.
Here are three questions for you to ponder, discuss and debate.
- The obvious answer seems to be Keuchel, but it’s McHugh who has better stats, though in fewer innings. In the raw stats, McHugh has more Ks (124-120) and also has the edge in BAA (.259-.208), ERA (3.11-3.00) and WHIP (1.22-1.10). FIP and K/BB are basically a draw. Keuchel seems to be the clear choice of the Astros and, after all, he is left-handed. But…after all is said and done, is Keuchel head and shoulders above McHugh?
Astros leading the league?
- How long has it been since so many Astros were listed in the Top 10 in league stats? If they continue on their current paths, Jose Altuve will win the league batting title and stolen base title. Chris Carter is within reach of leading the league in HRs. Carter has the only chance of completing a “team” Triple Crown, but catching the leaders there is unlikely. However, he could easily finish in the Top 10. On the pitching side, either Keuchel or McHugh could finish in the Top 10 in ERA for 2014.
“Find” of the year.
- I’ve said it a few times, but the reconstruction program simply means the Astros need to find 2-3 players a year to add to the nucleus. This year, there are several candidates. Which one do you believe will finish as Find of the Year? We’ve already discussed most of the leading candidates: Keuchel, Carter, McHugh. But you could add Dexter Fowler, George Springer and even Tony Sipp to the list of candidates.
And, a couple of other followups for extra credit.
- Finish the sentence: I’ve seen enough of …
- We’ve discussed (fill in the blank) enough. I’ve grown weary of that discussion.
- What is the one thing you are most encouraged about in this season?