TCB Astros Pitcher of the Week: May 21-28

It's not who you think it is.

This comes a day late because of day baseball. But, since Houston has now won five in a row, let's not complain about this too much.

Again, a word on my process here. It's completely subjective. I look at the stats and then pick randomly by pointing at my computer screen. Or something like that. I can't reveal my true methods, right? You might take exception to them.

Just know that I know that you know I don't know what I'm talking about. Prepare to be upset by my choices here.

Honorable mentions

Brett Oberholtzer

You've gotta hand it to the lefty. He came up and made the most of the opportunity. Because of his success, the Astros are moving to a six-man rotation for the time being. In six innings, he struck out eight Mariners while allowing two runs and six hits.

What's sort of crazy is that Oberholtzer has been the third-most valuable pitcher on this staff, according to WAR. The only two guys on the staff with a lower FIP and at least 20 inning pitched are Keuchel and McHugh. So, I'm guessing Oberholtzer stays in the rotation for a good bit longer, as long as he keeps pitching this well.

Dallas Keuchel

It's all about arbitrary end points. If we'd done this on Monday, Keuchel would have been a shoe-in. But, his middle start in this three-game stretch fell on the 19th, two days outside our range.

Still, in Keuchel's one start, he was very good. Six strikeouts, no walks, a complete game with a 58 percent ground ball rate. Keuchel is locked in right now and pitching as well as anyone in the majors.

Winner

Collin McHugh

Doctor McHugh was pretty brilliant against the Royals. He struck out nine in seven innings of work while walking no one. He gave up a few hits, but his ground ball rate was at a solid 58 percent.

Every one of his pitches were above average in this star, including his curveball. For the season, his curve has already been worth 4.7 runs above average. Only five pitchers in the majors possess better curveballs this year. The Royals offense isn't exactly top of the world right now, but McHugh still baffled them.

Here's what's scary. Try finding any number that suggest what McHugh is doing is a fluke. You won't find it in his BABiP. You won't find it in his left on base percentage. You won't find it in his batted ball profile, or an abnormally low walk rate. By all accounts, Houston has turned McHugh into a decent pitcher, who can be much better than that at times.

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