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MLB Playoff 2015: ALDS Game 1 Pitching Matchup: Collin McHugh vs. Yordano Ventura

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Houston turns to its 19-game winner while Kansas City goes with the young fireballer.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Starters

Houston - RHP Collin McHugh: 19-7, 3.89 ERA (3.58 FIP), 203.2 innings, 171 SO, 53 BB, 13.7 K-BB%

With Dallas Keuchel throwing a gem in the wild card game, the Astros turn to a guy who has been almost equally consistent in McHugh. Granted, McHugh did not dazzle in 2015 like he did in 2014, when he posted a 2.73 ERA and an 18.7 K-BB%, but there wasn't much doubt that he should be pitching tonight.

McHugh has quietly had a very nice three and a half months to finish the season while Keuchel and Lance McCullers have garnered much of the Astros' pitching headlines. Since allowing eight runs in three innings on June 13 to Seattle -- which upped his season ERA to over five -- McHugh was 13-4 with a 3.12 ERA in his final 19 starts of the regular season. That span includes 109 strikeouts in 124 innings.

Postseason experience: None

McHugh vs. Kansas City in 2015: Has not faced the Royals

McHugh's last outing: Oct. 3 at Arizona: 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run (earned), 6 SO, 1 BB (win). McHugh will be pitching on regular rest.

Kansas City - RHP Yordano Ventura: 13-8, 4.08 ERA (3.57 FIP), 163.1 innings, 156 SO, 58 BB, 14.1 K-BB%

Ventura's 2015 season has been all over the place, including a brief stay in the minor leagues, but he's pitching as well as any Royal at the moment. However, that doesn't mean a whole lot as Kansas City finished 22nd in starters' ERA this season. Ventura has been good, though, of late, posting a 2.38 ERA over his last 11 starts while striking out a healthy 81 batters in 68 innings throughout those starts.

Also on the plus side for Royal fans is Ventura's performance against Houston this season. Although it was just one start, Ventura limited the Astros to a run on six hits in seven innings of work on July 26. The only key cog for Houston that was missing that night was George Springer. And although he's young, having turned 24 in June, Ventura has more playoff experience than his opponent, McHugh, after last year's American League Championship run.

Postseason experience: 5 games (4 starts), 3.20 ERA, 25.1 innings, 14 SO, 9 BB (all in 2014)

Ventura vs. Houston in 2015: One start (July 26), 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run (earned), 5 SO, 0 BB (win).

Ventura's last outing: Oct. 3 at Minnesota: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run (earned), 11 SO, 3 BB (win). Ventura will be pitching on regular rest.

Game 2 probable starters: Scott Kazmir (HOU) vs. Johnny Cueto (KC)

Game 3 probable starters: Dallas Keuchel (HOU) vs. Edinson Volquez (KC)

The Bullpens

Houston

RHP Josh Fields

2015 season: 3.55 ERA, 50.2 innings, 67 SO, 19 BB. Last worked: Sept. 30 at SEA: 1.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 SO

RHP Luke Gregerson (closer)

2015 season: 3.10 ERA, 61 innings, 31 saves, 59 SO, 10 BB. Last worked: Oct. 6 at NYY: 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 2 SO

RHP Will Harris

2015 season: 1.90 ERA, 71 innings, 68 SO, 22 BB. Last worked: Oct. 6 at NYY: 1.0 inning, 0 runs

RHP Pat Neshek

2015 season: 3.62 ERA, 54.2 innings, 51 SO, 12 BB. Last worked: Oct. 4 at ARI: 1. inning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 SO

LHP Oliver Perez

2015 season: 4.17 ERA, 41.0 innings, 51 SO, 15 BB. Last worked: Oct. 4 at ARI: 1.0 inning, 0 runs

LHP Tony Sipp

2015 season: 1.99 ERA, 54.1 innings, 62 SO, 15 BB. Last worked: Oct. 6 at NYY: 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 1 SO, 1 BB

Available to start or for relief:

RHP Mike Fiers: 3.69 ERA, 180.1 innings, 180 SO, 64 BB. Last worked: Sept. 29 at SEA: 5.2 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 BB, 7 SO

Kansas City

RHP Luke Hochevar

2015 season: 3.73 ERA, 50.2 innings, 49 SO, 16 BB. Last worked: Oct. 4 at MIN: 1.0 inning, 0 runs

LHP Franklin Morales

2015 season: 3.18 ERA, 62.1 innings, 41 SO, 14 BB. Last worked: Oct. 4 at MIN: 1.0 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs

RHP Ryan Madson

2015 season: 2.13 ERA, 63.1 innings, 58 SO, 14 BB. Last worked: Oct. 2 at MIN: 1.0 inning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 SO

RHP Kelvin Herrera

2015 season: 2.71 ERA, 69.2 innings, 64 SO, 26 BB. Last worked: Oct. 3 at MIN: 0.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 SO, 1 BB

RHP Wade Davis (closer)

2015 season: 0.94 ERA, 67.1 innings, 78 SO, 20 BB. Last worked: Oct. 3 at MIN: 0.2 innings, 0 runs, 2 SO

Available to start or for relief

RHP Kris Medlen

2015 season: 4.01 ERA, 58.1 innings, 40 SO, 18 BB. Last worked: Oct. 1 at CHW (start): 6.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 4 SO, 3 BB

LHP Danny Duffy

2015 season: 4.08 ERA, 136.2 innings, 102 SO, 53 BB. Last worked: Oct. 3 at MIN: 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 2 SO

RHP Chris Young

2015 season: 3.06 ERA, 123.1 innings, 83 SO, 43 BB. Last worked: Oct. 2 at MIN: 6.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 run (earned), 5 SO, 2 BB