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2015 TCB Astros March Madness: Collin McHugh vs. Chad Qualls

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One of the favorites to finish high in the rankings takes on the bullpen's leading man.

Just a reminder; voting will stay open for 24 hours for each of these match-ups, and there will be two match-ups per day. For a complete breakdown, check out the introductory post if you haven't already. Here's a link to the first round's wrap up post (wherein you'll find the updated bracket) if you need it. Get those votes in while you can!

Round Two, Match Three

Collin McHugh, RHP

Not since Hunter Pence's hot first season have the Astros had such a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. McHugh absolutely came out of nowhere and made the Astros coaches and brass look very, very smart, posting a 2.73 ERA and a 3.83 K/BB ratio in 154.2 innings of work. Brent Strom's pitch tunneling focus seemed to do the trick, and all signs point to McHugh being at least a solid #3 starter going forward. With almost all of his club control remaining, the Astros appear to have scored one of the biggest waiver coups in recent history. --Brian Stevenson


Chad Qualls, RHP

The veteran reliever went Qualls to the Wall in 2014, returning to Houston after spending six seasons elsewhere, and doing a fine job as the team's closer after Jesse Crain never saw the mound in an Astros uniform. His power sinker generated grounders 57.2% of the time, and he posted sterling career-bests in walk rate (0.88 BB/9) and strike out to walk ratio (8.6 K/BB). He posted a 1.33 ERA against all teams other than Oakland. Qualls returns on the second year of a two-season pact, and with an inside track on winning the closer's role once again. -- Brian Stevenson