TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION TUESDAY, AUGUST 4TH
#908 TAMPA BAY with Morton (-140) over Boston with Eovaldi at 6:40 PM EST
The Devil Rays mojo has been easy to figure out this year. On the road, Tampa Bay owns a shocking 0-5 mark and, at home, carries a respectable 4-1 record. Since this game is back inside the friendly confines of Tropicana Field we’ll side with manager Kevin Cash’s crew.
On the bump for the D-Rays will be veteran right-hander Charlie Morton. So far this year, No. 50 has made two starts for Tampa against Toronto and Atlanta and been roughed up for eight earned runs and 13 hits in 9.0 frames. Morton fanned 11 and walked two en route to an 0-1 record and a soft 8.00 ERA. Thankfully, Charlie has enjoyed plenty of success against the BoSox. In nine career starts against the “Boys from Beantown”, Morton has assembled a powerful 5-1 mark and a respectable 4.09 ERA. Overall, while pitching for an AL squad (two years with Houston and two with Tampa Bay), Charlie has been touched for only 191 earned runs and 422 hits in 517.1 innings. That equates to a sensational 45-17 mark and a powerful 3.32 ERA
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will counter for the Red Sox and their struggling pitching staff. So far this year, Boston’s starting arms have put together a league-worst 6.69 ERA. In a pair of performances against the Mets and Orioles, No. 17 was tagged for three earned runs and 13 hits in 11.0 innings of work. Eovaldi whiffed eight and walked a pair on his way to a 1-0 tally and a reliable 2.45 ERA. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay has given Nathan fits. In eight career appearances against the Rays (six starts), Eovaldi holds a stiff 2-4 mark with a woeful 5.45 ERA.
If you need a little technical support for this Best Bet, consider the following: the Fish have won 20 of their last 26 as a home favorite, 55 of their last 78 in their own backyard facing a right-handed starter and 35 of their last 51 inside Tropicana Field. On the other side of the fieldturf, the Red Sox have fallen in seven of their last eight in this series, 23 of their last 31 against division foes and five of their last seven in the first game of a series.
In order to stay out of the AL East cellar, the Devil Rays know they must regroup and find a way to win this contest. The home field advantage will be the difference in this matchup. Take Tampa Bay with Morton. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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