Tom Stryker’s Free Baseball Play August 8th


#904 PITTSBURGH with Holland (-120) over Detroit with Nova at 4:05 PM EST
After coming out on the short end of a 17-13 extra-inning loss to the Motor City Kitty’s last night, the Bucs will get back on track with a solid effort at home on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates are clinging to an ugly 3-11 overall record and they need wins in a hurry or they can kiss the 2020 season good-bye.

Veteran righty Derek Holland will toe the rubber for Pittsburgh. So far this season, No. 45 has made a pair of starts against the Twins and Brewers and allowed only six earned runs and six hits in 11.1 frames. Holland registered 10 strike outs and allowed five walks but failed to earned a decision in either outing on his way to a 4.76 ERA. Derek owns seven career starts against the Tigers and holds a 1-2 mark with a 4.26 ERA.

On the bump for Detroit will be seasoned righty Ivan Nova. In a pair of performances against Kansas City and Cincinnati, No. 43 was cracked for five earned runs and 11 hits in 10.2 frames. Nova fanned five and walked four but failed to earn a decision in either outing on his way to a 4.22 ERA. Last year, Ivan started 34 games for the Chicago White Sox and surrendered 98 earned runs and 225 hits in 187.0 innings. After the math, that adds up to an 11-12 mark with an elevated 4.72 ERA.

Plenty of angles line up on this Best Bet. Pittsburgh has won 12 of its last 17 in interleague play against a right-handed starter and 35 of its last 52 versus AL Central foes. On the visitor’s side of the field, Detroit has fallen in 36 of its last 53 when battling a left-handed starter, 22 of its last 31 against National League foes, 60 of its last 84 after allowing five runs or more in its last game and 41 of its last 56 on foreign soil.

The Pirates have their proverbial backs to the wall right now and they simply can’t afford to drop home games to an average-at-best Tigers bunch. Take Pittsburgh with Holland. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.

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