TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION THURSDAY, AUGUST 20TH
#922 OAKLAND with Manaea (-146) over Arizona with Young at 9:40 PM EST
Back on track off last night’s 4-1 home win over the Diamondbacks, the A’s will keep the money train rolling when they grab another victory on Thursday night. Oakland’s advantage in the AL West still rests at 2.5-games over Cleveland and that’s just not enough for comfort.
Left-hander Sean Manaea will toe the rubber for the home team. With five starts in the bank this season, No. 55 has been roughed up a little for 17 earned runs and 27 hits in 20.0 innings of work. Manaea has fanned 18 and walked five on his way to an 0-2 record and a surprising 7.65 ERA. Thankfully, since joining the big team in 2016, Sean has been a model of consistency for Oakland surrendering just 224 earned runs and 486 hits in 513.2 frames. That’s good enough for a 35-30 record and a strong 3.92 ERA.
Filling in for injured lefty Madison Bumgarner will be another southpaw in Alex Young. Most of No. 49’s efforts have come from the bullpen this season for the D’Backs. Young has made eight appearances for ‘Zona (one start) and been slapped for six earned runs and 13 hits in 14.0 innings. Alex has struck out 15 and issued three free passes en route to a 1-0 tally and a 3.86 ERA. Young got the start at home against San Diego in his last outing and limited the Padres to one earned run and four hits in 4.1 frames. Alex fanned five, walked one and served up one home run but failed to earn a decision in the Diamondbacks 7-6 victory.
There are a number of quality trends and angles that backs this investment. Oakland has won 12 of its last 14 when facing a foe that scored two runs or less in their last game, 21 of its last 27 at home battling a left-handed starter, 21 of its last 29 coming off a win and 38 of its last 52 in its own backyard. On the other side of the yard, Arizona has slipped in 54 of its last 80 on the American League road facing a foe that owns a winning record and 12 of its last 15 when priced as a road underdog.
With a weekend series against the Halos on deck, the A’s know they need to go into that three-game set with plenty of steam. Take Oakland with Manaea. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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