TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION SATURDAY, AUGUST 29TH
#963 CHICAGO with Darvish (-110) over Cincinnati with Bauer at 4:10 PM EST
Off yesterday’s 6-5 loss to Cincy, the Cubs will get back on track in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader with a solid victory over the Big Red Machine. Chicago has a 3.0-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central and the Cubbies need quality road wins in order to keep their advantage.
Up on the hill for the Northsider’s will be veteran right-hander Yu Darvish. With six starts in the bank this season, No. 11 has been in excellent form allowing just seven earned runs and 28 hits in 37.0 innings of work. Darvish has whiffed 44 and walked only six on his way to a sensational 5-1 mark and a strong 1.70 ERA. Yu will be focused on a little bit of revenge too. In his last two outings against Cincy back on September 17th, 2019 and August 9th, 2019, Darvish was slapped for eight earned runs and 10 hits (four of which went over the fence) in 13.0 frames. Yu struck out 22 and walked only one en route to an 0-2 tally with a soft 5.54 ERA.
Vocal right-hander Trevor Bauer will get the nod for the Reds. Through five starts this season, No. 27 has surrendered only six earned runs and 15 hits in 32.2 innings. Bauer has whiffed 49 and walked nine on his way to a 3-1 mark with a tremendous 1.65 ERA. Trevor’s last start on August 24th wasn’t his best. At Milwaukee, Bauer was zapped for four earned runs and seven hits (two homeruns) in 6.1 frames. Bauer walked a pair in a 4-2 loss to the Brewers.
There are three really strong trends that support this division wager. Chicago has tasted victory in 91 of its last 153 day games and 36 of its last 60 provided the Cubs suffered losses in three of their last four games. On the other side of the field, Cincinnati has dropped 30 of its last 43 when coming off a straight up underdog win over a division opponent.
In a battle of two of the best arms in baseball this season, the edge goes to the starting pitcher that will be fueled by serious payback motivation. Take Chicago with Darvish. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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