TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH
#971 HOUSTON with McCullers (-120) over LA Angels with Bundy at 9:10 PM EST
With wins in four of their last five games and off back-to-back victories over the Rangers, the Astros will travel to California and do a number on the Angels. Houston is still looking up at Oakland in the AL West standings a full 2.0-games back and the ‘Stros can’t afford falling to a Halos bunch that owns a 13-25 SU record.
Right-hander Lance McCullers will take the hill for the Astros. In his last four performances against the A’s, Padres, M’s and Giants, No. 43 was scratched for seven earned runs and 17 hits in 23.2 innings. McCullers struck out 21 and walked six on his way to a 2-1 record and an elite 2.66 ERA. History will be on Lance’s side too. In 12 career outings against the Halos, McCullers has assembled a 3-3 tally with a 3.83 ERA.
Former Orioles righty Dylan Bundy will counter for the home team. In his last three starts against the M’s, A’s and Giants, No. 37 was tagged for seven earned runs and 15 hits in 15.0 innings. Bundy whiffed 12 and walked eight on his way to a 1-1 record with a soft 4.20 ERA. When matched up against Houston, Dylan has struggled a touch. According to the History Book, Bundy has faced the ‘Stros six times (five starts) and posted a woeful 0-3 mark with a weak 4.91 ERA.
There are a number of quality team trends that back this Best Bet. Houston has come out on top in 54 of its last 70 in the first game of a series, 51 of its last 67 when competing against a foe that scored two runs or less in their last game, 61 of its last 83 against division foes and 57 of its last 81 as a favorite. Meanwhile, on the other side of the chalk line, Los Angeles has fallen in 37 of its last 55 against AL West opponents, 21 of its last 31 in the first game of a series and 21 of its last 27 coming off a win.
If the Astros want to stay in contention in the division, then they must dominate bad teams on the road. The Halos fit the bill. Take Houston with McCullers. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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