TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH
#953 ST. LOUIS with Flaherty (-160) over Pittsburgh with Musgrove at 4:05 PM EST
With a 4.5-game deficit in the NL Central standings, the Cardinals will keep the pressure on the Cubs by grabbing another victory over the Pirates. Pittsburgh holds a dismal 15-37 record at press time and all the Bucs want is for 2020 to come to an end.
Young right-hander Jack Flaherty will toe the rubber for the road team. In his last outing at Milwaukee, No. 22 got smashed for nine earned runs and eight hits in only 3.0 innings. Flaherty fanned six, walked two and served up two dongs and was tagged with the 18-3 loss. Thankfully, Big Jack has pitched well with the lights turned off. In day starts, Flaherty has surrendered four earned runs and eight hits in 11.2 frames. After the math, that equates to a 1-0 mark with a solid 3.09 ERA.
Countering for the home team will be righty Joe Musgrove. In his last performance at Cincinnati, No. 59 was blasted for four earned runs and six hits in 5.0 innings of work. Musgrove whiffed eight, walked one and served up one dong and was popped with the 4-1 loss. Overall, Joe isn’t having the best of seasons. With 26.2 innings in the bank, Musgrove has been mauled for 17 earned runs and 27 hits. That’s bad enough for an 0-5 mark and a feeble 5.74 ERA.
Several profitable team trends support this Best Bet. St. Louis has tasted victory in five straight against a right-handed starter and 44 of its last 64 when fighting a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage less than .400. On the other side of the yard, Pittsburgh has fallen in 51 of its last 75 against division foes, 36 of its last 51 coming off a loss, 46 of its last 66 after allowing five runs or more in its previous battle and 38 of its last 53 as an underdog.
The Redbirds finish on the road against the Royals and Brewers and they know this victory is one they desperately need. Take St. Louis with Flaherty. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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