TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION MONDAY, MAY 24TH
#911 BALTIMORE with Means (-103) over Minnesota with Shoemaker at 7:40 PM EST
Off six consecutive straight up losses, don’t be surprised when the O’s visit the Twin Cities on Monday and knock off the Twins. Minnesota enters this contest off a huge upset win over Cleveland on Sunday and the Twinkies are ripe for a beating.
Sizzling southpaw John Means will toe the rubber for the road team. With nine starts in the bank this season, No. 47 has been right on target allowing only 11 earned runs and 33 hits in 58.1 innings of work. Means owns a stunning 59-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio and holds a nifty 4-0 mark with a strong 1.70 ERA. The road has been kind to Big John too. As a guest, Means has been nicked for just three earned runs and 20 hits in 40.2 frames. After the math, that adds up to a golden 3-0 tally with a jaw-dropping 0.66 ERA.
Veteran righty Matt Shoemaker will counter for manager Rocco Baldelli’s crew. So far, in 2021, No. 32 has made eight starts for Minny and been spanked for 27 earned runs and 42 hits in 40.0 innings. “Shoe” has issued 16 free passes and served up 10 home runs on his way to a dismal 2-5 mark with an elevated 6.08 ERA. Pitching in Minneapolis hasn’t worked well for Matt either. Inside Target Field, Shoemaker has been clocked for 21 earned runs and 31 hits in only 25.2 frames. That equates to a woeful 0-4 tally with a stiff 7.36 ERA.
This isn’t the best wagering spot for the home team either. Minnesota has slipped in 10 of its last 13 against a left-handed starter, four of its last five in the first game of a series, 12 of its last 14 when facing a foe that allowed five runs or more last, and six of its last seven against AL East foes.
Off the extra-inning victory over the Indians, the Twins will have trouble scoring against the AL’s ERA leader. Take Baltimore with Means. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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