TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23RD
#914 TAMPA BAY with Hill (-155) over Boston with Richards at 7:10 PM EST
In a nasty mood off seven consecutive straight up losses, Tampa Bay will rally the troops and find a way to knock off visiting Boston on Wednesday evening. The Red Sox have alternated wins and losses in their last four games, and this will be a difficult spot for manager Alex Cora and his crew.
Up on the bump for the Rays will be veteran southpaw Rich Hill. With 14 starts in the bank this season, No. 14 has been extremely effective allowing just 29 earned runs and 51 hits in 71.2 innings of work. Hill holds a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 73-24 and carries a reliable 5-2 mark with a 3.64 ERA. Rich has been solid inside Tropicana Field too. At home, Hill has been touched for 16 earned runs and 27 hits in 38.2 frames. That equates to a 2-2 tally with a respectable 3.72 ERA.
Right-hander Garrett Richards will counter for the visiting BoSox. In four June starts against the Braves, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Astros, No. 43 was cracked for 13 earned runs and 30 hits in 20.1 innings. Richards fanned 17 and walked nine on his way to an 0-1 record and a soft 5.76 ERA. Garrett has experienced a few problems under the lights too. At night, Richards has been tanked for 29 earned runs and 70 hits in 62.1 frames. After the math, that adds up to a 4-3 mark with a 4.19 ERA.
There are a few profitable team trends that support this wager. Tampa Bay has tasted victory in 48 of its last 64 at home when battling a right-handed starter, 51 of its last 70 when priced as home chalk, and 47 of its last 67 against division foes. On the other side of the bubble, Boston has fallen in five of its last six when matched up against a left-handed starter.
The Devil Rays are looking up at the Red Sox in the AL East standings a short 1.5-games back. That deficit will shrink to a 0.5-game after this win. Take Tampa Bay with Hill. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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