TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION SUNDAY JULY 18TH
#901 NY METS with Walker (-134) over Pittsburgh with Brubaker at 1:05 PM EST
In a bad mood off that ridiculous loss last night to the Bucs, the Mets will make sure they leave PNC Park with a victory on Sunday afternoon. New York’s lead in the National League East is down to 2.5-games over Philadelphia and manager Luis Rojas’ boys can’t afford another loss to a 36-56 Pirates bunch.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker will take the hill for the Boys from the Big Apple. Facing the Pirates, Yankees, and Phillies in his last three outings, No. 99 was touched for only five earned runs and nine hits in 15.2 innings. Walker whiffed 12 and issued six free passes on his way to a 1-0 record with a 2.87 ERA. Daytime starts have been lucrative for Taijuan too. With the sun shining, Walker has been scratched for only 11 earned runs and 30 hits in 48.1 frames. After the math, that equates to a 4-1 tally with a strong 2.05 ERA.
Righty JT Brubaker will toe the rubber for the Bucs. In his last six trips to the bump (all team losses for the Pirates), No. 34 was smashed for 21 earned runs and 30 hits in 33.1 innings. Brubaker struck out 32 and walked six en route to a 0-5 mark with a weak 5.67 ERA. Overall, with 16 starts in the bank this season, JT has been jacked for 44 earned runs and 83 hits in 88.2 frames. That equates to a 4-9 record with a 4.47 ERA.
Plenty of lucrative team trends work against the Pirates too. Pittsburgh has fallen in 42 of its last 61 when priced as an underdog, 85 of its last 122 when facing a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage greater than .500, and 57 of its last 81 when fighting a foe that scored five runs or more in their last game.
The NL East is a competitive division, and the Mets know they can’t afford to get swept by a Pirates squad that is 20-games under the .500 mark. Take New York with Walker. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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