TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION MONDAY, AUGUST 9TH
#909 CINCINNATI with Castillo (-169) over Cleveland with Hentges at 6:10 PM EST
On a roll off five consecutive victories, the Big Red Machine will skip over to Progressive Field and scoop up another win over the Indians. Cleveland enters this Ohio Cup battle with blemishes in six of its last 10 games and this is going to be a difficult setting for the Tribe.
Sizzling right-hander Luis Castillo will take the mound for the Reds. Since July 1st, No. 58 has made seven starts for Cincy and been touched for only 10 earned runs and 34 hits in 43.2 innings of work. Castillo fanned 48 and walked 19 on his way to a 3-0 record and a reliable 2.06 ERA. Luis has been effective under the lights too. At night, Castillo has been tripped for only 26 earned runs and 59 hits in 61.0 frames. That equates to a 2-3 mark with an elite 3.84 ERA.
The Indians will be sending rookie southpaw Sam Hentges to the mound in this bullpen battle. With eight appearances in the books this year (one start), No. 31 has been cooked for 39 earned runs and 64 hits in 44.2 innings. Hentges has struck out 45 and walked 26 on his way to a dismal 1-4 tally with a woeful 7.86 ERA. At night, Sammy has been at his worst too. Under the lights, Hentges has been hammered for 18 earned runs and 25 hits in 15.2 frames. That’s bad enough for an ugly 0-2 mark with a shocking 10.34 ERA.
A number of reliable team trends back this money-maker. Cincinnati has won eight of its last 11 in interleague play matched up against a left-handed starter, 23 of its last 30 when favored, and 11 of its last 15 when playing on Monday. On the other side of the chalk line, Cleveland has fallen in 55 of its last 82 when priced as an underdog, 19 of its last 26 after scoring five runs or more last, and seven straight when coming off a win.
The Reds are 5.0-games back in the NL Central right now and they’ll need quality road wins to stay competitive in the division. This is one of them. Take Cincinnati with Castillo. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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