TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION SATURDAY, AUGUST 14TH
#977 TORONTO with Ryu (-157) over Seattle with Kikuchi at 10:10 PM EST
Off back-to-back road losses to the Halos and M’s, expect a determined effort from the Blue Jays on Saturday night. Toronto is now 8.5-games back in the AL East and 3.5-games behind in the Wild Card race and manager Charlie Montoyo’s boys need to crank things up a notch.
Left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu will be anxious to get back on the mound for the visitors. In his last start at home against the BoSox, No. 99 got blasted for seven earned runs and 10 hits in only 3.2 innings. Ryu fanned one, walked one, and failed to earn a decision in the Blue Jays 9-8 victory. Foreign soil hasn’t been a problem for the lefty from South Korea either. As a guest, Ryu has been nicked for only 23 earned runs and 62 hits in 66.1 frames. That equates to a solid 6-3 mark and a proud 3.12 ERA.
Southpaw Yusei Kikuchi will take the mound for the home team. Matched up against the Yankees, Devil Rays, and Astros in his last three starts, No. 18 was slapped for four earned runs and 17 hits in 16.0 innings of work. Kikuchi struck out 18 and walked seven on his way to a 1-1 tally with a 2.25 ERA. Surprisingly, pitching at home has been a bit of an issue for Yusei. In his own backyard, Kikuchi has been tagged for 28 earned runs and 48 hits in 55.2 frames. That adds up to a weak 2-4 mark and a 4.53 ERA.
There are a number of elite trends that support this wager. Toronto has won four straight against a left-handed starter, five of its last seven when coming off a loss, 20 of its last 27 when battling in the second game of a series, and 12 of its last 17 when priced as a favorite. On the other side of T-Mobile Park, Seattle has fallen in six of its last seven against a southpaw and four of its last six when priced as an underdog.
Back on July 1st, No. 99 got a shot at the M’s at home and was ripped for four earned runs and seven hits in just 4.0 frames. Seattle handed Hyun Jin the loss on that day and this one will be all about revenge. Take Toronto with Ryu. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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