TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION THURSDAY, AUGUST 19TH
#901 PHILADELPHIA RUN LINE (-1.5, -118) with Wheeler over Arizona with Bumgarner at 3:40 PM EST
In a bad mood off three consecutive losses and now resting 3.5-games from the top spot in the NL East, the Phillies aren’t in position to drop this battle especially with a three-game trip to Petco Park on deck. The Diamondbacks are the second-worst team in baseball at press time and they’ve only won three games or more in a row twice since April 23rd!
Toeing the rubber for the visitors will be right-hander Zach Wheeler. In his last five starts, No. 45 was nicked for 12 earned runs and 28 hits in 36.1 innings. Wheeler struck out 35 and walked seven on his way to a 3-2 record with a reliable 2.97 ERA. In day starts, Zach has been exceptional too. With the sun shining, Wheeler has been scratched for only 11 earned runs and 35 hits in 67.1 frames. That shakes down to a stunning 6-1 mark with an incredible 1.47 ERA.
Aging southpaw Madison Bumgarner will counter for the D’Backs. In three August performances against the Padres (twice) and Giants, No. 40 was cracked for five earned runs and 21 hits in 20.2 innings of work. Bumgarner whiffed 15 and walked two on his way to a 1-1 tally with a 2.18 ERA. Pitching without the lights on has been an issue for Madison this season. In daytime starts, “Bum” has been smashed for 20 earned runs and 38 hits in 36.0 frames. That equates to a 2-2 record with a soft 5.00 ERA.
Technically speaking, this is an ideal spot to fade the home team. Arizona has dropped 14 of its last 20 when facing a foe that scored two runs or less last, 42 of its last 56 in the third game of a series, 63 of its last 81 when priced as an underdog, and 43 of its last 58 fighting a right-handed starter. On the visitor’s side of Chase Field, Philadelphia has won five straight after losing the first two games of a series and five of its last seven on foreign soil battling a left-handed starter.
The Phillies are staring at the Friars and Devil Rays over the course of their next five games and they simply can’t afford to be swept by the dismal Diamondbacks. Take Philadelphia on the run line with Wheeler. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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