TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, AUGUST 20TH
#980 OAKLAND with Kaprielian (+108) over San Francisco with Wood at 9:40 PM EST
Returning home off that rough 10-game road trip in which they won five and lost five, the A’s will step up its game and do a number on the visiting Giants in their own backyard. San Francisco enters this contest off nine straight home wars (went 7-2) and this will prove to be a tough outing for manager Gabe Kapler and his boys.
Grabbing the pearl for the Athletics will be right-hander James Kaprielian. In a pair of August outings against the Rangers, No. 32 was tripped for only five earned runs and 11 hits in 11.1 innings of work. Kaprielian fanned four and walked two on his way to a 1-0 record with a 3.97 ERA. At home, Big James has been in a zone too. Inside the friendly confines of Oakland Coliseum, Kaprielian has been popped for six earned runs and 23 hits in 38.0 frames. That equates to a reliable 4-2 mark with an elite 1.42 ERA.
Southpaw Alex Wood will hit the hump for the visiting Gints. Since July 31st, No. 57 has made four starts against the Rockies, Diamondbacks (twice), and Astros and was popped for 15 earned runs and 25 hits in 21.2 innings. Wood whiffed 19 and walked five on his way to a 1-0 record with a soft 6.23 ERA. Back on June 26th, Alex got the start against the A’s and was tapped for one earned run and four hits in 5.1 frames. Wood whiffed eight, walked one, but failed to earn a decision in the Giants 6-5 victory.
If you need a little technical support for this wager, consider the following: Oakland has been victorious in six of its last eight when coming off a win, 74 of its last 108 when matched up against a left-handed starter, and 35 of its last 52 when competing on Friday.
The A’s are still trailing the Astros by 2.5-games in the AL West standings and they’ll need to play well at home in order to stay in the hunt. Take Oakland with Kaprielian. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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