TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION TUESDAY, AUGUST 31ST
#915 OAKLAND with Irvin (-110) over Detroit with Skubal at 7:10 PM EST
With plenty of confidence off a pair of home wins over the Bronx Bombers and a day of rest under their belt, the A’s will travel to the Motor City and take care of the struggling Tigers. Detroit has lost three straight and six of its last 10 and this will be a tough spot for manager A.J. Hinch and his men.
Southpaw Cole Irvin will toe the rubber for the Athletics. Matched up against the Mariners, White Sox, and Rangers (twice) in four August outings, No. 19 was tapped for 11 earned runs and 25 hits in 21.0 innings of work. Irvin whiffed seven and walked nine on his way to a 2-2 tally and a 4.71 ERA. Pitching under the lights has worked well for Cole too. With the moon shining, Irvin has been scratched for 23 earned runs and 70 hits in 63.1 frames. That equates to a 5-5 mark with a respectable 3.27 ERA.
Grabbing the pearl for the Tigers will be left-hander Tarik Skubal. In four August performances, No. 29 has pitched well surrendering four earned runs and 19 hits in 22.2 innings. Skubal struck out 27 and walked three on his way to a 2-1 record with a 1.59 ERA. Unlike Irvin, the lights haven’t been as kind to Tarik. With the moon shining, Skubal has been slapped for 36 earned runs and 73 hits in 73.0 frames. After the math, that adds up to a woeful 3-9 record with a 4.44 ERA.
An abundance of lucrative trends back this investment too. Oakland has tasted victory in 73 of its last 97 against teams from the AL Central, 13 of its last 18 coming off a day of rest, 38 of its last 54 on the road battling a left-handed starter, and 36 of its last 53 in this series. On the other side of Comerica Park, Detroit has dropped 97 of its last 142 as a home underdog, 58 of its last 84 against AL West foes, and 63 of its last 87 at home battling a team with a winning record.
With a 6.0-game deficit in the AL West standings and resting 2.0-games back in the fight for the AL Wild Card, the A’s know they can’t afford to lose games to a Tigers bunch that is 8.0-games under the .500 mark. Take Oakland with Irvin. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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