TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD
#979 HOUSTON with Urquidy (-150) over San Diego with Arrieta at 10:10 PM EST
Off back-to-back shutout losses at Seattle and with a day of rest, Houston will travel to San Diego and do a number on the Friars. The Padres enter this contest on a 2-7 run, and they don’t match up well in this interleague battle.
Making his first performance since June 29th for the visitors will be right-hander Jose Urquidy. Before tweaking his shoulder, No. 65 had made 14 starts for the ‘Stros and was touched for only 29 earned runs and 61 hits in 77.1 innings of work. Urquidy whiffed 66 and walked 13 on his way to a 6-3 record with a strong 3.38 ERA. Pitching under the lights has worked well for Jose too. At night, Urquidy has surrendered only 12 earned runs and 28 hits in 44.2 frames. After the math, that adds up to a solid 4-0 record and a powerful 2.42 ERA.
Struggling righty Jake Arrieta will counter for the Pads. In his first start for his new team since coming over from the Cubs, No. 49 got smashed by the Rockies for five earned runs and seven hits in 3.1 innings. Arrieta struck out three, walked one, served up one home run, and was tagged with the loss in Colorado’s 7-5 victory. Overall, with 21 starts in the bank this season, Jake has been roasted for 71 earned runs and 120 hits in 89.2 frames. Arrieta struck out 77 and walked 40 on his way to a dismal 5-12 tally and an elevated 7.13 ERA.
There are several team trends that support this investment. Houston has won 52 of its last 70 when coming off a day of rest, 86 of its last 122 in the first game of a series, 88 of its last 130 after allowing two runs or less, and 44 of its last 65 when priced as a favorite. On the other side of Petco Park, San Diego has slipped in 50 of its last 73 as an underdog and six of its last seven when facing a foe that scored two runs or less last.
The Astros lead in the AL West rests at 4.5-games over the A’s and manager Dusty Baker knows his troops need to start off this series against a tired Padres squad with a win. Take Houston with Urquidy. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
TOM’S NCAA FRIDAY NIGHT TOP SHELF CONFERENCE SMASH
Checking in off last night’s blowout victory on NC State (-19′) over South Florida WON EASILY 45-0, Stryker is going after one more college football investment that will deliver the cash. Solid statistical support, a strong system, and one power team trend all back this crusher. Grab Tom’s NCAA Friday Night Top Shelf Conference Smash for $30.