TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, JUNE 3RD
#925 HOUSTON with Urquidy (-130) over Kansas City with Singer at 8:10 PM EST
Rolling along off four consecutive wins and a day of rest, the ‘Stros will have no trouble extending the margin against the Royals. Kansas City has dropped four straight and eight of its last 10 and this is going to be a difficult series for manager Mike Matheny and his kids.
Up on the hill for the road team will be right-hander Jose Urquidy. In his last start at Seattle, No. 65 was roughed up for five earned runs and 12 hits in only 4.2 frames. Urquidy walked two, served up one home run, and was tagged with the loss in the Astros 6-0 beating. Thankfully, Jose has shown the ability to bounce back after a bad outing and he will have no trouble taming this soft Royals lineup. Kansas City is averaging only 3.71 runs per game and the Royals will have trouble scoring here.
Countering on the mound for the home team will be righty Brady Singer. In his last three starts since returning from Triple-A Omaha, No. 51 limited the Twins (twice) and White Sox to three earned runs and 14 hits in 19.2 innings of work. Singer struck out 20 and walked three on his way to a 2-0 mark with a strong 1.37 ERA. Last year, Brady faced the ‘Stros twice in August and was tapped for three earned runs and 13 hits in 11.2 frames. After the math, that equates to an 0-1 mark with a 2.32 ERA.
With both arms capable, the following trends will help determine the winner in this matchup. Houston has come out on top in 38 of its last 53 in the first game of a series, 62 of its last 88 following an off day, and 81 of its last 117 when matched up against AL Central opponents. On the other side of the stadium, Kansas City has fallen in 74 of its last 104 against AL West teams and 91 of its last 131 when fighting a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage greater than .600.
In a battle of the AL West’s best versus the AL Central’s worst, the cream of the crop will rise to the top. Take Houston with Urquidy. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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