TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH
#922 HOUSTON with Valdez (-170) over Chicago with Giolito at 8:10 PM EST
With plenty of confidence off a pair of road wins over the Lone Stars and checking in off a day of rest, the Astros will have no trouble pounding the visiting White Sox. Even though Chicago has won three straight, the Pale Hose have struggled against good teams (13-20 versus greater than .500) and manager Tony La Russa’s boys will get clobbered here.
Southpaw Framber Valdez will take the bump for the ‘Stros. With 12 starts completed this season, No. 59 has been scratched for only 22 earned runs and 57 hits in 75.0 innings of work. Valdez whiffed 61 and walked 28 on his way to a 6-3 tally with a strong 2.64 ERA. Framber has pitched well under the lights too. At night, Valdez has surrendered 11 earned runs and 34 hits in 38.2 frames. That shakes down to a 4-1 overall record with an elite 2.56 ERA.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito will counter for the visitors. In his last three performances against the Blue Jays, Devil Rays, and Rangers, No. 27 was slapped for 12 earned runs and 22 hits in 15.2 innings. Giolito whiffed 19, walked seven, and served up five home runs on his way to a 1-1 tally with an elevated 6.89 ERA. Lucas’ last outing against the Astros wasn’t that great either. Back on October 8th, 2021, at Minute Maid Park, Giolito was bumped for four earned runs, three hits, and five walks in 4.1 frames. Even though Lucas didn’t earn a decision, the Pale Hose got hammered 9-4.
There are a number of reliable team trends that support this investment. Houston has won 21 of its last 29 when matched up against a right-handed starter, 90 of its last 128 at home when facing a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage less than .500, 63 of its last 90 following a day of rest, and 105 of its last 153 in the first game of a series. On the other side of the park, Chicago has fallen in 49 of its last 68 when priced as an underdog and six of its last eight as a guest facing a left-handed starter.
The Astros have dominated AL Central foes to the tune of 83-37 in their last 120 battles and they’ll have no trouble extending the margin against this average White Sox club. Take Houston with Valdez. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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