TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22ND
#977 PHILADELPHIA with Wheeler (-142) over Texas with Gray at 4:05 PM EST
Off a pair of blemishes including yesterday’s 7-0 beating in Arlington, the Phillies will bounce back with a big effort here. Philadelphia’s deficit in the NL East rests at 8.5-games and the Phils need this victory badly in order to shorten that wide gap.
Sizzling right-hander Zack Wheeler will toe the rubber for the visitors. With 12 starts in the books this season, No. 45 has been scratched for only 21 earned runs and 58 hits in 70.1 innings of work. Wheeler struck out 78 and walked 15 on his way to a 6-3 record with an elite 2.69 ERA. Zack has owned the Lone Stars too. In his last three outings against the Rangers, Wheeler has allowed only two earned runs and 18 hits in 21.0 frames. After the math, that adds up to a 1-0 record with a sensational 0.86 ERA.
Veteran righty Jon Gray will counter for the home team. In 2022, No. 22 has made 11 starts and allowed 28 earned runs and 49 hits in 59.0 innings. Gray fanned 63 and issued 22 free passes on his way to a 2-3 tally with a 4.27 ERA. The Phillies have given Jon problems too. In his last three outings versus the Fightin’ Phils, Gray has been gashed for 10 earned runs and 14 hits in 13.2 frames. That equates to a 1-1 mark with an elevated 6.59 ERA.
There are a handful of power team trends that support this Best Bet. Philadelphia has won 13 of its last 16 when priced as a favorite, 15 of its last 19 overall, and seven of its last eight after allowing five runs or more. On the other side of the yard, Texas has slipped in 22 of its last 28 when playing on Wednesday, eight of its last 10 at home facing a National League foe that holds a team won/loss percentage greater than .500, and four of its last five priced as a home underdog.
With Bryce Harper scheduled to return to the lineup, the Phillies will grab their 16th June victory. Take Philadelphia with Wheeler. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
TOM’S 41-12 MLB DIVISION GAME OF THE MONTH
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