TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, JUNE 24TH
#951 NY METS with Walker (+120) over Miami with Alcantara at 6:40 PM EST
Off a pair of blemishes on the road to the Astros, the Mets will scoot over to South Beach and do a number on the overachieving Marlins. Miami just ripped off three home wins over Colorado and this will be a huge step up in class for manager Don Mattingly and his troops.
Up on the bump for the Boys from the Big Apple will be right-hander Taijuan Walker. With 11 outings in the books in 2022, No. 99 was touched for only 19 earned runs and 52 hits in 59.1 innings. Walker fanned 44 and walked 17 on his way to a 5-2 record with a respectable 2.88 ERA. Taijuan’s last two outings against the Marlins have been solid too. With 14.0 frames completed, Walker surrendered only three earned runs and four hits. That’s good enough for a 1-0 mark with a strong 1.93 ERA.
Taking the mound for the home team will be right-hander Sandy Alcantara. So far this season, with 14 starts completed, No. 22 has been in a zone allowing only 19 earned runs and 67 hits in 99.1 innings of work. Alcantara assembled a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 90-28 on his way to a 7-2 tally with a stunning 1.72 ERA. Sandy’s last three outings against the Mets are noteworthy too. With 23.1 innings completed, Alcantara has allowed seven earned runs and 18 hits. After the math, that equates to a 1-1 record with a 2.70 ERA.
With both arms capable, the following team trends will help key this victory. New York has tasted victory in 21 of its last 26 when coming off a loss, 25 of its last 32 coming off a day of rest, 20 of its last 26 facing a foe that allowed two runs or less last, and 40 of its last 59 when facing a foe that owns a team won/loss percentage less than .500. On the other side of the chalk line, Miami has fallen in 36 of its last 51 in the first game of a series and 68 of its last 100 when fighting a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage greater than .600.
The Mets are clinging to a 4.0-game lead over the Braves in the NL East and, considering they haven’t dropped three straight this season, they’ll find a way to beat the Marlins best arm. Take New York with Walker. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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