TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION WEDNESDAY, JULY 13TH
#930 CHICAGO with Steele (-144) over Baltimore with Watkins at 8:06 PM EST
Respect is certainly given to the surging O’s and their nine-game winning streak. However, the Cubbies have their best southpaw on the bump, and they are in prime position to pick up this diamond victory.
Hitting the hill for the Northsider’s will be southpaw Justin Steele. In his last two performances against the Brew Crew and Reds, No. 35 was nipped for only two earned runs and eight hits in 11.2 innings. Steele whiffed 15 and walked seven on his way to a 1-0 tally with a powerful 1.54 ERA. Justin’s efforts inside Wrigley Field have been respectable too. With 48.2 home frames in the books, Steele was touched for only 17 earned runs and 42 hits. That’s good enough for a 3-3 mark with a 3.14 ERA.
Young righty Spenser Watkins gets the nod for the visitors. With 27 career appearances to his credit including 21 starts, No. 80 has been crunched for 71 earned runs and 122 hits in 102.1 innings of work. Watkins struck out 61 and walked 37 on his way to a 4-8 record with an elevated 6.24 ERA. The road hasn’t exactly been Spenser’s friend this season either. As a guest, Watkins has been slammed for 11 earned runs and 21 hits in 24.2 frames. That adds up to a 1-1 mark with a 4.01 ERA.
Even though the O’s are hot, this will be a tough encore for the manager Brandon Hyde and his boys. Baltimore has fallen in 41 of its last 59 as a guest batting a left-handed starter, 64 of its last 90 in the second game of a series, and 77 of its last 109 when playing on foreign soil. On the other side of the chalk line, Chicago has quietly won five of its last seven when matched up against a right-handed starter.
The Orioles have dropped 27 of its last 46 as a guest and they’re simply going to run out of gas here in their bid for a 10th consecutive victory. Take Chicago with Steele. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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