TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, JULY 22ND
#906 PHILADELPHIA with Gibson (-136) over Chicago with Steele at 7:05 PM EST
Off that three-game road sweep over the Marlins before the All-Star break, the Phillies will return home and do a number on this rebuilding Cubs squad. Philadelphia rests 8.5-games back in the division and manager Rob Thomson knows his troops need to pick up the pace inside Citizens Bank Park especially against losing teams.
Veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson will grab the pearl for the host. In 2022, No. 44 has made 18 starts for the Phils and been nicked for 47 earned runs and 91 hits in 97.1 innings of work. Gibson struck out 80 and walked 26 on his way to a 5-3 mark with a 4.35 ERA. Kyle’s last two outings before the break were a couple of his best this season. Facing the Marlins and Cardinals on the road, Gibson was touched for only one earned run and six hits in 13.0 frames. That’s good enough for a 1-0 tally with a strong 0.69 ERA.
Young southpaw Justin Steele will counter for the visitors. So far this year, No. 35 has started 17 games for the Cubs and surrendered 38 earned runs and 79 hits in 82.1 innings. Steele whiffed 79 and walked 37 on his way to a 3-6 mark with a 4.15 ERA. Justin’s weak spot this season has been on the road. As a guest, Steele has been slammed for 18 earned runs and 31 hits in 27.2 frames. That’s bad enough for an 0-2 record with a stiff 5.86 ERA.
Technically speaking, this is a terrible wagering spot for the Cubbies too. Chicago has dropped 63 of its last 98 when priced as an underdog of +150 or less, 38 of its last 57 when playing under the lights this year, and 26 of its last 35 after scoring four runs or less in four straight games. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has won 17 of its last 22 at home with Gibson on the bump and 15 of its last 26 against left-handed starters.
The Phillies are sitting pretty right now in the hunt for the NL Wildcard, and they’ll need to dominate bad teams at home in order to stay there. Take Philadelphia with Gibson. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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