TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION MONDAY, AUGUST 22ND
#955 ST. LOUIS with Montgomery (-174) over Chicago with Smyly at 8:05 PM EST
In a zone right now off seven consecutive wins and with a 5.0-game advantage in the NL Central standings, the Cardinals will travel to the Windy City and dominate this overachieving Cubs squad. Even though Chicago has won seven of its last 10 games, this series will be a tremendous challenge for manager David Ross and his crew.
Sizzling southpaw Jordan Montgomery will storm the bump for the visitors. Since coming over from the Bronx Bombers, No. 48 has made three starts for the Redbirds and been touched for only one earned run and 12 hits in 16.2 innings. Montgomery fanned 17 and issued three free passes on his way to a 3-0 record with a phenomenal 0.54 ERA. This season, Jordan has been at his best under the lights too. With the candles burning, Montgomery has surrendered only 33 earned runs and 82 hits in 92.2 frames. That shakes down to a 6-1 tally with a respectable 3.21 ERA.
Countering for the home team will be left-hander Drew Smyly. In 2022, No. 11 has made 16 starts and been popped for 31 earned runs and 78 hits in 76.0 innings of work. Smyly struck out 65 and walked 17 on his way to a 5-6 mark with a 3.67 ERA. Night starts haven’t been kind to Drew either. Under the lights, Smyly has been smashed for 22 earned runs and 47 hits in 42.0 frames. That’s bad enough for a 2-5 record with a stiff 4.71 ERA.
Plenty of powerful team trends support this investment. St. Louis has won 33 of its last 46 as a guest facing a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage greater than .500, 37 of its last 53 when competing on Monday, 41 of its last 61 when facing a left-handed starter, and 13 of its last 16 after scoring five runs or more. On the other side of the stadium, Chicago has fallen in 37 of its last 52 at home matched up against an opponent that owns a winning record and 48 of its last 69 after scoring two runs or less last.
With the Brew Crew just 4-6 in their last 10 games and facing a tough three-game series in LA against the Dodgers, the Cardinals can extend their lead in the division with a few wins over the Cubs. Take St. Louis with Montgomery. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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