TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, APRIL 28TH
#903 PITTSBURGH with Hill (-135) over Washington with Kuhl at 7:05 PM EST
Off back-to-back home wins over the Dodgers and currently on a blistering 9-1 run in their last 10 games, the Pirates will travel to Nationals Park and pick up another victory. Washington enters this matchup after a pair of series wins over New York (Mets) and Minnesota and this will be a quick reality check for manager Dave Martinez and his squad.
Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will take the mound for the Bucs. Since getting rocked by the Pale Hose back on April 7th, No. 44 settled down in his last three outings against the Astros, Rockies, and Reds allowing just four earned runs and 17 hits in 17.0 innings. Rich struck out 14 and walked seven on his way to a 2-1 tally with a respectable 2.12 ERA. In his career, Hill has made 11 appearances against the Nats (eight starts) and put together a 2-4 record with a 4.07 ERA.
Right-hander Chad Kuhl will counter for the home team. So far this season, No. 26 has made four starts versus the Devil Rays, Rockies, Guardians, and Twins and been punched for 15 earned runs and 20 hits in 18.1 innings of work. Chad whiffed 14, walked 12, and served up five ding dongs on his way to an 0-1 record with a dismal 7.36 ERA. Last year, Kuhl made 27 starts for the Rockies and was punished for 87 earned runs and 155 hits in 137.0 frames. After the math, that adds up to a dismal 6-11 mark with an elevated 5.72 ERA.
There are a number of fast-developing team trends that support this wager. Pittsburgh has won seven of its last eight when coming off a win, six of its last eight in the first game of a series, and 12 of its last 16 when facing a foe that allowed five runs or more last. On the other side of the field, Washington has dropped 36 of its last 52 at home against a left-handed starter, 38 of its last 51 in the first game of a series, and 46 of its last 64 after scoring five runs or more last.
The Pirates are resting in the top spot in the NL Central and they need this victory in order to stay there. Take Pittsburgh with Hill. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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