TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION TUESDAY, AUGUST 15TH
#978 SAN DIEGO with Wacha (-144) over Baltimore with Flaherty at 9:40 PM EST
In a funk off three consecutive losses and with blemishes in seven of their last eight games, the Padres will dig deep and pick up a solid win over the O’s. San Diego is now 6.5-games back in its hunt for the third and final NL Wild Card spot and manager Bob Melvin and his boys know they have to pick up the pace at home (30-29) to a have any shot at postseason play.
Returning from a shoulder, sizzling righty Michael Wacha will grab the pearl and stop the bleeding for the Padres. Facing the Reds, Giants, Guardians, Mariners, and Cubs in his previous five performances, No. 52 was touched for only five earned runs and 18 hits in 28.1 innings. Michael whiffed 24 and walked 11 on his way to a 3-1 record with a powerful 1.59 ERA. Equally impressive, inside Petco Park, Wacha has made eight starts and been scratched for 13 earned runs and 34 hits in 46.2 innings of work. After the math, that adds up to a 5-2 mark with a solid 2.51 ERA.
Former Cardinals righty Jack Flaherty will take the bump for the visitors. In a pair of August outings for the O’s against the Blue Jays and Astros, No. 15 was bumped for four earned runs and 10 hits in 11.0 innings of work. Jack struck out 16 and walked four on his way to a 1-1 mark with a 3.27 ERA. Overall, with 22 starts in the books this season, Flaherty has been tagged for 58 earned runs and 126 hits in 120.2 frames. That equates to an 8-7 tally with a 4.33 ERA.
There are a few solid team trends that support this diamond wager. With Wacha holding the pearl, his teams have cashed 26 of their last 38 battles and 19 of their last 24 provided they take the field without confidence off a loss.
The Padres welcome back one of their best arms to the rotation and, in desperate need of a dub in order to stay in NL Wild Card hunt, the Friars will find a way to get the job done here. Take San Diego with Wacha. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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