TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, AUGUST 18TH
#923 TORONTO with Berrios (-162) over Cincinnati with Kennedy at 6:40 PM EST
Off the home loss to the Phillies and a day of rest, the Blue Jays will have no trouble plating runs and cashing this diamond wager. Toronto is currently locked into the third and final AL Wild Card spot and, with Seattle only a half-game back, manager John Schneider will make sure his troops get the job done here.
On the bump for the visitors will be right-hander Jose Berrios. In his last five starts versus the Cubs, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and Padres, No. 17 was nipped for only 12 earned runs and 30 hits in 27.0 innings of work. Jose struck out 27 and walked 10 on his way to a 1-2 record with a 4.00 ERA. Overall, with 24 starts in the books, Berrios has been as consistent as they come surrendering just 55 earned runs and 131 hits in 140.1 frames. That equates to a 9-8 mark with a strong 3.53 ERA.
Hitting the hill for the home team will be right-hander Brett Kennedy. With only two appearances this year including just one start, No. 66 was tripped for four earned runs and six hits in 7.0 innings. Brett fanned four and issued two free passes on his way to a 1-0 tally with a 5.14 ERA. Before joining the Big Red Machine in May, Kennedy pitched for the independent-league Long Island Ducks and made three starts for the Atlantic League squad. As a member of the Padres and Reds, BK has appeared in eight total games (seven starts) and been slapped for 24 earned runs and 42 hits in 33.2 frames. That adds up to a 2-2 record with a 6.42 ERA.
On a technical note, Toronto has tasted victory in 24 of its last 37 when facing a National League foe and eight of its last nine when fighting on Friday’s. Meanwhile, Cincinnati owns a surprising losing record in its own backyard falling in 32 of its last 62 battles.
In danger of slipping out of the top three in the AL Wild Card standings, the Blue Jays will bounce back off their home loss to the Phillies and start this series out with a much-needed victory. Take Toronto with Berrios. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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