TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION TUESDAY, AUGUST 22ND
#927 CINCINNATI with Ashcraft (+126) over LA Angels with Giolito at 9:38 PM EST
Checking in off a pair of home losses to the Blue Jays and with a day to iron out the kinks, the Reds will travel to Anaheim and do a number on the Angels. Cincinnati is on the outside looking in at the NL Wild Card race (1.0-game back) and manager David Bell knows his troops need this victory in order to stay competitive in the race.
Young righty Graham Ashcraft will take the bump for the visitors. Battling the Guardians, Marlins, Nationals, Dodgers, and Brewers in his last five starts, No. 51 was scratched for only nine earned runs and 25 hits in 33.1 innings of work. Graham whiffed 24 and walked nine on his way to a 1-1 record with a strong 2.43 ERA. Equally impressive, on the road, Ashcraft has been worth the wager surrendering only 21 earned runs and 53 hits in 50.0 frames. That’s good enough for a 3-1 mark with a juicy 3.78 ERA.
Former Pale Hose hurler Lucas Giolito will pick up the pearl for the home team. In his last three starts for the Halos, No. 24 was blitzed for 16 earned runs and 18 hits in 15.2 innings. Lucas struck out 14 and walked eight on his way to a 1-2 tally with a woeful 9.16 ERA. Back on July 3rd, 2018, Giolito faced the Big Red Machine in Cincy and got blasted for seven earned runs and eight hits (three of which left the park) in 5.0 frames. Surprisingly, the Reds lost a high-scoring affair that day 12-8.
A couple of highly profitable trends support this diamond investment. Cincinnati has quietly cashed eight of its last nine matched up against an AL West foe. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has fallen in 46 of its last 78 against winning teams.
With a serious shot at the NL Central title or an NL Wild Card spot, the Reds will keep their pedal to the metal and pick up a huge win here. Take Cincinnati with Ashcraft. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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