TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION THURSDAY, AUGUST 24TH
#904 ARIZONA with Kelly (-178) over Cincinnati with Williamson at 9:40 PM EST
Cruising along off four consecutive wins and with victories in eight of their last 10 games, the Diamondbacks will have no trouble pounding the Reds in this National League battle. Cincinnati enters this matchup off a three-game sweep on the road against the LA Angels and this will be a tough encore for manager David Bell and his boys.
Righty Merrill Kelly will toe the rubber for the home squad. In his last five performances versus the Padres, Rockies, Dodgers, Twins, and Mariners, No. 29 has been touched for 10 earned runs and 29 hits in 28.1 innings. Merrill fanned 31 and issued 10 free passes on his way to a 1-1 record with a 3.18 ERA. Equally impressive, at night, Kelly has been at his statistical best surrendering 27 earned runs and 71 hits in 96.2 frames. That’s good enough for a 7-3 mark with a respectable 2.51 ERA.
Rookie left-hander Brandon Williamson will take the mound for the visitors. With four starts in the books in August, No. 55 was crunched for 11 earned runs and 18 hits in 22.1 innings of work. Brandon struck out 28 and walked five on his way to a 1-1 tally with a 4.43 ERA. Under the lights, Williamson has been waxed for 39 earned runs and 68 hits in 67.0 frames. That shakes down to a 3-2 mark with a soft 5.24 ERA.
On a technical note, Arizona has quietly won nine of its last 11 when locked into a triple revenge mode and 14 of its last 19 against NL Central foes provided Kelly is holding the pearl.
When these two teams met back in late July, the Big Red Machine won all three in The Great American Ball Park. It’s time for the D’Backs to return the favor. Take Arizona with Kelly. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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