Tom Stryker’s Free Baseball Play September 5th


#918 TAMPA BAY with Eflin (-162) over Boston with Crawford at 6:40 PM EST
In a bad mood off last night’s 7-3 home loss to the BoSox and on a dismal 1-3 run, the Devil Rays will storm back with a solid effort in this rematch. Tampa Bay’s deficit in the AL East has inched up to 3.5-games behind Baltimore and manager Kevin Cash and his crew need to make sure that margin doesn’t get any larger.

Picking up the pearl for the home team will be right-hander Zach Eflin. With six August starts in the bank, No. 24 was in a zone allowing only 10 earned runs and 32 hits in 34.1 innings. Zach fanned 35 and issued just three free passes on his way to a 2-2 tally with a remarkable 2.62 ERA. Equally impressive, with 15 home outings in the books, Eflin has surrendered only 30 earned runs and 76 hits in 88.2 frames. That equates to a powerful 10-4 record with an outstanding 3.05 ERA.

Storming the mound for the visitors will be righty Kutter Crawford. Lined up against the Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Tigers, Royals, and Mariners last month, No. 50 was zapped for 14 earned runs and 26 hits in 26.2 innings of work. Kutter whiffed 26 and walked eight on his way to a 1-2 mark with a 4.73 ERA. Even worse, with the moon shining, Crawford has been at his statistical worst allowing 30 earned runs and 60 hits in 51.0 frames. After the math, that adds up to a 2-5 tally with a soft 5.29 ERA.

There are several strong trends that support this Best Bet. Tampa Bay has tasted victory in 47 of its last 77 at night, 63 of its last 110 when facing a right-handed starter, 39 of its last 58 at home matched up against a division foe, and 45 of its last 69 when playing in its own backyard. On the other side of the yard, Boston has fallen in 58 of its last 93 in the second half of the season facing a foe that holds a winning record.

With a pair of series on the road against the Twins and Orioles on the horizon, the Devil Rays need to take care of business in the Sunshine State over their next six games to help them stay in the hunt. Take Tampa Bay with Eflin. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.


Stryker scooped up a nice payday on the diamond yesterday with the Phillies and returns to the yard with one more investment that will bring home the cash. This Best Bet serves up a decisive edge on the mound and it has the support of one highly profitable 63-22 trend. Grab Tom’s MLB Grand Slam Power Wager for $30.