Tom Stryker’s Free Baseball Play September 12th


#972 HOUSTON RUN-LINE with Verlander (-1′ -140) over Oakland with Sears at 8:10 PM EST
Off that surprising home shutout loss to the A’s last night, the ‘Stros will have no trouble extending the margin in this mismatch. Houston’s advantage in the AL West is down to 2.0-games over Texas and 2.5-games over Seattle and manager Dusty Baker will make sure his troops respond here.

Veteran right-hander Justin Verlander will toe the rubber for the home team. Facing the Rangers, Yankees, Tigers, and Red Sox in his last four starts, No. 35 was tripped up for only seven earned runs and 19 hits in 24.0 innings. Justin whiffed 25 and walked five on his way to a 3-1 record with a powerful 2.63 ERA. Equally impressive, with 12 home starts in the books this season, Verlander has surrendered just 23 earned runs and 58 hits in 73.1 frames. That’s good enough for a 6-4 tally with an elite 2.82 ERA.

Southpaw JP Sears will take the bump for the visitors. Lined up against the Blue Jays, Angels, White Sox, and Orioles in his last four outings, No. 38 was crunched for 14 earned runs and 26 hits in 21.0 innings of work. JP struck out 18 and walked 10 on his way to a 2-2 mark with a rough 6.00 ERA. Even worse, under the lights, Sears has made 18 starts and been slammed for 48 earned runs and 95 hits in 97.2 frames. That shakes down to a nasty 2-8 tally with a 4.42 ERA.

This is a solid technical spot for the Astros. Houston has tasted victory in 70 of its last 100 when matched up against a left-handed starter and 79 of its last 121 coming off a loss. On the other side of the field, Oakland has dropped 99 of its last 144 this year and 68 of its last 91 when facing a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage greater than .500.

The Rangers and Mariners are within reach in the division and the Astros can’t afford any more losses to the worst team in baseball. Take Houston on the run-line with Verlander. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.


Stryker split his Best Bets last night (won with the Jets but slipped with the Astros run-line) and he returns to the yard armed with one more power play that will grab the cash. Solid pitching supports this key release along with four elite trends that know how to bang the cash register. Grab Tom’s MLB Run-Line Division Game of the Month for $30.