Shares of AutoZone (AZO) have struggled this year, down 15% in 2017. Others, like O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY - Get Report) and Advance Auto Parts (AAP - Get Report) , have also struggled. Investors are hoping the company can turn it around when it reports earnings on Tuesday before the open.

If AutoZone reports good results, it could spark a rally in the group, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday.

However, Cramer has a different, seemingly unrelated way to play AutoZone.

Snap-On (SNA - Get Report) , an Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holding, sells tools to mechanics and workshops. The stock's performance has been frustratingly poor despite what Cramer considered a good quarter. Negative press has also been making the rounds, even though it seems unfounded, he added.

Despite this, if AutoZone reports a good earnings result, investors should consider buying Snap-On, which should be seeing strong business as well, he concluded.

Analysts expect AutoZone to earn $12 per share on $2.71 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter.

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in SNA.