Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

DUNKEL INDEX

NFLX

New England at NY Giants
The Patriots look to bounce back after last week's 30-28 loss to Tampa Bay as they travel to face the Giants on Wednesday. New England is the pick (-1 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Patriots favored by 4. Dunkel Pick: New England (-1 1/2)

Game 101-102: New England at NY Giants (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New England 120.512; NY Giants 116.368
Dunkel Line: New England by 4; 45
Vegas Line: New England by 1 1/2; 41
Dunkel Pick: New England (-1 1/2); Over

Game 103-104: Tampa Bay at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 121.103; Washington 127.221
Dunkel Line: Washington by 6; 43
Vegas Line: Washington by 3 1/2; 40
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-3 1/2); Over

Game 105-106: Miami at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 111.835; Dallas 122.304
Dunkel Line: Dallas by 10 1/2; 32
Vegas Line: Dallas by 2 1/2; 37
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (-2 1/2); Under

MLB

Boston at LA Angels
The Red Sox look to take advantage of an Angels team that is 1-5 in C.J. Wilson's last 6 starts. Boston is the pick (+155) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Sox favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Boston (+155)

Game 901-902: LA Dodgers at Colorado (3:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Blanton) 14.526; Colorado (Pomeranz) 15.479
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 12
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-135); 11
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+115); Over

Game 903-904: Cincinnati at Arizona (3:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Latos) 15.042; Arizona (Corbin) 14.284
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-125); Under

Game 905-906: Atlanta at San Diego (6:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hanson) 16.128; San Diego (Stults) 17.719
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+110); Over

Game 907-908: NY Mets at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Harvey) 14.577; Philadelphia (Hamels) 15.048
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-165); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-165); Under

Game 909-910: St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Kelly) 16.208; Pittsburgh (Rodriguez) 15.199
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-120); Under

Game 911-912: Washington at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Detwiler) 14.230; Miami (Turner) 15.461
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Washington (-145); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+125); Over

Game 913-914: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Fiers) 15.885; Cubs (Samardzija) 14.074
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-120); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-120); N/A

Game 915-916: San Francisco at Houston (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Zito) 13.625; Houston (Keuchel) 14.062
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-170); 9
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+150); Over

Game 917-918: Toronto at NY Yankees (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Happ) 13.946; NY Yankees (Sabathia) 14.342
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-240); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-240); Under

Game 919-920: Oakland at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Blackley) 16.496; Cleveland (Kluber) 13.187
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 3 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Oakland (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-135); Under

Game 921-922: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 15.549; Baltimore (Saunders) 16.577
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 923-924: Tampa Bay at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Cobb) 16.213; Texas (Harrison) 16.536
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-160); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-160); Under

Game 925-926: Detroit at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Sanchez) 15.361; Kansas City (Chen) 15.034
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-135); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-135); Under

Game 927-928: Seattle at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Vargas) 15.865; Minnesota (Deduno) 14.127
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-110); Over

Game 929-930: Boston at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Stewart) 15.347; LA Angels (Wilson) 14.939
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-175); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+155); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

Marc LawrenceFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
Prediction: St Louis Cardinals
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The Cardinals and Pirates conclude a three-game gathering in Pittsburgh Wednesday evening where St. Louis takes on former Astro Wandy Rodriguez under the ESPN lights. Rodriguez enters the fray in lousy KW form with 6 strikeouts and 7 walks in his last three starts. He is also 4-11 at home and 4-13 at night in his team starts this season. With that look for the Red Birds to cash for the 6th time in their last 7 games in this park as they improve to 16-5 on Wednesdays, their best day of the week this season, here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on St. Louis.

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Scott SpreitzerFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Reds at Diamondbacks
Prediction: Under
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Mat Latos has been a terrific daytime pitcher and he has owned the Chase Field bump. On Wednesday, Latos puts the two together. Latos owns a 1.42 ERA & 1.05 WHIP in three starts at this venue and he has a 3.06 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and .195 BAA in nine daytime starts in 2012, adding to his outstanding afternoon numbers through the first three-plus seasons of his career. Arizona will counter with young Patrick Corbin. The lefty has been excellent at home and in afternoon outings, also. He'll face a Cincinnati lineup that plates just 3.8 rpg in road day games against southpaws. Reds / D'back games are on a 42-16-3 Under run in their last 61 meetings, including a 16-7 run to the Under at Chase Field. The Reds are 6-1-1 to the Under in their last eight against lefties, while the Snakes are 5-1-1 to the Under in their last seven home games. I'm playing the Under between the Reds & D'backs on Wednesday afternoon.

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Seattle Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins    
Play: Seattle Mariners 
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The Mariners are a live dog and have better overall numbers in this one. Seattle has won 7 of 9 from Minnesota this season at 16 of the last 19 vs Losing teams overall. The Twins have dropped 18 of 26 this month and 20 of 29 on the season at home when the total is 9 to 9.5. The past week they are averaging just 2.2 runs on .215 hitting. They have lost 6 straight vs left handed pitchers and have been crushed losing 15 of the last 17 vs A.L. West Division teams. Deduno makes the start for the Twins and he has a 6.00 era over his last 3 appearances. J. Vargas goes for Seattle and he has won his last 2 here and 7 of his last 10 road starts. Look for Seattle to take another from Minnesota.

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Chris ElliottFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto vs. NY Yankees
Pick: Under
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The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees square off at Yankee stadium Wednesday afternoon in this matchup.
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The Jays will send J.A. Happ to the mound with a record of 9-10 and 4.68 ERA. He has made 4 starts since being traded from Houston with a record of 2-1 and 3.86 ERA with the total going "Under" in 3 of the starts. He has been locked in as of late with a record of 1-0 and 1.35 ERA in back to back excellent starts, both games going "Under". His starts have gone "Under" 11 times in the past 15 games with 1 "Push".
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6 time All Star and former CY Young winner C.C. Sabathia will toe the rubber for the Yankees in this game. He has been awesome this season as usual with a record of 13-3 and 3.44 ERA. Its business as usual for the dominating lefty with 8 quality starts in his last 10 games. The total has been split across the board in his last 20 home starts with both the "Under" and "Over" hitting 9 each with 1 "Push". In 17 career starts against the Blue Jays, the "Under" has cashed 10 times with 2 "Push".
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8 of the last 11 games between these two have gone "Under". The Jays offense is decimated with slugger Jose Bautista done for the season and lead off batter Brett Lawrie still on the DL. The Yankees will be without the services of Mark Teixeria in this game as he will be out a couple weeks due to injury. First ballot hall of famer Alex Rodriguez remains sidelined as well. Look for the two starters to remain hot in this game. Take the "Under" to win.

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Jesse SchuleFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston vs. LA Angels
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The Angels will host the Red Sox in Game 2 of this series on the West Coast tonight, and this is a must win ballgame for LA. After having a terrible month of August, they find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the post-season.
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The Angels will send C.J. Wilson to the mound tonight, and he hasn't earned a victory in any of his last 10 starts. Wilson (9-9, 3.83 ERA) allowed seven runs on eight hits over five innings, in a 14-13 ballgame against these very same Red Sox his last time out. He has allowed six or more runs in four of his last five starts, and he has allowed at least one home run in six straight starts.
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Jacoby Ellisbury has hit Wilson well in previous meetings, going 3 for 7 with a double, while Dustin Pedroia is hitting .462 with a pair of doubles and a home run in 13 career at bats against Wilson.
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Boston will send a rookie into the fire here tonight, Zach Stewart will get just his second start of the season. His first start didn't go all that well, he was torched for six runs on nine hits over five innings in a 12-3 loss to the Cubs. He is not in a good spot here, going up against the stacked Angels lineup here in LA in a must win game for the Halos.
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This game has slugfest written all over it.

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Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs    
Play: Milwaukee Brewers
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The 61-67 Brewers are in Chicago for Game 3 of their 4 Game series with the 49-79 Cubs on Wednesday. Chicago gives the Rock to 8-11 Samardzija while 7-6 Fiers toes the rubber for Milwaukee. Samardzija starts this contest with a 4.09 ERA Overall giving up 69 earned runs in 151.7 innings pitched allowing 54 BB and recording 153 K's. In the opposite dugout, Fiers begins his day with a 3.01 ERA giving up 31 earned runs in 92.7 innings pitched allowing 22 BB and recording 94 K's. The Cubs are 0-5 in Their last 5 Games against National League Central Clubs and 1-4 in their last 5 games as a Home Underdog. Also 6-20 in their last 26 Overall Games. The Brewers are 6-1 in Their last 7 Overall Games and 4-0 in their last 4 Games as a Favorite. Also 7-1 in their last 8 against NL Central Clubs. As you can see, Fiers and Milwaukee OWN Chicago in this situation.

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Dave CokinFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland Athletics vs Cleveland Indians
Pick: Oakland Athletics
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Two teams traveling in totally opposite directions and no reason to see that changing today. I'll back the A's to top the Indians again.

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Jim FeistFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies
Pick: New York Mets
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The Mets have an under the radar arm going in Matt Harvey (2.75 ERA), who has 43 Ks in 36 innings and only 24 hits allowed. His last 19+ innings he's fanned 20 with a 1.83 ERA. And the weak Philadelphia offense has never faced him. The Phillies are 2-5 in Cole Hamels' last 7 starts vs. the National League East. Hamels has also struggled against these Mets with a 5-10 record and a 4.39 ERA in his career against them, including a 4.09 ERA this season. Play the NY Mets.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

ParlayJoe


Brewers are 8-1 in their last 9 vs. National League Central and 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.  Our play free today is on the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Matt FargoFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cincinnati vs. Arizona
Pick: Cincinnati
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The Reds have taken the first two games of this series and they go for the sweep this afternoon. Cincinnati has a comfortable seven-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central and it has improved to nine games over .500 on the road with these first two wins. This has been a great spot of late as the Reds are 13-3 in their last 16 games as road favorites and they look to continue that with Mat Latos taking the hill. He is coming off a horrible start against the Cardinals last time out as he allowed seven runs in just five innings. He has been in this situation twice before after allowing seven runs or more and he followed both of those games up with gems, allowing just one run in 17 combined innings. The Reds are 6-0 in his last six starts after scoring five runs or more in their previous game. The Diamondbacks continue their struggles as they have dropped five straight games to fall two games under .500 for the season. All of the losses have come at home where they are now .500 on the season. The pitching and offense have both been horrible as Arizona is hitting .171 and the starters ERA is 6.66 during this skid. The Diamondbacks are 2-8 in their last 10 home games against teams with a winning road record. Patrick Corbin takes the hill and he has been decent in his 10 starts but after three straight quality starts, he has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts. He has done well at home but the offense has averaged only 3.3 rpg in four home starts and with the recent struggles, that likely will not improve today.

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Stephen NoverFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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SD Padres +115
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San Diego has won eight of its last nine games. But the oddsmaker doesn't seem to care. The Padres probably could win 12 in a row and nobody would take notice because San Diego is so far under the radar.
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This matchup is a perfect example of San Diego not getting any respect - and the Braves with Tommy Hanson being overrated. The Braves certainly are better than the Padres, but they shouldn't be favored here.
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Hanson has a great reputation. Truth be told, though, he's been terrible since suffering shoulder inflammation that landed him on the DL. Maybe it's still bothering him because Hanson is not nearly as good, or as promising, as his reputation. In his last six starts, Hanson has given up 23 earned runs on 40 hits and 21 walks in 30 1/3 innings. Opponents have an on-base percentage of .423 during this span against Hanson.
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The Padres are going with southpaw Eric Stults, who is the opposite of Hanson in that he's not a name pitcher but has been very effective and underrated. Since coming off the DL last month, Stults is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA in eight games. Foes are hitting .232 against him.
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The Braves have a much better record than the Padres, but it should be noted Atlanta has a losing mark when facing left-handers. The Padres also are 16-5 as underdogs of plus $1.10 to $1.50. Atlanta has scored four or fewer runs in nine of its last 12 games.
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Despite missing closer Huston Street, the Padres have been getting great pitching holding their opponents to an average of two runs per game during the past nine games.

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Tigers / Royals Over 9
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We have a nice weather pattern for some runs here tonight, temps in the low 90's/high 80's & wind blowing out to LF at 9mph. Last night, both starters did not get past the 5th inning, so we had major bullpen usage. The Tigers have been knocking around LH pitching recently, and KC is simply much more dangerous vs RH pitching. Add on that both Anibal and Chen are fly ball pitchers & I really expect both teams to get 4 runs before this game goes final, and when that happens, we push our bet at worse here. I am on the OVER 9 here, tonight.

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Joe GavazziFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland -135
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Oakland is 44-23 and 10-2 recently. They have beaten Cleveland 6 straight times with their pitchers recording a 1.67 ERA. Cleveland's slide continues at 5-25 and 1-12. With Oakland firmly entrenched in the playoff hunt and Cleveland long ago tossing the towel, Oakland is your Play at this Value Price!

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Andre GomesFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Blue Jays / Yankees Under 8.5
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Looking at Sabathia's level and Happ's current form, I believe he will have a pitchers duel on this contest, similar to Happ's start in Detroit last week against Verlander. In that game, he had his best performance since joining Toronto, with just one run allowed on four hits in 7.1 IP. He is definitely very well right now, with just two runs allowed on six hitting in 13.1 IP over his last two starts. He had three quality starts out of four games for Toronto and he has always faced a top team: Tampa Bay, NY Yankees, Texas and Detroit, with FIP numbers of 2.41, 0.93 and 1.48 in those three excellent outings. He will now once again face the Yankees today, who have been having some offensive issues lately, mostly caused due to Teixeira and A-Rod being out. Therefore, I believe the in-form Happ will have a good outing today and limit the Yankees offense in this game.
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Sabathia will start for the Yankees and he is coming from a great comeback game from injury in Cleveland, where he allowed just one run and four hits in 7.1 IP, with a 1.23 ERA, 3.23 FIP and 2.06 xFIP. He has always been very successful against the Blue Jays and with Toronto's current poor offense, I believe Sabathia will have an easy outing today.
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With Sabathia dominating the Blue Jays and with Happ being in good form, ready to have another quality outing today, I believe this game will be a low scoring contest like it was yesterday and therefore, I'll be taking the Under in here.

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Greg ShakerFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle -105FOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Sometimes baseball handicpping is a no brainer thing and I like that since sometime my brain gets really challenged. Here we have 2 teams meeting in Minnesota. One has had just one homerun in their last 11 games and are flat out not scoring runs. They also have a pitcher who has been pretty iffy lately. The other team has a thrower on the mound coming off a poor start, but one that prior to that was FREAK-NASTY over the previous 9 outings with a 6-1 mark and an ERA of 1.88. This team is Seattle and the Mariners are on a 10-3 run right now and in doing so they have beat Minnesota 5 times straight. They actually have 7 straight wins verses Minnesota and perhaps they have gotten into their head. We have a HOT Seattle squad tonight and My Model says they will remain hot at 58.1% of the time. Let's play it.

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SPORTS WAGERS

ampa Bay +144 over TEXAS

The Rangers are so tough at home but when we can take back a price like this on the Rays with a pitching matchup that under the surface favors the Rays, we’ll bite almost every time.

Matt Harrison's ticket to the All-Star Game was punched largely on the strength of his W-L record. He’s 15-7 with a 3.07 ERA but luck has played a major role in those numbers. Harrison’s strand rate over the past month has been 82%. On the year, it’s 79%. When you combine that with an average strikeout rate of 101 batters in 169 innings, it confirms that balls in play have been hit right at people and that is unsustainable. Harrison’s 4.08 xERA strongly suggests some regression in the final month. He’s definitely a reliable starter but he doesn't profile as an All-Star from a skills perspective.

By contrast, Alex Cobb has not been nearly as fortunate with a 65% strand rate, 15 points lower than Harrison’s. That’s a big discrepancy and when things even it over time, the numbers will show Alex Cobb to be the more skilled of the two. Cobb has an elite 58% groundball rate. His xERA over the past month was 3.17 and on the year it’s 3.49. That’s nearly 1½-runs lower than his actual ERA. Cobb also has good control with 28 walks in 102 frames. We also like that the Rangers have just 19 career AB’s against Cobb and have managed just four hits (.211) against him while the Rays got to Harrison for 14 hits and six runs in five innings the last time they saw him in April of this year.


Seattle -107 over MINNESOTA

In 51 innings, Minnesota’s Sam Deduno has walked 37 while striking out 30. He’s constantly behind in counts and when you fall behind or walk that many hitters at this level, you basically have no chance for success. Deduno has walked five or more in three of his past four starts. In the lone game where he didn’t give that many free passes, he allowed 11 hits in five frames with no strikeouts. With the Twins in last place in their division, they can afford to send out guys that they can assess for next season. Why not? But pitching for a reeling Twins’ club that has dropped 12 of 14 and with his confidence and skills at a delicate level, Deduno is a pitcher to avoid.

Jason Vargas will never be a dominant pitcher. He’s your classic soft-tossing lefty that will implode from time-to-time but he won’t walk many and he’ll usually give the M’s a decent chance to win. Vargas has 13 wins and 18 quality starts in 27 tries.

The M’s are in much better form and they’ll face an erratic thrower that we’re comfortable fading at this cheap price.

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Tampa Bay @ Washington
Play: Tampa Bay +4
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Both Tampa Bay and Washington has posted 2-1 records in the preseason and have one more tune-up before the regular season commences. Coach Mike Shanahan has already proclaimed Robert Griffin III out for this final August contest and will instead go with another rookie Kirk Cousins. Quarterback Josh Freeman will see limited action for the Buccaneers, who are expected to be the more mentally prepared squad. Typically, rookie coaches like Greg Schiano place greater value on winning preseason games, to help build the confidence of the team and to make sure what program they are selling to their players is working, thus convincing them to by in. Here is another solid reason to back the Bucs on Wednesday; home teams like the Redskins off a home win by 10 or more points, are just 3-12 ATS the past three seasons.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

DAVID BANKS

Patriots / Giants Over 41

In what is being billed as a Super Bowl rematch, the New England Patriots (1-2, 0-3 ATS) and the New York Giants (1-2, 2-1 ATS) conclude their preseasons at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Wednesday night at 7:00 ET on NFL Network. Now normally, most starters are held out of the preseason finale with the regular season coming up next week, but Giants' coach Tom Coughlin has announced that the starters will play in this game, and that surprisingly includes wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, as he sees his first preseason action after breaking his foot.

Patriots' coach Bill Belichick is always tight-lipped about his player rotations, but considering that the Patriots have looked uncharacteristically sluggish in their two games with the starters in the lineup, it would not be a total shock to see them start this game also, which would give this game more of a genuine rematch feel. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have publicly voiced their displeasure with the offense so far, so Belichick could very well give them a chance to try and find some rhythm in this game. However, that probably won't last more than one quarter as there are still some roster spots to be settled. New England did unclog its wide receiver situation Monday by cutting both Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney, but there is still a three-way battle going on for probably two running back spots, which may leave incumbent Danny Woodhead in some jeopardy. Jeffrey Demps may have the inside track on one spot because he has sparkled in his kick return duties but rookie Brandon Bolden out of Mississippi is also in the mix.

The Giants also have some questions still to be answered once the starters are out of the game, with running back and wide receiver being among them. It is unclear if the Giants plan on carrying four or five running backs, and that includes fullback Henry Hynoski, whose spot is secure. That means they have a trio of backs in D.J. Ware, Andre Brown and Da'Rel Scott competing for either one or two spots. On top of that, New York currently still has nine wide receivers on its active roster with only the top four (Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle) being secure. All this could end up making this an uncharacteristically competitive preseason finale with the skill position players giving it their best from start to finish, including the third quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who has performed well in his game action albeit always against backup defenses.

Generally speaking, underdogs have been great bets in Week 4 of preseason going 101-80-8, 55.8 percent ATS since 2000 although this would not be the first time that Belichick blew up a trend like that. He is 6-6 in Week 4, but this is the eighth straight year that the Patriots have finished up vs. the Giants, and it is New York that went 5-2 straight up the last seven years.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

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Houston Astros +1.5 (-105)
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I know the Houston Astros have little to play for right now, but they are showing too good of value on the Run Line tonight to pass them up. Asking San Francisco to win by two runs is simply asking too much.
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Barry Zito is getting way too much love from oddsmakers in this one. The left-hander is 10-8 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.374 WHIP in 25 starts, including 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.443 WHIP in his last three outings. Zito is 3-3 with a 5.09 ERA in seven career starts against Houston.
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Dallas Keuchel is not getting the love he deserves tonight for Houston. The left-hander is 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.160 WHIP in six home starts in 2012. He is averaging 6.6 innings/start at home, where he has clearly been at his best all season.
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San Francisco is 30-56 against the run line (-31.1 Units) vs. an NL team with a batting average of .245 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The Giants are 7-22 against the run line (-17.6 Units) vs. teams outscored by opp by 1 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. Houston is 9-1 against the run line (+10.5 Units) in home games after scoring and allowing 5 runs or less last 4 games over the last 3 seasons. Bet the Astros on the Run Line.

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