Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday August, 29

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

MLB Predictions

Colorado Rockies +118

The Colorado Rockies look to complete a sweep of Los Angeles tonight as they've taken the first two games 10-0 and 8-4. The Rockies are 53-75 on the season and 28-39 at home, but have been playing much better baseball as of late winning 8 of their last 10. The Dodgers are 69-61 on the season and 34-32 away from home. They are just 2-6 in their last 8 games. Other then two wins at home against Miami where the Dodgers scored 19 runs combined they have scored just 12 runs in their 6 losses (2 runs per game). On the mound for Los Angeles this afternoon is Joe Blanton who is 8-12 on the year with a 5.02 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and .275 opponents batting average. In four starts since being traded to the Dodgers he is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA. Drew Pomeranz gets the nod for Colorado and he is 1-7 on the season with a 4.78 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and .256 opponents batting average. Although he has been struggling getting deep into any ball games, Pomeranz has allowed 3 or less earned runs against in 5 of his last 6 starts (note his longest was 5.1 innings though). The Dodgers are 2-6 in their last 8 games as a favorite and 1-4 in their last 5 following a loss. The Rockies are 10-1 in their last 11 games as an underdog and 5-0 in their last 5 games as a home underdog. They are also 7-2 in their last 9 home games overall, 9-3 in their last 12 vs a right handed starter, and 8-3 in their lsat 11 games following a win. The Rockies are 5-1 in these two teams last 6 meetings. Take Colorado as underdogs for 2 units.

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

Jimmy BoydFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs +113
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The Cubs, who are 32-31 at home, are showing value in the underdog role with Jeff Samardzija on the hill against a Milwaukee club that is 23-39 on the road.
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Samardzija has been rock solid at Wrigley all season. He's 4-3 (8-3 on the money line) with an ERA of 3.28 in 11 home starts. The Cubs are 4-0 in his last 4 home starts, 5-2 in his last 7 starts as a home underdog and 7-2 in his last 9 starts versus the National League Central.
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Milwaukee's Michael Fiers is not in good form. He's 1-2 with an ERA of 9.88 over his last 3 starts. The Brewers are 1-3 in his last 4 road starts, 5-18 in their last 23 road games versus a right-handed starter and 8-20 in their last 28 road games overall. Take the Cubs.

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Dave PriceFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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SF Giants -158
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The Giants have won their last 4 on the road and their last 4 with Zito on the mound, and I like them here against a pitiful Houston club that has dropped 46 of its last 54. The Astros are only 1-8 in Keuchel's last 9 starts and 0-4 in their last 4 versus San Francisco. Bet the Giants.

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Jeff Alexander
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Seattle Mariners -105
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The Mariners are 10-3 in their last 13 overall, 7-2 in Vargas' last 9 starts and 7-0 in their last 7 meetings with Minnesota. The Twins are 5-17 in their last 22 overall, 0-6 in their last 6 games vs. a left-handed starter and even 0-6 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing record. Bet Seattle on the money line.

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

SPORTS WAGERS

CHICAGO +122 over Baltimore

Interesting matchup sees newly acquired Joe Saunders making his Oriole debut while the White Sox have called up Dylan Axelrod to replace an injured Gavin Floyd in the rotation. On paper, it would appear that Saunders has an edge but nothing could be further from the proof.

Saunders went 6-10 with the D-Backs with a 4.22 ERA pitching half his games in a tough venue. Problem with that logic is that he wasn’t much better on the road. This is a guy with a career BAA of .275 and a career ERA of 4.17 so he’s been right on par with his career numbers. The Diamondbacks had lost seven of his past nine starts before the trade and in August, he allowed 32 hits and 19 runs in 23 innings. Camden Yards is not the best fit for him either (+11% RH HR, +22% LH HR).

Axelrod is a pitcher that has ugly surface stats (1-2, 5.63 ERA) but small sample sizes can be extremely misleading. That 5.63 ERA (38 IP) is easy to pass up, but a strong 48% groundball rate, 31 k’s in 38 frames suggests something interesting here, as do solid performances against NYY and Boston (13.2 IP, 3 ER’s). Axelrod has pitched well at AAA—2.88 ERA, 92 K’s in 97 IP. The kid has been a victim of numbers in the South Side’s rotation. He’s highly skilled and could be a nice sleeper down the stretch. He certainly offers up more value taking back a price than Saunders does spotting one.

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

Chuck O'Brien

As for your free pick, I want you to think of this: if I was willing to take the Miami Marlins last night at +170 and facing Stephen Strasburg, why wouldn't I take them when they're much closer to being listed as the favorite against the struggling Washington Nationals?

My free pick run is at 100-63-2 as I take a shot with the Marlins once again at Marlins Park in South Beach. Last night I wanted you listing Ricky Nolasco and Stephen Strasburg; tonight it's straight action and I don't care one way or the other if you list either Ross Detwiler or Jacob Turner.

And while I know the Marlins batted an abysmal .185 against Detwiler, limiting them to five hits and one run while striking out eight, in his lone appearance against them, the Nationals are mired in a five-game skid and don't appear to be in a good place right now having been outscored 26-6 during this losing streak.

As I told you last night, any intangible can mess with a team's rhythm, and right now the Nationals have lost their groove. And even though Miami is 7-7 against Washington this season, the Fish are 6-2 at home against their National League East-rival.

I'm playing the Marlins tonight.

1♦ MIAMI

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

Matt Rivers

Last night I gave you Oakland for free, as I have now hit may last 7 comp play releases.

Tonight I am going with Oakland once again over Cleveland.

No great mystery here, as the A's are charging hard towards a Wild Card spot, while the Indians are charging hard at infamy.

Oakland has now won the last six season series meetings versus Cleveland, including the last three by shutout!

The Athletics are also on an overall 10-2 run their last dozen games, while the Indians have dipped to 1-12 their last 13 games while being held to two runs or less in seven of their last nine games.

Travis Blackley comes out of the bullpen to make the start, while Corey Kluber seeks his first major league win after starting 0-2 in his first three big league starts.

Keep searching Corey, A's continue their tear as they sweep the Tribe tonight.

4♦ OAKLAND

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Craig Davis

Wednesday's free play is the underdog Boston Red Sox.

I'll take my chances against CJ Wilson at this price. I have absolutely no confidence in the lefty right now, and neither should you. Shoot, I don't even think the Angels have anymore confidence left in him.

He's looking to end an 11-start winless streak, but it doesn't seem like that's on the horizon anytime soon with the way he keeps pitching. Wilson (9-9, 3.83 ERA) is in the middle of one of his worst-ever pitching stretches, posting an 0-5 record and a 6.09 ERA since late June. It continued last week in Boston where he allowed seven runs on eight hits over five innings... but the Angels did manage to win that game in extras... 14-13 (no thanks to Wilson).

He's also allowed at least six runs in four of his last five starts and can't seem to get control of his breaking pitches like he used to. The sad part for Wilson is... he's owned the Red Sox over his career, but even last week's game is proof he just doesn't have it right now.

The Angels appeared to be in a major funk until Albert Pujols gave them a spark last night by returning to the lineup, recording two hits (including a 6th inning homer) after missing nearly a week with a calf injury.

Zach Stewart (1-2, 6.00) counters for the Red Sox tonight and will make his first start for his new team. Remember, he was part of the trade that involved Kevin Youkilis going to the Chicago White Sox. From the pen, Stewart has made 18 appearances this season, recording just one start... and it wasn't a good one. But honestly, I'm not too worried about it. Wilson has been bad too, so it's a matter of getting a great price against a pitcher who has no business being favored by this much.

Free play of the day on the Boston Red Sox.

2♦ BOSTON

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Scott Delaney

My free winner for Wednesday night is on the San Diego Padres, plus a decent price, as I think the Pads rebound from having their eight-game win streak snapped last night by the Atlanta Braves. And make note, I want you listing Eric Stults and Tommy Hanson in this game.

The Padres are playing some of their best baseball right now and I like my chances with a value price. Just over the last week we've seen the Friars play spoiler to several playoff-contending teams. After knocking off National League West-rival San Francisco Giants on Aug. 19, the Pads went on to sweep Pittsburgh and Arizona before splitting the last two nights against Atlanta.

San Diego pitchers went into last night's game with a 1.73 ERA in the team's previous eight games. And I like this kid Stults a lot. He comes in after tossing seven scoreless innings in his last start, against the D-backs, who were tamed to just three hits and one walk. Since emerging from the disabled list back in July, the southpaw is a perfect 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA in eight games.

Hanson, meanwhile, hasn't completed at least five innings in two of his past five starts, while his sketchy command has allowed hitters to produce a .423 on-base percentage over his last six starts. He has a 4.50 ERA in his last three starts.

The Friars are on winning streaks of 7-1 as an underdog, 4-1 as a home pup and 5-1 at home. The Braves come in on losing slides of 3-5 versus N.L. West teams, 1-4 as the favorite and 4-7 overall.

2♦ SAN DIEGO

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

Chris Jordan

My free winner on Wednesday will be the Colorado Rockies plus the money against the Los Angeles Dodgers, as I think the men in blue still have some kinks to work out with their new lineup before going on a tear. The Dodgers have now lost three in a row, and are 1-3 since their big trade with Boston. It doesn't get any better today in Denver.

Joey Blanton is on the bump for the Dodgers, and quite frankly it's been a bad marriage since he joined the team. The crafty northpaw is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts, including a crucial start in his last trip to the mound, when he allowed four runs on 10 hits in 5-2/3 innings against the Giants.

And even though he is 1-0 in three career starts against the Rockies, make note he's taking on a team that has owned the Dodgers this season. The Rockies have knocked off the Dodgers in eight of their 14 matchups.

Might I add how much I believe this is such a mental game, and the loss of Matt Kemp for an undetermined amount of time is going to weigh heavy for a couple of days. Of course I think the easy solution is to have Gold Glove winner Shane Victorino move to center field, and when Kemp comes back put him in left... but what do I know.

Bottom line is, the Dodgers have been outscored 24-6 during this three-game slide and I think Colorado starter Drew Pomeranz will come into this one fired up. After taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning last Friday versus the Cubs, Pomeranz was tagged for a pair of solo home runs. Though he left his teammates with a lead after the fifth frame, the bullpen blew the game as the Rockies went on to lose, 5-3. Look for him to take advantage of this struggling lineup in this matinee.

Play the home-underdog Rockies.

2♦ COLORADO ROCKIES

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

Wunderdog

Los Angeles at Colorado
Pick: Colorado  +110

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the perception of a good team, and that has gotten even larger as they acquired some key pieces in a trade with the Red Sox. The Dodgers opened the season very strong, but for almost half a season they have been below average at 28-36 in their last 64 games. Gonzo is hitting .200 as well as Punto, and Beckett is 4.76 in the ERA column in his starts, so they have not helped to this point. The Rockies are on a serious roll. In their last 11 games posted as an underdog, they are now 10-1. The Dodgers have been woeful on the road vs. a team with a losing home record, dropping their last six, including the first two in this series. Los Angeles is also just 1-5 in their last six played here. Momentum is riding high on the dog here, so play on Colorado.

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