Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Dave PriceFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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NY Yankees +129FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Yankees get the call as our free given Freddy Garcia's strong track record against Tampa Bay. He is 9-2 (11-6 on the money line) with an ERA of 3.33 in 17 career starts against the Rays. The Yankees are 4-1 in his last 5 starts against the Rays and 4-1 in his last 5 starts overall. Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb has been hit hard in 2 of his last 3 starts and the Rays have lost both of his starts versus the Yankees. Bet New York.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Jack JonesFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco Giants -117
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The San Francisco Giants should be a much heavier home favorite tonight over the Arizona Diamondbacks. By winning 11 of their last 14 games, the Giants (77-58) have grabbed a stranglehold on the NL West division lead.
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Ryan Vogelsong remains one of the most underrated starters in the game, and this line is a reflection of that. The right-hander is 12-7 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.193 WHIP in 25 starts this season, including 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.129 WHIP in 13 home starts.
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Ian Kennedy has struggled for much of the year after a solid 2011 campaign. Arizona's right-hander is 12-11 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.322 WHIP in 27 starts this season. Vogelsong is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.080 WHIP in five career starts against Arizona.
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The Diamondbacks are 2-9 in their last 11 games overall. Arizona is 1-6 in Kennedy's last 7 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. The Giants are 40-11 in their last 51 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. San Francisco is 8-1 in Vogelsong's last 9 starts as a home favorite. Bet the Giants Tuesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Joe GavazziFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay -125FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Yankees remain atop the division holding narrow leads of a single game over Baltimore and just 2½ games against T-Bay. The Rays are not only chasing NYY for the division lead, but also trail Baltimore by 1½ games in the Wild Card race. It sets up a classic Hunter vs. the Hunted scenario with 2 teams going opposite directions. NYY sends Garcia to the mound who has a 4.90 ERA and has failed to reach the 5th inning in either of his last 2 starts. NYY has won just 4/13 recent games. T-Bay has made a nice 2nd half surge of 23-12. In that span they have won 6 consecutive Cobb starts. In that time he has posted a 3.38 ERA.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

David Banks

Angels / A's Under 7.5

The Los Angeles Angels (72-63) kept their wild card hopes alive by beating the Oakland Athletics (76-58) 8-3 on Monday, and the two teams now continue their three-game series on Tuesday at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 10:05 ET. The A's still lead the wild card race by one game over the equally surprising Baltimore Orioles, but the Halos pulled to within 4 games of Oakland with Monday's win and they are now 3 games behind Baltimore for the last wild card spot.

The Angels appeared to be dead in the water less than two weeks ago, but they have gotten back in the mix by winning six of their last seven games, getting some help from the schedule-makers as they beat up on the dead Red Sox and the punchless Mariners prior to yesterday's series opener here. Los Angeles now looks to get closer with Zach Greinke on the mound, and truth be told, he has been a disappointment since coming to the Angels from the Milwaukee Brewers of the National League. Greinke is 3-2 in seven starts in an Angel uniform, but he has a 4.82 ERA with American League batters hitting .271 off of him. He does have a good ratio of 40 strikeouts against 17 walks in 46.2 innings, but he has already allowed seven home runs in seven starts in the AL after allowing seven homers in 21 starts while with Milwaukee. The good news is that after recording only one Quality Start in his first five outings with the Angels, he is now coming off of back-to-back such outings while allowing a total of three runs and 10 hits with 12 strikeouts in 14.2 innings vs. the Red Sox and Tigers. Greinke did not fare so well when he started vs. the A's in Oakland on August 8th, as he allowed four earned runs on six hits plus an alarming five walks in just five innings.

Oakland remains one of the biggest surprises in baseball as the A's still sit 18 games over .500 despite ranking second to last in the Major Leagues with a .237 batting average. However, that average is up to .290 over the last 10 games including a robust .307 vs. right-handed pitchers, thanks to a 20-2 win over the Red Sox on Friday. In fact, the A's were suddenly averaging 10.0 runs per game in their previous six games before being brought back down to earth by the Halos Monday. Jarrod Parker gets the start on Tuesday and the rookie is having a fine initial campaign at 9-7 with a 3.72 ERA, although his command could be better as he has 55 walks against 107 strikeouts in 140.1 innings. Parker is also coming off of a tough outing vs. the normally light-hitting Indians as he allowed five earned runs on eight hits in five innings. He as faced the Angels twice with mixed results, allowing only one run and five hits in seven innings the first time he faced them, but four runs on nine hits in 6,2 innings the second time with both starts coming here in Oakland.

Oakland is 6-4 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings this season, and most of those games have been low scoring with the 'under' going 8-2. Also, the Athletics are an incredible 25-5 in their last 30 home games vs. right-handed starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Ross KingFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston Astros vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5
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Pittsburgh is 16-6 at home versus Houston the last 3 seasons including 6-1 this year.Houston is 2-14 as road underdogs of +175 to +200.Houston is 14-53 on the road and versus teams with a winning record in the second half of the season currently 4-25.Houston starting pitcher Lyles has a chance for the first time to win two consecutive road wins after previously going 0-10 with a 6.99 e.r.a. but it will not be easy as he is 0-2 with an 8.04 e.r.a versus Pittsburgh and his only start in Pittsburgh gave up 7 runs in 4 innings.While his opponent and former teammate Rodriquez is coming off his best start as a Pirate.Take Pittsburgh on the runline in an absolutely must win game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Scott Delaney

My free winner is on the Seattle Mariners tonight against the visiting - and struggling - Boston Red Sox.

As I told you last night, it's a real shame to watch the Red Sox fold this far before the end of the season... (tongue in cheek, said the New York Yankees fans). But seriously, it's not looking good at all, even after the fire sale that sent a couple of Boston's big guns to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox have lost seven straight and are now in Seattle, where the Mariners have done some damage.

Seattle, which has won 13 of 19 overall, has won 18 of its last 22 at Safeco. And even though the Red Sox have won nine of the last 14 meetings, it must say something to know the oddsmakers have made Seattle a small underdog against Boston.

The Crimson Hose have lost the first seven games of their nine-game, nine-day road trip, and have scored two runs or less in each game after being outscored 49-11. This one doesn't get any easier for Boston, which is why I'm taking Seattle.

2♦ SEATTLE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Craig Davis

My free play run stands at 71-48.

For Tuesday, free play is the New York Yankees.

The Yankees always have to make it interesting, don't they? After owning a 10-game lead in the AL East back on July 18, they have fumbled their way to a mere one-game lead over Baltimore with a few weeks remaining in the season.

Since the All-Star break, the Yanks are just 24-25 and have struggled with runners in scoring position and have struggled to stay healthy.

Alex Rodriguez is finally back... and wouldn't you know, on the same day he comes back they may have lost Robinson Cano to a strained hamstring. This is all with Mark Texeira also out with injury.

It's amazing, honestly, that they've been able to keep their heads above water like they have, but tonight they need a masterful performance from Freddy Garcia to hopefully give themselves some breathing room in the division.

Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.39 ERA) gets the start for the Rays tonight, coming off a less-than-stellar performance Wednesday in Texas, allowing four runs on eight hits in under five innings of work. He lost his only start of the season against the Bronx Bombers, allowing four runs in seven innings of a 4-1 loss back in early June.

Freddy Garcia (7-5, 4.90), who likely won't pitch more than six innings, was fairly impressive in his last outing, going five innings allowing two runs in the Yankees 4-2 win over Cleveland. He is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts versus the Rays, and he's a crafty veteran who knows the importance of this game.

I'll take my chances with the Yankees as your free play of the day.

3♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Jeff Benton

Your Tuesday freebie is the Baltimore Orioles against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Baltimore opened the "battle of the birds" yesterday with a 4-0 blank-job to pull to within one game of the division lead in the A.L. East. The Orioles have now won 20 of their last 28 games overall, and tonight's starter Zach Britton is searching for his fourth straight winning start.

Britton is on a 3-0 run with just three earned runs allowed in over 21 innings of work. Hard to believe both Britton and the O's are not getting a little more respect against a Toronto team that has lost their last three, and are just 60-74 for the season.

The Orioles have won the last three season series meetings, and six of the last nine overall in the season series.

Carlos Villanueva will counter for the Blue Jays and while Villanueva is coming off a win his last trip, he is just 1-4 overall his last six starts.

Baltimore is feeling it right now, and I am not about to go against them.

O's do it again.

4♦ BALTIMORE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Tuesday night is going to be the Washington Nationals on the Run Line, over the visiting Chicago Cubs.

With a 6-1/2 game lead in the National League East, the Nationals know this is an important time to win. There is a sense of urgency right now, especially with young ace Stephen Strasburg expected to make only two more starts.

And with that mentality, you're going to see that explosive offense take off this week. Right now the Nats are batting .330 with 41 runs during a 5-1 stretch, and even though they opened this series with a slim 2-1 win Monday night, those bats are sure to get going against young Chris Rusin.

The left-hander will be making just his second big league start, after making his Major League debut on Aug. 21 against the Brewers. At Triple-A Iowa, the lefty was 8-9 with a 4.55 ERA over 25 starts.

And since the Nationals have averaged 6.8 runs per game over their last six games, I think the youngen is going to be in trouble tonight.

2♦ WASHINGTON -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Chuck O'Brien

In a pitching rematch between Jeremy Guthrie and Matt Harrison, my money is on the Kansas City Royals tonight over the Texas Rangers, as my free pick for Tuesday.

That's why I want you listing both. Guthrie and Harrison met one month ago, right here in Kansas City, and Kansas City's right-hander tossed a quality start - lasting six innings and allowing just three earned runs while scattering six hits and striking out four.

Since then, spanning five starts, he's produced four quality starts. The only bad start was in Boston, where he allowed six earned runs over 2-2/3 innings. In the other four starts: 30 innings pitched, one earned run allowed and 26 strikeouts.

He's fully capable of taking on the Rangers, and sezing the opportunity to shut down that offense. Especially with revenge on the brain.

Harrison lost his previous start, to the Rays, and went 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA in August. Against Kansas City, he's made five starts and one relief appearance in his career and has a 4.25 ERA against them.

So even though the Rangers' 14-6 record at Kauffman Stadium since 2008 gives them the highest winning percentage (.700) of any American League team at that park over that span, keep in mind last night's win evened the teams' season series, 3-3.

Look for Kansas City to pull off the shocker in this one, and be sure to list both.

1♦ KANSAS CITY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Matt Rivers

Yesterday I gave you a comp play winner on Seattle, and I will come right back with the Mariners in the underdog role tonight against Boston.

Let's face it, this season cannot end soon enough for the Red Sox who have now lost seven in a row on this road trip.

Boston has not endured an eight game losing streak in eleven years, but with Seattle on a 17-3 run at Safeco Field, there is a strong chance the BoSox will hit that magical eight game slide after tonight's nine innings.

Jon Lester will start for Boston, and he had a three start winning streak snapped his last trip to the hill. Seattle counters with Blake Beavan who is on a solid 5-2 run in his eight starts since the All-Star break.

Pitching at Safeco Field seems to be the right tonic for Seattle, as their staff sports a 2.30 ERA their last 20 games in the Emerald City.

At this price, I see no reason why you should not back the Mariners as they send the Red Sox to their first eight game losing streak since the 2001 season.

3♦ SEATTLE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

SPORTS WAGERS

SEATTLE +124 over Boston

Jon Lester is a superior to Blake Beavan. When Lester is on his game, he can be downright dominating. The quotable Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical” and that brings us to the current state of the Red Sox. Their collective minds are elsewhere. They’ve lost seven in a row and have been outscored 55-16 over that stretch. Boston has scored two runs or less in five straight. They’re 9-23 over their past 32 games and Jon Lester is right there with them.

Lester’s mind has been elsewhere practically the entire year. He’s 8-11 with a 5.01 ERA and his xERA over the past month is 5.81. He’s checked out also. He’s proven that he’s not going to be an intense pitcher with focus out there when his teammates aren’t giving it their all. Because of their state of mind, the Red Sox have become one of the most beatable clubs in the league.

Meanwhile, the Mariners continue to thrive. They’ve now won 13 of 19. After spending a month with AAA-Tacoma, Beavan returned to Seattle and has produced. In nine starts, he is 6-2 with a 3.90 (3.55 xERA) ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 58 IP. The Mariners don’t want the season to end. They’re coming to the park expecting to win. Their frame of mind gives them a much better chance to succeed while Boston’s frame of mind gives them a much better chance to fail. Boston is fade material, period.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

Wunderdog

Milwaukee at Miami
Pick: Miami +100

I'm not sure which of these teams have had the more disappointing season. Both teams thought that they would be playing meaningful games come September, but such is not the case for either of them. Milwaukee had trouble winning on the road with a much better team a year ago. This year they have struggled even more at 24-41. Miami took the opener 7-3. Shaun Marcum was looking like a player to be dealt before the trade deadline, but his command has been off. Since coming off the DL he has not gotten an out after the fifth inning, and the Brewers' pen is awful. The Milwaukee pen has blown an amazing 26 saves on the season, worst in baseball, and that pen should see plenty of action in this one. Milwaukee is just 5-14 in Marcum's last 19 starts. Play on Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 4

MLB Predictions

Rockies / Braves Over 8

The Braves won the first game of this series yesterday with a 6-1 final score. The win moved Atlanta to 76-59 on the season (38-31 at home) and good for 2nd in the NL East. Colorado dropped to 55-78 on the season. Note that the Rockies have scored 8+ runs in 5 of their last 7 games. The Braves have scored 5+ runs in 3 of their last 4 games and 5 of their last 9. Rockies will send Drew Pomeranz to the mound who is 1-8 with a 5.13 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and .261 opponents batting average. Although his home field is a hitter friendly park, Pomeranz has a slightly higher road ERA at 5.34. In August over 6 starts he posted a 5.40 ERA. Tommy Hanson will be on the rubber for Atlanta and he has had his struggles lately. He is 12-7 on the season with a 4.45 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, and .275 opponents batting average, but in 6 July starts he had a 6.21 ERA and in 3 August starts (due to injury) he had a 5.74 ERA. In his latest outing he went just 4.2 innings giving up 8 hits and 3 earned runs. His ERA is a higher 4.81 ERA at home where opponents are hitting .295 against him. Take note that the OVER is 5-2-1 in Hanson's last 8 starts overall. The OVER is 8-2-1 in these two teams last 11 meetings, and 15-6-3 in their last 24 meetings in Atlanta. Considering the two pitchers we have on the mound and that neither team is really struggling scoring runs I like the value we have with this lower total at 8 - take the OVER.


Seattle Mariners +114

Seattle's 4-1 win yesterday marked the 7th straight loss for Boston as they fall to 62-74 on the season (30-36 on the road). Boston has scored just 16 runs in their last 7 games. The win for Seattle moved them to 66-70 on the season and 35-32 at home. Seattle is now 13-6 over their last 19 games overall, while the Red Sox are just 7-19 in their last 26 games. Jon Lester is on the mound for Boston and he is 8-11 on the year with a 5.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and .273 opponents batting average. In his last outing he managed to last 8 innings but he gave up 9 hits and 5 earned runs. Blake Beavan is starting for Seattle and he is 9-8 on the year with 4.95 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and .279 opponents batting average. In his last start he went 7 innings giving up just 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Beavan followed up a solid July where he held a 3.05 ERA with a pretty good August going 3-2 with a 4.38 ERA. Note that the Mariners are 11-10 in games where Beavan has started, while the Red Sox are just 11-16 in games Lester has started. The Red Sox are 0-8 in their last 8 road games, 3-13 in their last 16 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game, 6-21 in their last 27 vs AL West opponents, and 2-6 in Lester's last 8 starts as a favorite. The Mariners are 19-7 in their last 26 home games, 15-1 in their last 16 home games vs a team with a losing road record, and 4-1 in their last 5 vs a team with a left handed starter. The Mariners are also 5-0 in Beavan's last 5 starts vs a team with a losing record, and 4-1 in his last 5 starts following a quality start in his last outing. Seattle is 5-2 in their last 7 home games vs Boston. The Red Sox have scored 2 or fewer runs in their last 5 games and have been downright bad lately. I will take Seattle who has played well at home and as of late overall as underdogs tonight.


New York Mets +138

St Louis won yesterday's opening game of the series 5-4. The Cardinals have won just 2 of their last 7 games, while the Mets are 7-2 in their last 9 games. Take note that the Cardinals have scored 3 or fewer runs in 5 of their last 7 games (all losses). Matt Harvey will be on the mound for New York and he has been stellar. Harvey is 3-3 on the season with a 2.76 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and .197 opponents batting average. Over his last three starts he is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and he has struck out 23 batters. 5 of his 7 starts have been on the road this year, and he has a 2.97 ERA over those starts. Jaime Garcia is starting for St Louis and he is 3-6 on the season with a 4.52 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and .299 opponents batting average. Although Garcia has pitched much better at home (3.10 ERA), overall he is having a rough year since a gerat April start. In the past three months his lowest monthly ERA is 4.66. Note that the Mets are 4-1 in their last 5 as an underdog, and 5-2 in their last 7 road games. The Cardinals are 0-5 in Garcia's last 5 starts and just 1-4 in his last 5 home starts. Tonight's play is backing a pitcher who has been exceptional as of late in front of a Mets team that has won 7 of their last 9. Take the Mets as underdogs.

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