Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

SPORTS WAGERS

KANSAS CITY -106 over Chicago

The Royals have presented nothing but grief for the White Sox this season with 10 wins in 15 games. Now the Royals are playing their best ball of the year, as they lead the AL in runs scored in September. That a big problem for Gavin Floyd.

Floyd threw a good game against Kansas City in his only start against them this season but that was back in May. He has not pitched well after a fast start, with only seven of his last 18 starts being of the quality variety. In Floyd’s last three road starts, he’s been tagged for 23 hits in 18 innings. He’s 2-6 on the road with a 4.37 ERA and 4.95 xERA.

Most see Luke Hochevar’s 5.46 ERA, 8-13 record and his strikeout totals as another year of unfulfilled promise for the former 1st rounder. Acknowledging his inconsistent past, we still see an intriguing 1H/2H split with significant upticks in strikeout rate, command, on-base average and xERA that suggests that Hochevar can deliver the goods when he’s right. Many will question why the Royals are favored here but when we see a perceived inferior team and pitcher as chalk, it’s usually a sign to back them. Books are looking for South Side action but we're not taking the bait.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Wunderdog

Milwaukee at Pittsburgh
Pick: Pittsburgh +110

This game has vital consequences for each of these teams. They are in a dead heat for the second wildcard spot in the NL now held by St. Louis. Both of these teams sit 2.5 games behind and are on the outside looking in. The Pirates were looking good at home, but were humbled on their last road trip, but finished strong and now get the comforts of home behind 15-game winner A.J. Burnett. Burnett has been highly effective at home where his 8-3 mark and 3.08 ERA are well above average. His home ERA is more than a run better than what he has done on the road. Yovani Gallardo has matched the 15 wins by Burnett, but is just 6-5 on the road for the season. The difference here lies in two areas for the Pirates. They are home, and have a much better pen, as the Brewers’ pen has a major-league high 27 blown saves. Play on Pittsburgh.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Scott Delaney

I'm on a 8-0 run with my free picks after nailing the Chicago White Sox over the Detroit Tigers yesterday, and look to improve with the Baltimore Orioles over the Seattle Mariners tonight.

The Orioles have to like their schedule over the last couple weeks of the season. They're currently half-game back of the New York Yankees in the American League East, they are in prime position for a Wild Card spot and they have a remaining slate against teams they've had success against.

The Orioles are a combined 23-10 against the Mariners, Red Sox and Blue Jays, and if last night is any indication how this series is going to go, just sign me up through tomorrow night with these next two games.

Baltimore extended its lead for the American League's second wild-card spot to three with a 10-4 win last night over the M's.

Baltimore has won four of the last five meetings at Safeco Field, and comes in having won five of seven - including a three-game sweep over Rays just last week.

Lay the easy money with Baltimore.

5♦ BALTIMORE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Chuck O'Brien

Looking for an underdog winner in the American League West clash between the Texas Rangers and Angels of Anaheim, and I want you listing Ryan Dempster over Jered Weaver. I can't say I'm a big Dempster fan, but I can say I've been impressed with what he's been doing of late, particularly since he arrived from Chicago.

I know the Angels need to win and are handing the ball to their ace, but who's to say he's going to get the run support he'll need against a lineup like Texas' power-packed cast?

The Rangers have 16 games left on the schedule, and there are six against Los Angeles and seven against Oakland. Those 13 intradivision games are the most crucial of them all.

Ryan Dempster, who is 6-1 with the Rangers since arriving in Arlington, comes into this contest riding a five-start winning streak in which he's posted a 1.91 ERA.

Take Texas here, I think the value is with a just-as good pitcher as Weaver, and the better offense.

3♦ TEXAS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Craig Davis

Free play tonight is the New York Yankees on the Run Line.

Today's free play is on the NY Yankees on the run line over Ricky Romero and Toronto. Much like my premium analysis, I'm keeping it short and sweet today because there's really not much to say.

Romero would rather face any team in all of baseball than the NY Yankees. Toronto has given up on the season and doesn't even really care about playing spoiler.

The Yanks lead in the AL East shrunk to just a half-game last night when Baltimore defeated Seattle, 10-4, while the Yankees were off.

Tonight, veteran LHP Andy Pettitte toes the rubber for the first time in several months after recovering from a broken ankle suffered earlier in the year.

Pettitte had made nine quality starts before the injury... and now hopes to make just a few more to push the Yankees back into the playoffs. Slowly but surely the Yankees are starting to get a wee-bit healthier, and when Mark Teixeira decides to return they might be as close to 100% as they were at the beginning of the year.

Ricky Romero counters for the Blue Jays, and even despite the fact he struggles against the Yankees, you don't have to look too far to realize he's struggling as a whole.

How about sharing the Blue Jays’ franchise record with 13 consecutive losses in a single season (Tom Underwood). If/when he loses tonight, he'll have the record outright. And for the record, he owns the major's worst ERA at 5.97.

Play the Yankees on the run line as your free play of the day. Good luck.

1♦ N.Y. YANKEES -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Jeff Benton

Your Tuesday freebie is the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore picked up a half-game in the A.L. East standings last night with the 10-4 beatdown of Seattle.

The Orioles have now won six in a row over the Mariners this season, and have won five of their last seven overall to stay hot on the heels of the New York Yankees in the East Division.

Seattle has now lost seven of their last ten games overall, and saddled with that six game series losing streak versus the O's, I think it will be difficult for the M's to put together a win tonight behind the untested Erasmo Ramirez.

Wei-Yin Chen has had some struggles of late - 0-2 his last four starts - but I expect him to step up big tonight versus the struggling Mariners.

Go with Baltimore as the road favorite tonight to keep the heat on the Yankees in the A.L. East.

3♦ BALTIMORE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Chris Jordan

Won't get too long-winded on this free play tonight, this is purely a system play for me, and I figure why not take a shot here with a veteran pitcher in a familiar spot. I like Jeff Francis against Tim Lincecum in this National League West showdown.

Sure, it appears the San Francisco Giants are well on their way to winning a second National League West title in three years, but there's always room for a laydown game, against a much-worse opponent.

The Giants eked out a 2-1 win in the series opener last night, and in five series bewtween the two this year, though the Giants are 11-4 in 15 meetings, the Rockies have won at least one game in four of those series. This could be the one, there's no reason to believe otherwise.

I know Francis is 0-3 with a 10.95 ERA in his last three starts versus San Francisco, but this one he is in revenge, against Lincecum, as they just met on Sept. 12. I think he'll be much better tonight and will pitch a gem.

2♦ COLORADO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday September, 18

Matt Rivers

For Tuesday, let's go Under the total in Boston-Tampa Bay.

The bats have gone silent for the Rays, as they are batting just .215 while averaging just three runs per game their last seven outings.

Tampa has played Unders in seven of their last ten games coming into this own, while Boston has also been on pace with lower-scoring games, as the Sox have stayed Under in their last three and seven of their last eight overall.

Series numbers show seven of the last ten meetings this year between the clubs having stayed Under the posted total, and Tampa starter Jeremy Hellickson has been giving no quarter of late, sporting an ERA of 1.59 over his last three assignments.

Each of Hellickson's last six starts have stayed Under the total, as have nine of his last ten. No worries that his counterpart Felix Doubront has been getting reached of late, as Hellickson is likely to keep this game Under the total all by himself.

Play the Red Sox and Rays to hold Under this Tuesday night.

2♦ BOSTON-TAMPA BAY UNDER

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