Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

DUNKEL INDEX

Toronto at Baltimore
The Blue Jays look to take advantage of a Baltimore team that is 1-4 in its last 5 games as a home favorite. Toronto is the pick (+165) according to Dunkel, which has the Blue Jays favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+165)

Game 901-902: LA Dodgers at San Diego (6:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Harang) 15.409; San Diego (Richard) 14.735
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: San Diego (-125); 7
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (+105); Over

Game 903-904: Washington at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Lannan) 15.369; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 16.092
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-140); Under

Game 905-906: Milwaukee at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Marcum) 15.170; Cincinnati (Arroyo) 14.867
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+115); Over

Game 907-908: Pittsburgh at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Locke) 14.685; NY Mets (Hefner) 14.370
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-110); Under

Game 909-910: Miami at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Johnson) 15.877; Atlanta (Maholm) 15.345
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 911-912: St. Louis at Houston (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Carpenter) 15.940; Houston (Norris) 13.417
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-180); 8
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-180); Over

Game 913-914: Chicago Cubs at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Berken) 14.472; Colorado (Pomeranz) 13.972
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Colorado (-130); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+110); Over

Game 915-916: Arizona at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Miley) 15.543; San Francisco (Cain) 16.682
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-150); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-150); Under

Game 917-918: NY Yankees at Minnesota (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Sabathia) 15.780; Minnesota (Deduno) 14.763
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-210); 8
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-210); Over

Game 919-920: Toronto at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Villanueva) 15.263; Baltimore (Gonzalez) 14.650
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-185); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+165); Under

Game 921-922: Kansas City at Detroit (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Guthrie) 14.730; Detroit (Porcello) 15.500
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-160); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-160); Under

Game 923-924: Tampa Bay at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Cobb) 15.252; Boston (Lester) 15.763
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+105); Over

Game 925-926: Oakland at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Parker) 15.828; Texas (Perez) 15.287
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-135); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+115); Under

Game 927-928: Cleveland at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Masterson) 14.824; White Sox (Santiago) 15.848
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 929-930: Seattle at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Hernandez) 15.889; LA Angels (Wilson) 15.542
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-140); 7
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+120); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Steve MerrilFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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NY Yankees vs. Minnesota
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The Yankees continue to hold off the Orioles as they hope to win the A.L. East.  They play an afternoon affair against the Twins on Wednesday.  Samuel Deduno makes his first ever start against the Bronx Bombers.  He is 6-5 with a 4.54 ERA in 14 starts for Minnesota.  Deduno has allowed 13 runs and 13 hits in his last three starts; he has struggled to get out of the fourth inning in his last two games.  Deduno has had control issues in the past and that will not help while facing a patient team like the Yankees.  New York is hitting .262 in the daytime while scoring 5.2 runs per game.  They have scored 4 runs or more in four straight games and in five of their last six games overall.  Minnesota's bullpen has 18 losses and 12 blown saves so they can be beaten should they be called upon.
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CC Sabathia is 13-6 with a 3.47 ERA in 26 starts for the Yankees with 16 of those games going Over the total.  On the road, the lefty is 7-2 with a 4.17 ERA and 10 Overs in 14 starts.  He had given up 9 runs and 14 hits over a 2-game stretch before shutting out the Athletics over eight innings in his last start.  Jamey Carroll (3-8) and Alexi Casilla (10-18) hit the Yankees’ starter well.  The Twins are hitting right around .260 in their last eight games and right around .280 at home.  The Yankees’ bullpen has shown a leak or two as of late so the Twins could get to them if need be.  These two teams have played four Overs in their five games this season, and we expect another high-scoring game on Wednesday afternoon.

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David ChanFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington vs. Philadelphia
Pick: Philadelphia
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The Nationals' (93-61) John Lannan (3-0, 4.43 ERA) is set to square off against the Phillies' (78-76) Kyle Kendrick (10-11, 3.89 ERA) on the mound this evening.
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Lannan gave up six runs in 3 2/3's frames of work vs. the Dodgers in his last start, very lucky to earn a no-decision for his brutal effort. Unfortunately for Lannan, a date vs. the Phillies is NOT what the doctor ordered, as he's 2-12 with a deplorable 5.79 ERA in 17 career starts vs. them.
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Kendrick has gotten stronger as the season has worn on, coming into this contest having gone 6-2 with a 2.17 ERA over his last eight starts. He's rung up 43 K's to just eight walks in that stretch. Unlike his counterpart, Kendrick has had tremendous success vs. the Nationals, going 2-1 with a very respectable 2.21 ERA in his last six starts in the series.
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I gave the Phillies as a free play yesterday, and I like them once again this evening. They sit 5.5 games behind St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot with eight games to play.
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This is a clear pitching mis-match in my estimation, and I actually feel that Kendrick and home side should in fact be much bigger favs.
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As a result, I have no problem in recommending to lay what I deem to be a very reasonable price!

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Matt FargoFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona vs. San Francisco
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The Giants dropped the opener of this series last night and they have now lost two straight games since going on a 10-1 run to clinch the National League West. Winning may not seem like a priority at this point with the playoffs already in hand but two things can debate that. The last thing San Francisco wants to do is go into the postseason riding some negative momentum and the best record in the National League is still on the line so playoff seedings are still up for grabs. The Giants are now 9-1 in their last 10 games as favorites and they are 26-6 in their last 32 games after scoring two runs or less in their previous game. Matt Cain continues to dominate as he looks to be getting even stronger as the season winds down. He has allowed more than two runs only once in his last eight starts while posting a 2.45 ERA over that stretch. He has been incredible at home with a 2.17 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 14 starts and this will be his first start against Arizona at home this season. Cain is 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA in his last eight home starts against the Diamondbacks and the Giants are 21-9 in his last 30 starts as a home favorite between -110 and -150. Arizona is still mathematically alive in the Wild Card chase but it will a minor miracle to get in as it is 5.5-games back with three other teams either tied or in front. The Diamondbacks have been playing very good down the stretch as the offense has been producing huge but tonight will be a big test against Cain. They send Wade Miley to the hill and while he has had a very good season, he has struggled of late. He has a 5.34 ERA over his last five starts and he has allowed five runs in each of his last two starts on the road. His last quality start in fact came against the Giants but that was at home and Arizona has not fared well in these spots as it is 0-5 in his last five starts against teams with a winning record.

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Rob VincilettiFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies    
Play: Philadelphia PhilliesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Phillies fit a nice system that has cashed 40 of 55 times the last 9 years as we play on certain home favorites off a -140 or higher home favored win by 2 or more runs while scoring 5 or more runs in a game where the total was 8 or less and the opponent is off a 2+ run road loss and scored 4 or less runs with 5 or more men left on base and had no errors. Lannan for the Nationals has a 3-14 record vs Philadelphia and has allowed 10 runs in his last 8 innings here. Kendrick for the Phillies has been solid vs Washington allowing just 5 runs in his last 3 starts spanning 19 innings vs the Nationals. With the Phillies playing hard this month and winning 15 of 22 we will back the once against here tonight. Take Philadelphia.

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Dave CokinFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies
Pick: Colorado Rockies
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Two teams running out the string here. Drew Pomeranz has been shaky of late for Colorado, but I can see him limiting the Cubs. Jason Berken is throwing almost all fastballs with an occasional change. Can't see that working at Coors, where mixing it up and getting some deception is of paramount importance. I'll go Rockies here.

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Jim FeistFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies
Pick: Colorado Rockies
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The Cubs have young Jason Berken going in Coors Field, a tough place to pitch. The Cubs are 16-36 in their last 52 overall and 16-43 in their last 59 road games. Chicago comes to town with a terrible offense, 28th in runs scored and on base percentage, while the Rockies are a Top 10 offense, sixth in runs scored and OBP, fourth in slugging. The Rockies are 8-2 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning percentage of less than .400 and the Cubs are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings in Colorado. Play the Colorado Rockies!

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MLB Predictions

Los Angeles Angels - 136

The Angels pushed their winning streak to 4 games last night with a 5-4 victory over the Mariners. Seattle struck out 20 times in the loss, with Grienke going 5 innings allowing 1 run against with 13 strikeouts. Los Angeles is 85-69 (45-34 at home) and they are looking to make a run for a Wild Card spot, while the Mariners are 72-82 (34-42) and looking to play spoiler. Take note that the Mariners have scored just 21 runs over their last 8 games (2.63 runs per game), while Los Angeles has scored 19 runs over their 4 game winning streak (4.75 per game). On the mound for Seattle tonight is Felix Hernandez who is 13-8 with a 2.85 ERA on the season. His ERA is a bit higher on the road at 3.46, while his September ERA through 4 starts is 6.38 (and he has an 0-3 record over those 4 starts). C.J Wilson takes the rubber for Los Angeles and he is 12-10 on the season with a 3.82 ERA. He is 5-6 at home with a slightly better 3.69 ERA, and he is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA over 4 September starts. Take note that the Mariners are 2-6 in their last 8 games, 1-4 in their last 5 road games, and 0-4 in Hernandez' last 4 starts. The Angels are 19-7 in their last 26 games overall, 17-5 in their last 22 games following a win, and 5-1 in Wilson's last 6 starts. Head to head the Mariners are just 16-39 in their last 55 meetings overall, and 17-42 in their last 59 meetings in Los Angeles. Seattle is just 3-10 in Hernandez' last 13 starts vs LAA. With Felix being shaky lately and the Mariners putting up few runs I expect Wilson to step up in a big game and the Angels to get a victory they desperately need for their post season hopes. Take Los Angeles at home on the moneyline.

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Toronto +159 over BALTIMORE
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The Orioles were supposed to beat Ricky Romero and Aaron Laffey these past two days but instead lost them both, being outscored 13-5. Pressure heightens here and things won’t get easier against Toronto’s Carlos Villanueva.
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Villanueva has worked exclusively as a starter in the 2H. He has solid numbers right across the board, including 115 K’s in 121 innings to go along with a 3.95 xERA. This righty has a history of consistency and good numbers and surely warrants a close look against an Orioles team that has overachieved all year and is now feeling the heat.
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Miguel Gonzalez has done exactly what the team he’s pitching for has done - overachieve.  At age 28, Gonzalez has worked diligently to get to the big leagues. However, the numbers suggest that he’s pitched over his head and the reality of pro sports does not always provide a happy ending. Gonzalez’s ERA has been fed by unsustainable hit and strand percentages. A decisive fly-ball % lean shows more trouble. His more pedestrian xERA (4.46) is an indication of Gonzalez' true talent. The end result here is an overvalued pitcher looking to help snap his club out of a mini-funk and we surely prefer to be on the other side of that.
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COLORADO -1½ +153 over Chicago
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The Cubs played spoiler. They took five out of seven games against the Pirates to destroy their playoff hopes, swept the Reds and took two of three from the Cardinals. They now go back to being insignificant and promptly dropped the first game of this series 10-5 in 7-inning shortened game last night. Expect more of the same here with Jason Berken on the hill.
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Berken is a recent waiver-wire claim that could not stick in the Orioles rotation or bullpen and subsequently posted middling skills at Baltimore’s AAA affiliate. In just 11 innings with Colorado, he’s posted an xERA of 5.75. He walks too many, he gives up too many long balls and he’s simply not major-league ready.
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Drew Pomeranz is 1-9 with a 5.30 ERA. That’s not pretty but it allows us to back a strongly undervalued pitcher against a lousy team with a take back that is too juicy to pass up on. Pomeranz came into the big leagues with plenty of hype but has not delivered. He’s now entering post-hype profit territory. He posted excellent strikeout rates in both July and August, as well as good command. His skills vs. LH bats have been as good as any in the league with a .192 BAA and 50% groundball rate. This is a true buy low pitcher against a weak-hitting and unmotivated team.
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Oakland +130 over TEXAS
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The Rangers are a comfortable four games ahead of the A’s in the division with just eight games remaining but Oakland is still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot, as they’re tied with the Orioles for a Wild Card spot. The A’s have played the Rangers tough all season and there’s nothing to suggest this one will be any different.
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Jarrod Parker has enjoyed a nice season in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery (3.40 ERA, 1.26 WHIP). His base skills have lagged behind for a good portion of the year but in the 2H have been much better. Parker is walking less while striking out more. His groundball rate has gone from average (40%) to solid (46%) and as a result, he’s worth an investment against Martin Perez.
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Perez received this promotion due to an injury to Roy Oswalt and the ineffectiveness of Scott Feldman. He picked up the pieces of Feldman's rough outing with 4.1 scoreless innings (1 BB, 5 K) on September 15.  Little else suggests Perez is ready for a promotion. At Triple-A Round Rock, Perez struggled with his strikeout rate and command all season with an ugly 69/56 K/BB over 127 IP. Dating back to June 30, the Rangers have dropped all eight games he’s appeared in over that span, suggesting they like him as a mop-up guy. If management prefers him in that role, we’re not about to spot a tag with him starting.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

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Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers +110
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The Dodgers quick start in April and into May quickly eroded into a nightmare, as they began to struggle offensively. They stand 4.5 games out in the last wildcard position, and will likely have to run the table going forward to have a shot. Aaron Harang certainly is a good option to get things done tonight. Over his last eight starts Harang has not produced a single one where he has allowed more than 3 runs. Clayton Richard has pitched six straight winners for the Padres, however his last five starts hardly show justification as he has pitched to a 4.22 ERA in them. The Dodgers’ best road spot has been against left-handed pitching where they are 10-3 in their last 13. The Padres are just 4-9 in Richard's last 13 home starts vs. a winning team. Back the Dodgers in this one.

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Jack JonesFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cincinnati Reds -130
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The Cincinnati Reds (93-61) are tied with the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League. They certainly want home-field advantage and won't be taking the Milwaukee Brewers lightly tonight. Milwaukee is 4.5 games back of the final wild-card spot with eight games to play, and it realizes its chances of making the playoffs are slim to none.
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Bronson Arroyo is having a solid season at 12-8 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.194 WHIP over 30 starts. He has been even more dominant of late, going 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his last three outings. He'll be up against Shaun Marcum, who has posted a 6.00 ERA and 1.400 WHIP in his last three starts.
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Arroyo is 13-8 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.219 WHIP in 25 career starts against Milwaukee. Marcum has never beaten Cincinnati, going 0-1 (0-3 on the money line) with a 4.07 ERA and 1.302 WHIP in three career starts against the Reds.
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The Brewers are 16-40 in their last 56 games as an underdog of +110 to +150. Milwaukee is 1-5 in Marcum's last 6 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. The Reds are 45-18 in their last 63 games as a favorite. Cincinnati is 7-2 in Arroyo's last 9 starts as a favorite. Bet the Reds Wednesday.

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Dave PriceFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LA Angels -134
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The Mariners are 0-4 in Felix Hernandez's last 4 starts, 3-10 in his last 13 starts versus the Angels and 1-7 in his last 8 road starts versus them. The Angels are 5-1 in Wilson's last 6 starts, and he is 8-3 on the money line in 11 career starts against the Mariners. Bet the Halos.

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Jimmy BoydFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco Giants -145
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The Giants have the edge on the pitcher's mound with ace Matt Cain, who's 15-5 (20-10 on the money line) with an ERA of 2.86. The Giants have won seven of his last eight starts, and he has given up 2 runs or fewer seven times during this span. Cain has especially been sharp at home where he has an ERA of 2.17. It is also worth noting that the Giants are 9-3 in his last 12 starts versus Diamondbacks and 7-1 in his last 8 home starts against them.
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Wade Miley has had a good season for Arizona, but his numbers don't quite stack up to Cain's. He is 15-10 (16-11 on the money line) with an ERA of 3.25. He hasn't been as sharp on the road where he has an ERA of 3.67 and enters in a bit of a rough patch, as evidenced by the 6.38 ERA he's posted over his last three starts. The Diamondbacks are 0-5 in Miley's last 5 starts versus a team with a winning record. Take the Giants.

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Jeff AlexanderFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles Angels -134
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Seattle's Felix Hernandez hasn't been as sharp lately, and the Mariners have lost each of his last four starts as a result. He has struggled against the Angels this season, allowing five runs in each of his three starts against them. The M's are just 3-10 in his last 13 starts against the Halos. Bet LAA on the money line.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

OC Dooley

Nationals / Phillies Over 8.5

Many reading this analysis are most likely aware that the rotation spot currently occupied by John Lannan is actually the position that was held by Washington ace Stephen Strasburg (innings limit) before he was shut down.  Odds are for the Nationals to be successful this evening they will have to produce more offense especially since Lannan’s career record against Philadelphia (2-12) is a disaster.  For those who watch this ESPN2 telecast keep an eye out for Washington nineteen year old Bryce Harper who in 7 career appearances inside Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park has an astronomical batting average (.370).  On the other side of the ledger the Phillies offense receive d a boost in the outfield last night as rookie Darin Ruf swatted a homerun.  Ruf actually led all minor leaguers this season in HOMERS (38) and was just called up to the “big show”.  One of the reasons why they are on the brink of clinching the National League East divisional crown is that for most of the season Washington has had the best starting rotation ERA in the majors, but since the shut down of Strasburg the Nationals are now having problems coming out on the winning end of the scoreboard as the pitching statistics have suffered.  For the entire season to date when off 3 consecutive games that made it above the posted spot, Washington is 20-9 OVER the total

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Scott Delaney

I'm on a 12-4 run with my free selections, and tonight my money is on the Detroit Tigers Run Line, as I see them blowing things up tonight against the Kansas City Royals.

Still tied atop the American League Central division, I think the Tigers are playing much better than their co-leaders, the Chicago White Sox. And one night after Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 to pace his three-hitter last night in a 2-0 win over Kansas City, I think we're going to see a similar performance by Rick Porcello, and quite possibly a bigger performance by Detroit's lineup.

The Tigers, who have outscored the Royals 38-18 while going 6-1 against them at Comerica Park, come into this one having won 36 of their last 51 home games.

I know Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie is 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA in nine starts ssince Aug. 3, but the Tigers have won 10 of the last 14 meetings overall. And this is a great spot for Porcello, who is 0-6 with a 4.42 ERA since Aug. 7. This is the perfect time for him to step up and nab a win for hit team, against a team he's done well against, going 5-3 in his career against the Royals.

Take Detroit on the Run Line.

3♦ DETROIT -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Chuck O'Brien

I'm on a 111-81-3 run with my free picks, and tonight I want you playing the Colorado Rockies over the Chicago Cubs in a battle of also-rans who aren't going to be in the playoffs, but still offer value with this National League showdown in Denver, Colorado at Coors Field.

Make note this has nothing to ndo with the starting pitchers tonigt, so I don't wan you bother listing either one - Chicago's Jason Berken and Colorado's Drew Pomeranz. After all, the main thing that attracted me was the Cubs losing three straight, not to mention seven of their last eight.

It's not exactly a great time for the Cubbies, who opened up this road trip with last night's 10-5 thumping, which happened to be the Rockies' second-straight win after losing nine in a row. And here's what sad about that game, Mother Nature may have saved the Cubbies from further humiliation.

The game was shortened by rain, otherwise there's no telling how much more the Rockies would have put on the board. Matt McBride hit a three-run home run, Josh Rutledge and Tyler Colvin both had a pair of RBI and DJ LeMahieu finished a home run short of the cycle.

Chicago took two of three from the Rockies at home from Aug. 24-26, and I think the Mile High boys are looking to return the favor in this series. Shouldn't be too difficult, either, as the Rockies roll in on winning runs of 6-2 against National League Central teams and 9-4 when hosting a righty starter. On the other hand, the Cubbies are mired in skids of 3-10 versus N.L. West teams, 16-44 while ordering room service and 16-37 overall.

Lay the cheap chalk with Colorado.

2♦ COLORADO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Craig Davis

77-63 free play run.

For Wednesday, free play on the Seattle Mariners over the L.A. Angels.

The Angels have won four in a row and 23 of 32 following last night's 5-4 win over Seattle, but I'm looking for the Mariners to put a halt to their winning ways with Felix Hernandez on the hill tonight in Anaheim.

Hernandez, who has a 3.21 career ERA in 14 starts at LA, is coming off a strong eight-inning outing against Baltimore last Wednesday in which he allowed one run and fanned eight batters. And tonight I'm getting one of the most dominant pitchers in the majors as a +125 to +130 underdog.

LA's C.J. Wilson is coming off yet another dreadful start as he allowed three runs and walked three batters in 2.2 innings of a loss to the Rangers at home last week. His ERA over his last seven starts is 6.55.

Enough said!

2♦ SEATTLE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Jeff Benton

Your Wednesday freebie is the Under in the Marlins-Braves game.

4 straight free play winners after Tampa Bay and Boston stayed low last night, and after the Braves clinched a post season berth with a walk-off win last night, expect them to rest some starters tonight as the total of this game stays low.

These teams have gone 5-1-1 Under the total the last seven times they have played this season, and with Josh Johnson and Paul Maholm scheduled to go, that number could easily move to 6-1-1 after this one is in the books.

Johnson may not have the winning record the Marlins had hoped for, but it is hard to argue his 2.29 ERA in 19-plus innings of work against the Braves this season. He is just 1-6 his last eight starts, but the Marlins have averaged just 2.3 runs of offense for him in that stretch.

Maholm has gone 7-3 at home this season with an ERA just over three.

Based on the 5-1-1 series Under clip, and the fact the starters have been working the mound with minimal run damage, I say take the Under in this Marlins-Braves contest tonight at the Ted.

1♦ MIAMI-ATLANTA UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday September, 26

Chris Jordan

I don't see a line yet, on the Miami Marlins-Atlanta Braves game, but I'm still going to follow up the National League Tribe's Tuesday night playoff-clinching win with another one over the slumping Marlins. I know tradition may say to lay off a team the night after it clinches, but I don't think the Braves are going to lay off tonight.

Atlanta has won three in a row, while the Marlins have lost five in a row. And with how contentious this last week is going to be, and the momentum that is easily gained with some of these teams, I can't see the Braves letting off the gas pedal.

Everything is working well right now for the Braves, who have won 15 of 21 thanks to a stellar staff ERA of 2.60 during that span. Even better for us in this game, the Braves have an uber stingy 2.19 ERA in 16 games this season against Miami, leading to 12 Atlanta wins.

Tonight we're going to see Miami's Josh Johnson versus Atlanta's Paul Maholm, and I like my chances with the Braves' left-hander, who is 7-3 with a 3.30 ERA at home.

Trust me, we have another Ozzie Guillen demise upon us, as there are players calling him out on radio, and him reportedly saying he has so many "problems in my life with the ballclub, to see why we failed." Looks like the marriage could be over after one year between Guillen and the Marlins, who many believed were going to be in the postseason.

Take the Braves big tonight. Again, I don't see a line on this contest as of 6 a.m., pacific. I suspect the line will be big enough we're going to need to play this one -1-1/2 runs.

3♦ ATLANTA

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