Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday October, 2

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday October, 2

Jeff Benton

8-2 free play run coming into Tuesday.

Your Tuesday freebie is the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis is looking to clinch the second Wild Card spot, and a win tonight against the suddenly anemic Reds would do just that.

Dusty Baker returned last night just in time for another Reds setback, as Cincy dropped the series opener by a 4-2 count. That puts the Reds are just 3-3 their last six games. While that mark is not terrible, the fact they have been held to just one or two runs in five of those six games with a .220 batting average certainly is not where you would like to be when you are looking to clinch the best record in the National League.

Mat Latos will look to improve on his 13-4 mark, but the fact he is 1-4 in six starts against the Cardinals with an over 10 ERA does not bode well for the Red Legs this Tuesday on the road.

Chris Carpenter is making just his third start back since his shoulder surgery, but his 12-1 career mark with a 2.28 ERA against Cincinnati certainly gives his team reason for optimism as they look to get back to the playoffs and defend their World Series title.

St. Louis has won 11 of their last 14 overall, and I am riding them tonight to bump that mark to 12 of 15 with a playoff-clinching win tonight.

4♦ ST. LOUIS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday October, 2

Chris Jordan

This write up may seem weird, but you'll get my point by the end of the analysis of my free pick, which is the Miami Marlins over the New York Mets.

But check this out, the Mets are handing the ball to R.A. Dickey, who will step the hill tonight, with a chance to become the first New York Met to surpass 20 wins in 27 years. The right-hander has been incredible dominant throughout the season, despite a couple of dry patches.

He is 20-6 with a 2.69 ERA on the year. This has been quite a season, a career-best, since the 37-year-old had never won more than 11 games in a season. Now he's even in the running for the National League Cy Young Award.

On top of that, he would become the first knuckleballer with at least 21 wins since Atlanta's Phil Niekro and Houston's Joe Niekro achieved the feat back in 1979.

Now, with so much riding on this decision tonight, this looks like the dream-come-true matchup to get it done, as he's compiled a 10-2 mark with a 2.75 ERA against these Marlins during his career. H's also 8-0 with a 0.92 ERA over his last eight meetings with the Marlins, including five wins against them this season.

So with all that being said, doesn't it sound like the absolute most perfect write-up for the Mets tonight?

Well, here's the thing, I had to stand back and ask myself, with all those intangibles, why isn't he laying more to the lowly Marlins? Thus, with the Mets on a three-game slide, I'm looking at the message the oddsmakers are trying to send and will side with the home underdog.

2♦ MIAMI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday October, 2

Matt Rivers

28-15 is my free play run.

Tonight I will look for a low-scoring game between the Giants and Dodgers.

Los Angeles will know whether they have a shot at the wild card spot when they are on field tonight, as the Reds-Cards game will be into the later innings by the time L.A. hits the field.

Regardless, I don't see many runs being scored here, as these teams have combined to stay Under the total in each of the last three games they have played versus each other. The Under is now 6-1-1 the past eight series meetings.

Barry Zito is rolling right now, four straight winning starts with a 2.19 ERA along the way.

Chris Capuano has struggled down the stretch, but his ERA at Dodger Stadium is still a respectable 3.10.

Have to look for the runs to be limited as the Giants and Dodgers hold Under the total on Tuesday night.

2♦ SAN FRANCISCO-LOS ANGELES UNDER

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