Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Dave Price

Washington Nationals -150

The Nationals hold the edge on the hill with Gio Gonzalez. The White Sox have yet to face a left-handed starter this season and will be up against one of the best lefties in baseball tonight. Gonzalez was lights out in his first start of the season, and the Nationals are 26-9 in his last 35 starts. They are also 8-1 in his last 9 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance. Jake Peavy was good in his first start as well, but that came at home. The road has been a lot bumpier for the former NL Cy Young as the White Sox are 2-10 in his last 12 road starts and 0-5 in his last 5 starts as a road underdog. The White Sox are only 8-21 in their last 29 games as a road underdog. Take Washington.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Jeff Alexander

Chicago Cubs -110

The Brewers have really struggled against lefty starters this season. They are 0-3 against southpaw starters, and I expect their struggles to continue on the road against Chicago's Travis Wood, who dazzled in his first start, giving up just 1 hit in 6 innings of a win against Pittsburgh. Wily Peralta wasn't nearly as sharp for Milwaukee in his season debut, giving up 4 earned runs in a loss to the Rockies. The Brewers are 9-21 in their last 30 games as a road underdog. The Cubs are 4-1 in Wood's last 5 starts as a favorite. Take the Cubbies.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Jimmy Boyd

Indiana Pacers -13½

The Pacers are coming off a tough loss to Washington and will face a Cleveland team that has been plagued by injuries. This matchup falls into a system to play against a team like Cleveland when they are playing for double revenge of two straight losses against an opponent when that opponent is coming off a road loss. This system is has a long standing history of success with a 429-313 (58%) ATS record over the last five seasons.

This game falls into another system to play on a favorite that is a good team like Indiana when they are outscoring their opponents by 3 or more points per game on the season and coming off a blowout loss by 15 points or more. This system is 90-54 (63%) ATS over the last five seasons. Indiana’s defense has been solid at home holding opponents to 88.7 points per game and they offense should have no problem scoring on a Cavaliers defense that is allowing 102.5 points per game on the road. The Pacers should pick up a big win today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Jesse Schule

Philadelphia Phillies -179

The Mets hammered Roy Halladay and the Phillies last night, winning 7-2 in a blowout. They aren't likely to enjoy the same success in tonight's game, with Cliff Lee on the mound for Philadelphia.

Lee cruised through eight innings, allowing just two hits while striking out eight in his season debut. He struggled at the beginning of last season, but finished the year going 4-2 with a 1.44 ERA. He beat the Mets during that stretch, going eight innings, recording strikeouts in a 3-1 game.

The Mets will hand the ball to Dillon Gee, who was a winner in his season debut. That was against a light hitting San Diego lineup in the pitcher friendly Citi Field in New York. It could be a lot tougher in Philadelphia tonight, where Gee is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in his last four starts.

Jimmy Rollins has hit Gee hard, going 6-for-9 lifetime against the right-hander. Michael young is 2-for-3 versus Gee in his career.

Gee has better numbers in natural light in afternoon games than he has at night. Last season he was 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA under the lights, in comparison to posting a 2.49 ERA during the day.

The Phillies find themselves with a mismatch on the mound, with a little revenge in their minds after getting blown out by the Mets last night.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Don Best Consensus

Dodgers at Padres
Pick: Under

The under is 5-1 in Dodgers last 6 vs. National League West. The under is 4-0 in Padres last 4 overall. The under is 6-1 in Padres last 7 during game 1 of a series.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 9

Nelly

Chicago Cubs - over Milwaukee Brewers

Travis Wood tossed a gem in his 2013 debut, allowing just one hit and no runs over six inning in Pittsburgh last week. Wood only needed 85 pitches as the Cubs eventually won 3-2 with the Chicago bullpen making things interesting in the end. The 26-year old left-hander is small in stature but he has proven to be a reliable option in the rotation and he pitched much better than his 6-13 record indicated last season. Wood allowed three or fewer runs in 20 of his 26 starts last season but he pitched in front of a lousy team and the Cubs lost 13 of his final 16 starts last season. Wood had two quality starts against the Brewers last season with just 11 hits allowed in 14 innings. The bullpen has been a serious concern for both Chicago and Milwaukee in the early going this season and Chicago should be in better shape in this game with a veteran on the mound. Wily Peralta will make just his seventh career start in this game for the Brewers and while his ceiling is high he clearly has some work to do. Peralta had good numbers in limited action last year but he struggled this spring and labored in his first start, a 7-3 loss at home against the Rockies in which he allowed four runs, six hits, and three walks in just over five innings. The Cubs have not been a great offensive team but both of these teams have been much stronger against right-handed pitching. Milwaukee is scoring just 2.9 runs per nine innings against southpaws this year so Wood could have an advantage on the mound. The conditions for the rare Wrigley Field night game will also be much cooler and than Monday's matinee where the ball was being pushed out. Without Jean Segura and Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee's lineup is already out of sorts and Ryan Braun just returned yesterday and may not be 100 percent. Milwaukee is 0-3 this season against left-handed starting pitchers and the Brewers pitching staff has allowed 43 runs in seven games, the second worst mark in baseball at his point. These teams look relatively even right now and this is a cheap price at home for the Cubs with the superior pitcher in a favorable match-up.

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