Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Chicago/ Miami Under 189:  The Bulls are missing allot of off and this is from a team that scores very little anyway. The Bulls average just 93.1 ppg overall and 93.3 ppg on the road, so they will need to rely n their slower pace and defense to win this one. Defense is something the Bulls know as they ave allowed just 92.9 ppg overall and 94.9 ppg on the road. Miami has also played good defense this year, as they have allowed just 95.1 ppg and they should have more than enough defense to hold down a weakened Chicago attack. The Under is 4-1 the last 5 in the series and with more defense than offense in this one expect that trend to continue.


Knicks/ Indiana Under 194: The Pacers allowed 117 points to Brooklyn and that is way out of character for this team, so I look for some defensive intensity from them in this one. The Pacers are 2nd in the league in scoring defense and 1st in FG% defense and they should be able to contain a New York offense that may put it on cruise control for this one as the play offs are right around the corner. New York has played good defense of last as they have held opponents to 91 or less in 5 of their last 7 non-OT games and they have allowed just 94.4 ppg at home, while the Pacers have averaged just 91.2 ppg on the road this year. I expect a close game that should have the Pacers dictating pace with their slow down game. Don't be surprised if Indiana wins outright here, but also don't be surprised if this game finishes under 180 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Philadelphia -133 over MIAMI: Very rarely will I have my Phils as a top play, but I feel this is one spot to do so., especially since they are coming off a tough loss last night. Roy Halladay has had a rough spring and a rough start to the season, but I feel he can bounceback with his best showing vs a Miami offense that comes in  30th in scoring, putting up a pathetic 1.73 rpg, while also hitting just .206 (29th). This is the perfect spot for Ry to have a god showing and build some confidence moving forward. Roy has also pitched well vs Miami, posting a 7-4 mark with a 3.09 ERA in  14 starts vs them. Kevin Slowey comes over to Miami from Minnesota after missing all of last year. He has now gone 0-10 with a 6.15 ERA in his last 10 starts. This year he has pitched well with a 2.19 ERA, but lack of offense has him at 0-2 so far. I feel that Roy will have his best showing yet and the Phils will bounce back from last night's tough loss.


San Francisco -113 over CHICAGO: Tim Lincecum has started off slightly better that last year and while his ERA is high, he is still 1-0 so far. Tim has struggled of late with the Cubs, but this is not a good Chicago offense as they come in ranked 27th in scoring and 26th in hitting and that should help Tim continue to pitch well. The Giant offense has been solid this year, ranking 8th in hitting and 15th in scoring and that should continue as well vs Edwin Jackson, who is off to an 0-2 start and has a 5.73 ERA to boot. Edwin is also 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA in his last 3 starts vs the Giants. Edwin allowed the Brewers 5 runs in his first start here as a Cub and that now gives him a 1-3 mark with a 7.83 ERA in 4 career starts in this park. San Fran is the better team here, with the better pitching and offense and will bounceback from yesterday's tough loss. 


Colorado/ San Diego Over 8: Here is something you may never hear again. "Petco Park is the top hitting park in the league" and Vegas seems to be catching up a bit with that. Not very often is there an OU line of 8 in a San Diego home game, but this park has proven this year that it will yield some runs. The first two games of the series has put up 12 and 14 and this one should get at least 10. Colorado really has like this park of late as they have now scored 37 runs in their last 5 games in this park. Overall this Colorado offense has been very hot, checking in at 6th in scoring and 2nd in hitting and they will be facing a struggling Clayton Richards in this one. Clayton comes in with an 8.68 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP in 2 starts this year. He has been so bad that he has pitched just 9.1 innings in the two starts. Boy Colorado should really tee off on him. The Padre offense hasn't been that bad vs Rockie pitching in this series, putting up 5 runs in each game and they should have another good showing vs Jorge De La Rosa, who has a 6.10 ERA through two starts and generally struggles on the road. 10-12 runs in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

Joe Gavazzi

Brooklyn -3

Following a 1-7 decline, it looked like Toronto was ready to toss the towel. But they have responded with a recent 4-1 SU, ATS surge including a pair of wins vs. Chicago. But today they will be without Valanciunas and possibly Ross and Fields, all key cogs in their lineup. Though Brooklyn has locked up the #4 seed, they are supersurging for the #3 seed standing just 2 games behind Indiana with both the tie breaker and the remaining schedule in their favor. The Mets have won 3 straight on the road, 4 straight overall and have won all 3 previous matchups in this series by 7, 6 and 7 points. AT full strength, I expect optimum performance from Brooklyn today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

Vegas Sports Informer

Miami (-6) over Chicago

This is a projected line. The Chicago Bulls are suffering injuries all season long, and now Luol Deng is not 100 percent! Yes, I know D-Wade will probably not play this game, but this season the Heat have a bench that can produce. Look for Miami to win this game on their offense in the first half and their defense in the fourth quarter. Miami wins big, and I say Miami wins by double-digits. They want to keep making statements to the rest of the Eastern Conference that they know the title is theirs to win!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

BRETT ATKINS

My free winner is on the New York Knicks getting it done against the Indiana Pacers, as I think we're going to see a huge game by the home team here.

I mean, think about it, before the Knicks can get a shot at the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the playoffs, they’re going to have to get through Boston in the first round and quite possibly this Pacers team in the second round.

And while that might be some tough post-season ground to cover, I think it's on the right path with the momentum it's on right now.

The Knicks’ win on Friday in Cleveland, along with the Pacers’ home loss to the Nets, put New York one win - or, coincidentally, one Pacer loss - from securing homecourt advantage if it were to meet the Pacers in the East semifinals. That means if there's a Game 7 - it's in Madison Square Garden, chock full of frenzied Knicks fans, including bandleader Spike Lee.

Today, is a statement game. Not just a clincher.

The Knicks will win big.

5* NEW YORK

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

SCOTT DELANEY

My free winner for you today is the Minnesota Twins, as I like them to snap their five-game slide with a home win in their Interleague-series finale with the New York Mets.

I'm not going to list pitchers in this one, so I don't expect you to, but I will say the Twins should feel good about their matchup, as Kevin Correia looks a lot more like a best bet than Dillon Gee. That statement might not have been true prior to the start of the season, but I like the way Minnesota's righty has looked, much more than what Gee has shown us.

New York's righty is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and comes in after getting tagged for three home runs in five pitches against the Phillies. He allowed seven total runs in three innings and now pitches in a city he's never thrown.

Correia was a tough-luck losing pitcher his last time out, and the Twins have lost five in a row - that's a mix that tells me we have the desire to win on our side, and there's something to be said about a home team salvaging a series to avoid being swept.

Lay the cheap number with the Twins.

2* MINNESOTA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

CHRIS JORDAN

My free play is going to be the Chicago White Sox, laying the money, to the Cleveland Indians.

It's time to snap the losing streak, and if there's anyone who can do it for the South Siders, it's Jake Peavy. Though he ran out of gas in his last outing, in which he allowed two home runs during the Nationals' four-run sixth of an 8-7 loss, I'd be remiss if I didn't argue in his favor and mention he struck out seven, walked one and threw 100 pitches.

He's capable of stopping the Tribe today, and though I'm not one to list pitchers a lot, I do believe he can be a plus on the hill.

The White Sox want to stop this losing streak now, and I think they'll be able to against Cleveland's Brett Myers, who has allowed 14 earned runs over 10-1/3 innings in his first two appearances as an Indian.

But forget the pitchers in this one, the culprit for the ChiSox, in helping to snap this skid, will be Alex Rios, who is off to his best start since 2006. Rios has stroked four home runs with eight RBI and boasts a .372 average. And he'll be pissed today, to come out swinging, as his 10-game hitting streak to begin the season was snapped on Saturday.

I know the White Sox have yet to win a game with a suitcase in hand, losing five straight away from U.S. Cellular Field, so there's another skid that will be snapped.

Take the White Sox.

3* CHICAGO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

JEFF BENTON

Sunday's freebie is the Phillies over the Marlins.

Miami came up with the 2-1 win last night over Philly to even up the score through the two games played this weekend.

It was just Miami's second win in 11 games this year, so why not look for today to be the spot struggling ace Roy Halladay straightens things out, and gets his first win in three tries?

Both Halladay and Kevin Slowey are off to 0-2 starts, but Halladay's double-digit ERA is of concern. He has gone 7-4 for his career against the Marlins, and this could be just the tonic his is looking for to get on track this season.

Philly has won 3 of the last 4 meetings against Miami, and 6 of the last 8 overall versus the Marlins.

Going to take a shot, lay a little wood on the road, and go with Halladay to come through.

Phillies take the rubber game.

3* PHILADELPHIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

BRAD WILTON

Sunday's free play will be the Cubs over the Giants.

I know Edwin Jackson is off to an 0-2 start with his new team, but I would rather back him today in the home dog role, as I really think something is wrong with Tim Lincecum.

After getting shipped to the bullpen last October, Lincecum has returned to the rotation, and has been struggling mightily with control issues. Lincecum has walked 11 batters in his 11 innings of work this year, and he is fresh off allowing 6 runs in 6 innings in a no-decision his last time out.

Jackson is at least .500 for his career versus the Giants at 2-2, and while he may not be the pitcher he once was, I will look for him to keep his team in it just long enough for the Cubs to have that one big inning that carries the day against the erratic Lincecum.

Underdog play on the Cubbies this Sunday.

1* CHICAGO CUBS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, April 14

CRAIG DAVIS

Free play of the day on the NY Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles after yesterday's 5-3 loss with Phil "I really suck in April" Hughes on the mound.

Today the Yanks send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound in an attempt to get back on track after two shaky starts to begin this 2013 campaign.

Kuroda is off to a 1-1 start, but one of his starts was so bad his ERA is still ballooned at 6.75. We all remember how good this guy was last year in his first year with the Yankees and I see him getting back to form tonight vs. a division rival.

The Baltimore Orioles were having their way with the Red Sox until New York beat them two nights ago with CC Sabathia on the mound.

While tonight it's a different type of pitcher than CC, it's still a better pitcher than your average starter and Kuroda needs one of those dominant starts to get back in rhythm.

The Yanks and Orioles have given us some really good games in the past, but New York seems to need this game more without their stars in the lineup, and the way Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner are hitting lately, I like my chances with New York as your free play of the day.

4* N.Y. YANKEES

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