Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

St. Louis at Philadelphia
The Phillies look to take advantage of a St. Louis team that is 1-7 in Jaime Garcia's last 8 road starts against a team with a losing record. Philadelphia is the pick (+100) according to Dunkel, which has the Phillies favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+100)

Game 901-902: Atlanta at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hudson) 16.786; Pittsburgh (Rodriguez) 16.029
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-135); 7
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-135); Over

Game 903-904: St. Louis at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Garcia) 15.255; Philadelphia (Halladay) 15.587
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+100); Under

Game 905-906: Miami at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Slowey) 12.905; Cincinnati (Latos) 16.437
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 3 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-230); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-230); Under

Game 907-908: Washington at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Strasburg) 14.776; NY Mets (Harvey) 15.720
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-125); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+105); Over

Game 909-910: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Samardzija) 14.867; Milwaukee (Estrada) 16.077
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-115); Over

Game 911-912: Arizona at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Kennedy) 16.347; Colorado (Chacin) 16.2154
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Colorado (-140); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+120); Under

Game 913-914: San Diego at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Volquez) 13.995; San Francisco (Bumgarner) 16.947
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 3; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-220); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-220); Over

Game 915-916: NY Yankees at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Pettitte) 15.641; Toronto (Morrow) 14.850
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Toronto (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-105); Under

Game 917-918: Kansas City at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Shields) 15.637; Boston (Buchholz) 15.298
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+115); Over

Game 919-920: Oakland at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Anderson) 16.333; Tampa Bay (Cobb) 15.427
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-110); Under

Game 921-922: Seattle at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Saunders) 15.065; Texas (Darvish) 14.827
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-210); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+180); Under

Game 923-924: Cleveland at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Myers) 14.610; Houston (Harrell) 14.391
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Houston (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-110); Over

Game 925-926: Minnesota at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Worley) 14.136; White Sox (Peavy) 15.734
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-175); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-175); Under

Game 927-928: Detroit at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Sanchez) 14.615; LA Angels (Hanson) 14.997
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+100); Over

Game 929-930: LA Dodgers at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 15.989; Baltimore (Hammel) 15.360
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (+110); Under

NHL

NY Rangers at Buffalo 
The Sabres look to follow up their 3-2 win at Boston on Wednesday and build on their 5-1 record in their last 6 games after allowing 2 goals or less in the previous game. Buffalo is the pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Sabres favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+105)

Game 1-2: Pittsburgh at Boston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 11.978; Boston 11.151
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-135); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+115); Under

Game 3-4: NY Rangers at Buffalo (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 11.419; Buffalo 11.871
Dunkel Line & Total: Buffalo by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+105); Over

Game 5-6: Dallas at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 11.859; St. Louis 12.679
Dunkel Line & Total: St. Louis by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-175); 5
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-175); Under

Game 7-8: Nashville at Chicago (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 9.846; Chicago 13.189
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 3 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-270); 5
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-270); Over

Game 9-10: Anaheim at Calgary (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 10.386; Calgary 11.826
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (+145); Under

Game 11-12: Edmonton at Colorado (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 11.364; Colorado 9.820
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (+125); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies
Prediction: Arizona DiamondbacksFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When Arizona sends Ian Kennedy to the mound in Colorado Friday night they will do so knowing he is 9-3 in his career team starts against the Rockies, including 7-1 the last eight and 3-0 the last three in this park. Kennedy is also 10-5 his last 15 team starts in April, including 5-1 the last six away. With Kennedy off a rough effort in his last start, look for him to return to his winning ways here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Arizona.

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Jeff HochmanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado Rockies -132FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The D-bax had to travel from New York while the Rockies have been at home. Keep in mind, the Denver airport is over an Hour away to the stadium. Only adding to the travel time for oppsoing teams. This current D-Bax roster is hitting just .197 vs. J. Chacin over the last three years. On the flip side, the Rockies are hitting .270 vs. Ian Kennedy at home. Take the Rockies to stay red hot.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington vs. New YorkFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 6½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington has a day off for this one and catch the Mets with no rest off a long road trip where they had 3 games postponed and were playing ball with the temperature hovering in the teens, in games they did play. This is a rough spot for the Mets as far as scoring goes as they have to face S. Strasburg who is coming off a tough start last out. Strasburg has allowed just 1 earned run in 13 innings here. He will oppose Quickly developing Matt Harvey who has been lights out in his 3 starts this season. Harvey has gone under in 4 of his 5 home starts allowing just 5 earned runs in 31 innings. He went 5 here last season against The Nationals allowing just one run. He has an 0.82 era and has 25 strikeouts in 22 innings as his velocity has stayed strong even in the 7th inning at 97 mph. Reminding some of a young Justin Verlander. In the series 12 of the last 15 here have stayed under and with an anticipated pitching duel, and the fact that home dogs like the Mets have gone under 10 of 12 times since 2004 off a road dog loss vs an opponent off a road favored win we will back the under here tonight.

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Jack JonesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Philadelphia Phillies +110FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Philadelphia Phillies should not be a home underdog to the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. I'll take advantage and back them at this price considering you will almost never get Roy Halladay as a home dog.
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Sure, Halladay got off to a slow start this season, but he's undervalued right now as a result. He looked like the Halladay of old last time out when he went 8 innings strong while allowing just 1 earned run to get the win in a 2-1 victory at Miami.
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Halladay is 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 0.875 WHIP in eight career starts against St. Louis. Jamie Garcia has allowed 7 earned runs over 13 innings while going 0-2 in his last two starts against Philadelphia. He has posted a 4.87 ERA in those two outings.
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Halladay is 31-11 (+19.7 Units) against the money line at home when the money line is +125 to -125 since 1997. The Cardinals are 1-8 in Garcia's last 9 road starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. The Phillies are 26-8 in Halladay's last 34 home starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Philadelphia is 53-25 in Halladay's last 78 starts overall. Bet the Phillies Friday.

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Jim Feist

Miami at Cincinnati
Pick: Under

You need to be able to throw strikes in a small park like Cincinnati and both these hurlers. do. Kevin Slowey of the Marlins has a 2.04 ERA despite no wins, walking only 5 in 17+ innings. Miami is on a 12-5-2 run under the total because of no offense, 30th in baseball in runs, batting average, OBP and slugging! They face Mat Latos (3.26 ERA) who is throwing well with 3 walks and 19 Ks in 19 innings. The under is 13-5-2 in the Reds last 20 home games vs. a right-handed starter so look for less offense than oddsmakers expect. Play the Marlins/Reds under the total.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles AngelsSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Detroit TigersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit was thoroughly shut down in Seattle the last couple days, but that was by King Felix and Iwakuma. It ought to get easier tonight for the Tigers as they head to Anaheim. There's just not much to like about Tommy Hanson right now. The new Angels righty is not throwing it well at all. The numbers are telling. Hanson is throwing strikes, but they're getting hit for the most part. His swing and miss rate is down, and his K rate is way down. The velocity is as well, and as far as the eye test goes, Hanson just doesn't look right to me. I don't think he's hurt, but he's far from the pitcher we saw previously in Atlanta. Hanson is also yielding an elevated fly ball rate. I'm not writing him off as a quality pitcher, but right now Hanson is a guy I have no issues fading. Anibal Sanchez has been slightly fortunate for the Tigers, but that only means he's not pitching to the level a 1.42 ERA might suggest. But he's clearly a solid take right now. The team data is obviously going to tilt heavily in Detroit's favor as the Halos are struggling mightily. It seems a little peculiar to look at the betting lines and see the highly touted Angels as home dogs, but it's certainly justified right now, and I will have to side with the Tigers tonight to open this set with a win.

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Stephen NoverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cleveland Indians -110FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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As bad as the 5-9 Indians have been, they still have a better record than Houston. That's because the Indians are the better team. Cleveland's first five opponents were the Blue Jays, Rays, Yankees, White Sox and Red Sox. Now they finally draw a weak opponent.
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Houston hardly has a home field edge having lost five in a row at Minute Maid Park. The pitching matchup is Lucas Harrell versus Brett Myers. Harrell has a 5.63 ERA. The Astros are one of the few rotations that he can crack. Houston is 1-5 in Harrell's last six starts. The Indians have been putting up base runners, they just haven't been able to score. They were 2-for-19 in driving in runners from scoring position during their just concluded three-game series against the Red Sox.
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Brett Myers throws hard, but is a head case. Myers' confidence should be up, though, after his best start of the season this past Sunday against the White Sox. Myers won't lack for motivation in this game facing his former team. Myers knows the Astros well having pitched for them during the past 2 1/2 seasons.

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Big Kat SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St Louis vs. PhiladelphiaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 7½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tonight for our Free Play Selections, we are again going to go with two pitchers who haven’t really put it together yet this season. Jamie Garcia’s numbers may be a bit misleading as he is 1-0 with a sub 2.00 ERA but he has gotten a bit lucky as most of his base runners have been stranded. He only has allowed 4 runs in his 19.1 IP this season but there have been base runners galore to the tune of 24 in those same 19.1 innings. Roy Halladay had by far his best outing of the season last time he took the hill, going 8 strong against the lowly Marlins, allowing only 1 run. It’s the two starts before his last one that have us on alert a bit. He went just 7.1 innings combined in two starts against the Braves and the Mets, allowing 12 runs and 12 hits while walking 6 batters. A look at some of the more in-depth stats show his fastball is almost 2 MPH slower than it was last year and has much less movement. The old Roy Halladay was able to blow hitters away but the 2013 version looks like that just isn’t there anymore. He has struck out just 5 batters in his last 2 starts and isn’t getting nearly the swings and misses from hitters like he is use to getting. The Phillies offense has been anemic so far this season but they were able to get to the Cardinals pitching staff for 13 hits last night so they seem to be coming around a bit. Add to this the fact that Alan Porter will be calling the balls and strikes tonight and he has seen 4 of his last 5 games behind the plate go OVER the posted total. It seems like the odds makers have adjusted for Halladay’s struggles in the line for the game (STL -120) but have not factored anything into the total. Value seems to be on the OVER here so we’ll go with that to try and get the Free Plays back on the black side of the ledger.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona vs. ColoradoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ColoradoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rockies have been a major surprise to start the season and for right now at least, I'm not about to step in front of this train.  Friday sees them welcoming in NL West rival Arizona for a weekend set & in tonight's opener look for them to take advantage of the fact the D'backs had to go extra innings to beat the Yankees yesterday.....
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Colorado's offense is producing some tremendous results.  They are averaging eight full runs per game at Coors Field where they have yet to lose in six tries this season.  They just got done battering the Mets for 28 runs in a three-game sweep earlier this week, including an 11-3 win on Thursday.  It was their sixth straight win and second sweep in a row overall. In fact, it was the third time this year they've swept an opponent.
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Tonight's pitching matchup looks to be in favor of the Rockies as well as Jhoulys Chacin toes the rubber for a fourth time this season, looking to build off three very strong starts.  So far, he's got a 1.96 ERA and 0.981 WHIP.  Arizona will go with Ian Kennedy has not looked good his last two trips to the mound, allowing 10 runs and 17 hits in just 11.7 IP.  Red hot team playing at home where they're hitting the cover off the ball, and they have the pitching edge.  Sounds pretty easy to me!

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Nashville vs. ChicagoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These teams have played four times this year: the 'Hawks won 3-0 in Nashville on February 10th. Chicago then won 3-2 at home on April 1st. The Hawks held on for a 1-0 win in Nashville on April 6th, and a 5-3 win at home the following night. While Chicago has taken all four meetings, the O/U is 1-2-1; suffice it to say, I'm expecting another tight, low-scoring game in their season series finale. The Predators are 15-21-8 overall and 5-12-4 on the road. They've lost seven straight, most recently a 5-2 setback to Vancouver on Monday. The Blackhawks are 33-5-4 overall and 16-3-2 on the road. They've won six straight, most recently a 5-2 win over Dallas on Monday. The Hawks have their eyes set on the playoffs, but have a number of challenging games to finish the year, including a back to back home set vs. the Preds tonight and the Coyotes tomorrow. Nashville has seen the total dip below the number in 11 of 19 away from friendly confines this season, while Chicago has seen it go "under" the number in 10 of 18 in front of the home town crowd. I believe the table is set for another defensive affair. How about you?

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MLB Predictions

Milwaukee Brewers -110

Chicago enters this game 5-9 on the season and 2-4 on the road. They beat Texas 6-2 last night to snap a three game losing skid. The Brewers were also winners last night and they've won 4 straight games now outscoring their opponents 25-16. They move to 6-8 on the season and 4-5 at home. Tonight's starter for Chicago will be Jeff Samardzija who is 1-2 on the season with a solid 2.75 ERA, .183 OBA and 0.97 WHIP. Last season he was 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA. Take note his road ERA was 4.30 while his home ERA was 3.22. The Brewers counter by sending Marco Estrada to the mound who is 1-0 on the season through 3 starts with a 4.50 ERA, .284 OBA and 1.28 WHIP. He has 21 strikeouts with just 2 walks. In 2012 Estrada was 5-7 with a 3.64 ERA, and at home he was a solid 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA, .214 OBA and 0.92 WHIP. Note that the Cubs are just 4-10 in Samardzija's last 14 road starts, while the Brewers are 6-1 in Estrada's last 7 home starts. Dating back to last season the Brewers are a solid 26-11 in their last 37 home games, while the Cubs are 19-52 in their last 71 road games. Milwaukee is 21-7 in these two teams last 28 meetings. With the Brewers winning 4 straight games heading into this one I think they have an edge at home and I like the value with them at -110.


San Francisco Giants -1.5 +100

San Diego went into Los Angeles and swept the Dodgers this week, which moves them to 5-10 on the season and 4-5 on the road. The San Francisco Giants are 9-7 on the year and 4-2 at home. Tonight's game features one struggling starting pitcher and one who has been stellar. The Padres will have Edinson Volqueez on the mound tonight who is 0-3 on the year with a 11.68 ERA, .356 OBA and 2.27 WHIP. He has allowed 21 hits in 12.1 innings of work. Although he had good home numbers last year, Volquez was just 5-6 on the road with a high 5.60 ERA, .266 OBA and 1.65 WHIP. Southpaw Madison Bumgarner will make his 4th start tonight for San Francisco. He is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA, .188 OBA and 0.98 WHIP over his three starts. Last year at home Bumgarner was 10-3 at home with a 2.38 ERA, .219 OBA and 1.02 WHIP. The Padres are 0-4 in Volquez's last 4 road starts, while the Giants are 22-7 in Bumgarner's last 29 home starts. The Giants are 10-3 in their last 13 games vs San Diego in San Francisco, and 23-9 in their last 32 meetings overall. With the two pitchers on the mound tonight I think we are getting good value on the run line taking the Giants to win by a few runs.

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Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Tigers -110FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Tigers and Angels open up a three-game weekend set at Angel Stadium with a matchup of Anibal Sanchez and Tommy Hanson. Sanchez has been terrific thus far, striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings and has allowed just 10 hits in 19 innings. Dating back to last season when he was acquired by the Tigers, Sanchez has adjusted well to the American League, posting a 3.27 ERA and a 3.39 K/BB rate. Angel Stadium is a good pitcher's park at night, which should help Sanchez, even though he has induced an above average amount of ground balls on a consistent basis throughout his career. Sanchez has a 2.01 ERA over his last 10 starts dating back to last season.
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The Tigers hitters have to be salivating to face Tommy Hanson. Hanson is dealing with nearly a 2 mph drop in velocity, which has cut his K/9 rate in half early in the year. He's still throwing a lot of strikes, which is to the Tigers' benefit, since they're a very aggressive lineup. Scouts and media have noticed problems with Hanson, especially with the velocity drop and less snap to his once effective slider.
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It's really hard to back Hanson in any situation, but especially against a very good lineup like Detroit's. The Tigers are 8-4 against right handed starters, while the Angels are just 3-8.

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Greg ShakerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Marlins / Reds Over 7.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A little chilly at the Park tonight but strong weather pattern overall. Latos has never done well verses the Marlins and has a 7.5 ERA in 5 starts. His numbers have been skewed down for his career by pitching in what was Pitcher Friendly Petco. The Reds have been an OVER machine this year and despite the fact that the Marlins thrower has a nice ERA, his WHIP is not so strong, and has allowed plenty of baserunners. The Marlins Pen just awful, proving it again last night. My number is 8.8 here.

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Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Milwaukee Brewers -112FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Brewers have owned the Cubs. They've won 21 of the last 28 meetings overall and 17 of the last 22 in Milwaukee, including the last 5. The Brewers enter with a ton of confidence after sweeping the reigning World Series champs and should be able to keep it going with Marco Estrada on the hill. The Brewers are 7-0 in Estrada's last 7 starts versus the National League Central, 5-0 in his last 5 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150, 4-0 in his last 4 starts series-opening starts and 3-0 in his last 3 starts against the Cubs. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in a 7-4 victory at Wrigley April 8. I like Chicago's Jeff Samardzija but can't ignore the fact the Cubs are 4-10 in his last 14 road starts. They've also lost 2 of his 3 career starts versus the Brewers. Take Milwaukee.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Nationals at MetsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Over is 13-3 in WAS last 16 road games. Over is 9-3-1 in WAS last 13 overall. Over is 9-3-1 in WAS last 13 on grass. Over is 7-1 in NYM last 8 overall. Over is 7-1 in NYM last 8 on grass. Play Nats-Mets over.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

SPORTS WAGERSFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis -1 +107 over PHILADELPHIAFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Roy Halladay wanted that 200th career win badly and he got it against Miami in his last start when he threw eight innings of one-run ball. “Doc” struck out two Marlins in those eight frames. In his first two starts of the year prior to that, Halladay was rocked by both the Mets and Braves, surrendering 12 hits and 12 runs in a combined 7.1 innings. A shoulder strain nagged Halladay him most of last season, resulting in his first sub-200 IP year since '05. That shoulder carried an average of 240 IP per season from '08-'11, so we can't assume a return to good health and a skills decline in his groundball rate, hr/9, and line-drive rate doesn’t exactly instill confidence either. Citizens Bank Park is an unforgiving venue on aging pitchers with health issues and after picking up that illusive 200th win, Halladay could be on a mental low.
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The Phillies are batting a MLB low .131 against southpaws this season and will face a good one here in Jamie Garcia. Garcia is 34-23 with a 3.43 ERA in his first four major league seasons and that includes a difficult 2012 that saw Garcia miss two months with a shoulder impingement. He then lasted just two innings in Game 2 of the NL Division Series against Washington and was taken off the roster because of a strained rotator cuff. Better off-season conditioning followed by a strong spring has Garcia feeling great and looking even better on the mound. Through three starts covering 19 frames, Garcia has struck 19 batters to go along with an elite 64% groundball rate and 13% line-drive rate. Said Adam Wainwright,” "He looks great -- sinking it, cutting it, curving it, changing it, just like he always does. "What he brings is very valuable. He has nasty stuff." Two of Garcia’s three starts this season were at home against Milwaukee and Cincinnati. His lone road start came at Arizona in which he completely dominated the Snakes at hitter friendly Chase Field. Those are three very decent hitting teams that Garcia shut down. His numbers after three starts are 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA and .208 BAA. Now he’ll face a Phillies club hitting .131 against lefties. Do the math.
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N.Y. Yankees +102 over TORONTOFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Blue Jays managed to salvage a series split with the South Side by winning the finale 3-1 last night. Impressive performance by R.A. Dickey was the difference but the Jays offense only mustered four hits the entire evening to lower their team batting average to .229 on the year. Against lefties, that figure drops to .214 and the Jays will face a crafty one here in Andy Pettitte. Age is nothing but a number to Pettitte. He returned from a year away from the game to post strong skills in a season cut short by a freak leg injury. Bettors will no doubt be wary of his age and health concerns but the numbers speak for themselves. Pettitte is 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA after facing the Red Sox and Indians. More impressive is a 57% groundball rate, a 9% line-drive rate, a .241 BAA and a very impressive 1.13 WHIP.  Overall the Yankees are hitting .267 but against righties they are batting a combined MLB high of .302 and will face right-hander Brandon Morrow here. New York has also won six of its past seven games. 
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Morrow’s swinging strike rate dipped from an elite level in 2011 to a good level in 2012. That decline has continued into this season. Against Morrow this season, batters are making contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown outside the strike zone at a clip of 87%. Prior to this season, Morrow had always been under 61% in that department. In other words, he’s not fooling many. Morrow was also helped by a fortunate 26% hit rate in 2012 but this year that has normalized to 30%. There are more red flags in Morrow’s profile. His groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rates are an ugly 35%/25%/40%. Morrow’s xERA is 4.82 after three starts. Brandon Morrow is a beatable pitcher with a two-year skills decline. He has shown nothing in his skills this season that support a low ERA over time. His reputation of a pitcher on the verge of stardom is becoming redundant already. Morrow isn’t on the verge of anything but a disappointing season because the under the hood and surface stats say so.   
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HOUSTON +109 over ClevelandFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Indians have dropped four in a row. They come in here with a depleted lineup and a team batting average of just .211 over their past five games. Brett Myers not only has called many cities home over the past few years, he’s also moved between the bullpen and the rotation constantly. Gopheritis is a term used to describe a pitcher that can’t keep the ball in the yard and that has been Myers’ nemesis for years. Myers has been tagged for eight jacks already this year in three starts. He has a BAA of .333, a WHIP of 1.65 and an ERA of 8.82. Myers is 32 with a sharp decline in everything he offers. He can’t even add "durability" to his résumé and remains a volatile investment because of the damage that HRs do and the poor skills he has displayed.
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The Astros have shown some power. Their 15 bombs rank them 15th out of 30 teams but more than that, they play with a contagious enthusiasm that allows them to compete while the Indians looked like a beaten down team after last night’s loss to the Red Sox. At the conclusion of that Cleveland/Boston series last night, the cameras showed several Indian players sitting on the bench (instead of heading into the dugout) with a lost look on their faces, staring onto the field in much the same way a team does after a playoff series loss. The Indians body language says to stay away from them right now. Lucas Harrell now gets his shot at the Tribe. Harrell won't get much attention because of a 5.63 ERA that has resulted in a 0-2 record. Harrell is also 28 and his numbers with Houston in 2012 were far from attractive. That said, Harrell owns elite skills with the bases empty that include a high strikeout rate and a 59% groundball profile. In two of his three starts this year, Harrell shut down both the Angels and Rangers in which he went a combined 11.1 innings against that pair and allowed two just two runs. His inflated ERA is due to one bad start in Oakland but lay attention more attention to those other two pure quality starts. There's some profit potential here if Harrell has figured some things out and all indications are that he has. Against the light-hitting Indians that are in a poor state of mind and funk Harrell and the Astros are a much better choice as a pooch than the Indians are as the favorite.
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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

NHL PredictionsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Calgary Flames +150FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These two teams have met twice this year, with Anaheim winning both games. Their meeting in Calgary was a 5-4 Ducks victory. Anaheim sits in 2nd in the Western Conference and are 5 points up on Los Angeles who is chasing them in the Pacific division. They might be a little too comfortable right now as they've lost 3 straight games vs Colorado, Los Angeles and Columbus. The Flames are coming off a 3-2 win at home vs Detroit and they've won 4 of their last 6 games. Even though they aren't in a playoff race the Flames are playing pretty energized hockey. Tonight is the Flames last home game, and possibly Miikka Kiprusoff's last game in the NHL as there are rumours of retirement for him. Kipprusoff played great in his last start as he stopped 36 of Detroit's 38 shots, and one of the shots that went in was a wacky bounce from outside of the blue line. Calgary is 10-4 in their last 14 home games. Note that the Ducks seem to come out flat vs teams with losing records as they are 3-8 in their last 11 vs a team with a losing record. Getting Calgary at +150 at home is generous and I think they get it done again tonight in their last home game of 2013.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

WunderdogFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Kansas City at BostonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Kansas CityFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Kansas City Royals have in the past been prone to bad starts, but finally have added some strength at the top of the rotaton, and are off to an 8-6 start on the season. They acquired Jamie Shields to bolster the rotation. He has made two great starts and has pitched to a 3.43 ERA to start the season. Clay Buchholz has certainly opened some eyes at 3-0 with an 0.41 ERA, but he has not pitched like this in his career, and the jury is still out, especially after pitching to a 4.56 ERA a year ago. Shields has the pedigree here, and the Royals have a great track record against pitchers with a WHIP of less than 1.15 where they are 10-3 in their last 13. The Red Sox have lost five straight Buchholz starts vs. a winning team. Play on Kansas City.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, April 19

Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Tigers vs. Los Angeles AngelsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Los Angeles AngelsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Angels are arguably the biggest disappointment in baseball through the first few weeks as they are 4-10 including losses in seven of their last nine games. They are back home following a two-game sweep at the hands of the Twins and this has turned into a very important stretch early on, especially for the pitching. The Angels starting pitching has a home ERA of 6.62 and part of that can be attributed to Tommy Hanson. He allowed five runs in five innings against the Astros and was given zero runs of support. This came after a quality start in his opener against the Rangers so he is more than capable of shutting down a potent offense like the Tigers. We played against Detroit yesterday as Justin Verlander was outdueled by Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners bullpen. That loss snapped a four-game winning streak and tonight they send Anibal Sanchez to the hill and he will be looking for his fourth straight solid start to the season. He has a 1.42 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through three starts and he has now allowed two runs or fewer in eight straight starts going back to last season. He is certainly pitching well and that has inflated this line which is not a good spot for Detroit as it is 9-22 in its last 31 games as a road favorite between -110 and -150. Meanwhile the Angels are 9-2 in their last 11 games following an off day and that day off could do this slumping team wonders.

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