Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Miami at Chicago
The Heat look to follow up their 104-94 win in Game 3 and build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Miami is the pick (-7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 9 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Miami (-7 1/2)

Game 727-728: Miami at Chicago (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 127.485; Chicago 117.790
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 9 1/2; 182
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 7 1/2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-7 1/2); Under

Game 729-730: Oklahoma City at Memphis (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 123.358; Memphis 131.297
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 8; 188
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 4 1/2; 184
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-4 1/2); Over

NHL

NY Rangers at Washington
The Capitals look to wrap up the series and build on their 5-1 record in their last 6 home games against the Rangers. Washington is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Capitals favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Washington (-135)

Game 79-80: Toronto at Boston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 10.966; Boston 10.667
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-185); 5
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+165); Over

Game 81-82: NY Rangers at Washington (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 12.296; Washington 12.722
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-135); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Texas at Oakland
The Rangers look to take advantage of an Oakland team that is coming off a 6-1 loss to Seattle yesterday and is 1-7 in its last 8 games after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. Texas is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Rangers favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Texas (+115)

Game 901-902: Milwaukee at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Estrada) 14.474; Pittsburgh (Burnett) 15.571
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-160); Under

Game 903-904: NY Mets at St. Louis (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Hefner) 15.300; St. Louis (Lynn) 14.940
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+170); Over

Game 905-906: Colorado at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Nicasio) 15.407; Cubs (Wood) 16.402
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-125); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-125); N/A

Game 907-908: Atlanta at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Minor) 15.337; Arizona (Miley) 14.350
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Arizona (-115); 8
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-105); Under

Game 909-910: Washington at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Zimmermann) 15.894; LA Dodgers (Beckett) 17.101
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-130); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (+110); Over

Game 911-912: Houston at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Norris) 12.714; Detroit (Sanchez) 16.665
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 4; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-300); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-300); Under

Game 913-914: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Santiago) 14.473; Minnesota (Hernandez) 15.429
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+100); Over

Game 915-916: Kansas City at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Mendoza) 14.882; LA Angels (Blanton) 16.151
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-135); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-135); Under

Game 917-918: Texas at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Grimm) 15.260; Oakland (Griffin) 13.898
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Oakland (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+115); Over

Game 919-920: NY Yankees at Cleveland (12:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Phelps) 16.143; Cleveland (Masterson) 17.658
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-145); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-145); Under

Game 921-922: NY Yankees at Cleveland (3:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Nuno) 14.803; Cleveland (Bauer) 15.258
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Jimmy Boyd

Chicago White Sox -115   

The White Sox are a strong value play when they face an overrated Minnesota Twins team. Hector Santiago has been unbelievable for Chicago posting a 1.69 ERA in 9 games this season. For Minnesota Pedro Hernandez will take the mound and he brings with him an 8.03 ERA in his last 3 starts to go along with a 2.109 WHIP. To say Chicago has a favorable advantage would be a gross understatement. The Twins may have a winning record overall this season, but they have not performed well against division opponents. They average 3.4 runs per game with a .224 batting average in their 14 division games. While their .272 batting average against left handed starters may seem impressive, teams are batting .306 against them and scoring 7.7 runs per game in those games. The White Sox are the smart play in this game because Minnesota is going to struggle to get on base against Santiago.

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Rob Vinciletti

Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics
Play: Texas Rangers 

Texas fits a nice dog system here that is 28-18 and plus several units the last 10 seasons. We want to play on road dogs with a total that is 8 or less off a road favored win where they scored 10 or more runs, very simple and very effective. Texas has won both times this season as a road dog in this range and 19 of 26 at night. Oakland is 6-10 vs winning teams and 3-8 in May. Over the past week the Athletics have struggled at the plate scoring just 2,7 runs. In the pitching matchup its Griffin for Oakland and Grimm for Texas. Both have Earned runs that are very equal at 3.94 and 3.76. However Grimm has not faced Oakland, while Griffin allowed 5 runs in 2+ innings here vs Texas last season. The Value looks to be on Texas tonight.

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Stephen Nover

Colorado Rockies +105

It's time to knock out a few wrong perceptions with this matchup. The Cubs are a good home team, right? The Rockies are a bad road team, right? The Rockies can't beat southpaws, right?

Wrong on all three counts.

Chicago is 7-11 at Wrigley Field this season. The Rockets are 11-7 on the road. They just beat a hot lefty in Jamie Garcia this past Sunday. Now they get to face a second straight southpaw in Travis Wood.

I like taking a price with the better team and that's the case in this matchup. Colorado is fifth in runs scored. The Cubs rank 24th. The Cubs don't have anybody close to the stature of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

Tulowitzki is tied for first in the National League in RBIs with 31, he's sixth in batting at .324 and tied for seventh in homers with eight. A healthy Tulowitzki makes the Rockies respectable and Tulowitzki is healthy this season.

The Cubs are in a rebuilding stage. They are returning home following a nice win Sunday against the Nationals in Washington D.C. The youthful Cubs may not be able to handle that victory too well especially returning to the Windy City. They are 9-23 following a victory. Chicago has dropped six of its last nine home games.

The pitching matchup is Juan Nicasio against Travis Wood, who seems much improved but is not in Garcia's class. Wood has faced two easy offenses during his last three starts drawing the Marlins and Padres.

Nicasio isn't going to lack for motivation as he could be pitching for his spot in the rotation. Nicasio, though, has excellent potential. He's 7-1 with a 2.23 ERA when pitching six innings or more. His problem this season is building up his endurance after pitching only 58 innings last year. He was solid in his last start giving up two runs on two hits in five innings against the Mets.

Even if Nicasio can't reach the sixth or seven inning, I like Colorado's bullpen much better than the Cubs. Kevin Gregg has been the best closer the Cubs have had this season, but Chicago's middle relief and setup guys have been horrible headed by the egregious Carlos Marmol.

Marmol alone is reason enough to fade the Cubs when they are favored.

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Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota +108FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A couple of lefties face off in the series opener on Monday night as Hector Santiago goes for the White Sox and Pedro Hernandez for the Twins. The White Sox have been atrocious against left handed pitching this season, striking out in over 27 percent of their plate appearances and have exacerbated that weakness by walking just 5.8 percent of the time, the third-worst mark in baseball. The White Sox have never seen Hernandez and it's historically a +EV play to take a left hander in his first start against a team. The White Sox are just 1-5 in games started by a lefty this season and the Twins are one of the best moneyline teams so far this season at nearly +7 units.
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Both Santiago and Hernandez have bounced back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation this season, but that actually favors Hernandez in this start. The Twins are one of the more pesky lineups in baseball, with a lot of slap hitters and guys who put up good at bats. The Twins rank fourth in percentage of plate appearances ending in a walk while the White Sox are dead last. Santiago will have to throw a lot of pitches while Hernandez will be able to use the White Sox aggressiveness to his advantage, especially because they have never seen him.
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The Twins are the better team right now and the White Sox are really awful against left handed pitching. Getting the Twins as a home dog here with a lefty that the White Sox have never seen makes for a good value play.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Thunder at GrizzliesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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As was the case in the first-round series vs. the Clippers, Memphis' Game Three vs. Ok City also went "under" on Saturday. It was the same against the Clips in what turned out to be the only "under" of that series. And with the "total" adjusted slightly downward for tonight's Game Four, we're going to come back with another "over" recommendation tonight at FedEx Forum. The pace slowed on Saturday when the Grizzlies lost offensive rhythm and ended up forcing some bad shots, also not getting Zach Randolph (who only scored 8 points) as involved in the offensive flow. There is ample firepower on both sides, and expect these teams to shoot a bit better than the 36.4% (Thunder) and 40.5% (Grizzlies) on Sunday. Ok City can also expect to get a bit more scoring from Kevin Durant ("held" to 26 in Game Three) and supporting cast members Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, and Kendrick Perkins, a combined 18 of 66 from the floor in the first three games, and G Kevin Martin, just 8 of 28 form the floor the past two games after scoring 25 in the opener. These teams can both get to the mid 90s or above tonight. Play Thunder-Grizzlies "Over"

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Brett Atkins

So with the Tribe today, we have a doubleheader wedged in as write-in games, as the Indians arrive home after a weekend set in Motown, where they took the last two games from the American League Central-leading Tigers. The Yankees, meanwhile, come into Cleveland after road trips to Denver and Kansas City.

And even though the pinstripes have won five straight - in fact, it's because of that - I like the Indians to score an upset win in the quick turnaround.

I don't think the Yankees want to be here, for this make-up DH from last month, when the Bombers and Tribe were rained out on April 10 and 11. But they're here in anyway, before returning home for three-game home series against Seattle and Toronto, beginning tomorrow on 161st Street in the Bronx.

I won't list pitchers, cause I don't think it'll matter who goes for the stripes, but the fact they're handing the ball to David Phelps for this one says a little something - like they think this is a throwaway game. I mean, really? The right-hander makes just his third start of the season and comes in with a 4.63 ERA as a starter this year.

Cleveland is going to jump on Phelps early and the Indians are going to nab Game 1 of this double-dip.

3* CLEVELAND

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians
Pick: New York YankeesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It's almost amazing to scan the Major League standings and see the Yankees in possession of the second best winning percentage in the entire game. When considering the talent that isn't playing for this team due to injury, it's hard not to be impressed by what the Yankees have accomplished.
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The Indians have to be thrilled with what they're doing as well. They're off a big series win at Detroit, and the Tribe has now moved into a tie for the AL Central penthouse view with the Tigers. The season is less than one quarter complete, so it's still very early. But for those who think the manager doesn't make a big difference...well, all I can say is think again. Terry Francona is as good as it gets in my opinion, and if the voting were to be held today, I'm pretty sure he'd be winning Manager of the Year.
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As far as today's opener of the doubleheader is concerned, I'm looking at this game as pretty much of a tossup. Overall pitching numbers between David Phelps and Justin Masterson are close. Overall metrics tilt toward Phelps a bit, but the home/road splits favor Masterson. But Phelps definitely earned some points with his solid showing last start at Coors, and he's pitching with some real confidence now.
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The Yankees are damaging righties and they're coming into this one pretty hot. Of course, the same can be said for the Indians in terms of their current form. I see this contest being almost dead even, a true coin flip. At pick 'em, I wouldn't consider any investment here. But priced as it is, I'll have to side with the Yankees as a live road dog.

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta Braves at Arizona DiamondbacksSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Atlanta BravesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Braves and Diamondbacks meet in the opener of this three-game series in Arizona where Mark Minor meets Wade Miley. Minor enters the fray in solid current form sporting a 4-1 away career team start mark during May. With Miley in shaky KW form with 11 strikeouts and 10 walks in his last three starts, look for the Braves to improve to 9-2 the last eleven games in this series here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Atlanta.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Art Aronson

Nationals vs. Dodgers
Play: Over 6½

Jordan Zimmermann (6-1, 1.59 ERA) toes the rubber for the visitors; Zimmermann is coming off an outing in which he held the Tigers to one earned run off seven hits with two walks over seven frames while striking out seven. The 26-year old Zimmermann will be opposed by the 32-year old Josh Beckett (0-4, 5.13 ERA) who gave up three runs off nine hits over six frames in a no-decision vs. the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Beckett has struggled since coming to the Dodgers and was an unremarkable 4-5 with a pedestrian 4.45 ERA in front of the home town crowd last season. This is the start of a ten-game road trip vs. NL West foes for the Nats and they'll be looking to bounce back after losing two straight to the Cubs, going a dismal 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position, including just 1 of 9 in yesterday's 2-1 setback. The Dodgers however will be looking to build off two straight victories over the Marlins which followed a dismal eight-game losing streak (note that LA has won 17 of the last 20 in this series in front of the home town crowd since 2006). Zimmermann has been the very model of consistency, but will have his hands full here I think against an underachieving Dodgers' lineup which has finally started to show some signs of life of late; Beckett of course has to be considered one of the biggest disappointments in the league and in my opinion, falls under the classification of "gas can". I feel that the table is set for a higher-scoring affair.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. MinnesotaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ChicagoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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After scoring 40 runs over five games, the Twins got blanked by the Orioles yesterday, losing 6-0. It doesn't get any easier for Minnesota tonight, as they go up against Hector Santiago and the White Sox.
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Santiago (1-1, 1.69 ERA) made headlines last week when he started opposite Matt Harvey in an epic pitcher's duel. Harvey tossed a complete one-hitter, but Santiago held his own tossing seven scoreless innings allowing just four hits.
He's 4-1 in his career, and one of his four starts came against Minnesota. He won that game, and he boasts a 1.80 ERA over 10 innings versus the Twins. It's a small sample size no doubt, but give what little we have seen from Santiago, he's been quite impressive.
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The Twins hand the ball to Pedro Hernandez, and he's been roughed up in back to back starts. Hernandez (1-0, 5.96 ERA) was tagged for six runs on seven hits, including a pair of home runs over just two innings in a 15-8 loss to the Red Sox his last time out.
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He will have to contend with a red hot Alex Rios, who's riding a seven game hitting streak, with a pair of doubles and a couple home runs during that span.
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This appears to be a very tough matchup for the Twins, and the price is right for a play on the White Sox.

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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NY Mets vs. St. LouisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: St. LouisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Two teams headed in opposite directions here as the Cardinals and Mets start up a three-game set Monday.  Yes, both lost Monday. But prior to that, St. Louis had won 9 of 10. They ran into a hot pitcher (Jorge De la Rosa) yesterday, but get a more favorable matchup against Jeremy Hefner and the Mets, who have lost three straight.  More importantly, the Cards will trot out Lance Lynn to the mound tonight. Big edge home team.
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Here are my keys to the game:FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Lance Lynn - The Cardinals starter has pitched very well this year, going 5-1 in seven starts with a 2.72 ERA. At Busch Stadium, he is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.850 WHIP.  In five of those seven starts, he's allowed 2 earned runs or less.  Four times he's allowed 1 earned runs or less. After winning five straight starts, he did lose last time out, but that was only after allowing just four hits in seven innings (two runs). The offense scored just one run for him.  Even with the loss, however, Lynn has a 27-11 team start record the last two seasons.  He has NEVER dropped back to back starts in his career.
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2. Jeremy Hefner - Meanwhile, the Mets have yet to win a game with Hefner on the mound, going 0-6.  Personally, Hefner is 0-4 with a 4.24 ERA. Facing a St. Louis lineup that has gone 19-9 vs. right-handed starters doesn't sound like a good way to turn those numbers around. Hefner won't find much help from an offense averaging just 2.6 runs per game and batting .211 over the last seven games.
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3.  X-Factor - The Cardinals are 9-1 this season after scoring two runs or less their previous game.  They have stranded 44 runners on base the last five games, so their run production could be far higher.

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Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago CubsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Chicago CubsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Chicago Cubs, who have been playing better baseball of late, winning 4 of their last 6, will look to keep their strong play going when they take on the Colorado Rockies tonight at Wrigley Field. The Cubs rode strong pitching performances to a series win over the Nationals over the weekend while the Rockies come into tonight’s game losers of three straight series, including their loss over the weekend to St Louis, where they went 40 straight AB’s over 2 games without getting a player to first base. Chicago will send Travis Wood to the hill, who has been pretty good for the Cubs this season. He has posted a 3-2 record with an excellent 2.33 ERA and is allowing less than one base runner per inning pitched. Wood has two career starts against the Rockies, posting a 2.77 ERA in those games. He will be opposed by Juan Nicasio, who will get the start tonight for the Rockies. Nicasio hasn’t been as good as one would think by looking at his 3-0 record. He hasn’t recorded an out later that the sixth inning since his first start of the season and has an ERA of 4.72 of his 7 starts. His control hasn’t been all that great and he doesn’t strike anyone out as he has 16 walks and just 25 K’s in 34.1 innings pitched. The Cubs, despite being in last place in the NL Central have actually been pretty good in the spot they are in here tonight against Colorado. They have gone 4-1 in Wood’s last 5 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game and have won 20 of their last 28 games against the Rockies at Wrigley Field. Colorado, who surprisingly are just 2.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West have struggled a bit in the situation they are in here this evening. They are just 8-22 in their last 30 games on the road against a left handed starter and have lost 25 of their last 35 games on the road when listed as an underdog. Pair that with the fact that Colorado has lost 7 straight games after a win and we’ll lay the small price with the Cubs at home tonight to get the win.

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Sean Murphy

NY Mets vs. St. Louis
Pick: NY Mets

The Mets are coming off an awful 2-4 homestand that saw them drop their last three against the Pirates, including a tough 3-2 setback with their ace, Matt Harvey on the mound yesterday.

Heading out on the road might be the best thing for this down-trodden club right now, and I believe they're catching the Cardinals at the right time, off an 8-2 loss yesterday, and having scored just 14 runs over their last five games.

The Cardinals aren't exactly a dominant home team - at least not so far this season, having gone just 9-6 here at Busch Stadium.

Note that the Mets went 4-3 in seven meetings with the Cards last season.

New York will hand the ball to Jeremy Hefner on Monday. He hasn't been quite as bad as his 0-4 record would seem to indicate. In fact, he's allowed fewer hits than innings pitched, and comes off three straight strong showings, giving up only seven earned runs in 21 innings of work while striking out 17 and walking only four. The long ball was an issue earlier in the season, but Hefner seems to have it sorted out, as he's allowed only one home run over his last three starts combined.

Lance Lynn will counter for the Cardinals. He's been terrific so far this season, but I tend to think he's been pitching a little over his head. While he has recorded a 2.72 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, it's not as if he's been invincible. Note that both the D'Backs and Pirates (not exactly two offensive juggernauts) managed to score exactly four earned runs off of him earlier in the year. While he was an 18-game winner a year ago, it's worth noting that he was demoted to the bullpen due to ineffectiveness at one point. My point is, Lynn's consistency has come as a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals this season, I'm just not sure he can keep it up.

If the Cardinals have a soft spot, it's their bullpen, as they've posted a collective 5.28 ERA this season. That number rises to a ridiculous 9.45 here at home.

Interestingly enough, the Mets are actually scoring more runs per nine innings on the road than the Cardinals are at home this season (4.94 to 4.87). With that in mind, I feel this line is more than a little generous, with the Mets hungry to get back in the win column following an awful weekend in Queens.

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Ben Burns

Atlanta vs. Arizona
Pick: Arizona

This line falls in the pick'em range. I feel that's providing some value with the home team, in this "all-southpaw" affair.

Minor and Miley have both pitched well. Both are off victories last time out. Minor has a 4-2 record and a 2.96 ERA. Miley has a 3-1 record and a 2.93 ERA.

However, a closer look reveals that Miley has a 1.64 ERA at home while Minor has a 3.55 ERA on the road.

While Minor does have a superior K/W ratio, he's also permitted considerably more home runs. He's given up eight "long balls" while Miley has only surrendered two, including zero at home.

With Justin Upton returning to his old stomping grounds, many are likely going to favor the Braves here. I believe the Dbax, who won't want to be "shown up" by their former teammate, are worth a look though. Consider Arizona

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Jack Jones

Washington Nationals -120

The Washington Nationals get the nod Monday as a small road favorite over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Washington comes in playing its best baseball of the season having won seven of its last 10 games overall. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has lost eight of its last 10.

The Nationals deserve to be a much heavier favorite considering the massive edge they have on the mound. Jordan Zimmermann is 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.824 WHIP in seven starts this season, including 3-0 with a miniscule 0.37 ERA and 0.542 WHIP in his last three starts.

Josh Beckett is clearly past his prime and no longer can dominate like he used to. That's been evident all season as the right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.13 ERA and 1.488 WHIP in seven starts, still looking for his first win of 2013.

The Nationals are 10-1 in Zimmermann's last 11 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. Washington is 20-6 in Zimmermann's last 26 starts overall. The Dodgers are 0-7 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Nationals Monday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Dave Price

Colorado Rockies +111

The Cubs took 2 of 3 from Washington over the weekend, but I don't feel they are worthy of the respect they're getting from oddsmakers here. They are 9-23 in their last 32 games following a win, 3-7 in their last 10 games as a home favorite and 0-4 in their last 4 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150. Woods has pitched well this season, but the Cubs 3-10 in his last 13 home starts and 1-7 in his last 8 home starts versus a team with a winning record. Plus, he's 0-2 on the money line in a pair of starts versus Colorado. The Rockies have won 3 of Nicasio's 4 road starts this season. Also, they have won 4 of 5 and 7 of 10 versus the Cubs. Take the Rockies.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Brad Diamond

Washington Nationals -123

The struggling Dodgers took the last two games in the Miami (11-27) series to right their poor May start of eight straight losses. Only there is a major issue on the horizon the Washington Nationals (20-17) come to visit this evening. Washington has won 7-of-10, off back-to-back road losses to the Cubbies. The Nationals are just one game behind first place Atlanta in the east. The Dodgers start Monday 6 ½ games behind San Francisco in the west. Usually, I look for reasons to play against traveling units on an extended road trip when hitting LA and SF to start a Monday set. However, can’t recommend the Dodgers because of the down cycle found in hurler Josh Beckett’s (5+ ERA) control up in the zone. He has given up 8 home runs this season. That’s 2.10 home runs per nine innings of work. With hurler Zimmerman on the hill the Nationals have won 6-of-7 this year. We realize Beckett is 7-2 LT vs. Washington, but I like some of the other techs in the game, including the Dodgers going 0-7 against the last seven winning units.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, May 13

Jeff Alexander

Braves -101

A pair of nice southpaws take the hill for the Braves and D-backs tonight, but the Braves have the edge because they have fared better against lefties. The Braves are 7-3 in their last 10 games versus a left-handed starter and are scoring 4.6 runs per game off them this season while hitting them at a .253 clip. Miley has made one start against the Braves, and he was lit up for 5 runs in 4 innings of an 8-1 defeat. Arizona is scoring just 3.8 runs per game this season against southpaw starters while hitting them at a .238 clip. Minor has made one start against the D-backs, and he limited them to 1 earned run in 8 innings of a 10-2 victory. The Braves are 8-2 in their last 10 versus Arizona.

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