Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 15

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 15

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Chicago at Miami
The Heat look to follow up their 88-65 win in Game 4 and build on their 8-2 ATS record in their last 10 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. Miami is the pick (-14) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 15 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Miami (-14)

Game 735-736: Chicago at Miami (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 115.048; Miami 130.726
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 15 1/2; 189
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 14; 182
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-14); Over

Game 737-738: Memphis at Oklahoma City (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 122.503; Oklahoma City 128.652
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 6; 182
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 4; 185
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-4); Under

NHL

Detroit at Chicago
The Blackhawks look to open up the series and take advantage of a Detroit team that is 0-11 in its last 11 games when playing with 2 days rest. Chicago is the pick (-200) according to Dunkel, which has the Blackhawks favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-200)

Game 7-8: Detroit at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 11.657; Chicago 12.962
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-200); 5
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-200); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Colorado at Chicago Cubs
The Rockies look to take advantage of a Cubs team that is 0-7 in Jeff Samardzija's last 7 starts in Game 3 of a series. Colorado is the pick (+110) according to Dunkel, which has the Rockies favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+110)

Game 901-902: Atlanta at Arizona (3:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hudson) 14.818; Arizona (Kennedy) 15.469
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Arizona (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-115); Over

Game 903-904: Milwaukee at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Gallardo) 15.264; Pittsburgh (Rodriguez) 14.782
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+105); Under

Game 905-906: Cincinnati at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 15.592; Miami (Sanabia) 13.541
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 2; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-180); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-180); Under

Game 907-908: Colorado at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Garland) 16.756; Cubs (Samardzija) 15.753
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-130); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+110); N/A

Game 909-910: NY Mets at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Marcum) 12.935; St. Louis (Miller) 16.305
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 3 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-210); 8
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-210); Under

Game 911-912: Washington at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Detwiler) 16.283; LA Dodgers (Greinke) 15.212
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 913-914: Houston at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Keuchel) 12.627; Detroit (Scherzer) 16.752
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 4; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-340); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-340); Under

Game 915-916: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 15.632; Minnesota (Pelfrey) 14.570
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-105); Over

Game 917-918: Texas at Oakland (3:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Ogando) 15.895; Oakland (Straily) 14.463
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Texas (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-120); Under

Game 919-920: Seattle at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Iwakuma) 16.367; NY Yankees (Hughes) 15.460
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+100); Over

Game 921-922: Boston at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 14.854; Tampa Bay (Price) 14.334
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-125); 7
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+105); Under

Game 923-924: Kansas City at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Davis) 14.765; LA Angels (Enright) 15.370
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-115); Over

Game 925-926: San Diego at Baltimore (12:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Marquis) 15.696; Baltimore (Garcia) 14.895
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-155); 9
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+135); Over

Game 927-928: Cleveland at Philadelphia (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kluber) 15.474; Philadelphia (Hamels) 17.096
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-170); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-170); Under

Game 929-930: San Francisco at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Vogelsong) 15.526; Toronto (Ortiz) 15.875
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 15

Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks
Prediction: Atlanta BravesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When the Braves send Tim Hudson to the slab in the finale of this three-games series with the Diamondbacks in Arizona Wednesday afternoon they will do so knowing he is in solid KW form with 17 strikeouts and 4 walks his last four starts. Hudson is also 8-1 with a 1.33 ERA in his career team starts against the Snakes, and 11-6 his last 17 team starts during the month of May. With his counterpart, Ian Kennedy, just 2-7 of late in his starting efforts in May, look for the Braves to beat the drum this afternoon. We recommend a 1-unit play on Atlanta.

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Jimmy BoydFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota Twins -115FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The White Sox are not having a very good season. They are 6 games below .500 and they are really struggling to get runs on the board. Chicago is batting an embarrassing .229 on the season and averaging a mere 3.4 runs per game. They will have Dylan Axelrod on the mound for today’s game which means Chicago probably won’t be getting any close to a .500 record. Axelrod is 0-3 in 7 starts this season.
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Minnesota is having somewhat of a surprise season. They are sitting on an 18-17 overall record and they seem to have no problems scoring at will. In the past 7 games the Twins have a .292 batting average and have scored 7.1 runs per game. The Twins have won five of their last seven games and picking up another win over the White Sox today should be no problem.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle vs. New YorkFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 7½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Hisashi Iwakuma (4-1, 1.74 ERA) toes the rubber for the visitors; Iwakuma allowed two runs off four hits with no walks over seven frames in a victory over the A's on Friday; he would finish with nine strikeouts. Iwakuma ranks first in the American League with an astounding 0.74 WHIP and is seventh with 51 K's over 51 2/3's frames of work. The 32-year old Iwakuma will be opposed by the 26-year old Phil Hughes (2-2, 4.43 ERA) who is coming off a shaky outing, fortunate to escape with a victory after giving up six runs off seven hits over 5 2/3's innings vs. the Royals on Friday; he struck out three and walked two. While past success guarantees nothing in the future, Hughes has a big opportunity to make an immediate return to form after going 3-2 with a very respectable 3.06 ERA in his last five vs. Seattle. I feel the talent level on the mound demands a second look at the "under" in this one.

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Steve RosenFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Tigers -1½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Here we go again! Today the Tigers will do what they did the past 2 games as well as what they have now done 5/6 games this year against the Astros, they will not only win the game but they will cover the Runline. They have beaten them to pieces every game this year home and away and don't expect any less! Now it is told ,now let it be written.Do i even need to go into the pitching today.We have struggling from the Astros Keuchel against a Stud Scherzer who is 5-0!

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay RaysFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Tampa Bay RaysFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rays fit a nice system here that has cashed 10 of 13 times and plays on home favorites with a total that is 8 or less if they are off a home favored win by 2 or more runs and scored 5 or more runs on 10+ hits with no errors, vs an opponent off a road dog loss by 2 or more runs that scored 4 or less runs with 4 or less hits. Tampa Bay is 9-4 vs left handed pitching averaging 5.3 runs in those games and have won 5 of 6 on Wednesday, and are scoring 6.3 runs the past week. Boston has struggled of late and will now have to take on D. Price who has beaten them the last 3 times here at home. J. Lester goes for Boston and he may not be able to duplicate the results of his last outing a 9 inning 1 hitter over Toronto. Look for Tampa to Take this one.

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Don Best Consensus

Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Atlanta Braves

Braves are 5-0 in Hudsons last 5 starts vs. Diamondbacks. Braves are 9-2 in the last 11 meetings.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Kansas City RoyalsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Wade Davis gets the call for the Royals tonight as both he and the team look to bounce back from less than desired results. Davis was awful in his most recent start. His command was way off, as he could not locate his fastball down in the zone. As a result, Davis got hit very hard. He'll need to correct that issue here or it could be another long night. Davis also needs to avoid getting hurt by Josh Hamilton, who has hit him very hard and looks to be finding his stroke.
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If that sounds like a less than convincing endorsement of Davis, it's meant that way. But I'll happily side with the hard throwing KC hurler rather than considering Barry Enright, who has not shown an indication he belongs at this level. Enright has gotten tagged at both the AAA and big league level so far this season and I think he's in for a difficult time tonight in Anaheim.
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The Royals were a tremendously popular play on Tuesday night with loads of bettors lining up to back red hot Jeremy Guthrie. Maybe they picked the wrong night, as while Guthrie wasn't good, it was a lack of offense against lefty Jason Vargas that doomed the Royals. That attack should fare substantially better here against the mediocre Enright. I like the Royals to win the series rubber match.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Atlanta BravesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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First place Atlanta can beat you in a variety of ways, great pitching depth and an offense that is 13th in baseball in runs scored, 10th in slugging. Arizona is a .500 team at home and faces Tim Hudson, who is a sizzling 7-0 with a 1.33 ERA against the D-backs. Up and down Arizona goes with Ian Kennedy, who is struggling with a 1-3 record and a 4.83 ERA. Kennedy has allowed seven runs in his last 12 2/3 innings of work. The Diamondbacks are 2-5 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter and 2-5 in their last 7 home games. And the Braves are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. Play the Braves.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Arizona DiamondbacksFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta's Auburn alum starter Tim Hudson has dominated Arizona in his career, posting a 7-0 record against the D-backs. Moreover, he's recorded an 0.97 ERA in five previous starts at Chase Field. But there is a limited sampling from recent seasons, and besides, Hudson and the Braves are in a mini-funk at the moment, losing four of their last five. And after erupting for 10 runs on Monday, the Braves looked more like the team that scored just 4 runs when getting swept over the weekend in San Francisco, while also suffering their Marlins-tying sixth shutout loss of the season ina 2-0 loss to Patrick Corbin and the D-back bullpen on Tuesday. Hudson's efforts away from home this season have also been abysmal, as his 6.97 road ERA would attest. It's also about time for Arizona starter Ian Kennedy to get a win, something that hasn't happened since opening day. He's off a solid start, however, settling down and not allowing a run over the next six innings after the Phils scored two in the first last Friday night in an eventual 3-2 Arizona win. Kennedy also has a solid 2.66 career ERA vs. the Braves. Play D-backs on Money Line

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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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If you've been following my free plays, then you know I've cashed the Cardinals each of the last two days. Yesterday's free winner was in addition to a 6-0 day with my premium selections! Today, the asking price on St. Louis is a bit too high on the money line, so I will instead turn to the run line & lay the -1.5.  I don't anticipate this game being very close.
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Here are my keys to the game:FOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Pitching Matchup - This is totally in favor of St. Louis.  Starting for the Mets is Shaun Marcum, who is having a disastrous year with a 8.59 ERA in four appearances. He's dealing with an injured thumb on his non-throwing hand as well. He was knocked around for six runs his last start. Meanwhile, Cards starter Shelby Miller has allowed only eight runs ALL SEASON in seven starts. He's coming off a complete game shutout against Colorado that saw him strike out 13 and walk no batters.  That win lowered his ERA 1.58 and his WHIP to 0.876. Total advantage for the home team in the starting pitching department.
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2. Homefield Advantage - Just a brief update from yesterday. The Mets have now lost 11 of 14 at Busch Stadium.
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3. X-Factor - These are two teams trending in opposite directions. St. Louis has won 11 of 13.  The Mets have lost seven of nine while not even averaging three full runs per game.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco vs. TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Now that the Leafs have gone crashing out of the NHL playoffs, the Jays are the only show in town in Toronto. They seem to be ready to rise to the occasion, coming off back to back double digit blowout victories.
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The Jays bats have come alive in recent games, with a 12-4 win over the Red Sox on Sunday, and a 10-6 win over the defending champion Giants yesterday.
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The Giants will send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound today, and he's been getting rocked lately. Vogelsong (1-3, 7.78 ERA) allowed six runs on seven hits over just 4 1/3 innings in a 6-3 loss to Atlanta his last time out. He's in a tough spot here facing a Jays team with plenty of power, and he's struggled to keep hitters in the park giving up nine home runs in his last six starts.
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The Jays will counter with Ramon Ortiz, who will make his third start of the season. Ortiz (0-1, 3.24 ERA) allowed just one run on four hits over five innings in a 5-0 loss at Fenway his last time out. He didn't have great command, walking five batters,
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The veteran has done a fine job filling in for Brendan Morrow, as acknowledged by his manager: "He did a tremendous job," John Gibbons said "He did everything and more than we wanted to or expected."
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The Jays could have another fine day at the plate today against Vogelsong, giving Ortiz a nice cushion.

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JEFF BENTON

Your Wednesday freebie is the Baltimore Orioles on the Run Line over the San Diego Padres.

Yes, the Padres were able to edge the Orioles by a 3-2 margin last night, but that win was their first in their last four games, as San Diego was swept at Tampa Bay in the series prior, dropping two of the three by two runs or more.

Baltimore has been struggling of late, losers of three of their last five, but I have a hunch that Freddy Garcia is going to turn in a gem here as he makes his third start in the O's rotation while looking for his first win.

Jason Marquis counters off three wins in a row, but they all came against National League competition. Let's see how Marquis handles pitching in an American League park tonight, especially against a Baltimore team that I feel is ready to bust out.

I will roll the dice here and take my chances with the Orioles to down the Padres on the Run Line this Wednesday night.

2* BALTIMORE -1.5

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CRAIG DAVIS

Your free play of the day is on the NY Yankees over the Seattle Mariners after last night's thriller.

With the Mariners leading 3-0 vs. CC Sabathia, the game took a strange turn when Felix Hernandez was forced to leave with a strained muscle.

He attempted to snap a throw to second base after he fielded a ground ball on a soft comebacker from Curtis Granderson.

When he came back to the mound after the play for the next pitch, he was obviously in some pain and eventually would leave the game.

That's when the game turned. New York would score four runs and hang on for a one-run win.

This was a morale killer for the M's as they had New York right where they wanted them, but when you don't have a solid bullpen these types of things can happen to you.

Phil Hughes takes the mound for the Yankees and although he had another HORRIBLE April, he's turned it around this month and I expect him to keep up his torrid pace against a below average offense.

Granted, Seattle sends Hisashi Iwakuma to the bump sporting a better record and ERA than Hughes, but he likely won't get the run support that New York can provide for Hughes.

Should be a fun pitcher's duel, but in the end the Yankees will win the game as very small favorites.

3* N.Y. YANKEES

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BRAD WILTON

Your free play for Wednesday is to look for the Reds and Marlins to put some runs up on the board as they make their way Over the total.

Cincy has been putting some runs on the scoreboard of late. Last night they plated 6 in the win, as they have now scored 28 runs the past 4 games. The offense should continue against Alex Sanabia who has allowed 11 runs - 8 of them earned - over his last 16 innings pitched. Sanabia also has a home ERA of 5.60, and 5 of his 7 season starts this year have landed Over the posted price.

Mike Leake counters for the Reds, and he sports an over 5 ERA for his last 3 starts, and an even higher over 6 ERA on the road this year. All 7 of Leake's starts this year have gone Over the total.

Nothing changes tonight, runs add up as the Reds and Marlins go Over the total on Wednesday night.

3* CINCINNATI-MIAMI OVER

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Sean MurphyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Diego vs. BaltimoreFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: San Diego +1.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I could sum up this play in one sentence; Freddy Garcia doesn't deserve to be in this price range...ever.
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We cashed a ticket against Garcia with the Royals last week, and we'll go right back to the well today, albeit using the +1.5 run-line to our advantage.
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The only reason I hesitate to back the Padres on the moneyline is the presence of Jason Marquis on the mound. Like Garcia, Marquis' best days are behind him, but he has managed to post some solid overall numbers this season, largely due to the fact he's made five of his seven starts, and each of his last four, at home.
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With that being said, I believe the Padres can do enough damage at the plate to stay step-for-step with the O's for nine innings this afternoon.
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While San Diego is thought of as an anemic offensive club, they have proven to be a streaky team in recent years, and I look for them to build on the momentum they gained with last night's come-from-behind 3-2 win. The Pads' scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to secure that victory, ending Jim Johnson's consecutive saves streak at 27 games.
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The Orioles are one of the most popular plays on the board today, but I believe they'll be in tough once again. They've actually played their best baseball on the road this season - here at home, they're just 9-7, and 5-11 when factoring in the -1.5 run-line.

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Steve Merril

Indians vs. Phillies    
Play: Under 8

The Indians play their fourth game in just over 48 hours as they wrap up a brief 2-game set in Philadelphia against the Phillies. Cole Hamels looks for his second win of the season; five of his eight starts have gone Under the total. Hamels has allowed just 5 runs and 12 hits over his last three starts while striking out 17. Jason Giambi (0-4), Mark Reynolds (2-10) and Drew Stubbs (2-11) have had their problems with the Phillies’ pitcher. Cleveland has scored just 7 total runs in their last four games, all of which have gone Under the total. They are hitting right around .236 in their last eight games.

Corey Kluber has pitched well for the Indians excluding his last start at the tough Detroit Tigers. Before giving up 8 runs to them, he gave up 5 runs and 12 hits in two starts against the Royals and Twins. The Phillies broke out of a scoring slump a bit on Tuesday night by scoring 6 runs. Before that they had scored just 13 runs over a 5-game span. This is a Phillies team hitting just .243 against right handed pitching. The Indians’ bullpen still has not lost a game yet this season and they continue to be a strength. We expect a low-scoring game between the Indians and Phillies on Wednesday afternoon.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cleveland +148 over PHILADELPHIAFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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As we saw with Roy Halladay, ballplayers often overestimate their ability to play through an injury. As Halladay lurched from bad outing to bad outing through March, April, and May, it became obvious to most observers that he was not healthy, long before he actually admitted as much. Halladay is not the only offender. Plenty of other players around MLB are doing the same thing right now, and just haven't gotten to the point of giving up and admitting to their injury. Some of those players are currently baffling us with slow starts and one of those players is Phillies starter Cole Hamels. Hamels has a glaring flaw in his skill set so far this year. His control is completely out of character, as he hasn't thrown this many balls since his 2006 rookie season. Combine that with erosion of his strikeout rate and there is reason to be concerned. Hamels is 0-3 at home with a 4.71 ERA and this Cleveland squad is very capable of putting up a crooked number. Hamel’s teammate Halladay has gotten all the scrutiny and maybe this is a case where Hamels is trying to pitch through something to help the team because he knew Halladay's situation was worse. Hamels did complain of shoulder stiffness early this spring. Results since then strongly suggest that all is not well. Simply put, a healthy Cole Hamels does not pitch like this.
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Corey Kluber’s surface stats are not pretty and that provides us with an outstanding buy low opportunity. A look under the hood and there is something profitable here. Kluber’s 5.64 ERA so far is more a product of bad luck than poor pitching. Kluber has a 37%/65% hit-rate/strand-rate and that has been the main culprit for his misleading ERA. A 3.85 xERA and 20/6 K/BB through 22 innings indicate there's a decent chance at some good numbers in this matchup against a Philadelphia lineup with the third-lowest OPS in the NL (.678). Nice overlay in this one gets the call.
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ST. LOUIS -1½ +104 over N.Y. MetsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We almost always refrain from backing a pitcher coming off a complete game gem because what follows is usually a letdown but Shelby Miller is different. Miller is as good a prospect as Stephen Strasburg was when he came up without all the hype. Miller’s skills are electric with 51 K’s against just 11 walks in 46 frames. His WHIP is down to 0.88, his ERA is 1.58 and his xERA of 2.41 is tops in the majors. Miller is coming off a one-hit, 13-strikeout performance against the Rockies but he’s not going to need to be nearly as fine here because his mound opponent is Shaun Marcum.
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Marcum hasn't been the same in four appearances since coming back from a neck injury. His fastball is topping out at only 85 mph and he hasn't been able to make it to the 5th inning in any start yet, resulting in three disasters. Marcum comes in with a BAA of .400 after allowing 24 hits in just 14.2 frames. There are more concerns than a velocity decrease also. Marcum’s batted ball profile is one of the more disturbing one’s in MLB. A 31%/29%/39% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball profile is all the proof one needs to see that Marcum is laboring to get through each inning. With six walks in 15 frames, a 2.05 WHIP, a 8.59 ERA and those ugly batted ball rates, this is the profile of a pitcher in real peril. Marcum has been regressing badly for years and if the Mets weren’t playing him 4M this season, they probably wouldn’t even be using him. Instead, the Mets are trying to squeeze a few more innings out of this bust and that allows us to cash in. Cardinals roll again.
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San Francisco +102 over TORONTOFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When Ramon Ortiz took the hill against the Red Sox in Toronto in his last start, he escaped with a five-inning, four hit, one-run performance. It was his first start back in the majors since 2011. Ortiz has made just 15 starts since 2007. He’s a 40-year old stiff with poor skills that is fill-in fodder until the Blue Jays get some healthy bodies back. He’s here because of experience only. In that five-inning performance against Boston, Ortiz was in trouble every inning. He walked five batters while striking out just one and overall in his two appearances (one out of the pen) Ortiz has a 1.80 WHIP.  Ortiz last provided profit potential in 2002 and spent 2012 in AAA-Scranton-Wilkes-Barre (NYY affiliate) rotation, with 27 starts. Now at age 40, with one good 2013 start at AAA-Buffalo and one extremely lucky one at this level, Ortiz gets another start and he’s favored over Ryan Vogelsong and the World Series champs.
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The Giants are going to wake up this morning and see that Ortiz is favored over them. Not only is that ludicrous, it’s a complete insult to Ryan Vogelsong and the entire team. The Giants may even hang up the betting line on their clubhouse bulletin board. Ryan Vogelsong has a rough 7.78 ERA and 1.73 WHIP after 39 IP but those marks have been inflated by a 37% hit%, a 58% strand % and 19% hr/f. That is all pure bad luck. Vogelsong’s skills have been rock solid with 37 K’s in 39 frames, 15 walks, and a 41% groundball rate. Vogelsong has plenty of good starts left in him while Ortiz has none. If you make one bet today, this should be it.
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Kansas City +104 over L.A. ANGELSFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Royals are two games over .500 while the Halos are nine games under and now the league’s worst pitcher is favored for the team that is nine games under? Say what? Barry Enright is the best option the Angels have in a poor group of potential call-ups. Enright won over Aaron Heilman and Armando Gallarraga not because he was pitching well, but because the other two were pitching so poorly. As a result, Enright got the promotion and a break when his call-up coincided with a game in Chicago against the light hitting White Sox. All Enright did was walk five batters in 3.1 innings and was yanked after allowing five runs. Enright had a 3.91 ERA in 99 innings for Arizona in 2010 and that was his last season in the majors that he threw any significant amount of innings. The past two seasons in the majors were both short-lived as Enright threw a combined 40 innings over that span and posted a 7.41 ERA and 14.73 ERA respectively. We’re not even sure why this guy is still around. He has the worst set of skills we’ve ever seen. Enright’s MLB profile over 146 career innings reads as follows: a 26% groundball rate, a 29% line-drive rate and a 45% fly-ball rate. He also has a low strikeout rate (76 K’s in 146 IP) and a high walk total (50 BB in 146 IP). Enright is a disaster waiting to happen. That moderate success he had in Arizona three years ago was a complete mirage and he’s been dealing batting practice ever since. This is not major league material, instead it’s prime fade material and the fact that he’s favored over anyone is ludicrous.
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Wade Davis is a risk too. He’s been bouncing around between the starter’s role and the bullpen for years. He’s always had decent skills but he has not been able to sustain any consistency whatsoever. However, he still has 28 K’s in 35 innings this year and has been hurt by an unlucky 71% strand rate. Even more interesting is that the total in this game is 8½ and that strongly suggests one of these pitchers is likely to throw a decent game. The chances of Enright throwing a good game are about the same as Manti Te'o’s girlfriend showing up at his NFL debut. This is a pure fade on Enright.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 15

Wunderdog

Houston at Detroit
Pick: Detroit -1.5

The Tigers' soft start had many puzzled, but they have since answered the bell by going 12-5 over their last 17 games. The Astros are losers of 213 games the last two seasons, and appear headed for a similar destiny this season. Houston isn't just losing games, they have for the most part been uncompetitive. Since the 2011 season the Astros have been a dog of +200 or more 34 time with just six wins, and stand at just 10-24 when getting +1.5. The odds here are the greatest in the period for the Astros, who have been a poor runline bet even as low as +200 on the moneyline. Look for Detroit to lay another pasting on this hapless team, and play Detroit on the runline.

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