Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, May 21

Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, May 21

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Memphis at San Antonio
The Spurs look to follow up their 105-83 win in Game 1 and build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. San Antonio is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Spurs favored by 9. Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-5)

Game 505-506: Memphis at San Antonio (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 124.400; San Antonio 133.525
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 9; 178
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 5; 182 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-5); Under

NHL

Boston at NY Rangers 
The Rangers look to pick up their first win of the series and build on their 12-3 record in their last 15 home games versus the Bruins. New York is the pick (-140) according to Dunkel, which has the Rangers favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-140)

Game 23-24: Boston at NY Rangers (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 11.179; NY Rangers 12.695
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-140); Under

Game 25-26: Los Angeles at San Jose (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 12.911; San Jose 11.737
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-135); 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+115); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Kansas City at Houston
The Astros look to follow up last night's 6-5 win and build on their 4-0 record in Bud Norris' last 4 starts versus a team with a losing record. Houston is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Astros favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Houston (+115)

Game 901-902: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Garza) 14.182; Pittsburgh (Rodriguez) 15.747
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-135); Over

Game 903-904: Cincinnati at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 14.927; NY Mets (Niese) 14.550
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-130); Under

Game 905-906: Philadelphia at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Cloyd) 14.566; Miami (Fernandez) 15.435
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+100); Over

Game 907-908: LA Dodgers at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Greinke) 14.761; Milwaukee (Burgos) 13.249
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-135); Under

Game 909-910: Arizona at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Kennedy) 16.418; Colorado (Chacin) 15.369
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Colorado (-125); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+105); Over

Game 911-912: St. Louis at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 15.770; San Diego (Volquez) 14.486
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-160); 7
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-160); Under

Game 913-914: Washington at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Strasburg) 14.717; San Francisco (Cain) 15.844
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-115); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-115); Under

Game 915-916: Tampa Bay at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Cobb) 15.737; Toronto (Ortiz) 16.673
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-130); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+110); Over

Game 917-918: NY Yankees at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Hughes) 14.036; Baltimore (Gonzalez) 14.622
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-110); Under

Game 919-920: Detroit at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Scherzer) 14.807; Cleveland (Kluber) 17.160
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 2 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+115); Over

Game 921-922: Oakland at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Straily) 15.515; Texas (Darvish) 16.380
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Texas (-200); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-200); Under

Game 923-924: Kansas City at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Davis) 14.313; Houston (Norris) 15.326
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-135); 9
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+115); Over

Game 925-926: Boston at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 15.762; White Sox (Quintana) 14.696
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-105); Over

Game 927-928: Seattle at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Harang) 14.367; LA Angels (Williams) 15.837
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-160); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-160); Under

Game 929-930: Minnesota at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Pelfrey) 13.327; Atlanta (Hudson) 15.780
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 2 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-200); Under

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado RockiesSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Arizona DiamondbacksFOR SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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When Ian Kennedy matches serves with Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies at Coors Field in Colorado in Game Two of this three-game series the Diamondbacks will do so knowing is 9-4 in his career team starts against the Rockies. On the flip side Chacin is in struggling current form and 0-6 with a 7.91 ERA in his last six-team starts during the month of May. Back the better arm here today. We recommend a 1-unit play on Arizona.

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Stephen NoverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami MarlinsFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Miami MarlinsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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It's hard to get behind the Marlins - except when rookie Jose Fernandez takes the mound.
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New York's Matt Harvey is drawing most of the rookie attention. Harvey has been sensational, but Fernandez is a rising star, too. As bad as Miami is, Fernandez should not open as a home 'dog to Tyler Cloyd and a cold Phillies team.
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Fernandez is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts with 21 strikeouts in 20 innings during this span. Fernandez's hot streak began against the Phillies in Citizens Park, a much easier stadium to hit in. He beat the Phillies, 2-0, giving up just one hit in seven innings with nine strikeouts. This was the second time Fernandez faced the Phillies. He held them to two hits in six scoreless innings on April 13.
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So Philadelphia has yet to score on Fernandez in 13 innings getting just three hits and striking out 14 times against him. The Phillies are not in good form either being outscored, 17-4, in their last three games.
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Miami has the worst offense in the league, but the Phillies are 27th in runs averaging just 3.4 per game. It's too much to expect of Cloyd, a fill-in starter, to keep pace with Fernandez. Cloyd has a 4.58 career ERA in seven big league starts.

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Alex SmartFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston Bruins +123FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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In my opinion the Rangers were fortunate to make the playoffs, this season. I felt they just did not have a cohesive enough team. The Bruins on the other hand despite of a boat load full of talent and muscle , played just hard enough in the regular season to coast into the post season and saved their best for last. With star goalie Hendrick Lundqvist dealing with a injured shoulder , the Rangers chances tonight , despite of being at home in MSG, look fragile at best, vs a Beantown crew that is just starting to hit their stride.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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NY Rangers -135FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rangers will look to get back into the series tonight against a Boston team that beat them 5-2 on Sunday. Boston checks in at 1-4 this season off 3 wins and the Rangers have won the last 3 times when playing off 2 losses. The Rangers are 11-5 at home in games where the posted total is 5 or less and 14-4 when playing off 3 or more road games. The Rangers have been solid at home in the playoffs and will give their best effort here tonight. New York has won all 6 times coming off a game where they allowed 4 or more goals. Look for Lundquist and the Rangers to rebound here and take Game 3.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis vs. San DiegoFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 7FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Adam Wainwright (5-3, 2.51 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; the 31-year old went six frames vs. the Mets on Thursday giving up four runs off six hits while striking out eight. Wainwright would give up a single walk, which was just his sixth total free pass of the season. Wainwright looks to get back on track vs. the soft-hitting Friars and will be opposed by Edinson Volquez (3-4, 5.55 ERA) who is coming off an outing to forget in which he gave up five runs off five hits over five frames of work vs. the Nationals on Thursday; he'd strike out seven and walk four in the 6-2 setback. Here's a chance for the veteran to get untracked against a team he enjoyed success against last year, going 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two starts vs. the Cards in 2012. Seven of these teams last ten vs. each other have fallen below the posted number. I believe these starters can duel into the latter frames and expect this one to stay "under" the number.

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Ray MonohanFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Pittsburgh Pirates -132FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Did you notice that the Pittsburgh Pirates are in second place in the N.L Central...they are also on a roll having won 8 of 10 heading into Monday night.
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I think the good times will continue to roll Tuesday at home. Pittsburgh has lefty Wandy Rodriguez on the hill. Way-Rod is enjoying a fine season including 6 shutout innings against the Cubbies in his first start of the year.
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As much as I like him I also really like fading Cubs starter Matt Garza Tueday. Garza never really lives up to expectations and this is his first start of the season after starting the year on the disabled list.
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I don’t have a lot of confidence in him coming out guns blazing.

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Dave Cokin

Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox
Pick: Boston Red Sox

Felix Doubront might drive Red Sox fans, not to mention his teammates, a little nuts with his shaky control. But the Doubront metrics indicate that he's slightly underrated. His SIERA is a full two runs less than his ERA, and there's generally value in backing pitchers with that kind of stat line.

Jose Quintana has been adequate for the White Sox, and his 3.97 ERA is pretty much indicative of how he's pitched. What's not showing up in that stat, however, is what is becoming a very clear tendency. Quintana is generally shot after five or six innings. You're going to see teams starting to take a very disciplined approach when they face Quintana, as they're now armed with the knowledge that forcing his pitch count up early is likely to wear him down much earlier than the White Sox would like.

Aside from the pitching, I have to like Boston here. They're simply better than the White Sox, and not nearly as prone to the Pale Hose to mental blunders on defense. That's been an ongoing issue for Robin Ventura's troops all season, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. For whatever reason, the Red Sox are playing their best baseball on the road through the season's first quarter, and they're the favorite on my numbers tonight. As I'm writing this, I can get a minimal plus with Boston and that's good enough to make the Red Sox the Tuesday free opinion.

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Jim Feist

Oakland at Texas
Pick: Under

Oakland heads to Texas and the under is 5-0 in the Athletics last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter. They aren't facing an ordinary righty here, but ace Yu Darvish (7-1, 2.97 ERA), who has struck out 86 in 60+ innings and only 37 hits! The under is 7-1 in the Rangers last 8 home games. The Oakland offense has been struggling, on an 8-3 run under the total, and when these division rivals meet the under is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings. Play the A's/Rangers under the total.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles at San JoseFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: San JoseFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Unlike last year, the Kings are struggling on the road in this year's playoffs, and they have won only 1 of their last 10 away from home dating to March. Not quite the same as last season at this time.. San Jose is also now 20-2-5 at home this season in the Shark Tank, so a bit reluctant to pick the spot they will lose at home. Goals are also often hard to come by for LA, and at some point that is going to bite the Kings. The Sharks are fore-checking like crazy in this series, they're not getting out-hit, and they can roll out lots of firepower with several potent lines that Todd McLellan adjusted in early April. San Jose has been soaring since. Though favored on Tuesday, San Jose is also skating as the underdog in this series, which is s likely plus for this bunch that so often underachieved when much was expected. The Vancouver sweep suggests this is a different Sharks bunch. Plus Antti Niemi is also a Stanley Cup-winning goalie in the past and is matching Quick save-for-save. The Sharks should be up 2-1 in this series right now, but can still claw back to level and make it best-of-three from this point forward. Play Sharks on Money Line

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Bryan PowerFOR THE FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. PittsburghFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: PittsburghFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Good matchup here for the surging Bucs taking on the struggling Cubs. Having won 8 of 10, at home, and with a hot pitcher on the mound, Pittsburgh should roll here.
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The Pirates have won both series so far on the current homestand, including taking two of three over the weekend against Houston, their old NL Central rival. Now they play a current division foe, one that's lost three of five.  Pittsburgh has revenge on its mind here after dropping two of three early in the season here at PNC Park.  Fortunately, they have Wandy Rodriguez on the mound for Tuesday's series opener.  The southpaw has won back to back starts, allowing only two runs over 13 innings. His ERA in four home starts thus far is a sparkling 1.35.
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The Cubs come in averaging just 2.7 runs per game vs. lefties, batting .217.  They are not a good road team either, averaging only 2.9 runs while batting .218.  Pittsburgh is 15-9 at home.  Chicago will go with Matt Garza for the 1st time in 2013 Tuesday.  An injury to his right elbow caused him to miss almost the entire second half of 2012.  A lat injury has caused him to miss the first two months of this season.  He will be on a strict pitch count.  He'll also have to deal with Pittsburgh having Andrew McCutchen back in the lineup.

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Mariners vs. AngelsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: AngelsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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I had some success over the weekend with the Angels (as well as the rest of my plays!), and will look to use them again Tuesday as they welcome in the Seattle Mariners for the start of a brief two-game set.
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Here are my keys to the game:FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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1.  Scheduling Favors Home Team - It will be tough for Seattle to get over Monday's loss to the Indians.  Despite homering in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings, the Mariners still lost the game 10-8.  It was particularly painful after reliever Wilhelmsen made a costly error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  The fact that the Angels had Monday off is a huge advantage, obviously.  With yesterday's loss, Seattle dropped to 9-16 on the road.
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2.  Harang Woes - Seattle starter Aaron Harang has not pitched well this season at all, particularly on the road. His ERA away from Safeco Field (two starts) is 8.43.  He has never beaten the Angels in four starts, going 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA and 2.037 WHIP.
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3. X-Factor - While the Angels finally seem to have some momentum, Seattle was swept in Cleveland.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Dodgers vs. BrewersFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: DodgersFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After the Dodgers took Game 1 in Milwaukee, breaking out of a three game slump, they have another favorable matchup tonight. Zack Greinke is back off the DL, and he looked pretty good in his first start since his return.
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Greinke (2-0, 1.62 ERA) allowed a single run on five hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 3-1 win over Washington in his first start off the DL. He's now allowed only three runs in three starts so far this year, and the Dodgers have won all three games.
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You could say that he likes pitching at Miller Park, he's won 15 straight starts in his former home ballpark.
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The Dodgers will get another look at Hiram Burgos, who they already beat earlier this year. Burgos has lost consecutive starts, and he's winless in his last four outings. He was really torched by the Reds in Cincinnati on May 11, allowing 12 runs in just three innings.
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The Dodgers got some offense from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier yesterday, and they should be able to get a few runs on Burgos tonight.

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St Louis Cardinals -140FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Adam Wainwright has been nothing short of spectacular for the Cardinals this season. In 9 starts he has posted a 2.51 ERA and averages 7.2 innings per start. In his career against San Diego Wainwright has a 0.97 ERA and a 0.946 WHIP. The Cardinals have a .273 batting average against right handed starters and they average 5.1 runs in those games so run support will not be an issue today. San Diego will have Edinson Volquez getting the start today. Volquez has a 5.55 ERA and has allowed 53 hits this season in a total of 48.7 innings pitched. His numbers are below average across the board and St Louis will be one of the best hitting teams he has faced this season. Run support for the Padres should be a major issue as they post a .246 batting average this season.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis vs. San DiegoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: St. LouisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I'm aware that the Padres have been playing well here at Petco in recent weeks. In fact, I won with them each of the last two days. This figures to be a tough matchup though.
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Wainwright suffered a loss last time out. However, he still delivered a "quality start" and he's having an outstanding season. Through nine starts, he's 5-3 (Cards are 6-3) with a 2.51 ERA. He's averaged better than seven innings per start and has 63 K's to just five walks, allowing only two home runs in 64 2/3 innings.
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A closer look shows that Wainwright has a commanding 30/1 K/W ratio on the road, the Cards winning four of his five starts away from St. Louis.
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The Padres know how tough Wainwright can be as he's got a 0.97 ERA in five starts against them.
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On the other hand, Volquez is 2-4 with a 5.32 ERA in nine starts vs. St. Louis. This season, through nine starts, Volquez has an ugly 5.55 ERA and 1.582 WHIP. Not surprisingly, the Padres are only 3-6 (-2.8) when he takes the mound. Consider laying the wood.

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MLB Predictions

Houston Astros +120

The Houston Astros are coming off a 6-5 win last night vs Kansas City as underdogs. That extends Kanas City’s losing streak to 4 games and they are now just 2-8 over their last 10 games overall. The Astros have won 3 of their last 5 games overall, and although they are just 13-32 on the year they send their best starting pitcher to the mound. Bud Norris will be pitching for Houston and he is 4-4 on the season with a 4.32 ERA, .296 OBA and 1.54 WHIP. He is coming off a rough outing where he allowed 7 earned runs vs Detroit, but that came on short rest after going 8 innings allowing just 1 earned run at home vs the Angels. He has now had a full week of rest and should be ready to get back at it with a quality home start. At home this year he is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA (compared to a road ERA of 7.71). That isn’t rare for Bud Norris as he was 4-1 with a stellar 1.71 ERA at home last year compared to a road ERA of 6.94. He will be facing Wade Davis who takes the mound for the Royals. Davis is 3-3 on the season with a 5.98 ERA, .349 OBA and 1.89 WHIP. After a pretty good start to the season Davis has had his troubles lately allowing 23 earned runs over his last 5 starts. His last time out he went 5.1 innings giving up 9 hits and 4 earned runs, and his start before that he allowed 7 earned runs over 5 innings of work. Over 4 road starts his ERA is at 4.95 with opponents hitting .369 against him. Take note that the Royals are just 3-10 in their last 13 games as a small road favorite between -110 and -150 and they are 0-6 in their last 6 games as a favorite overall. I will take the value on the underdog tonight.

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Wunderdog

Tampa Bay at Toronto
Pick: Toronto +130

It has become apparent that the Tampa Bay Rays aren't the same pitching-heavy team they were a year ago. David Price has struggled, Shields is in Kansas City, and Fernando Rodney who was lights-out closing games a year ago, is not even close to what he did a year ago. Factor in Moore who is 8-0, and the Rays are otherwise a bad team. Alex Cobb has dominated at home, but has been very shaky on the road. Ramon Ortiz has given the Blue Jays' rotation a lift at 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA. The Jays have played well in expected higher than normal scoring games, taking their last five with a total of 9 to 10.5. The Rays are just 2-8 behind Cobb after scoring 5+ in their previous game. Go with Toronto.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, May 21

Sam Martin

Grizzlies at Spurs
Play: Under

Spurs came out on fire in the series opener and never let up in a blowout win in Game One. Spurs finished with a 53% shooting effort and made 14 of their 29 three-point attempts. Despite that incredible offense performance the game only went over the total by six points, and we think Memphis can make enough defensive adjustments to slow down the Spurs offense and keep this game under the total. Grizzlies had held their opponents to 93 points or less in four of their previous five games going into this series, and only allow 90 points per game on the season. Memphis offense not very explosive and has scored less than 90 points in back-to-back games, and going back further they've shot 43% or less in six straight. Trends support this play as the Grizzlies are 17-4 Under after scoring 85 points or less and a near-perfect 12-1 Under after playing two straight games as a road underdog. Better defense leads to this game falling short of the posted total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, May 21

Joe Gavazzi

Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros
Play: Houston Astros   

The Royals are at last regressing to the mean following their hot start. KC has now fallen below .500 going 3-11 with 4 consecutive losses following their 17-10 start. The work of Davis has been a trouble spot as he has posted an 8.39 ERA his L5 starts. I am normally only interested in Houston when Norris pitches at home, which is the case tonight. Following an outstanding season from this mound last year, Norris has a home record of 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 5 home starts this season. A rare chance to win with the Astros!

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