Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Tigers -142FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This line is still very favorable for Detroit when you consider the pitching matchup. Justin Verlander has posted a 3.17 ERA on the season and he has 60 strikeouts in just 54 innings pitched. The Tigers have a .280 team batting average and they are scoring 5.3 runs per game. Cleveland is 20-42 the last two seasons after batting .240 or worse over a 10 game span.
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Cleveland will have Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound today. Jimenez has posted a 9.72 ERA in his 4 home starts. He has been rocked to the tune of 18 earned runs and 13 walks while averaging a mere 4.2 innings per start. Jimenez has not had much luck against Detroit throughout his career. He has a 5-7 record and a 5.12 ERA and 1.464 WHIP when facing the Tigers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

SPORTS WAGERSFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota +169 over ATLANTAFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a copy and paste from our write-up on the total and it’s all about backing Vance Worley, one of the most undervalued pitchers in the game right now. Vance Worley's sophomore campaign was a bust, as the 25-year-old attempted to pitch through bone spurs in his elbow for the majority of the season. Worley’s 1H/2H splits from last season are so contrasting that it's clear the elbow injury played a large part in his ineffectiveness. He showcased a new groundball tilt in 1H last season and he’s trending strongly in that direction this season with a 50% groundball rate overall and a 60% groundball rate over his past two starts.  Prior to his diagnosis last April, Worley displayed some tantalizing skill and even with his injury-marred 2H, the final product wasn't all that different from 2011, suggesting a return to those levels is very possible. Worley’s early returns (6.20 ERA) have been hurt by an extremely low 68% strand rate but he’s getting better with each passing game as his physical strengths return. This guy is so far under the radar right now and we get the benefit of a big number and high total because of his misleading surface stats.
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ATLANTA/Minnesota Under 8FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A couple of weeks ago we were talking about the barometer, an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure and how it affects the flight of the baseball and ultimately the total. If you noticed, yesterday, 11 of 15 games went under the total and it’s no coincidence that a heavy pressure system was moving in through many parts of the United States. That applies today in many places, including Turner Field, where the barometric pressure is heavy and getting heavier. We also get the benefit of a day game here after a night game, meaning both managers are very likely going to sit a couple of starters each.
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Paul Maholm is 2-1 at Turner Field with an ERA of 1.83. What Maholm lacks in pure raw talent, he's making up for in guile and maturity as a pitcher. He keeps the ball in the park and usually on the ground, he can strike out a hitter when necessary and he walks few batters. Maholm will be facing a Twins lineup that is hitting just .237 on the road this season and again, will likely be sitting a couple of regulars.
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Vance Worley's sophomore campaign was a bust, as the 25-year-old attempted to pitch through bone spurs in his elbow for the majority of the season. Worley’s 1H/2H splits from last season are so contrasting that it's clear the elbow injury played a large part in his ineffectiveness. He showcased a new groundball tilt in 1H last season and he’s trending strongly in that direction this season with a 50% groundball rate overall and a 60% groundball rate over his past two starts.  Prior to his diagnosis last April, Worley displayed some tantalizing skill and even with his injury-marred 2H, the final product wasn't all that different from 2011, suggesting a return to those levels is very possible. Worley’s early returns (6.20 ERA) have been hurt by an extremely low 68% strand rate but he’s getting better with each passing game as his physical strengths return. This guy is so far under the radar right now and we get the benefit of a big number and high total because of his misleading surface stats. In what should be a low scoring game, the dog offers up too much value here and thus, we’ll play both the total and the Twins.
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SAN DIEGO/St. Louis Over 8FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tyler Lyons gets the call up from the Pacific Coast league to make his major league debut for the Cardinals and it isn’t likely to end well for him. At the minor league level, Lyons allowed 56 hits in 46 frames for a BAA of .306. With runners in scoring position, or pitching from the stretch, Lyons ERA at Memphis this season was 15.55. With runners on, his ERA was 8.35. Lyons was a ninth round draft (289th) pick in the 2010 draft and has proven nothing at any level other than he can throw strikes.
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Burch Smith has made two starts at this level after being called up on May 11 to face the Rays, He lasted one inning in his first start and followed that up by surrendering three bombs and five runs in 5.1 innings in his second start against the light-hitting Nationals. Smith has good velocity on his fastball but hitters are sitting on it because he has no confidence in his below average secondary offerings. Smith is also a fly-ball pitcher (16%/42% GB/FB profile) and has an awful 42% line drive rate in his first two starts. These two went off for 12 runs last night. The barometric pressure at Petco Park is dropping and ever since they moved the fences in at the start of the year, Petco is allowing more runs than ever before. Expect that to continue here.     
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L.A. ANGELS -1½ +120 over SeattleFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Angels may have woken up. They scored 12 times yesterday for the second time in their past three games and have now scored 30 runs over their past three games. They get their easiest assignment of them all in this game against Brandon Maurer. Maurer is 2-5 in eight starts and has a 5.75 ERA after pitching most of his games at pitcher friendly venues. Maurer’s results are a bit skewed by one terrible start (6 ER in 0.2 IP on April 9) but he’s still has a huge learning curve to go through. Maurer is only 22 and has no experience at AAA, so these struggles aren’t surprising. With a bevy of pitching prospects on the way, along with some starters recovering from injuries, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Maurer sent back to the minors in the coming months and he can’t be feeling too good about this start after sitting in the dugout last night and watching the Halos rip the cover of the ball.
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C.J. Wilson is getting stronger. He’s made four quality starts in a row but has very little to show for it because the Angels were giving him no run support. Wilson’s ERA has dipped from 5.25 on April 9 to his current ERA of 3.72. Wilson has also pitched into the seventh inning in four straight starts and has surrendered three runs or less in seven straight. Current Mariners are hitting just .236 against Wilson. For the first time all year, the Angels are ”feeling it”. As often mentioned before, winning is highly contagious and when you’re scoring plenty of runs, and having great AB’s like the Angels are right now, you can’t wait to get back to the park and into the batter’s box. Angels should roll again.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Andrew LangeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Dodgers at BrewersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Hyun-Jin Ryu has been solid thus far; like a lot of Far East products he features an arsenal of different pitches at different speeds. He's had a fairly favorable schedule with four games in LA and two in San Francisco and New York. In games at Atlanta, Baltimore, and Arizona, Ryu was a bit more hittable, allowing nine earned runs in 17 innings. Coming from the left side, I view today as perhaps his toughest assignment with the Brewers loaded with right-handed bats in a hitter friendly park.
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Wily Peralta hasn't been the most fortunate starter in baseball but his 29-to-17 K-to-BB ratio in 50 innings certainly hasn't helped his cause. I like Peralta's groundball rate (54.5%) but his inability to consistently miss bats and avoid the long ball (6 HRs allowed) makes him a fringe NL arm in my book. Also note that his start in LA (6 IP, 3 ERs) was with Doug Eddings behind the plate.
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And while everyone is quick to bash Milwaukee's bullpen, LA's has been far worse. As a unit, they sport a 5-13 record and 4.47 ERA. I've been saying it all season, unless you have two above average pitchers – which I don't think is the case this afternoon – the baseline total in Miller Park should be 9. It looks to be headed that way, which makes over 8.5 a solid bet.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Big Kat Sports

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Take: Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs will look to bounce back from a tough loss to the Pirates in Game 1 of their series when the two teams meet tonight at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Cubs bullpen was up to their usual tricks again, blowing a win for Matt Garza who was making his first start after coming off the disabled list. Chicago, who has lost 3 of their last 4 games, will send Jeff Samardzija to the hill this evening. He has pitched much better than his 2-5 record would lead you to believe as he has posted a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Samardzija is striking out over 10 batters per 9 innings pitched and has only given up 6 homers in 56.2 innings pitched. He will be opposed Francisco Liriano, who will get the call on the mound for the Pirates. Liriano has posted a 2-0 record with a 1.64 ERA in his 2 starts this season but he has run up the pitch count in each and hasn’t pitched past the 6th inning in either. The Cubs, despite their 6-11 record in one run games this season have actually been pretty good in the spot they are in here tonight with the Pirates. They are 5-2 in their last 7 games when the oddsmakers have posted a total of 7-8.5 on their games and Samardzija has posted a 4-0 record with a sub 1.00 ERA against the Pirates in his career, pitching at least 8 inning in all 3 of his starts. The Pirates, who trail the Cardinals by 2 games in the NL Central, have actually struggled a bit in the situation they are in here this evening with the Cubs as they are just 2-5 in their last 7 games in Pittsburgh against Chicago. Its tough to back to Cubs at any point right now but we feel they do have an advantage on the mound tonight. With the two teams being about offensively, we’ll take the plus money on the Cubs to get the win on the road tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Wunderdog

Seattle at Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Los Angeles Angels -1.5

The Los Angeles Angels are in familiar territory as they started slow last year, and have done so again this season. Signs of change are blowing in the wind, as the Angels' bats appear to be catching up to the talent they possess. The Halos have won three straight on the strength of 30 runs, and look to closeout the Mariners here tonight. The Ms are in a team-wide slump at 0-5 in their last five, having been shutout twice, and getting beat by a combined 39-17 score. One area that the Angels have shined is at home vs. a losing team, where they are 12-4 in their last 16. These teams are heading in opposite directions for now, so play the Angels on the runline.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Rob Vinciletti

Red Sox vs. White Sox
Play: Under 7

Runs will be at a premium in this one as we have two of the hottest pitchers squaring off in this battle of the Sox. Clay Buchholz for Boston ties the rubber and brings his stellar 1.29 road era with him. Buchholz has allowed just 2 runs spanning 16 innings in his last 2 starts vs Chicago and has gone under in 6 of his last 8 road Starts in May. Boston follows him up with a solid 2.39 road bullpen era. Chicago counters with C. Sale tonight. Sale has been incredible with a 1.47 home era this season and 0.37 in his last 3 starts overall. He has gone under in 6 of his 7 starts and in the Month of May he has pitched to the under 3 of 4 times allowing just 4 runs in 27 innings. The White Sox have played under in 5 of 7 on Wednesday and we will back the under here tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Sean Murphy

Oakland vs. Texas
Pick: Oakland

The Rangers haven't been swept in a series at home since July of 2010, so it's understandable that they're listed as the favorite in Wednesday's series finale against the A's.

That doesn't mean that I agree with the line, however.

Oakland has caught fire once again, reeling off five straight wins to pull within 4.5 games of the A.L. West-leading Rangers.

Over their last 10 games, the A's pitching staff has really picked up the pace, particularly their bullpen, as they've posted a collective 1.59 ERA over that stretch.

Meanwhile, the Rangers staff is ravaged by injuries with Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis, and now Nicholas Tepesch sidelined. That's forced them to give journeyman minor leaguer Ross Wolf an emergency start on Wednesday.

The A's will hand the ball to a rejuvenated Jarrod Parker, who is coming off back-to-back strong outings, allowing only seven hits and four earned runs over 13 1/3 innings pitched against the Mariners and Royals. Oakland went a perfect 3-0 in Parker's three starts against the Rangers last season.

The Rangers have yet to lose three games in a row this season, but that's not a sustainable trend. The A's are a confident bunch right now, and I look for them to find a way to get it done again on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Dave Price

KC Royals -1.5 -117

Houston has been a dead fade with Lyles on the mound. The Astros are 9-34 in Lyles' last 43 starts, including 3-18 in his last 21 starts as an underdog of +151 to +200. 7 of Houston's last 8 losses with Lyles on the mound have come by at least 2 runs. Shields, who has a 2.45 ERA on the season and a 1.50 ERA over his last 3 starts, has been a victim of poor run support. However, the Royals shouldn't have much trouble getting to Lyles tonight. He has an 8.36 home ERA on the season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

New York Yanks -112 over BALTIMORE: Jason Hammel has struggled with his ERA this year, while Hiroki has been very solid. Kuroda comes in with a 6-2 mark and a 1.99 ERA, plus an 0.79 WHIP. He is also 2-1 with a 1.85 in 3 career starts vs the O's. Jason Hammel does have a 5-2 record on the year, but with a 5.72 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. In his last 3 starts the O's are 2-1, but he has an outrageous 10.43 ERA and a 2.32 WHIP in those games. Hammel is also 2-3 with a 5.82 ERA in 15 appearances (nine starts) against the Yankees. The O's have put up 9 rpg for him in his last 3 starts, but they won't come close to that tonight vs Kuroda. New York blew one last night, but I expect them to come back with a big win tonight in front of the ESPN crowd.


Washington/ San Francisco Over 6.5: Im expecting a few more runs than in last night's game. Last night teams put up 3 runs after 2 innings, but just 3 runs the rest of the way. Tonight the hitters should have a better showing vs some weak pitching. Gio Gonzalez has a 4.01 ERA on the year, but on the road that ERA balloons to 6.10 to go along with a 1.79 WHIP. He will be facing a hot San Fran offense that has averaged 5.5 rpg in their last 10 games and 4.71 rpg at home. The Washington offense has not been all that good this year, but I feel that they can get at least 3 runs off off Madison Bumgarner, who has struggled with a 6.62 ERA in his last 3 starts. Even though Bumgarner pitches well at home and in day games, i still expect the Nats to get a few off of hime, while the Giant offense will do the rest of the damage, getting us at least 8 runs in this one.


St Louis -113 over SAN DIEGO: Burch Smith has been awful in his 2 starts this year for the Padres as he has allowed 11 ER's in just 6.1 innings of work in those two starts. He has a decent time in the Minors, but just doesn't seem ready for the bigs just yet. Now his task is to slow down a St Louis offense that just put up 10 runs last night and that comes in 8th in scoring (4.73 rpg) and 6th in hitting (.266). Not an easy task for him and I expect the Cards to put a hurting on him. For the Cards Tyler Lyons will be making his first career start and without any film on him that should give him an edge. He will also be facing a San Diego offense that hits just .221 vs lefties at home, compared to hitting .253 vs righties at Petco. I know the cards haven't seen Smith either, but there is some film on him and if weak hitting washington can hit 3HR's and score 5 runs off of him then St Louis should have similar success. The Cards are 71-31 in the last 102 meetings with San Diego and that record should improve after tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

MLB Predictions

Tampa Bay / Toronto Over 9.5

Toronto took the first of this series 7-5, while Tampa Bay took last night's game 4-3. So far totals of their 6 meetings this season have been 7, 12, 9, 14, 10, and 15. Tampa Bay will send a struggling Jeremy Hellickson to start tonight's game. He is 2-2 with a 5.82 ERA, .261 OBA and 1.29 WHIP. In May over 4 starts he is 1-0 with a high 7.77 ERA, .310 OBA and 1.56 WHIP. The Jays faced him in Tampa Bay earlier this month and got 6 hits and 3 earned runs off him in 5 innings. The damage could have been higher as he also walked 4 batters in that start. His last time out he gave up 10 hits and 8 earned runs in 7.2 innings in a game we took the OVER in Baltimore on Friday. Mark Buehrle will get the ball for Toronto and the southpaw is just 1-3 with a 6.33 ERA, .291 OBA and 1.48 WHIP. He had a great start on May 11th in Boston, but followed that up with another bad start giving up 6 hits and 5 earned runs over 6 innings in New York over the weekend. He has given up 5+ earned runs against in 5 of his 9 starts this year. Tampa Bay roughed him up as he went 6 innings giving up 9 hits and 7 earned runs at Tropicana Field. The OVER is 19-5-2 in the Rays last 26 overall and 12-2-3 in their last 17 road games. The OVER is 5-1 in the Blue Jays last 6 home games and 11-4 in their last 15 overall. Take the OVER this afternoon.


New York Yankees -110

These two teams have split the first two games of this three game series, with New York winning the first 6-4 and Baltimore winning last night 3-2. The Yankees sit in first in the AL East with a 28-17 record and 13-8 road record and the Orioles are 4th with a 24-21 record and 10-12 home record. New York will go with Hiroki Kuroda tonight who is 6-2 on the season with a 1.99 ERA, .201 OBA and 0.95 WHIP. He is coming off 8 innings of shutout ball vs Toronto, and pitched a complete game shutout vs the Orioles earlier this season in New York. Jason Hammel is on the mound for Baltimore and he is 5-2 on the season despite a high 5.72 ERA, .299 OBA and 1.57 WHIP. In three May starts his ERA is 10.43 with a .409 OBA and 2.32 WHIP. His home ERA over three starts is 7.79 with an 0-2 record. The Yankees are 7-1 in Kuroda's last 8 starts and 4-1 in his last 5 road starts. They are also 7-2 in their last 9 road games overall and 7-1 in their last 8 divisional games. The Orioles are just 1-6 in their last 7 games overall and 1-7 in their last 8 home games. The Yankees are 24-11 in their last 35 meetings in Baltimore and given the odds and the pitching match up I will take them to win tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

NHL Predictions

Ottawa Senators +129 & Penguins / Senators Under 5.5

The Penguins took the first two games 4-1 and 4-3 in Pittsburgh, but the Senators bounced back at home wiht a 2-1 overtime win on Sunday after tying it up late. Craig Anderson looked like he got back to form stopping 49 of 50 shots against. He is the backbone for this Ottawa team and can carry them to victories when he is playing well. Even with letting 8 goals against in the first two games of this series Anderson has a 2.17 GAA and .940 SV% in these playoffs. Tomas Vokoun has been even better since taking over the starting role with a 1.61 GAA and .949 SV%. Both goalies had shaky Game 2s but both got back to form in Game 3 and I expect the same tonight leading to a low scoring game. The Senators are 3-0 at home in these playoffs beating Montreal 6-1 and 3-2 on home ice. Take note that the Senators have won 14 of their last 20 games on home ice. Getting a generous underdog price at home I will take the SENS to win and the UNDER 5.5 goals.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

John Ryan

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins
Prediction: Miami Marlins

The simulator shows a significant probability that Miami will win this game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a?67-45 record for just 60% winners, BUT has made 40 units/unit wagered since 2007. Play on all NL underdogs with a money line of +100 or higher (MIAMI) with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.70 or better on the season and is a solid fielding team turning 1.1 or more DP's/game on the season. The average play ahs been a +130 dog adn represents and under scores the need to identify DOGS that win on a consistent basis if you intend on making profits in the money line sport of MLB. You may remember I had the Marlins at +160 in their decisive 5-1 win over the Phillies and their ace Cole Hamels. This was the first 15* DOG play and was combined with 15* Padres, who also won, and paid off 5:1 on the 5* parlay bet. In similar fashion to Hamels, Lee is just 4-10 (-9.2 Units) against the money line vs teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record). Moreover, he is just 5-11 (-11.4 Units) against the money line as a favorite of -125 to -175 over the last 2 seasons. Take Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Jeff Alexander

Chicago Cubs +125

The Cubs get the call as our free play given the success they've had at Pittsburgh and the success Samardzija has had against the Pirates. The Cubs have won 7 of their last 10 in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates haven't been able to figure out Samardzija, who is 4-0 with a 0.92 ERA in 14 games - three starts - against them. All of the wins - including the three starts - have come in his last four visits to Pittsburgh, compiling a 0.69 ERA. Bet the Cubs.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Jack Jones

Boston Red Sox -130

After losing the first two games of this series to the Chicago White Sox, the Boston Red Sox will be highly motivated for a victory in Game 3 to avoid the sweep. I like their chances of getting revenge tonight considering the huge edge they have on the mound.

Clay Buchholz has been nothing short of brilliant this season. The right-hander has gone 6-0 with a 1.78 ERA and 1.035 WHIP in nine starts in 2013, including 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.952 WHIP in three road starts.

Sure, Hector Santiago has pitched well this season for Chicago, but he is in a very tough spot tonight. Santiago will only be working on three days' rest so his innings will be limited. He is taking Chris Sale's turn in the rotation due to a shoulder injury suffered by Chicago's ace.

This play falls into a system that is 41-15 (73.2%) since 1997. It tells us to bet on all teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (BOSTON) - starting a pitcher who gave up <=2 earned runs in his last 2 outings against opponent starting a pitcher who is working on 3 or less days rest. Bet the Red Sox Wednesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, May 22

Teddy Covers   

New York at Baltimore
Play: Under

The Yankees have been the single most profitable road team to support in all of baseball through the first seven weeks of the season; up more than seven units of profit through their first 21 road tilts. They haven’t lost a road series since April, and are in prime bounceback position following last night’s extra inning loss at Baltimore.

Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda was been an undervalued commodity for most of the season.  Kuroda has been nothing short of brilliant for more than a month – seven consecutive quality starts, while allowing a grand total of eight runs during that entire span.  The Yanks are 6-1 in those seven starts, including Kuroda’s complete game five hit shutout victory over the same Orioles lineup that he’ll face today.  It’s surely worth noting that he shut down Baltimore in all three meetings against them last year (including one in the playoffs), a hot pitcher with a strong recent track record of success against tonight’s opponent. 

Baltimore’s Jason Hammel is anything but hot right now; lit up for 27 hits and 17 earned runs in just 14.2 innings of work over his last three starts.  His quote doesn’t inspire much confidence in an immediate turnaround today: “I’m missing out over the plate, arm-side with my fastball. It's a pretty simple fix, but for right now, it's seemingly a little bit difficult for me."  With the Orioles previously strong bullpen showing signs of weakness (three blown saves from Jim Johnson over the past week), there’s plenty of opportunity for a late inning New York rally should we need it.

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