Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Indiana at Miami
The Heat look to bounce back from their 91-77 loss in Game 6 and build on their 10-1 ATS record in their last 11 games following a SU defeat. Miami is the pick (-7) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Miami (-7)

Game 523-524: Indiana at Miami (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 119.526; Miami 129.393
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 10; 177
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 7; 181 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-7); Under

NHL

Boston at Pittsburgh
The Penguins look to bounce back from their Game 1 loss and build on their 6-1 record in their last 7 games against the Bruins. Pittsburgh is the pick (-185) according to Dunkel, which has the Penguins favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-185)

Game 7-8: Boston at Pittsburgh (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 12.250; Pittsburgh 13.401
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-185); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-185); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Pittsburgh at Atlanta
The Braves look to build on their 9-0 record in Kris Medlen's last 9 starts during Game 1 of a series. Atlanta is the pick (-140) according to Dunkel, which has the Braves favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-140)

Game 951-952: Miami at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Koehler) 15.212; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 13.884
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-165); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+145); Over

Game 953-954: Pittsburgh at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Burnett) 15.244; Atlanta (Medlen) 16.923
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-140); 7
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-140); Under

Game 955-956: Colorado at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Chatwood) 15.022; Cincinnati (Arroyo) 16.963
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-150); Under

Game 957-958: Arizona at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Cahill) 16.737; St. Louis (Lynn) 15.870
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-170); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+150); Over

Game 959-960: San Diego at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Stults) 14.641; LA Dodgers (Capuano) 15.642
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-120); Under

Game 961-962: Cleveland at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Masterson) 15.186; NY Yankees (Pettitte) 14.200
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105); Over

Game 963-964: Houston at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Bedard) 14.662; LA Angels (Blanton) 16.033
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-185); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-185); Under

Game 965-966: Chicago White Sox at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Danks) 14.477; Seattle (Saunders) 13.276
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-110); 7
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-110); Over

Game 967-968: Oakland at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Milone) 15.771; Milwaukee (Estrada) 13.522
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 2; 10
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-110); Over

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Jimmy Boyd

Philadelphia Phillies -160

The only way Miami wins games is when teams make errors against them. The Phillies are not a team that makes many errors. The Marlins are 6-23 against good fielding teams averaging .6 errors per game or less this season. They have a horrible offense that is batting .223 as a team this season and averaging just 2.9 runs per game. They will have Tom Koehler getting the start today and he is 0-3 in 10 games this season. On the road he has a 4.09 ERA with only 4 strikeouts total.

The Phillies will have Kyle Kendrick on the mound today. Kendrick has a 3.26 ERA and he is facing a Miami team that has a really hard time scoring runs. The Phillies offense may not be lighting up any scoreboards, but their 3.9 run per game average at home is more than enough to outscore this soft Marlins team. Miami has a 6-21 record on the road and their struggles will continue today against Philadelphia.

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Jeffrey Brandes

Philadelphia Phillies -1½ +130

Pitchers:
MIAMI MARLINS: TOM KOEHLER (R) ERA: 3.24 W/L: 0-3
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: KYLE KENDRICK (R) ERA: 3.27 W/L: 5-3

For the Marlins, TOM KOEHLER will be making his 19th major league appearance. He has yet to pick up a win.

The Phillies KYLE KENDRICK has an 11-2 record and 3.62 ERA in 20 career
appearances (15 starts) against Miami. In his last start, he gave up 2 runs over 6 innings on his way to beating the Boston Red Sed Sox. The Phillies lead this year's season series 6-4 and pitcher KYLE KENDRICK should get them started on improving that record in this first game of a 3 game series.

Key Trends:
Philadelphia is 11-5 SU in its last 16 games when playing Miami
Philadelphia is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Miami
Miami is 5-16 SU in its last 21 games
Miami is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road

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Art Aronson

Padres vs. Dodgers
Play: Under 7½

Eric Stults (4-4, 3.86 ERA) has quietly turned things around of late, having gone eight frames and allowing just one run twice in his last three starts. He comes into this contest with a fantastic 50:17 K:BB ratio (note that Stults is 3-2 with a 3.92 ERA in all "night games" this season). Stults will be opposed by Chris Capuano (1-4, 5.45 ERA) who left his last outing early because of a triceps cramp. Capuano is set to go after throwing a bullpen session on Saturday: "We're a go for Monday, for now," Capuano said Sunday. "I definitely still feel it a little bit, but I anticipate by Monday it will feel really good. I've had a lot of treatment. It's not the shoulder or elbow, but the belly of the triceps muscle. If you're sore as a pitcher, that's the best place." Here's a fantastic opportunity for Capuano to get untracked vs. the soft-hitting Friars (note that Capuano would in fact finish with a very respectable 3.19 ERA in friendly confines a season ago). In the opener of this three game series I believe the starters will be the main storyline at the end of the night.

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Rob Vinciletti

Pittsburgh Penguin -180

The Penguins are favored pretty good here. However teams down 0-1 losing the first game at home have bounced back pretty nicely winning 32 of 49 times in the Semi finals round as seem below. The Penguins were shutout at home a feat that is unlikely to happen again as the extra time off seemed to hurt their timing. The Penguins are 17-4 vs winning teams and have won 4 of the last 5 times when playing with home loss revenge. In games after scoring 1 or less goals Pittsburgh has come back to win 6 of 8 times. Look for them to tie things up tonight.

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Jim Feist

Padres at Dodgers
Pick: Over

The last time San Diego paid a visit to LA they scored 22 runs in a three-game sweep of the Dodgers. It could be deja vu all over again with the woes the Dodgers are having in their pitching. They just got pounded at Colorado with their top three pitchers and now have to return home and start Chris Capuano. Capuano was forced into the starting role because of injuries and hasn't done much, going 1-4 in eight games with a 5.45 ERA. And, while all three of the last meetings here flew OVER, that's pretty much been the story when these clubs have met. The last eight meetings these teams are 6-1-1 OVER. The Dodgers are 17-6-1 OVER/Under/Push in their last 24 home games and San Diego is 6-2 Over/Uner in their last eight against the NL West. Looks like another shootout here in Chavez Ravine.

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Dave Cokin

San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
Pick:  Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are not exactly money in the bank these days, unless you happen to be playing against them on a regular basis. But they're in what sure ought to be a decent spot tonight as they open a series with the Padres.

Yasiel Puig has been recalled by the Dodgers, and while I'm not expecting him to be the season savior, his arrival could at least provide an energy boost to a team that really needs one.

The Dodgers will still be shorthanded tonight. AJ Ellis is now on the DL, Hanley Ramirez apparently will not be activated for this game, and whether or not Carl Crawford will play is evidently up in the air. In addition, of course, Matt Kemp remains out as well.

Even with the missing players, and coming out of a series at Coors, the Dodgers might still be the fresher team tonight. The Padres are off a marathon set with Toronto and I an see them being worn down tonight. The San Diego bullpen has to be spent at this point. They worked an amazing 20 innings the last three days at Petco, and this team also had to play a game that ended quite late on Sunday night. Plus, Huston Street is on the DL, so they're short a very vital late inning cog.

Bud Black did a great job with the pen this weekend, as he tried to keep the stints for the key guys short. But if this game is tight late, I have to lean to the Dodgers just because of the lesser fatigue. Plus, the Padres bats have gone to sleep. They did very little against a shaky Toronto staff, particularly when factoring in that three of the four Sunday runs were via a stunning HR by Edinson Volquez.

I have rarely played the Dodgers this season, and that is one move that has saved me some losers. But this is a solid scheduling spot in my opinion, so I'm going to back the Dodgers to win one tonight.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A perfect 17-0 the past five days, Ben Burns won with Seattle "over" the total yesterday. The previous day, he successfully played against the Mariners.
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Today, however, Burns believes its the M's which are providing some value. Here's what he had to say.
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I successfully played against the Mariners the last time that Saunders started. That was on the road though - where he typically doesn't pitch well. (Actually, Saunders did pitch very well but the M's still lost.)
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Today, Saunders is back at Safeco though, where he's had plenty of success. In five starts here this season, Saunders is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
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By comparison, Danks has a 6.75 ERA on the road. Granted, that was only one start. However, the fact that he gave up two home runs in four innings - compared to the three that Saunders has allowed here in 33 2/3 innings - doesn't bode well.
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While they didn't fare too well yesterday, the M's have hit well against southpaws this season - much better than the Sox have.
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The M's are 30-18 (+9.9) the past couple of years when playing a home game when the line ranged from +100 to -125. Consider Seattle

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta BravesFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Atlanta BravesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Braves and Pirates open a three-game series in Atlanta Monday evening where Kris Medlen matches serves with A.J. Burnett. Medlen toes the slab knowing he is 5-0 in his MLB career team starts during the month of June, while Burnett enters just 2-10 in his career team starts in this park. With that look for the host in Medlen's team starts to improve to 4-0 in this series here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Atlanta.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta BravesFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Pittsburgh PiratesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pirates' offense had bogged down over a 3-game stretch before rallying from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Reds in extra innings on Sunday and salvage the final game of the weekend series. Buoyed by that win, perhaps the Bucs have the impetus to finally give starter A.J. Burnett a little run support and help him end his personal struggles vs. Atlanta, against whom he has received just 10 runs of support over his last ten meetings! Pittsburgh has also provided Burnett with just six runs of support in his last five starts, although Burnett continues to pitch well (2.91 ERA that stretch), and the Bucs will like their chances against the Braves' Kris Medlen, also not getting much run help in recent outings and 0-5 with a 3.93 ERA since his last win on April 9.

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Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A's at Brewers Over 9FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tommy Milone and Marco Estrada will square off in Monday's interleague contest between the Athletics and Brewers. Milone has been terrible on the road for the second straight season, posting a 5.55 ERA over six starts this season and a 4.83 ERA in 16 road starts last season. As a fly ball pitcher, Milone has really struggled away from Oakland's pitcher-friendly conditions with the marine air and the expansive foul territory. Milone has allowed 11 home runs this season, including two in each of his last two starts, which bodes well for the Brewers who are slugging .440 at home. The Brewers entered Sunday's action with the fifth-best OPS against left handed pitching this season.
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Marco Estrada draws a tough assignment in the A's, who have scored 271 runs in 58 games this season. The A's work pitchers deep into the count, which could be a big problem for Estrada, who is averaging nearly 17 pitches per inning this season. The Brewers bullpen has been very inconsistent this season and they could be going to it early if Estrada's pitch count goes up in the early innings. The Athletics have hit 34 of their 53 home runs in their 30 away games, another red flag for Estrada who has already allowed 12 long balls in 65.1 innings of work.
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The Athletics are one of the best over bets in the league at 34-24 to the over, while the Brewers are another solid over play at 32-23. Miller Park is the fourth-best park for run scoring and the best park for hitting home runs according to ESPN's Park Factor stats.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cleveland +113 over N.Y. YANKEESFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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In a rain-shortened game last night in New York, the Yanks lost again for the seventh time in their past eight games to fall three games behind the Red Sox. New York has scored one run or less in five of those seven losses and it has scored four runs or less in nine straight. Andy Pettitte has not pitched since May 16 and comes off the DL to make this start. At the age of 41 and having suffered numerous injuries before, Pettitte was showing signs of his age before this latest injury and one really has to wonder how effective he can be. Pettitte has made four home starts this season. His season debut was against the Red Sox and he threw a beauty, going eight full and allowing eight hits and one run. Pettitte’s last three starts at home came against the Astros, Oakland and Seattle, not exactly the cream of the crop, and he was torched in them all, throwing a combined 14 innings and allowing 18 hits, eight walks and 13 earned runs. He now gets to face the dangerous offense of the Indians after a 16-day layoff.
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The Indians continue to get no love from the oddsmakers or public or both because they’ve been undervalued the entire year and this one is no different. Cleveland is just a half game back of Detroit and they figure to be a little extra jacked up here, playing at the most famous ballpark on the planet. Justin Masterson is 8-3 with a 3.07 ERA, a BAA of .214 and the Tribe has won five of Masterson’s last six games. His solid surface stats are fully supported by his high strikeout rate, (83 K’s in 81 IP), an elite 54% groundball rate and a miniscule 13% line-drive rate over his last five starts. Just like the team he pitches for, Justin Masterson is under the radar but he’s pitching as well as any AL starter and at this rate he’s a Cy Young threat. The line does not reflect that and now we get the sweet combo of an underpriced Masterson against an overpriced Yankees. 
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Pittsburgh +126 over ATLANTAFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A huge win by the Pirates yesterday has them feeling a lot better coming into this series than they would’ve been had they lost again yesterday. Marred in a terrible offensive funk that saw them score just one time in their previous 29 innings, the Pirates rallied from a 4-0, first-inning deficit to take the finale over Cincinnati in extra frames. Despite those offensive woes, the Buccos have still won four of their past six games and six of their past nine. A.J. Burnett is posting the best stats and skills of his career in his age-36 season. Behind his 2.72 ERA and 1.09 WHIP are these skills: 89 K’s in 76 innings, a 56% groundball rate and an xERA of 2.82. His swinging strike rate has soared from a good 9.4% to an elite 11.5%. His fastball velocity remains at 92-93 mph and his pitch mix appears to be the same. The difference is in his change-up. It's a pitch that generated swings 46% of the time in 2012 and swings-and-misses 9% of the time. In 2013, it has produced swings at a 52% clip and swings-and-misses at a 24% clip. That should bode well here against a Braves team that swings at anything and everything.
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Kris Medlen is a fraction of the pitcher he was a year ago. He has a lucky 3.48 ERA after 11 starts this year but it comes with no skills support. Medlen has just one win in those 11 starts. His 1.36 WHIP is approaching an unacceptable level. Medlens’s xERA is 4.46 and his walk rate per nine innings has gone from 1.5 in 2012 to more than twice that this season (3.34). The Braves are always dangerous in their own barn but we can’t let that deter us from taking advantage of a pitching matchup in our favor. It’s also worth noting that the Pirates pen (3.47 ERA) has been superior to that of the Braves (4.12 ERA), which doesn’t hurt our chances either.
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Colorado +134 over CINCINNATIFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Now here's an outlier, after a disastrous 2011, the 35-year-old Bronson Arroyo came to camp last year in the "best shape of my life" and had his best skills season since 2004. Improved command and on base average were keys. Arroyo has proven his knack to log innings and outpitch his xERA and he’s doing it again this year. That said, Arroyo brings average skills, good command and little else. He was whacked in his last start against the Indians. Current Rockies have had plenty of success against him with 34 hits in 109 career AB’s for a BA of .312. Arroyo has been taken yard three times over his past two starts and these Rockies can bash with the best of them.
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Tyler Chatwood has been a pleasant surprise for the pitching-starved Rockies. Over five starts, he's shown improved command and he's maintained his ability to keep the ball on the ground with an elite 58% groundball rate. Chatwood has issued just nine walks while striking out 26 in 30 innings of work. It’s a small sample size but it provides us with a good buy low opportunity on Chatwood because all of his skills suggest that he’s on the verge of a breakout.

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Andrew LangeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago at SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The fact that I am throwing support Joe Saunders’ way should give you a good idea of how little confidence I have in John Danks right now. Danks of course is coming off shoulder surgery and missed an entire year. In two starts since his return, the lefty has allowed six earned runs and three home runs in 10 innings against Miami and the Cubs. His average fastball in those two outings was around 88 mph and there are rumbling that at the young age of 28, Danks will need to use his “guile” rather than “stuff” to survive at the MLB level moving forward. Saunders has that whole home/road dichotomy thing working and to a certain degree it makes sense he’s had more success at home in a more pitcher friendly environment. He’s still a sub-par American League arm in my book but if I’m going to trust him, it’ll be at Safeco against a weak-hitting lineup like the White Sox. The Mariners have had difficult plating runs but the White Sox are on a historically bad level right now.  Throw in a questionable Paul Konerko (neck) and Dunn likely on the pine vs. a lefty and the offense hinges on…Alex Rios. I don’t trust Danks and certainly don’t trust the White Sox offense which puts us on the home side at the near pick ‘em price.

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Sean MurphyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston vs. Los AngelesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Los AngelesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is about as 'chalky' I'll get when it comes to Major League Baseball but with that being said, I do believe the Angels are in a terrific spot to avoid an embarrassing home sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros tonight.
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Houston has gone 5-0 on its current road trip but all that's done is get the Astros back to 11-16 on the road this season. They're still a bad team in my books and I believe they're 'up against it' tonight.
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It's not as if the Angels were playing awful baseball heading into this series, in fact it was quite the opposite, as they had won 10 of their last 12 games overall, including back-to-back here at home against the rival Dodgers. Their offense has gone cold over the last few days, but should have no trouble getting back on track against Erik Bedard on Monday.
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Bedard has yet to post a victory in nine starts this season, recording a 5.32 ERA and and 1.61 WHIP in 44 innings of work. He's been at his absolute worst on the road, going winless with a 7.33 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in 23 1/3 innings.
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Joe Blanton hasn't been much better for the Angels - in fact, by the numbers he's been even worse, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here, as he's coming off his best effort of the season, holding the Dodgers to three earned runs while striking out five and not walking a single batter in seven innings last week. Over his last two starts, he's allowed only five earned runs in 13 1/3 innings pitched. Note that Blanton faced the Astros once as a member of the Phillies last year, giving up just three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. He pitched against them two years ago as well, allowing only one earned run in seven innings.
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As bad as things went for the Angels over the weekend, their bullpen remains a strong point, recording a collective 1.85 ERA over their last 10 games.
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It's still fairly early in the season, and the Angels know that there's still plenty of games left to salvage the year, and even take a run at one of the two A.L. Wild Card spots. A four-game sweep at the hands of the Astros, at home no less, would be inexcusable, however. I don't expect to see the Halos suffer that fate on Monday.

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Sam MartinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana at MiamiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Defenses have stepped up (along with the offenses getting much worse) as this series has gone on, and we expect a solid defensive effort from both sides tonight in this "must win" Game Seven tonight. Miami is coming off a horrible shooting night in Indiana for Game Six, making 36% of their shot attempts with LeBron James being the only legitimate scoring threat for the Heat outside of a very short stretch when Mike Miller took the court in the fourth quarter. Pacers have enjoyed the slower game tempo, scoring just 91 points in that win despite shooting 50% from the floor and will obviously be motivated to continue that defensive effort in this Game Seven setting. The last two games in this series saw both teams combine for less than 170 points and we look for the defenses to bring their "A-Game" tonight in another low-scoring battle.

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Ray MonohanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Milwaukee Brewers -109FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These teams haven’t seen each other since 2002 - an Oakland sweep - but I doubt that will have much bearing on this one. I mean how many Oakland players were even alive then? Milwaukee is sleepwalking through this season and is in last place but I think they can rally behind Marco Estrada tonight at home. Oakland is red hot and has been blowing through the weaker teams, almost a little too easily. Estrada doesn’t walk many and will force the A’s to score a few runs against a lineup that can do some damage, especially against a lefty like Tom Milone who has an ERA of 5 over his last 3 outings - though they were all wins.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston vs. LA AngelsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: LA AngelsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It has been a truly shocking series so far in Anaheim with the last place Astros coming in and taking the first three games, all as a $2.00 underdog or higher!  The Angels look to avoid the rare four-game home sweep Monday and I am willing to lay the juice. Please note that I am currently 14-4-1 overall the last five days in all sports, and on a 32-12-1 MLB Run as well.
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Houston enters tonight on a five-game winning streak, incredibly they were +200 or higher on the money line in each victory!  They have not won six in a row, however, since late July of 2010.  The key to this recent run has been improved pitching.  Still with the worst ERA in the league and having allowed - by far - the most runs in the league, Astros pitchers are allowing just 2.7 runs per game over the last week.  But I don't see Erik Bedard continuing this stretch as he has a 7.33 ERA on the road this year & his career ERA of 7.08 at Angels Stadium is his worst at any park that he's started more than once.
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Before this win streak, the Astros were just 27-95 as a road underdog of +150 or higher on the money line.  They were 49-134 as a road underdog overall.   Like I said earlier, home teams rarely get swept in a four-game series.  Won't happen here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Wunderdog

Indiana at Miami
Pick: Under 180.5

The Indiana Pacers kept the topsy-turvy series alive with a win at home in game six. These teams have alternated wins in each and every game of this series. The Heat scored just 77 points for the game, equaling a season low, and shot just 36.1% from the field which was a season low. The Heat were beaten off the glass by 20, but when you miss 46 shots, your opponent is going to have a lot of opportunity for rebounds. And while Indiana does have an advantage off the glass, it isn't as great as that. It all comes back to South Beach, and LeBron and company will be a lot more focused here than they were in Indiana, especially with the now one and done format. It was an ugly game for Miami, perhaps their ugliest of the season, and that has driven the public to Indiana. I expect Miami to come out with even more intensity on defense in game seven. The last 30 times the NBA has gone to a game seven, the UNDER has prevailed 63.3% of the time. These games are defined by defense, and a half court game. The Pacers have played four straight UNDERs after a 10+ point win. Play the UNDER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

MLB Predictions

Colorado Rockies +132

Colorado has won two straight games winning their weekend series vs the Dodgers to improve to 30-27 on the season (12-15 on the road). The Reds took the first two vs the Pirates but gave up a late lead yesterday to lose 5-4. They are 35-22 on the season and 20-7 at home. Tonight the Rockies send one of their biggest surprise pitchers to the mound tonight, as Tyler Chatwood takes the ball. He is 3-0 on the season over 5 starts with a 2.12 ERA, .266 OBA and 1.28 WHIP. Over his two road starts he is 2-0 and hasn't given up a run in 12 innings of work (@LAD and @SF). Also note he is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA over 4 night starts. The Reds will have Bronson Arroyo getting the ball in game 1 of this series. He is 5-5 with a 3.75 ERA, .257 OBA and 1.17 WHIP. In his last two starts he hasn't had his best stuff allowing 14 hits and 8 earned runs over 11.2 innings of work. It was also interesting to note that Arroyo has a 1.59 ERA over 4 day games, but is just 2-5 with a 5.15 ERA over 7 night starts. Although Arroyo has 11 starts compared to 5 for Chatwood he has given up 9 homeruns so far this season, while Chatwood hasn't given up one. The Rockies are 4-1 in Chatwood's 5 starts this season while the Reds are 6-5 in Arroyo's 11 starts. Arroyo goes on 4 days rest and the Reds are 1-6 in his last 7 on 4 days rest. I like tonight's pitching match up for Colorado as Chatwood has looked good. Also mix in that the Rockies are 5th in the MLB in team batting average and team OBP and have scored 5+ runs in 4 straight games and I think we have a very live underdog at a good price. Take the Rockies tonight.

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