Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 16

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 16

SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle +114 over OAKLAND (5 innings)SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1st 5 innings. At the age of 40 and being 50 pounds overweight, Bartolo Colon continues to put up solid numbers despite average skills. His best asset is his control and more good fortune than just about any pitcher in the game. Colon’s 92% strand rate since May 1 is the highest in the majors among starters with three or more starts over that span. Colon seems to be the poster child for guile. He relies primarily on his fastball, which doesn’t get much above 90 mph these days and one he throws 85% of the time. Colon’s two other pitches, a change and slider, he throws just 6% and 9% of the time respectively. Colon is defying the odds. Pinpoint control is not enough to thrive at this level in the way that Colon has with one pitch and it’s not a knuckleball. It just doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t even strike out that many batters anymore, making his 2.92 ERA on the year a sure thing for erosion. Colon is an elite sell-high target.
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When you’re a starting pitcher in Seattle, you’re going to find yourself in the shadow of King Felix Hernandez but with a 7-1 record, Hisashi Iwakuma is casting some shadows of his own. Iwakuma’s dominance can be seen in his 12 dominant starts over 14 attempts. Iwakuma has walked 14 batters and whiffed 87 in 95 innings. He has an elite 53% groundball rate and an even more impressive 14% line-drive rate. Rarely does a hitter make solid contact against this guy and yet here he is with his 1.79 ERA and 0.82 WHIP a dog against Bartolo Colon. Because this choice is based solely on the starters, we’re playing it in five innings.   
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CLEVELAND +110 over WashingtonFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Nationals are favored here because Stephen Strasburg returns from the 15 day DL to make this start. Strasburg had gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over a three-start stretch before exiting his last one after two innings due to a strained muscle in his back May 31. The problem with spotting a tag like this one with Strasburg is that the Nationals offense is tooth and nails to score runs and Strasburg will be on a strict pitch count here. You can be 100% certain that Strasburg will throw about 80 pitches and leave around the fifth or sixth inning. That’s if everything goes swimmingly. The Nationals still have the league’s worst road batting average and they’ll face a good one today in Corey Kluber.
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Kluber has posted some of the best skills vs. lefties of any starting pitcher with at least 25 IP. He's more than just a lefty killer though. His skills vs. RH bats and have nearly as good. Kluber still isn't getting much attention, which allows us to take advantage of a bad price in our favor. Kluber’s base skills have been elite since May 1 but A 35% hit rate, a 64% strand rate and 20% hr/f all conspired to torpedo his surface stats. Kluber’s 92.8 mph average fastball velocity and 10.9% swinging strike rate both suggest that he has better stuff than he gets credit for and he has a great chance to last deep into this one. The Indians may not even need to score a run off Strasburg for this ticket to cash because the Nats bullpen will be called upon early. Definite overlay.
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ATLANTA -1½ +143 over San FranciscoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tim Lincecum came into this season with an outstanding pedigree, not to mention two World Series rings. Lincecum has been dealing it since 2007 with 83 wins over that span and in the 2010 playoffs he went 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. If you play fantasy baseball and own this guy, sell now because Lincecum is a pitcher in serious trouble. Lincecum has shown the least aggregate movement on his pitches in 2013 among NL starters and it's not even close. It's a problem that has made him extremely hittable and it's one that is exacerbated by his gradual loss of fastball velocity. He had a 94 mph average fastball velocity early in his career. Now it barely cracks 90 mph. Check out the yearly SLG percentages that batters have posted against his fastball over the past three seasons, starting in 2011: .400, .420 and .507. Velocity loss combined with a complete lack of movement on his pitches makes it extremely unlikely that Lincecum will get back to his former levels. When we look at Lincecum’s results, we see the Giants have dropped four of his last five starts by scores of 8-2, 9-6, 5-0 and 10-2. When he loses, he loses big and it’s for that reason we’ll spot the 1½-runs.
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Julio Teheran comes in with a 3.62 ERA and 1.19 WHIP after 12 starts. However, Teheran’s xERA over his last five starts is 3.22. Teheran’s surface stats aren’t bad at all but they are inflated by a low strand rate of 72%. Over his last five starts, covering 36 frames, Teheran has 32 K’s with just seven walks issued. Perhaps the most impressive stat of all and one you will not hear much about anywhere else is that of the 319 batters that Teheran has faced this season, only 44 of those hit a line-drive for one of the lowest line-drive ratios in the majors. With some better fortune, Julio Teheran would have some of the best surface stats in baseball. This is a blossoming ace and that ninth inning rally by the Braves yesterday that snapped a four game losing streak should find Atlanta with a little more jump in its game for this ESPN Sunday nighter.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 16

Joe GavazziFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston +120FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Attitude plays a big part in winning at any level in sports. These two teams are a great example of that concept. The CWS enter today on a 4-13 slide, 1-11 on the road with a veteran laden squad that already appears to have tossed the towel. Only the 2.67 ERA of Santiago in his last 6 starts prevents this from being a higher rated play. Houston enters the game on a positive 10-7 run including 3 consecutive victories. In those contests, the starters have recorded a 1.37 ERA in 19 2/3 IP. That figure could well be matched by a young and improving Keuchel who has a 1.89 ERA his last 3 starts. Live home dog with the Astros today.

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Greg ShakerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona / San Diego Under 8FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I surely do wish that I had got this one earlier when it opened at 8.5 but still a good number here and mine is right at 7. It's going to be a much better than average weather day for this pitchers and even though these 2 starters have been iffy, they are back by very good Pens and the DBacks are certainly in their worst hitting situation facing the lefty. There are some other factors helping my number to be where it is as well.

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Jeff AlexanderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona Diamondbacks -110FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Ian Kennedy is off to a rough start (3-4, 5.49 ERA), but he's still clutch. Consider that the D-backs are on a 6-0 run when they give him the ball following a defeat. San Diego's Richard (1-5, 8.06 ERA) is off to a worse start. The Padres are 1-10 in Richard's last 11 starts and 0-7 in his last 7 starts as an underdog. The Diamondbacks are 8-3 in Kennedy's last 11 starts as a road favorite of -110 to -150. Plus, Richard has a 4.61 ERA in 9 starts versus Arizona while Kennedy has a 3.17 ERA in 12 starts versus San Diego.

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Jack JonesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington Nationals -118FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Rarely will you ever get ace Stephen Strasburg at this kind of price for the Washington Nationals. I'll gladly take advantage and back them as a small road favorite against the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 of this interleague series Sunday.
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Strasburg has been nothing short of dominant once again in 2013. The right-hander has gone 3-5 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.063 WHIP over 12 starts this season, including 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.882 WHIP in his last three starts.
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Corey Kluber has been solid this season for Cleveland, but he's certainly no match for Strasburg. The right-hander has gone 3-4 with a 4.30 ERA in nine starts this year, including 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in three home starts.
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Washington is 46-24 (+21.9 Units) against the money line after a one run win over the last 3 seasons. Cleveland is 6-24 (-15.3 Units) against the money line after batting .225 or worse over a 10 game span over the last 2 seasons. The Nationals are 14-3 in Strasburg's last 17 starts during game 3 of a series.
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Washington is 23-7 in its last 30 interleague games as a favorite of -110 to -150. The Indians are 16-37 in their last 53 interleague games as an underdog. Cleveland is 0-6 in Kluber's last 6 starts as a home underdog. The Indians are 3-13 in their last 16 games as an underdog. Bet the Nationals Sunday.

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Wunderdog

New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Los Angeles Angels -140

This is the end of a 10-game road trip for the Yankees, and they've looked out of gas the last week, riding a five-game skid. The offense has been useless scoring two runs in each of the last four games...good luck against Jered Weaver!  This depleted New York offense is short on stars and production, 19th in runs scored, 22nd in on base percentage. Making matters worst is that first baseman Mark Teixeira hurt his wrist yesterday, and is flying back to New York. Lefty C.C. Sabathia is not throwing like an ace with a 4.43 ERA his last three starts. Even for the season his ERA is over four.  The Yankees are 1-4 in Sabathia's last five starts as a road underdog, and 3-7 in the team's last 10 road games against a team with a losing record. Sabathia has compiled a 6-8 record with a 4.22 ERA in 16 career starts against Los Angeles.  They face one of the best in Jered Weaver who is 6-2 in his career against far more powerful Bronx Bomber offenses than this one. The Yankees are 12-27 in the last 39 meetings in Los Angeles, so grab the home field against the road weary visitors. Play the Los Angeles Angels.

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Wunderdog

Indiana at Washington
Pick: Indiana +2.5

Indiana is 1-1 on the road and rested with two full days off. The Indiana Fever are the defending WNBA champions, and have been in a slump the last week, but there is plenty of talent on this group. The Fever is 4-0 ATS in their last four Sunday games, and they took three of four from the Washington Mystics last season. While Indiana has had two days off, Washington has been on vacation with a full seven days off! The Mystics are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games playing on three or more days rest. Getting back in sync will be a problem, even at home, for a team sitting idle that long. The Fever is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings, and Indiana is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Washington. Play the Indiana Fever.

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