Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
The Reds look to build on their 8-3 record in Bronson Arroyo's last 11 starts as a home favorite of -110 to -150. Cincinnati is the pick (-140) according to Dunkel, which has the Reds favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-140)

Game 951-952: Miami at Arizona (3:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Fernandez) 14.430; Arizona (Cahill) 15.892
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Arizona (-185); 8
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-185); Under

Game 953-954: San Diego at San Francisco (3:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Stults) 16.628; San Francisco (Bumgarner) 15.699
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+130); Over

Game 955-956: Washington at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Gonzalez) 14.416; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 15.424
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-110); Under

Game 957-958: NY Mets at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Marcum) 15.437; Atlanta (Medlen) 14.481
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-210); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+180); Over

Game 959-960: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Locke) 14.681; Cincinnati (Arroyo) 15.557
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-140); Under

Game 961-962: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Jackson) 15.222; St. Louis (Westbrook) 14.168
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-175); 8
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+155); Over

Game 963-964: Baltimore at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Tillman) 15.207; Detroit (Porcello) 16.743
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-150); Under

Game 965-966: Kansas City at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Mendoza) 16.526; Cleveland (Masterson) 15.692
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+135); Over

Game 967-968: Tampa Bay at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 14.966; Boston (Dempster) 14.554
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-150); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+130); Over

Game 969-970: Oakland at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Milone) 14.881; Texas (Grimm) 16.273
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Texas (-110); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-110); Under

Game 971-972: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Sale) 14.796; Minnesota (Correia) 15.621
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+115); Over

Game 973-974: Seattle at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Saunders) 14.482; LA Angels (Wilson) 14.012
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-220); 8
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+190); Under

Game 975-976: LA Dodgers at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Capuano) 15.476; NY Yankees (Hughes) 14.472
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-180); 8
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (+160); Over

Game 977-978: Colorado at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Nicasio) 14.935; Toronto (Buehrle) 17.068
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-150); Under

Game 979-980: Milwaukee at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Lohse) 14.630; Houston (Bedard) 16.542
Dunkel Line: Houston by 2; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+120); Under

Game 981-982: LA Dodgers at NY Yankees (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 16.309; NY Yankees (Kuroda) 15.211
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 6
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NHL

Chicago at Boston
The Bruins look to follow up their 2-0 win in Game 3 and build on their 5-1 record in their last 6 games after allowing 2 goals or less in the previous game. Boston is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Bruins favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Boston (-135)

Game 57-58: Chicago at Boston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 12.510; Boston 13.417
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-135); 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-135); Under

WNBA

Minnesota at Phoenix
The Lynx look to build on their 4-0 ATS record in their last 4 games in Phoenix. Minnesota is the pick (-3) according to Dunkel, which has the Lynx favored by 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-3)

Game 601-602: Minnesota at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 114.091; Phoenix 109.518
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 4 1/2; 172
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 3; 177
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-3); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati RedsSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Cincinnati RedsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When Bronson Arroyo toes the slab for the Reds at home against Pittsburgh Wednesday evening, Cincinnati will do so knowing the home team in his starts this season is 11-3. That goes hand in hand with Arroyo's 11-4 mark in his last fifteen home team starts, including 7-2 with a 2.64 ERA this season. With the Bucs just 1-6 their last seven games in this park look for the better team to prevail tonight. we recommend a 1-unit play on Cincinnati.

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Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red SoxFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Tampa Bay RaysFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston swept the Tuesday doubleheader over Tampa Bay as it allowed just two runs total to make it four straight wins at home. I expect that to come to an end tonight however despite the recent dominance over the Rays. Ryan Dempster has tossed four straight quality outings but Boston has only two wins to show for it and that has been the story all season. His inconsistency has been an issue which is one of the main reasons the Red Sox are just 6-8 in his 14 starts despite giving him an average of 5.0 rpg. They have actually given him more runs at home but he is just 3-5 with Boston going 4-6 in those 10 starts. The Rays are struggling not only against Boston but against everyone it seems of late as they are just 2-8 over their last 10 games. The offense has been the problem most recently as Tampa Bay has scored three runs or less in six of its last seven games but I see a breakout here behind Jeremy Hellickson. The Rays have given him 5.9 rpg this season of support and that is a big reason they are 7-7 in his 14 starts despite his 5.67 ERA. He has been all over the place and he is coming off a game where he allowed eight runs against Kansas City. The last time he allowed eight runs in an outing, he bounced back with a quality performance in his next start. He has allowed three runs or less in nine of his last 10 starts against Boston and the Rays are 4-1 in his last five starts against teams with a winning record.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

Jimmy Boyd

Texas Rangers -107

The outlook is grim for the Oakland A's when they take on the Texas Rangers and starting pitcher Justin Grimm today. Grimm has 27 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched at home this season and he has walked just 8 batters during that span. He should have no problems getting run support from a Rangers team that is batting .264 and scoring 5.2 runs per game against division opponents.

The Oakland A's are batting .248 as a team and they have been struck out a total of 547 times in their 72 games. Facing a strikeout pitcher like Grimm should cause Oakland a lot of problems offensively today. When you look at Oakland statistically they perform poorly at getting on base against right handed starters. I expect to see Grimm have a solid performance and the Rangers bullpen to build on their 84.6% save percentage.

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Jeffrey BrandesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore vs. DetroitFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 9FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pitchers:FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: CHRIS TILLMAN (R) ERA: 3.61 W/L: 7-2
DETROIT TIGERS: RICK PORCELLO (R) ERA: 4.50 W/L: 4-3
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The Orioles' CHRIS TILLMAN has been pitching extremely well as of late. In his last start, he held the Red Sox scoreless for 6 plus innings. He's won four of his past five starts, and in his past three, he's 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA.
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The Tigers' RICK PORCELLO has also been pitching lights out lately. In his last, he threw seven shutout innings vs. the Twins, giving up three hits and striking out five. He's 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his last 3 starts spanning 19.0 innings.
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Key Trends:FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Baltimore's last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Baltimore's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Detroit's last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit's last 7 games at home

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Red Dog SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami Marlins vs. Arizona Diamondbacks    
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Miami won on Tuesday night but lost 3-2 on Wednesday. Miami's Fernandez is 3-0 in his last 3 starts with a 1.35 ERA while Arizona's Cahill is 0-3 with an ERA of 9.42 in that span. Look for the Marlins to keep it close as they have been playing well lately. One unit on Miami as a BIG UNDERDOG.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

Freddy Wills

Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins    
Play: Chicago White Sox

We may have to change our criteria for our hot and cold pitching report, because once against we have a ton of pitchers with ERA's under 3.00 over their last 3 starts, but only two pitchers with ERA's over 6.00. It's a combination of weak hitting teams and pitchers only having to go 6 innings. It's been a trend that has continued for the last few years. Today we look to a road pitcher with excellent value. We are 8-3 in our last 11 free MLB picks.

Chris Sale continues to dominate without getting anything in the win column. He's 0-3 in his last three starts despite a 0.84 WHIP and a 2.11 ERA. Chris Sale continues to flourish and he really reminds me of Hall of Fame great Randy Johnson. He has great numbers against the Minnesota Twins in his career over three career starts he posts a 0.90 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. Twins hitters have just .473 OPS and a .175 average against the south paw in 63 AB.

Why are we getting so much value? Well lets be honest the White Sox offense has been awful, but I think we have seen the end to their terrible play recently. In their last 10 games they are scoring 5.19 runs per 9 vs. RHP and they have good numbers against the Twins RHP Kevin Correia with a 1.053 OPS in 49 AB. The Twins are also just 14-51 in their last 65 games vs. a starter with a WHIP under 1.15.

Notable Hot Starters L3 GS:
Kyle Lohse (2-1, 20 IP, 0.90 WHIP, 2.25 ERA)
Joe Saunders (2-1, 19.2 IP, 1.12 WHIP, 2.29 ERA)
Chris Tillman (3-0, 19 IP, 0.95 WHIP, 1.42 ERA)
Rick Porcello (2-1, 19 IP, 0.79 WHIP, 1.89 ERA)
Jose Fernandez (3-0, 20 IP, 0.90 WHIP, 1.35 ERA)
Luis Mendoza (2-1, 17.1 IP, 1.38 WHIP, 2.60 ERA)
Eric Stults (2-1, 23 IP, 0.70 WHIP, 1.57 ERA)
Gio Gonzalez (0-3, 20 IP, 1.00 WHIP, 1.80 ERA)
Jeff Locke (1-2, 18.1 IP, 1.04 WHIP, 1.96 ERA)
Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 21. 2 IP, 1.11 WHIP, 1.66 ERA)
Tommy Milone (1-2, 20.2 IP, 0.87 WHIP, 2.18 ERA)
Kris Medlen (2-1, 19.2 IP, 1.12 whip, 1.83 ERA)
Mark Buehrle (2-1, 20 IP, 1.10 WHIP, 1.80 ERA)

Notable Cold Starters L3 GS:
Justin Grimm (1-2, 15 IP, 2.00 WHIP, 11.40 ERA)
Trevor Cahill (0-3, 14.1 IP, 2.09 WHIP, 9.40 ERA)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

JEFF BENTON

Your Wednesday freebie is the Milwaukee Brewers over the Houston Astros.

Last night Houston put the beat-down on their former division-rival, as the Astros routed the Brewers by a 10-1 count. Look for things to change tonight as Kyle Lohse handles matters for Milwaukee.

Lohse is just 2-6 for the season, but he has had great success over the years when facing Houston, as the right-hander is 10-7 for his career with a 2.60 ERA. He has gone 4-1 his last 5 starts against them, and sports a 1.59 ERA in those last 5 assignments versus the 'Stros.

His counterpart Erik Bedard is coming off a strong outing his last trip to the mound, but in his 2 starts against the Brewers, the southpaw is 0-2 with an ERA well over 11.

Houston has certainly been playing their best baseball of the season of late, but having to deal with Lohse one more time will be their downfall tonight.

Take the Brewers in this spot.

1* MILWAUKEE

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BRAD WILTON

My free play for Wednesday night will be the Over in the Mets-Braves contest.

After a long night on Monday due to the rain, the Mets and Braves played a pair yesterday dodging rain drops, and both games saw a combined 7 runs scored - good for a pair of pushes on the Over/Under line.

Tonight we will see a few more runs as the teams get Over the total at Turner Field.

Mets starter Shaun Marcum is still in search of his first win of the season, and his 0-8 mark with an over 5 ERA tells me that he is likely to give up a few runs to the dangerous Atlanta attack that is looking to avoid their first home losing series of the year in tonight's outing.

Kris Medlen had a rough start his last time out on Friday when the Giants scored 4 runs off of him on 9 hits in his 6 innings of work.

After facing promising youngsters Harvey and Wheeler yesterday, look for Atlanta to get some offense cranking against the winless Marcum tonight.

Play the Over in the Mets-Braves contest.

3* N.Y. METS-ATLANTA OVER

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado vs. TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Toronto Blue Jays came into the 2013 season w/ plenty of hype.  They quickly fell on their face, and in fact still remain in last place of a very competitive American League East.  But recently, things are trending upward in the form of a season-high seven-game win streak for the Jays.  Wednesday sees them going for a three-game sweep of the Rockies. I think they'll get it.
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Toronto allowed three runs yesterday. It was the most runs they'd allowed in the last six games.  In the previous five, they allowed a total of four.  One of those was a start from Mark Buehrle, who gets the nod here.  Last time out, the southpaw went seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, as Toronto won 8-0. In Buehrle's last two starts, he's allowed just 1 ER over 14 IP.  Buehrle has an all-time 32-13 team start record in Interleague Play.
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Meanwhile, Colorado has dropped 22 of 27 games vs. the American League dating back to last year. That includes a 3-9 record this year, averaging just 3.0 runs per game.  They have never won in Toronto, batting just .176 in eight games here. Starter Juan Nicasio is winless in his last five starts and has yet to make it past the sixth inning all season. Toronto and Buehrle are just too hot right now.

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. St. LouisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: St. LouisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Behind Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs came in and stole one in St. Louis Tuesday night, evening this series up at one game apiece. For a variety of reasons, I don't see Chicago coming in and winning two in a row here at Busch Stadium.  This is a free play on the Cardinals.
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Here are my keys to the game:FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Cardinals off a Loss - St. Louis doesn't lose back to back games very often. In fact, since a three-game losing skid in late April, it has happened just once.  For the season, the Cards are 21-4 off a loss.
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2. Home Field Advantage - The Cubs come in averaging just 3.3 runs/game away from the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. Even with yesterday's win, they are just 33-72 as a road underdog.  They just 5-14 their last 19 at St. Louis.
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3. X-Factor - Cubs starter Edwin Jackson is not having a good season.  St. Louis is 37-18 vs. righties this year. Jackson has a 3-15 TSR in division games the last two years.

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Jesse SchuleFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado vs. TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: TorontoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jays have put together an impressive seven game winning streak, and they now sit just two games below .500 on the season. They will be looking to complete a three game sweep of the Rockies at Rogers Center tonight, with veteran Mark Buehrle on the mound.
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Buehrle (3-4, 4.66 ERA) has been brilliant while allowing just single run over 14 innings in his last two starts, both wins over Texas. Two of his three wins have come at home, and he has pitched much better in Toronto than he has on the road. The Jays have won each of his last three starts at Rogers Center, and he's given up just four runs over 20 innings of work in those games.
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He's 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in his last two starts versus the Rockies.
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Colorado hands the ball to Juan Nicasio, and he hasn't missed many bats lately. Nicasio (4-2, 4.86 ERA) allowed five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings in an 8-7 loss to Philadelphia his last time out. Colorado can be a tough place to pitch, but Nicasio has an identical win/loss record, and ERA on the road: (2-1, 4.86).
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Facing the red hot Blue Jays in Toronto is not a good spot for Nicasio, and I expect him to get roughed up a little tonight.

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Steve MerrilFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami vs. ArizonaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These two teams have played the majority of their games Under the total this season, and we recommend playing this game that way on Wednesday afternoon.
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It will be the fantastic rookie versus the cagey veteran in Arizona on Wednesday afternoon.  Jose Fernandez has been great for Miami going 4-3 with a 3.11 ERA in 13 starts.  The righty has allowed just 4 runs and 12 hits in his last three starts getting two wins during that span.  He has 77 strikeouts and just 27 walks.  Fernandez is facing an Arizona offense that has scuffled a bit as of late, especially at home where they have gone Under the total in more than half of their games.  Daytime games usually produce low-scoring games in Arizona as well; they’ve gone Under in 13 of their 20 day games.
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Trevor Cahill is 3-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 starts with nine of those games going Under the total.  He has lost four of his eight starts at home, but more importantly, he has gone Under in six of those games.  Cahill beat Miami back on May 17th after giving up 1 run and five hits in eight innings.  Juan Pierre has seen the Arizona starter the most and he has just five hits in 23 at-bats against him.  Miami’s offense is getting better, but they are still hitting right around .236 in their last eight games.  These two teams have played the majority of their games Under the total this season, and we recommend playing this game that way on Wednesday afternoon.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Milwaukee vs. HoustonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: HoustonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The oddsmakers continue to be reluctant to make the Astros a favorite, which only means that Houston continues to offer very good value the past week with wins in 5 of its last 6 games, including a 10-1 romp over the visiting Brewers on Tuesday night. Regardless, so it goes again tonight at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros are once more the beneficiary of a plus price against visiting Milwaukee.  Perhaps past success of Brewers starter Kyle Lohse against Houston also has something to do with tonight's price, but by this point of the season we are far more leery of trusting an erratic Milwaukee side that has sunk to 28-41 and routinely provides Lohse and other Brewer pitchers with little or no run support.  Meanwhile, the Astros continue to get surprisingly good work from their staff, even Erik Bedard, who has recovered from some shaky efforts earlier in the season to allow two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts, including six shutout innings (and a mere three hits) last Friday vs. the White Sox in a 2-1 Houston win.

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Sean MurphyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado vs. TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ColoradoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jays have cruised to back-to-back wins to open this series and have now recorded seven consecutive victories overall. Of course, all streaks come to an end, and I see this as an ideal spot to fade Toronto with a Rockies club that has been swept only once on the road this season.
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The Rockies ran into a hot, and certainly highly-motivated pitcher in Esmil Rogers last night. Remember, he was cut loose by the Rockies last season and has proven far more effective in the American League.
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Tonight Colorado will face another seemingly hot starter in Mark Buehrle but I'm not convinced his recent success is sustainable. Buehrle has given up just eight hits and one earned run over his last two starts, spanning 14 innings of work. His overall numbers are still less than impressive, however, as he checks in with a 4.66 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.
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Juan Nicasio will take the ball for Colorado. He's coming off a rough start against the Phillies in which he allowed five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings, but had been pitching reasonably well prior to that, giving up three earned runs or less in four of his last five outings. Nicasio has held his own on the road this season, with the Rockies posting a winning 4-3 record when he takes the hill.
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The Rockies have always been a far weaker team on the road than at home, but it's worth noting that they were just two games under .500 on the road entering this series. Their offense has been rather silent in the first two games of this three-game set but I do expect them to bounce back here. Most will see the Jays as a gimme in this spot, but I like the Rockies to pull the upset.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. St. LouisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Edwin Jackson (3-8, 5.40 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Jackson continued his up and down season with a decent outing vs. the Mets on Friday, giving up one run off five hits with three walks while striking out seven over six innings of work in his team's eventual 6-3 victory. Jackson has looked decent at times this year and pretty poor in others (note that he sports a sub-par 1-1, 5.25 ERA record in his last four starts vs. the Cardinals). Jackson will be opposed by Jake Westbrook (2-2, 2.05 ERA) who returned from the DL on Friday vs. the soft-hitting Marlins and promptly gave up five runs off eight hits with one walk over five innings of work (note that Westbrook looked pretty pedestrian when he faced the Cubbies on May 8th, giving up three earned runs over 5 1/3's innings of work). If you've followed me in the past, you know that "recent performance" plays a part in my handicapping toolbox and in this case there's no question that each starter comes in with more questions than answers. I believe the "over" is worth a second look in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, June 19

Jim Feist

Colorado Rockies vs. Toronto Blue Jays    
Play: Colorado Rockies

Interleague action as the Rockies and Blue Jays meet in the Rogers Center in Toronto. Colorado has a powerhouse offense, second in baseball in runs scored and on base percentage, plus tops in slugging. They head to Toronto which is a great offensive park. Facing soft thrower Mark Buehrle (3-4, 4.66 ERA) will help this offense, too, who has been hittable. Colorado has righty Juan Nicasio going, who has allowed fewer hits than innings pitched and Toronto has never faced him. Play the Rockies.

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TEXAS -102 over Oakland (5 innings)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1st 5 innings. The Rangers have been expected to win many games over the past nine but over that span they have been a bankroll killer to its backers with eight losses. Now the Rangers stock has sunk dramatically and that’s usually the best time to step in. A control artist in the minors, Tommy Milone's ability to maintain similar accuracy at this level has been an integral part of his moderate success. However, good control doesn't always reap results. It's hard to overlook a few glaring negatives in Milone’s skill set. Milone continues to allow far too many fly balls and line drives, but pitching home games at O.co Coliseum (-12% RHB HR, -31% LHB HR) has worked to his benefit (2.48 home ERA, 4.53 road ERA). Milone still has plenty of kinks to work out, most noticeably the LD and fly-ball rates, which could ultimately lead to some ugly hit%-induced stat lines if maintained. His xERA of 4.96 reminds us that this is not the park to wager on Tommy Milone.
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Justin Grimm has a better ERA at home than on the road and that’s due to a 55% groundball rate at home. While Grimm has a plus fastball at times (up to 96) and a power curve, he has never been a strikeout pitcher but at age 24, he’s still learning his craft and he’s beginning to strike out more batters (19 in his last 27 innings). Grimm relies on his ability to throw quality pitches with great control. He shows effort in his delivery and tends to rush at times, but he repeats it, allowing him to limit walks and make quality pitches to get outs. With proper adjustments to his changeup he will have three usable pitches that can work against RHH/LHH. Grimm has been hit hard in two of his last three starts but they were against a couple of hot-hitting teams in Boston and Toronto (twice). He’s more capable of a strong game than Milone is and with the Rangers bullpen being gassed, we’ll play this one in the first five innings.

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BOSTON -½ +128 over ChicagoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Normally we would not recommend spotting a half puck to a team like the Blackhawks, but just like every team the Bruins have played this post-season besides the Maple Leafs in the first round (did Toronto really score 18 goals on Rask?), Boston has the Blackhawks reeling and over-thinking the game. Zdeno Chara is one man. Yeah, he’s great but Joel Quenneville has Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews split up so that Chara can’t be on the ice against both of them all the time. Quenneville’s constant line juggling is unnecessary and the frustration it’s causing for the players is evident. John Tortorella of the Rangers was always line juggling and we all know how that worked out. Chicago is down just 2-1 to these Bruins but this deficit seems deeper than the 3-1 hole they were in to Detroit.
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Before this series, the Bruins were worried about respecting Chicago’s speed and avoiding dumb penalties. As it turns out, it should have been the other way around. Every game it’s a disciplined, exhaustive effort by the B’s and three stars are not enough to recognize all the great efforts from top to bottom. Instead of dwelling on that morale-killing loss in Game 1, the Bruins have responded by digging deep and doing everything it takes to win. Chicago is getting great efforts from certain players but when your top two guys (Toews and Kane) aren’t producing or going extra hard, it resonates down the entire bench. There is a cliché that says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but again, Quenneville is overthinking the game and even if he puts Kane and Toews back together here, the damage may have already been done. Then there’s Tuukka Rask, who has frustrated every team he’s played and he’s doing the same to the Blackhawks. In the end, the Bruins have shut down the high-flying Penguins and Blackhawks when most said it was not possible. After the injury to Nathan Horton, Claude Julien put together a third-line of Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin and the trio came calling again. Julien is out-coaching Quenneville, Boston is more focused and certainly playing with more purpose while the Blackhawks are getting worse with each passing period. Doubtful anything changes tonight and therefore we’ll spot the -½ puck.

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MLB Predictions

Baltimore / Detroit Tigers Under 9

These two teams have split the first two games of the series with totals of 6 and 7 runs. 3 of their 5 meetings this year have gone UNDER the total. Tonight two hot pitchers square off as Chris Tillman goes for Baltimore and Rick Porcello for the Tigers. Tillman is 7-2 with a 3.61 ERA, .248 OBA and 1.28 WHIP. Over his last three starts he has pitched 19 innings giving up just 3 earned runs against. Porcello is 4-3 with a 4.37 ERA. .250 OBA and 1.14 WHIP. He has also pitched 19 innings over his last 3 starts allowing 4 earned runs for a 1.89 ERA. Since a rough April he has been great, and he is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA at home. The UNDER is 12-3-1 in the Orioles last 16 overall, 5-1 in the Orioles last 6 road games, 4-1 in their last 5 as a road underdog, and 4-1 in Tillman’s last 5 with a high total between 9-10.5. The UNDER is 8-1 in the Tigers last 9 overall, 5-2 in their last 7 home games, and 5-2 in Porcello’s last 7 starts. Take the UNDER this afternoon.


Toronto Blue Jays -155 & Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 +136

We did this a number of times last year, but this is the first time this season We are splitting up the two units bet between the moneyline and run line. If the Jays win by exactly 1 run we stand to lose 0.35 units, if the Jays win by 2+ runs we stand to win 2.01 units, and if they were to lose we’d lose the whole 2 units of course. Instead of going full out on the run line this gives us a bit of a safety net.

The Jays are winners of 7 straight games as they’ve taken the first two of this series vs Colorado winning 2-0 and then 8-3 last night. Colorado has just 9 hits over the two games and have done very little offensively. Tonight they will face a veteran pitcher that has been pitching solid in Mark Buehrle. Buehrle is 3-4 with a 4.66 ERA, .266 OBA and 1.32 WHIP on the season, but he has posted a 2.54 ERA over his last 7 starts and he is 2-1 with a 3.77 ERA. Juan Nicasio is on the mound for Colorado as they look to avoid the sweep. He is 4-2 with a 4.86 ERA, .251 OBA and 1.35 WHIP on the year. Over his last three starts he is 0-0 with a 5.09 ERA, and his ERA has risen each month to start the season. The Rockies are just 20-41 in their last 61 games as an underdog dating back to last year, 2-5 in their last 7 overall, and 18-40 in their last 58 games vs a left handed starter. They have struggled in interleague going 5-23 in their last 28 interleague games. They are just 4-10 in Nicasio’s last 14 starts as an underdog. The Blue Jays have won 7 straight and are 4-1 in their last 5 home games. They are 5-2 in Buehrle’s 7 home starts this year and 4-1 in his last 5 starts. This Blue Jays team is rolling and their is a good vibe at the Rogers Centre. The last time the team has won 7 straight was in 2008 I believe I heard last night so I expect a good crowd and good energy in Toronto tonight. I like the match up with the Jays throwing a lefty out to complete the sweep and with the Jays averaging 6.2 runs per game over their last 5 I like them to win by a few.

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