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Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, June 21

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, June 21

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Cincinnati at Arizona
The Reds look to take advantage of an Arizona team that is 2-9 in Wade Miley's last 11 starts against teams with a winning record. Cincinnati is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Reds favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-135)

Game 951-952: Colorado at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Chatwood) 14.471; Washington (Strasburg) 16.460
Dunkel Line: Washington by 2; 5
Vegas Line: Washington (-175); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-175); Under

Game 953-954: NY Mets at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Hefner) 15.278; Philadelphia (Hamels) 13.756
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-175); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+155); Over

Game 955-956: Atlanta at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Teheran) 14.740; Milwaukee (Peralta) 15.682
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+120); Over

Game 957-958: Cincinnati at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Cueto) 15.994; Arizona (Miley) 14.376
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-135); Under

Game 959-960: LA Dodgers at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 14.832; San Diego (Richard) 16.107
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-165); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+145); Over

Game 961-962: Miami at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Nolasco) 15.711; San Francisco (Lincecum) 14.571
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-165); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+145); Under

Game 963-964: Tampa Bay at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hernandez) 13.157; NY Yankees (Phelps) 14.558
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-125); Under

Game 965-966: Baltimore at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Hammel) 16.763; Toronto (Dickey) 15.155
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Toronto (-140); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+120); Over

Game 967-968: Boston at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 15.870; Detroit (Fister) 15.323
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-145); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+125); Over

Game 969-970: Minnesota at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Deduno) 15.377; Cleveland (Kazmir) 17.291
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-125); Under

Game 971-972: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Santiago) 15.039; Kansas City (Guthrie) 14.028
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-145); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+125); Under

Game 973-974: Oakland at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Colon) 14.044; Seattle (Iwakuma) 15.479
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Oakland (-115); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-105); Over

Game 975-976: Houston at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Keuchel) 15.690; Cubs (Garza) 14.144
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-175); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+155); N/A

Game 977-978: Texas at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Holland) 14.110; St. Louis (Lyons) 16.646
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 2 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-125); Under

Game 979-980: Pittsburgh at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Cole) 15.644; LA Angels (Weaver) 16.966
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-160); Under

WNBA

Minnesota at Los Angeles
The Sparks look to take advantage of a Minnesota team that is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games when playing with 1 days rest. Los Angeles is the pick (-2) according to Dunkel, which has the Sparks favored by 4. Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-2)

Game 601-602: Seattle at San Antonio (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 109.054; San Antonio 112.789
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 3 1/2; 147
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 5 1/2; 142 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+5 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: Washington at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 101.985; Phoenix 110.839
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 9; 160
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 7; 166 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-7); Under

Game 605-606: Minnesota at Los Angeles (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 115.926; Los Angeles 119.717
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 4; 161
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 2; 166 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, June 21

Rob Vinciletti

Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers    
Play: Detroit Tigers

The Tigers cashed for us on Thursday and we will ride their coat tails again tonight with an entirely different system. This one has cashed 9 straight this season. We want to play on home favorites like Detroit that are off a 1 run home favored win if they scored 4 or less runs on 5+ hits, vs an opponent like Boston that are off a 1 run road dog loss and also scored 4 or less runs on 5+ hits if both teams were error free. Detroit average over 5 runs per game at home and hits over .300. They also average 5 runs per game vs left handers. Detroit has won 8 of 11 on Friday and has a pitching edge with Fister over Lester. Fister has a solid 3.19 home era. Lester has a 5.25 road era and has a terrible 8.62 era in his last 3 starts. He is 1-4 with a 4.78 era vs Detroit. Based on the numbers and the System we will back the Detroit Tigers tonight.

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Freddy Wills

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees    
Play: New York Yankees

Friday's probable pitchers is a little bit more balanced with 12 pitchers coming into their starts on fire over their last three starts and 7 starters who have ERA's over 5.50 over their last three starts. That is still more than half the league and once again we notice more and more pitchers going less innings with only one pitcher from the positive group averaging more than 7 innings over their last 3 starts and that pitcher is Johny Cueto. For our free MLB pick on Friday we will be taking a pitcher who ironically was a reliever before this year.

David Phelps has taken the role as a fill in starter exceptionally well. He has not always gone the distance and even his raw stats will not blow you away, but he has kept his team in the game in all of his starts. Phelps will have the benefit of being on 5 days of rest where he posts a 3.03 ERA this season in 5 starts. He has had a ton of success against the Rays who have a .186 average and a .519 OPS. That success has not only been from the bullpen as Phelps has a 2.69 ERA over 3 career starts vs. the Rays. The Rays are also struggling of late scoring just 3.20 runs per 9 over their last 10 games vs. RHP and they are 6-13 in their last 19 as a road under dog.

Meanwhile the Yankees have also struggled, but they are 9-3 in their last 12 with Phelps on the mound. They will also face Roberto Hernandez who they have hit well. Even the active Yankee hitters have solid numbers against Hernandez who has an ERA well over 10 in his last 5 starts vs. the Yankees. He's got a 20% HR/FB ratio this season and that won't do him any good pitching at Yankee Stadium on a Friday night where the Yankees are 28-9 in their last 37 Fridays.

Notable Hot Starters L3 GS:
Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 18.1 IP, 1.09 WHIP, 1.96 ERA)
Julio Teheran (2-1, 20 IP, 0.89 WHIP, 2.25 ERA)
Samuel Deduno (2-1, 18 IP, 1.28, 2.00 ERA)
Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 15 IP, 0.80 WHIP, 1.80 ERA)
Jeremy Hefner (1-2, 18 IP, 1.17 WHIP, 1.50 ERA)
Cole Hamels (1-2, 20 IP, 1.00 WHIP, 2.70 ERA)
Johny Cueto (2-1, 21 IP, 0.62 WHIP, 0.86 ERA)
Clayton Kershaw (1-2, 20 IP, 1.20 WHIP, 1.80 ERA)
Tim LIncecum (1-2, 17.2 IP, 1.36 WHIP, 2.55 ERA)
Bartolo Colon (3-0, 20 IP, 1.25 WHIP, 1.35 ERA)
Hisashi Iwakuma (1-2, 20 IP, 0.95 WHIP, 1.80 ERA)

Notable Cold Starters L3 GS:
Matt Garza (1-2, 18.1 IP, 1.31 WHIP, 6.38 ERA)
Scott Kazmir (0-3, 14.2 IP, 1.84 WHIP, 7.98 ERA)
Wily Peralta (0-3, 16.1 IP, 1.59 WHIP, 6.61 ERA)
Jason Hammel (1-2, 15.2 IP, 1.60 WHIP, 6.32 ERA)
John Lester (1-2, 19.2 IP, 2.17 WHIP, 8.62 ERA)
Derek Holland (0-3, 15.1 IP, 1.95 WHIP, 5.51 ERA)
Tyler Lyons (0-3, 17 IP, 1.65 WHIP, 7.41 ERA)

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Art Aronson

Mets vs. Phillies
Play: Over 7½

Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 3.96 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Hefner gave up three runs off six hits with one walk over five frames while striking out five in a no-decision vs. the Cubs on Sunday. Hefner hasn't been bad lately, but a date on the road is not what the doctor ordered as he's just 1-3 with a pedestrian 5.14 ERA away from friendly confines thus far. And while past failures don't necessarily mean one will falter again in the future, it's still important to note that Hefner really struggled vs. the Phillies back on April 10th, giving up five runs off six hits with three walks over just three innings of work. Hefner will be opposed by Cole Hamels (2-10, 4.40 ERA) who gave up three runs off six hits with two walks while striking out seven in a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. Like Hefner, Hamels' record is not entirely indicative of his overall performance this season, but take note that he comes into this game sporting an extremely unremarkable 1-5, 5.32 ERA in front of the home town crowd. A couple of confirmed "gas cans" facing off in the opening contest of this three-game set; consider a second look at the "over" in this one.

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Jim Feist

Twins vs. Indians
Play: Over 9

Cleveland is a small park, great for offenses, and Minnesota is in town with young starter Samuel Deduno, who has walked 13 batters in 18 innings against Cleveland. The Indians offense is 9th in baseball in runs scored, 12th in on base percentage, 8th in slugging. And speaking of struggling starters the Indians have lefty Scott Kazmir (3-4, 5.89 ERA). He is 0-2 his last three starts with a 7.98 ERA. The over is 4-1 in Kazmir's last 5 home starts. He surrendered three home runs to pitcher Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond. The left-hander was charged with five runs on four hits and four walks while striking out two in 2 2/3 innings in a 7-6 loss. The over is 5-2 in the Twins last 7 road games vs. a left-handed starter. And when these teams meet the over is 19-7-2 in the last 28 meetings, including 12-4 over in the last 16 meetings in Cleveland. Look for an offensive show; Play the Twins/Indians over the total.

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Matt Fargo

Cincinnati Reds vs. Arizona Diamondbacks    
Play: Arizona Diamondbacks

The Reds lost their series finale against Pittsburgh yesterday which resulted in a series split. Cincinnati now trails the Cardinals by 3.5 games in the National League Central and hits the road where it is a respectable 18-16 but I feel it is getting a little too much credit here. Johnny Cueto is the reason why as he has been outstanding with a 2.08 ERA and 0.88 WHIP through his seven starts which includes three consecutive quality outings. His work against the Diamondbacks has been equally impressive as he is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in six career starts. He has yet to be handed a loss this year and this is the ideal contrarian situation to go against that. The Diamondbacks are 11-2 in their last 13 games against starters with a WHIP less than 1.15. Arizona took two of three against Miami to open its homestand to improve to 19-15 at Chase Field on the season. The Diamondbacks have increased their lead to two games over the Giants in the National League West and they have won four straight at home against teams with a winning record. Wade Miley gets the call and after a horrendous stretch to end the month of May, he has tossed three straight quality outings, posting a 3.38 ERA in the process. This is the form we are used to as he put up a 3.33 ERA last season over 29 starts to this current run is not an aberration. I expect the solid pitching to continue and Arizona takes this in a minor upset.

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Jimmy Boyd

San Francisco Giants -158

It is no big secret that the Miami Marlins are one of the worst teams in baseball this season. They have a .229 team batting average and are scoring just 3.1 runs per game. On the road the Marlins are 10-26 and they are facing a Giants team that owns a 23-13 home record.

Miami is 1-6 in Ricky Nolasco's 7 starts on the road this season. They will struggle to get runs on the board against Tim Lincecum today. Lincecum has been throwing really well recently posting a 2.55 ERA in his last 3 starts. Offensively the Giants are batting .277 at home and they are averaging a total of 4.3 runs per game in all games this season.

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GamePlan

Detroit Tigers -136

When Lester pitches the Red Sox is 9-19 (-16.8 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. Boston is 48-69 (-33.6 Units) against the money line after 1 or more consecutive unders over the last 2 seasons. Detroit is 39-18 (+17.3 Units) against the money line in home games vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season over the last 3 seasons.

Lester is in poor pitching form as he has a 8.62 ERA over his last three starts while Fister has a 3.00 ERA over his last three starts. Take Detroit tonight.

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John Ryan

Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers    
Play: Boston Red Sox

The simulator shows a high probability that the Red Sox will win this game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 159-131 mark and has made 67 units/unit wagered since 2007. Play on any team (DETROIT) and is a top level team outscoring opponents by 1 or more runs/game on the season. Boston is 11-2 (+8.9 Units) against the money line after batting .225 or worse over a 5 game span this season. Lester has not been in top form, but I do believe that the Boston offense will destroy Detroit starter Doug Fister. Take Boston.

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Jeff Benton

Friday freebie will be the low in the Reds-Diamondbacks.

Don't look for too many runs tonight, as Johnny Cueto returned to the rotation with another stingy effort as the righty is now 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA his last three trips to the mound.

5 of Cueto's 7 starts this season have played Under the total, while the Reds come into the desert on a 6-0-1 Under clip their last 7 games.

Furthering the case for a low-scoring affair is the fact Arizona has played Under the total in each of their last 4 contests, while starter Wade Miley is coming into this game fresh off 6 innings of 1 run ball in his last start at San Diego.

Going to look for the weekend opener to go low.

2♦ CINCINNATI-ARIZONA UNDER

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Jeffrey BrandesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York vs. PhiladelphiaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 7½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pitchers:FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
NEW YORK METS: JEREMY HEFNER (R) ERA: 3.77 W/L: 1-6
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: COLE HAMELS (L) ERA: 4.40 W/L: 2-10
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For the Mets, JEREMY HEFNER has just one win in 13 starts this year.
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For the Phillies, COLE HAMELS is 6-10 lifetime with a 4.20 ERA -- his worst mark against any National League team.
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Key Trends:FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 16 of Philadelphia's last 22 games when playing NY Mets
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Philadelphia's last 10 games when playing at home against NY Mets

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks
Prediction: Cincinnati RedsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Reds and Diamondbacks open a three-game set in Arizona Friday night where Johnny Cueto matches serves with Wade Miley. Cueto toes the rubber with team-start wins in 13 of his last 18 efforts in June and 9 of his last 13 games away. On the flip side, Miley has dropped 7 of his last 10 home team-starts. With Cueto 6-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his career team-starts in this series, look for more of the same this evening. We recommend a 1-unit play on Cincinnati.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston vs. DetroitFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: DetroitFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Tigers won one in come from behind fashion Thursday night, rallying in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-3.  I look for that momentum to carry over into tonight as Detroit should make it two straight over Boston.....
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The Tigers are a great home team, with a 24-12 record at Comerica Park, which is the best home record in the American League. With last night's win, they have now beaten the Red Sox five straight times here in the Motor City.  I like them to make it six behind Doug Fister, who has made five straight quality starts, yet only has one win to show for it.  That was last time out when he went 7.7 innings and allowed only two runs on two hits at Minnesota. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.  Fister is due for another win. He'll get it here.
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Boston starter Jon Lester is heading in the other direction. Remember when he was 6-0 through nine starts? Neither does he? Since May 20th, he has gone 0-4 in six starts, turning in a 7.20 ERA. He has not looked good at all in his last two starts, and like this one, both were on the road. Last time out, he allowed five runs in five innings. Before that he allowed seven runs in 4.7 IP.  I simply like Detroit much better than Boston at this point in the season.

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Colorado vs. WashingtonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: WashingtonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Washington Nationals had little difficulty taking Thursday's series opener, beating the Colorado Rockies 5-1.  Now it's Stephen Strasburg's time to win.  He was a hard luck loser in his return from the disabled list Sunday and really has been plagued by misfortune all season.  His numbers say his record should simply be much better. This is a free play on the Washington Nationals.
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Here are my keys to the game:FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Strasburg - He is 3-6 this season in 13 starts (5-8 TSR), but don't be fooled by that. He has a 2.50 ERA and 1.059 WHIP.  At home, the results have been even more head-scratching with a 2-3 record, yet his ERA is 1.08 and his WHIP 0.818.  Even factoring out his injury-shortened start on May 31, Strasburg has given up just one run in four straight starts.
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2. Colorado's Recent Ways - The Rockies are struggling of late, dropping seven of their last nine including four in a row. They have scored just six runs the last four games, all of them on the road. For the year, the team is 14-20 on the road, averaging just 4.1 runs per game.
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3. X-Factor - The Nats offense has picked up dramatically the last two days, scoring 11 times and registering 19 hits.

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Houston vs. ChicagoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: HoustonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Although the Astros now campaign in the American League, these two are familiar with one another after banging heads in the NL Central for the past several years. As for Houston, it lately doesn't look much like the team that was getting overrun regularly in the first six weeks of the season.  The Astros are now 6-2 their last eight after that dramatic walk-off win on Thursday vs. the Brewers and have also won 13 of their last 22, keeping afloat the past three or so weeks.  Improved pitching has been a key, and Friday starter Dallas Keuchel has been contributing to the cause with a 2.13 ERA in his last four outings.  Meanwhile, prior to his solid effort vs. the punchless Mets on Sunday, Cubs starter Matt Garza had been laboring, with a 7.05 ERA in his four previous starts.  At 2-7 in their last nine games at home, the Cubs haven't made much of a fortress out of Wrigley Field lately, either.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Red Sox at TigersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The under is 8-0-1 in Boston's last 9 overall, and the under is 7-0-1 in Boston's last 8 on grass. The under is 9-2 in Detroit's last 11 overall. The Tigers are starting RHP Doug Fister, and the under is 3-0 in Fister's last 3 starts. Play Boston-Detroit under.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore vs. TorontoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jays are on fire in June, winning eight in a row and 12-of-16 overall. They had a day off yesterday, and they will host Baltimore tonight at Rogers Center. Reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey will toe the rubber for the home team, and he's been rather hit or miss lately.
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Dickey (6-8, 4.90 ERA) was brilliant in a 6-1 win over Texas in his last start. He allowed just a single run on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings in the victory. He was roughed up on the road prior to that, losing 10-6 to the White Sox. He hasn't had any success against the Orioles this season, but prior to 2013, he was 2-0 with an ERA of 0.56 in two starts dating back to 2010. It's pretty simple really, if he has his knuckleball working, they just won't be hitting him. It was working for him his last time out, and he's been brilliant in two of his last three starts.
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If Dickey doesn't have his best stuff today, all might not be lost for the Jays. Jason Hammel will get the nod for the Orioles, and he hasn't been very sharp despite a winning record.
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Hammel (7-4, 5.24 ERA) has lost his last three starts, allowing 11 runs over 15 2/3 innings. He's also allowed five home runs and seven walks during that span, and he's spent the last two weeks recovering from an illness that caused him to miss his last start. He's been scheduled to start twice previously, and has been pushed back due to complications with his illness. Suffice to say, it appears he's not going to be at 100%.
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Melky Cabrera has been successful against Hammel, going 5-for-13 with a pair of home runs lifetime, while Edwin Encarnacion has gone 4-for-11 with a homer. Rajai Davis and Colby Rasmus have also hit home runs off Hammel.
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It's hard to have a lot of faith in Hammel who hasn't been sharp at the best of times, and he's in a tough spot tonight facing a lineup that has roughed him up in the past.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, June 21

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Miami +146 over SAN FRANCISCOFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tim Lincecum is high on our fade list because his skills are going from bad to worse and it’s not suddenly either. Lincecum had an ugly 2012 and was even relegated to bullpen duty last year for a stretch. The Giants had hoped it was just a slump that he would get through but it’s not. It’s what we call “dead arm syndrome”. In Lincecum’s last start against Atlanta, he walked five batters while striking out just three in six innings. Over his last five starts, Lincecum has walked 14 batters over 29 frames and his WHIP has climbed over the dreaded 1.50 mark to 1.52. His fastball velocity is decreasing with every passing month and it now barely cracks 90 MPH. Combine that with Lincecum’s lack of movement on all of his pitches (he’s shown the least aggregate movement on his pitches in 2013 among NL SP), and it makes him very hittable indeed. Lincecum is being priced in the same range as #2 and #3 starters when in fact, he’s now barely a #5 starter and if the Giants had more healthy bodies he would be back in the pen, which is where he will end up before this season is over. Tim Lincecum has lost it.
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Ricky Nolasco is coming on with six outstanding efforts in his last eight games started. Over that eight game stretch he’s only been taken yard three times and has allowed just one earned run in four of those eight games. Nolasco’s velocity has increased from April to now and his swinging strike rate surged from 5.4% to 11.9%. His current 3.61 ERA is fully supported by his 3.72 xERA. The Marlins are also playing much better. The Fish took the opener last night, they’ve now won 10 of their past 19 games and they figure to do at least some damage against Lincecum. We get the much better pitcher in five innings with a big tag and regardless of outcome, that’s rarely a bad choice.
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Minnesota +112 over CLEVELANDFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Scott Kazmir was a high risk/high reward experiment for the Indians and while he’s looked good at times, there are too many negative, glaring issues in his skill set to trust. Kazmir has been taken yard five times over his last 14.2 innings. He’s also walked eight batters over that stretch and the Indians have lost four of his last five starts including the last three. Kazmir’s line-drive rate over his last five starts is 33%, suggesting he’s fooling nobody. He also has the same 33% fly-ball and groundball rates over that span. The Twins are above .500 against lefties and they’re also swinging some pretty hot bats right now with 22 runs scored over their past three games, all wins at pitcher friendly Target Field. Over its last five games, Minnesota is hitting .324 with nine jacks and 30 runs scored. That’s tops in the majors in all three of those categories. The Twinkies have a great chance to do more damage against a fragile Scott Kazmir.
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On May 24, Sam Deduno opened his season against Detroit with six runs allowed in five innings before getting the hook. In four starts since then, Deduno has allowed two runs or fewer in each. Deduno is a bit wild but he has some of the nastiest nasty stuff in the business. Hitters never seem to be quite comfortable in the box against him either because of his propensity to throw inside. He does walk too many but he’s usually able to pitch out of it because of his elite 62% groundball rate. Deduno comes in with a skills supported 3.26 ERA and if he can cut down on his walks, he could join the ranks of the elite. The Twins bullpen has been outstanding this year with the second best ERA in the majors at 2.84 while the Indians pen is one of the worst with an ERA of 4.42. Cleveland’s imploding pen has 11 saves and 11 blown saves. Now we get a tag on the hottest hitting club in the majors with the better starter and better bullpen. Yeah, that works. 
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Pittsburgh +148 over L.A. ANGELSFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jered Weaver was a 20-game winner a season ago and while that was going on, we may have been the only outfit anywhere calling this guy a fluke. We’ve mentioned it again this season and our observations have merit. Weavers’s strikeout rate dipped further last season and his command followed (especially in 2H) in which he struck out 6+ batters in five of first six starts, but struck out that many just four more times all year. Weaver’s surface stats the last two years were greatly aided by fortunate hit and strand rate percentages. This season those have normalized, thus the 4.41 ERA. Weaver has done his best to hold off a swift erosion, but he might not be able to avoid it now. His average fastball velocity during the last three seasons: 89.9, 89.1, 87.8 mph. His fastball averaged a soft-tosser-like 87.5 mph in the 2H of 2012. His swinging strike rate during the last three years is also ominous: 11.2%, 9.1%, 8.5%. He has been able to rely on an effective pitch mix and deceptive arm angles to keep hitters from making hard contact, but his margin for error is razor thin now. Weaver’s groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rate this year of 32%/21%/47% is right in line with his ugly career rates. Weaver’s misleading and lucky W/L totals (38-13) over the past two years make him one of the most overvalued pitchers in the game.
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Gerrit Cole is 2-0 since his call-up from the minors and that’s with an unlucky and low 64% strand rate.  Cole was the first overall pick of the 2011 draft out of UCLA, and progressed three levels during 2012, reaching Triple-A Indianapolis by the end of his first full professional season. Cole is #4 on the top prospect list and the top-rated Pirates prospect. This high-ceiling righty with ace potential has a plus-plus fastball, a plus power slider and a good change-up. He will also mix in a curveball occasionally, but rarely needs it with his other offerings. Cole’s fastball is thrown in the 92-96 range and can top out at 100 mph with good movement. Cole can reach back and dial up the velocity late into games. His slider can be thrown anywhere between 81-90 mph in or off the plate, and his ability to throw at different speeds makes the plus pitch even harder to hit. His 2.91 ERA at Triple AAA this season takes into account one poor outing where he surrendered 8 ER and 3 of his 4 HR on the season. Cole throws from 3/4 arm slot, repeats mechanics well from the windup and the majority of the time out of the stretch. The two areas of concern are iffy command at times (particularly out of the stretch) and leaving pitches up in the zone too often. Both of those items can be overcome with his raw stuff. Cole has good makeup on the mound and goes right after hitters, working both sides of the plate. Cole has shown an uncharacteristically low strikeout rate this season, which may be attributed to a concerted effort to gain efficiency with pitch count before his call-up but the quality of each pitch offering is still there. Lots of upside here matched with consistent performance throughout college and 200 minor league innings. Oh, and he pitches for a very good team. Overlay.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, June 21

Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago / Kansas City Under 8.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Neither team can get runs across the plate and 2 decent pitchers tonight, Guthrie should keep the Sox at bay and KC has issues not hitting but getting runners across the plate, both pitchers have excellent ERA's.  Classic Under Play with a wek line in my opinion.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, June 21

WunderdogFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland at SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OaklandFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Seattle Mariners looked to be on cruise control last night, opening a 7-0 lead against the struggling Angels with Felix Hernandez on the mound. Everything fell apart, and they ended up on the short side of a 10-9 loss, which came on the heels of another heartbreaking 1-0 loss in their previous game. This is a young team that has to have the steam taken out of them, and must come back against a very good Oakland team that has posted a winning road record and stands 11 games over .500. The A's seldom play down to losing teams, in fact they have done just the opposite - they have thrived against them at 42-12 in their last 54. Colon has been a big part of that at 10-1 in his last 11 vs. a losing club. Play on Oakland.

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