Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 23

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 23

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Pittsburgh at LA Angels
The Angels look to bounce back from yesterday's 6-1 loss and take advantage of a Pittsburgh team that is 4-17 in Charlie Morton's last 21 starts after scoring 5 runs or more in the previous game. LA is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Angels favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-135)

Game 951-952: Colorado at Washington (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (De La Rosa) 16.319; Washington (Detwiler) 14.613
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+110); Under

Game 953-954: NY Mets at Philadelphia (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Harvey) 13.666; Philadelphia (Lannan) 14.768
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 8
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-135); 7
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+115); Over

Game 955-956: Atlanta at Milwaukee (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Maholm) 14.314; Milwaukee (Figaro) 16.107
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 2; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+110); Under

Game 957-958: Miami at San Francisco (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Eovaldi) 16.164; San Francisco (Cain) 15.118
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-200); 7
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+170); Over

Game 959-960: Cincinnati at Arizona (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Latos) 16.237; Arizona (Delgado) 14.533
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-130); Under

Game 961-962: LA Dodgers at San Diego (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Capuano) 15.496; San Diego (Cashner) 16.843
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: San Diego (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-155); Over

Game 963-964: Minnesota at Cleveland (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Pelfrey) 16.427; Cleveland (Carrasco) 15.541
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+130); Over

Game 965-966: Boston at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 15.104; Detroit (Verlander) 16.790
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-175); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-175); Under

Game 967-968: Baltimore at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Garcia) 17.553; Toronto (Johnson) 16.354
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 969-970: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 15.103; Kansas City (Shields) 16.565
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-180); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-180); Under

Game 971-972: Oakland at Seattle (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Parker) 15.671; Seattle (Bonderman) 14.352
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Oakland (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-140); Over

Game 973-974: Tampa Bay at NY Yankees (2:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Archer) 14.045; NY Yankees (Nova) 15.170
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-110); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-110); Under

Game 975-976: Texas at St. Louis (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Tepesch) 15.948; St. Louis (Wainwright) 14.808
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-200); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+170); Over

Game 977-978: Houston at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Lyles) 14.026; Cubs (Samardzija) 15.508
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-160); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-160); N/A

Game 979-980: Pittsburgh at LA Angels (3:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Morton) 14.423; LA Angels (Blanton) 15.886
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-135); Under

WNBA

Tulsa at Minnesota
The Lynx look to build on their 4-0 ATS record in their last 4 home games. Minnesota is the pick (-15) according to Dunkel, which has the Lynx favored by 17. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-15)

Game 601-602: San Antonio at New York (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 108.233; New York 115.628
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 7 1/2; 141
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 5 1/2; 146 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New York (-5 1/2); Under

Game 603-604: Atlanta at Connecticut (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 114.005; Connecticut 115.250
Dunkel Line & Total: Connecticut by 1; 157
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 3; 152
Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+3); Over

Game 605-606: Tulsa at Minnesota (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulsa 104.100; Minnesota 121.121
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 17; 156
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 15; 161
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-15); Under

Game 607-608: Washington at Los Angeles (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 104.846; Los Angeles 123.051
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 18; 162
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 13 1/2; 157 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-13 1/2); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 23

Matt Fargo

Houston Astros vs. Chicago Cubs    
Play: Houston Astros

The Astros won last night to even up the series thanks to a ninth inning squeeze play that culminated a four-run rally. Houston has been playing some excellent baseball for close to a month now as it is 15-11 over its last 26 games and while that may seem average to many, after a 14-36 start, it is pretty solid. The pitching has done an excellent job as they have allowed four runs or fewer in 23 of those 26 games and three runs or fewer in 16 of those. Jordan Lyles is definitely responsible for a lot of that success as he has given up two runs or fewer in all of his starts during that 26-game run and going back further, he has a 1.61 ERA over his last seven starts. Five of his last six starts have been quality outings and in three career starts against the Cubs, he has a 2.50 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Chicago has now lost five of its last seven games as the offense has done hardly anything, scoring three runs or fewer in six of those games while averaging just 2.4 rpg over that stretch. That doesn't bode well going up against Lyles and isn't good for Jeff Samardzija as he has gotten little run support all season. The Cubs have scored an average of only 3.4 rpg in his 15 starts and despite his 3.35 ERA, they are 6-9 in those games because of no offense. Chicago is 1-4 in his last five starts following a quality outing in his last start while the Astros are 6-2 in their last eight Interleague games against right-handed starters.

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Bruce Marshall

Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants
Pick: San Francisco Giants

It's about time that the Giants snapped that ridiculous 9-game home losing streak vs. the Marlins, the unlikeliest of bogey teams. But now that the Giants have gotten rid of that jinx, look for them to respond positively in Sunday behind starter Matt Cain, whose overall numbers in 2013 are not up to his usual standards, but they have been much better lately, with a 1.31 ERA in his last three starts. The Giants have also won in 8 of Cain's last ten starts, succeeding by multi-run margins in six of those. Meanwhile, Miami's ex-Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi makes only his second start of the season tonight, and the Marlins offense is hardly trustworthy.

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Marc Lawrence

Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Prediction: Kansas City Royals

The Royals and White Sox puts the wraps on this three game series Sunday afternoon when James Shields opposes Dylan Axelrod at Kaufmann Stadium. Shields takes the mound having cashed in 9 of his last 15 team starts during June as well as 9 of his last 15 home team starts. Meanwhile, Axelrod is in struggling KW form with 10 strikeouts and 11 walks in his last three starts. Stay at home with the better arm here today. We recommend a 1-unit play on Kansas City.

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Jesse Schule

Houston vs. Chi. Cubs
Pick: Chi. Cubs

The Cubs had a 3-0 lead with two outs in the top of the sixth inning at Wrigley yesterday, when J.D. Martinez sent a Travis Wood offering straight into Waveland Avenue. It was a three-run shot that tied the game at 3-3, and the Astros went on to win by a score of 4-3. With yesterday's win Houston tied the series at 1-1 with the rubber match going Sunday afternoon.

Jordan Lyles will toe the rubber for Houston, looking to add to an impressive run of seven consecutive quality starts, going 3-0 during that span. Not taking anything away from the 22 year old, but he has been fortunate to have been put in some good situations during his recent run of good form. He allowed just one run over 14 innings pitched in his last two starts, against Milwaukee at Minute Maid Park, and Seattle at Safeco. It could be a different ball game in the afternoon at Wrigley.

Lyles has struggled in day games this season, and throughout his young career. He's 1-1 with a 5.94 ERA in three starts in afternoon games, in comparison to 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts under the lights. This is nothing new, he was 2-10 lifetime, with a 5.01 ERA in day games heading into this season.

The Cubs hand the ball to Jeff Samardzija, who has no problems pitching in the day. Samardzija (4-7, 3.35 ERA) nearly went the distance, allowing just a pair of runs on seven hits over 8 1/3 innings in a 4-2 win over the Cardinals his last time out. He's pitching far better than his numbers indicate, and he's primed for a big game here at home on Sunday.

The play is on the Cubs to win the rubber match at Wrigley over the Astros.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 23

Brad Wilton

Sunday's comp play is the Brewers to continue their winning ways against the Braves.

Milwaukee has recorded back-to-back shutouts over Atlanta this weekend, both by identical 2-0 scores. Overall the Brewers have won 8 straight at home against the Braves, and I see no reason to buck the trends today.

The Braves simply are not hitting, as 17 runs total in their last 8 games proves, and Atlanta is also not winning away from home, as their road losing streak stands at 5 in a row, and they are just 2-7 overall their last 9 away from Turner Field.

It will be Paul Maholm opposing Alfredo Figaro, and Maholm is just 3-4 with a 4.89 ERA on the road this season. Figaro is making just his 4th start of the season, and this will be Atlanta's first look at him.

It's real simple, if you do not hit, you do not win, and right now the Braves simply are not hitting.

Get the brooms out Milwaukee fans, the sweep is on.

3* MILWAUKEE

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Chris Jordan

Cleveland is making a run at the Central division lead, having won eight of 11 and is now sitting three back of division-leader Detroit. Riding this four-game win streak, the Tribe have taken advantage of being in a good spot this weekend against the Twins, who have lost six of seven on the road and eight of nine against winning teams.

Cleveland, which has won 22 of 30 at home and 17 of 22 when listed as the chalk, should have no trouble improving on an 8-2 run. Take the Indians today, as they keep this winning surge alive.

2* CLEVELAND

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Brett Atkins

My free winner for today is the Blue Jays to extend their win streak to 11 games, as they're making it look easy, and the Orioles won't stand a chance.

It's real simple with this game, since I don't have anything more to talk about except momentum on this game, but the timing is perfect to take the Jays, who have 10 in a row, and were in perfect position to exact a little revenge on the Orioles, who had won four of their seven meetings with Toronto this season going into this series.

Look for the Jays to make it 11 in a row, and will even the season series at 7 wins apiece.

2* TORONTO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 23

Scott Delaney

My free winner for Sunday is on the New York Yankees in their American League East showdown with the Tampa Bay Rays, as I think the pitching matchup favors the pinstripes. That's why I want you listing Ivan Nova and Chris Archer.

Making his return to the Yankees totation for a spot start after Phil Hughes was pushed back a day due to last Tuesday's rainout, I think Nova may be out to prove himself since his last big league outing was on May 29, when Nova threw five innings of one-run relief.

He's 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA in Triple-A this year, but certainly still possesses big-league stuff that can certainly stymie the Rays' lineup that struggles in day games, ranking 25th in the bigs with a .234 batting average.

And while I think Nova will thrive and is a steal at this price, Archer is going to struggle once again with his durability. Archer has lasted five innings in only one of his four starts for Tampa.

Take the Yankees as Sunday's complimentary winner.

2* N.Y. YANKEES

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Jeff Benton

Sunday freebie is the Pirates to pull of the three game sweep in Anaheim against the Angels.

Not real sure why the linemakers continue to make Pittsburgh the underdog, as the Pirates are for real. They come into this game a full 15 games over .500, while the Angels are still 9 games below the break-even mark for the campaign.

Pittsburgh has outpitched and outhit Los Angeles this weekend, holding the Angels to only 3 runs while plating 11 runs.

Charlie Morton is making his third start of the season after coming back from Tommy John surgery, and he is off a win over the Reds his last time out. Look for him to build off of that victory as he works a little deeper into the game this afternoon.

Joe Blanton will counter and has been pitching better, but the fact remains, Blanton is 1-10 for the season, and he is also just 2-2 with an ERA of 4.66 the last 6 times he has faced the Pirates from his days in the senior circuit.

At this price, have to play the Bucs to record the sweep.

2* PITTSBURGH

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Art Aronson

Texas vs. St. Louis
Play: Over 7½

Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.84 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Tepesch went just 3 2/3's innings vs. the A's on Monday, allowing six runs in the fourth. The rookie has been horribly inconsistent this year and has not won since May 12th, going 0-3 with a poor 5.79 ERA over his last six starts. Tepesch will be opposed by Adam Wainwright (10-4, 2.37 ERA) who gave up four runs off seven hits while striking out three over seven innings in his team's eventual 4-2 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday. Tepesch is a confirmed "gas can" and is poised to get chased early vs. the potent Cards lineup. These teams combined for 10 runs in the series opener on Friday and despite Wainwright's home field advantage, I'm expecting a similar final result in the finale as well; consider a second look at the "over" in this one.

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Jimmy Boyd

Colorado Rockies +117

The Rockies will one again have an advantage on the mound and offensively when they face the Washington Nationals. Washington has a .232 team batting average this year and they are scoring a mere 3.5 runs per game. The Rockies are batting .270 as a team and scoring 4.8 runs per game. Even when playing on the road Colorado has a half run scoring advantage over the Nationals.

The Rockies will have one of their most consistent pitchers getting the start today. Jorge De La Rose has a 3.21 ERA this season and Colorado is 10-5 in his 15 starts. On the road his numbers actually improve to a 3.04 ERA and a 1.225 WHIP. For the Washington Nationals Ross Detwiler is getting the start. Detwiler has been ice cold posting a 5.79 ERA over this last three starts and earning an 0-2 record during those games.

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Dave Price

Cleveland Indians -135

The Key: With yesterday's 8-7 victory over Minnesota, the Indians improved to 4-0 in their last 4 and 8-2 in their last 10. The Tribe is also 22-8 in its last 30 at home and 17-5 in its last 22 as chalk. The Twins, who have lost their last 4 on the road, are only 8-19 in their last 27 games after losing the first 2 games of a series. In other words, they've been getting swept in this spot often. Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco has a 1.82 ERA in 4 starts against Minnesota and enters off a strong performance against Kansas City so I'll excuse his first 2 starts. Minnesota's Mike Pelfrey has a 6.92 ERA on the road where the Twins have dropped 5 of his 6 starts. They are 0-5 in his last 5 starts as an underdog. It's also important to note that the Twins have now dropped 5 of 6 to Cleveland.

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Jeffrey Brandes

New York Mets -129

Pitchers:
NEW YORK METS: MATT HARVEY (R) ERA: 2.16 W/L: 6-1
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: JOHN LANNAN (L) ERA: 5.49 W/L: 0-1

MATT HARVEY took a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the third time this season in his last start facing the Atlanta Braves. In that game he struck out 13 batters. The New York Mets' phenom dominated the Phillies back in April. He is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA in his first three outings against Philadelphia.

JOHN LANNAN pitched Monday for the first time since April after recovering from an injured left knee. He allowed six hits and two runs in five innings against the Nationals. In his last 3 starts he is 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA. He appears very overmatched in this game.

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Red Dog Sports

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

Our free pick is on Boston +165 as Doubront has allowed just 0, 3, 3, 1, 2,2 and 2 runs in his last few starts. He has 74 strikeouts in 74 innings and faces Justin Verlander, who lost twice to Boston in 2012. He has allowed 5, 0, 3, 3, 3, 5 and 8 runs in his last seven starts. There is value in taking the Red Sox for one unit as they do have Pedroia, Victorino, Ellsbury and Ortiz.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 23

Rob Vinciletti

Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals    
Play: Kansas City Royals

They royals fit a solid system cashing over 90% long tem but are to high of a favorite to unit rate. Home favorites in this range that are off a home 1 run home favored loss where they scored 2 or less runs with 5 or more hits have cashed 10 of 11 times vs an opponent like the White Sox that are off a 1 run road dog win and scored 4 or less runs on 5 or more hits if both teams played error free ball. The Royals have James Shields starting today and he has a pair of solid outings already this season vs Chicago allowing just a run over 14+ innings in 2 starts vs Chicago. The White Sox will counter with Axelorod who has been inconsistent of late and has a 5.87 era over his last 3 starts. The Royals are not a favorite in this range all too often, but when they are they have won 7 of 9 times. Look for Kansas City to take the finale.

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Jim Feist

Miami vs. San Francisco
Play: Under 7

San Francisco is a good pitchers park and coming to town is a terrible Miami offense, last in baseball in runs, on base percentage and slugging. Coming into this series the under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings when these teams meet, as well as 5-0 under the total in San Francisco. The under is 6-0 in the Marlins last 6 vs. the NL West and they face ace Matt Cain, who has a 1.31 ERA his last three starts. The under is 11-4 in Cain's last 15 starts vs. the NL East. And the under is 42-18-2 in the Giants last 62 home games against a team with a road winning percentage of less than .400. Play the Marlins/Giants under the total.

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Dave EsslerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Twins / Indians Over 9FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The very first thing that jumped out at me here was the weather. It's not overly hot, but it's warm and there should be a reasonable breeze blowing out to right. That's important because these are two left handed heavy lineups, with two right handed pitchers on the mound. Carrasco was crushed twice before having a good outing against the less-than-formidable Royals, and the Twins have seen him before, so I simply see even a regression to the mean as something that gets the Twins four runs. Pelfrey routinely give up that many, and has a WHIP over 1.60 this season. There is just no way I see the Indians not scoring their four, either. Now, after yesterday's game, both pens are over used, meaning that EITHER of these pitchers could well get shelled and give them all up by themselves, so we've got any number of ways to get to nine here. The Twins are hitting over .300 the last week with 14 bombs, while the Indians have scored four or more runs in four straight games, and are of course at home. I simply don't see the pitchers' duel here

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Stephen NoverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston Astros +150FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Anytime a bad team, such as the Cubs, are favored this high there's strong reason to the look at the underdog.
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The Cubs have lost six of the last eight times they've been chalk and I see them losing here, too. The Cubs are 3-8 at home this month.
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Houston is playing better than Chicago winning seven of its last 10. The Astros have their hottest pitcher going, Jordan Lyles. He is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA during his last seven starts. Lyles was highly thought of in the Astros' minor league chain and now he's living up to his vast potential.
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Lyles faces a cold Cubs offense that is batting .201 in their last seven games. Lyles is 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.
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Jeff Samardzija gets the call for Chicago. He pitched well in his last start, a 4-2 road win against the Cardinals this past Tuesday. However, Samardzija was 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA during his previous three starts. He also has a 6.75 ERA in two starts this month at Wrigley Field.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland vs. SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The first two games of this series have both topped the total. However, with both starters in excellent current form, I'm expecting a considerably lower-scoring affair this afternoon.
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As of this writing, the O/U line sits at 7.5. However, we're able to get "plus money" by taking the "under." While I'd even prefer it if the line climbed to eight, which it may well do, I feel that getting a positive return at 7.5 is providing very fair value.
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Parker has seen the "under" go 2-0-1 his last three starts. During that stretch, he's got a stellar 2.45 ERA and 0.864 WHIP.
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Bonderman has been even better, as he's got a 0.90 ERA his last three starts. In 20 innings, he's allowed just two combined runs. Not surprisingly, all three of those games finished below the total. They had final scores of 3-2, 6-1 and 4-1.
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Seven of Bonderman's nine career starts vs. the A's have fallen below the number.
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Both teams average considerably less offense during the day. The A's average 3.8 runs while hitting .241 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the M's are hitting a mere .229 in day games, averaging 3.5 runs.  Consider the Under.

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