Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Greg ShakerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mets / White Sox Under 7FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A drop from the 7.5 to what it is now gives us at most all books a +110 to +105 Play here. We do have a better than average weather pattern tonight for this contest and we do have 2 teams that rank very low in run production. Both are actually scoring some runs of late but are also getting good work from their Pens. That's good enough for a 1% play.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Tigers -135FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Tigers are an impressive 63-26 in their last 89 home games, which comes as no surprise considering how well they swing the sticks inside Comerica Park. They are batting .304 and scoring 5.6 runs per game at home this season. The Angels are batting .244 and scoring 4.3 runs per game on the road. LA's C.J. Wilson hasn't been the same pitcher on the road where he's carrying a 4.91 ERA. The Halos have lost 5 of his 7 road starts this season. Plus, he's 0-2 with an 8.20 ERA in three starts at Comerica Park. The Tigers are 27-11 in Rick Porcello's last 38 starts versus a team with a losing record and 5-1 in his last 6 home starts versus the Angels. Detroit has averaged 5.0 runs while winning 13 of 19 at home against the Angels, including six of eight. Take the Tigers.

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Steve JanusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore Orioles -120FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is the perfect spot to jump on the Orioles as a small home favorite. Baltimore will be extremely motivated to put an end to their four-game losing streak and should be able to do just that with a clear edge on the mound. Cleveland's Justin Masterson is getting a lot of respect due to his 9-5 overall record, but he's really struggled on the road. In 7 starts away from home he he's just 3-4 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.336 WHIP. Baltimore will counter with the red-hot Chris Tillman, who is a perfect 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.294 WHIP over his last three starts and 8-2 with a 3.71 ERA over 15 starts in 2013.
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The Orioles are 17-9 against the money line over their last 26 home games when the money line is listed anywhere from +125 to -125. They are also an impressive 12-2 against the money line when Tillman starts in a game with a total of 9 to 9.5 over the last two seasons. Despite losing four straight, Baltimore is still an impressive 22-12 against the money line following a loss. Cleveland on the other hand is just 12-29 over their last 41 road games with a money line of +100 to +125.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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SEATTLE +104 over PittsburghFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Beware of small, enticing favorites on the road. The Pirates are coming off a three-game sweep over the Angels in which they scored 21 times. The Bucs have also won four straight and have scored five times or more in each game. Jeff Locke against Joe Saunders looks like a pitching mismatch in Pittsburgh’s favor but we say otherwise. Locke has been living an extremely charmed life. He’s 6-1 with a 2.01 ERA and over his last three games, Locke’s ERA is 0.46, yet he and the hot Pirates are such a small favorite. Looks enticing, no? The skills displayed by Locke so far aren't surprising, but the results are. Locke's weak strikeout rate and borderline control haven't come back to bite him—yet (89 IP – 39/63 BB/K’s). His hit rate of 23% and strand rate of 86% are both unsustainable and will regress toward more typical levels. His xERA and skills suggest Locke isn't a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher, let alone a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher. Locke is a feel-good story for this team but his numbers are due to start going downhill sooner than later. Nothing in Locke's pedigree or his minor league record suggest that he's capable of maintaining his current level of production. NOTHING.
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Joe Saunders is 5-7 with a 4.48 ERA and that’s not pretty. However, things have changed. Saunders has used his slider 18% of the time in June, which is the most he has used it in his career. He is mixing it in well, as in his last five starts, he has allowed only one ER in four of those five, resulting in a 1.82 ERA over that time. As a long-time member of the Angels, he always enjoyed pitching at Safeco Field, as he has early on in his first season as a Mariner. In 16 career starts at Safeco, he is 10-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 101.1 IP. The opposing Pirates should not present the toughest of tests, as against left-handed pitching, they have a disappointing .224 BA and .650 OPS. Don’t focus on Saunders ERA. Focus more on the changed he’s made to improve his game. He’s a veteran that doesn’t get rattled and he looks better right now than he ever has. The oddsmakers are looking for Pirates money and that alone is a big red flag for Pirate backers.
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Philadelphia +108 over SAN DIEGOFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Phillies figure to be in a foul mood here after blowing a three-run, ninth inning lead last night but that’s not going to deter us from playing them here because we get a significant edge on the mound. Current Phillies have gone 45-145 (.310) against Jason Marquis with a .441 SLG % and a .832 OPS. That’s some serious damage. Marquis’s only asset is an elite groundball rate of 55% but his inability to miss bats skews that number. The truth is, Jason Marquis’s skills are worse than ever. A decent control rate used to be Marquis' hallmark but even that has abandoned him, as he’s already walked 48 batters in 90 frames. He’s also given up 15 bombs. Incredibly, the Padres have won nine of Marquis’s last 10 starts but with a barely acceptable 1.38 WHIP and an xERA of 4.79, his win rate is completely unsustainable.
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Kyle Kendrick is one of the most undervalued pitchers in the game. Kendrick has gained more aggregate movement on his pitches than any other SP between 2012 and 2013. His sinker has gained three inches of vertical depth. His cutter and changeup also have more vertical movement than they showed in 2012. Kendrick’s groundball rate has improved dramatically over the past calendar year and it’s now up to 50% on the year and up to 58% over his past five starts. Kendrick’s xERA over his last five starts is also one of the best in the league at 2.98. Kendrick has also solved LHP, an Achilles Heel in the past. Kendrick has accomplished all of this while pitching half his games at a hitter friendly venue and he offers up some nice value here against an opposing imposter.
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N.Y. Mets +152 over CHICAGOFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chris Sale is damn good. His 92.3 mph average fastball velocity already is higher than it was in 2012. He has great command against both LH and RH bats. Sale has added three inches of horizontal movement to his slider while reducing its vertical movement by three inches. Hitters have managed a measly .161 BA against it so far this season. His changeup also has become even more of an unhittable pitch. All signs point to Sale continuing to become one of the game's best starters. The problem is not Sale but the team he pitches for. With all that skill, Sale has five wins in 13 starts because he gets very little run support and needs to be near flawless to pick up a win. That’s added pressure on a pitcher that feels he can’t give up anything or he’ll get tagged with another loss. This wager is not about betting against Chris Sale, it’s about fading the South Side at a ridiculous price.
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Zach Wheeler was called up to start the second game of a June 17 doubleheader against Atlanta (he was optioned to Triple-A after the game, as he was the 26th player up just for the doubleheader and the Mets took advantage of the 26th player rule, allowing Wheeler to be recalled in less than 10 days). All he did was go six full shutout innings while allowing just four hits. Wheeler's major league debut came with a lot of anticipation since he came into the season as the Mets top prospect. Wheeler was drafted in the first round of the '09 draft by San Francisco and came to New York in the Carlos Beltran (RF, STL) trade. The tall, lanky RH throws two plus pitches: a 93-95 mph fastball (tops out at 98) with good late movement and a tight slider. An average change-up gives him a third serviceable offering to keep hitters off balance. Wheeler throws with simple, repeatable mechanics from a 3/4 arm slot. He likes to work fast and is not afraid to challenge hitters inside with his fastball. The Mets have been working with Wheeler on becoming more efficient with his pitches to go deeper into games. He has enough upside to stay in the Mets' rotation the rest of the season and to be a frontline starter for years to come. The Mets have a good chance of winning here because any pitcher in the league is capable of shutting down the White Sox. Wheeler is no exception.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

NellyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto Blue Jays + over Tampa Bay RaysFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mark Buehrle has marginal numbers for the season but he has turned things around in June with six consecutive starts allowing three or fewer earned runs and he has allowed a total of just nine earned runs in his last six starts combined, spanning 38 innings of work. Toronto is 5-1 in that stretch and despite snapping its long winning streak last night the Jays have been playing as well as anyone in baseball and playing with much more confidence. Matt Moore had dominant numbers through the first two months of the season but Moore has allowed 23 runs in his last four starts. Control has been an issue with 14 walks allowed in that span and the over has hit in each of those games. Toronto has been a great scoring team in the last 10 games, posting 6.7 runs per game including strong numbers against left-handed pitching. The key for Toronto in the win streak has been a lights out bullpen, featuring a 0.69 ERA. The Rays have scored just 3.6 runs per game over the last 10 games and the Rays have scored three or fewer runs in six of those 10 games. Tampa Bay has gone just 22-16 at home this season as there has not been an overwhelming edge in the dome and these teams are now locked at 39-37 in the standings. Toronto is 5-0 in the last five games against a left-handed starters and the Blue Jays have won both games that Buehrle has started against Tampa Bay so far this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Detroit/ Angels Over 9: The Over is 7-1-1 in Porcello's last 9 starts vs the Halos, while the Over is 22-9-4 in Wilson's last 35 starts overall. CJ is coming off 2 very good outings, but both were at home and now he is on the road where he has a 4.91 ERA on the year. The Over is 6-1 in his road starts and 9.57 rpg have been scored in those games. I look for him to struggled tonight vs a Detroit offense that scores 5.64 rpg at home and they have averaged 6 rpg in their last 5 games overall. The LA Offense is looking a bit more like what was expected, as they have put up 5.2 rpg in their last 10 games. They will be facing Rick Porcello, who has been inconsistent this year and who has a 4.46 ERA at home. Rick's home starts have gone 52 to the Over, with 10.29 rpg being scored in those games. Two hot offenses vs suspect pitching should lead to about 12 runs in this one.


Seattle/ Pittsburgh Under 7: Jeff Locke has been one of the better starters on the Pittsburgh staff, but it hasn't always translated into wins. Jeff has come in with an 0.46 ERA in his last 3 starts, but the pirates are just 1-2 in those games and those games have averaged just 3.67 rpg. On the road the Pirates are just 3-5 in his 8 starts, despite Jeff posting a 1.64 ERA in those games. His road starts have averaged just 6 rpg. Joe Saunders has pitched really well at home this year, with a 2.63 ERA and overall he has allowed just 7 ER's in his last 5 starts. He faced the Pirates last year and allowed just 3 ER's in the two starts. Both offenses come in hot, but both teams also played teams with struggling pitching and neither of these teams have that right now. Both starters here are on point and both offenses will struggle to get much going in this one. Look for no more than 5 runs in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Joe Gavazzi FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto Blue Jays +125FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Blue Jays had their 11 game winning streak snapped last night in a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay. But we will come right back with them tonight in the underdog role as a positive pitching matchup. Following a miserable start, Buehrle has turned it around. In his last 7 starts spanning 46 IP, Buehrle has allowed just 13 earned runs working 6 or more innings in each outing. In his last 3 starts, Buehrle has a 1.42 ERA. The pattern for Moore has been the reverse. Moore ran through rain drops in starting 8-0 despite an elevated KBB. That chink in the armor has finally caught up to him. In his last 4 starts, Moore has worked 18 2/3 IP allowing 23 runs in no small part because of a 15/14 KBB.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Bob Balfe

Miami Marlins -110

Its never fun wagering on the very worst team in baseball, but the Twins are no powerhouse and good luck playing down in that Miami Heat and humidity. Even with the roof closed its brutal. Fernandez is a much better pitcher this year and I think the Marlins win a low scoring game in their own building tonight. Take Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

John Ryan

Pittsburgh Pirates at Seattle Mariners
Prediction: Seattle Mariners

10* graded play on the Seattle Mariners as they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in MLB action set to start at 10:10 PM ET. Seattle is a solid money making 27-18 (+15.2 Units) against the money line when facing an NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.00 or better since 1997. Pirates are 1-8 (-9.9 Units) against the money line after 4 or more consecutive wins over the last 2 seasons. Pirates Locke is off to a remarkable start posting a 6-1 record with a 2.01 ERA and a 1.131 WHIP. He is a location and change of speed type of starter. The term ?pitch to contact? best describes Locke, who has 63 K?s in 89 1/3 innings of work this season. Seattle is an excellent contact hitting team and I believe they will have surprising success against Locke tonight. Sauders will starts for Seattle and he is in top form posting a 2.11 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP over his last three starts. Take Seattle.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Larry Ness

Texas vs. NY Yankees
Pick: NY Yankees

Yu Darvish will oppose Hiroki Kuroda in what will be the 11th matchup between Japanese starting pitchers in major league history. Darvish was 16-9 (3.90 ERA) last year as a rookie, with 221 Ks in his 191.1 innings (Rangers went 19-10 in his starts). He opened the 2013 season 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA over his first nine starts (Texas was 8-1) but his last win came back on May 16. He’s winless in his last six outings (he’s 0-2 and the team 1-5), despite his ERA being lower in this current six-start stretch (2.66), than it was during his excellent nine-start stretch to open to the 2013 season.

Kuroda KNOWS the feeling. He spent his first four years with the Dodgers, posting solid ERAs of 3.73, 3.76, 3.39 and 3.07 but going only a combined 41-46. He begins his second season with New York, after tying for the team lead in victories in 2012 and posting the eighth-lowest ERA in the AL. He had an excellent spring (1.53 ERA in six appearances) and opened this year at 5-2 with a 2.31 ERA in his first eight starts (Yanks were 6-2). However, he was winless in a five-start stretch from May 22-June 13, going 0-3 (team was 0-5). Kuroda didn’t pitch all that well during that stretch (4.40 ERA) but received little run support, as the Yanks scored only FIVE runs over his 28.2 innings.

Kuroda halted his winless stretch in his last outing, beating the Dodgers last Wednesday 6-4 (6.2 IP / 8 hits / 2 ERs). Kuroda pitched very well at Yankee Stadium last year (11-6 with a 2.72 ERA in 19 starts / team was 12-7) and is doing so again in 2013, going 5-2 with a 2.08 ERA in seven home starts. New York has won 11 of its last 13 against Texas here at Yankee Stadium and makes it 12 of 14 after tonight.

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Jeff Alexander

Atlanta Braves -103

Medlen has already shut down the Royals once this season. Look for him to do it again tonight. The Braves are 30-9 in his last 39 starts and 8-0 in his last 8 road starts versus clubs that have a losing record. The Royals are only 2-7 in Santana's last 9 starts. The Braves have won 4 of their last 5 against Kansas City and are 11-3 in their last 14 interleague games versus losing teams. The Royals are 0-5 in their last 5 interleague home games and 3-13 in their last 16 interleague home games versus a team with a winning record. Bet the Braves.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Jack Jones

Tampa Bay Rays -128

The Toronto Blue Jays' 11-game winning streak finally came to an end with a 1-4 loss to Tampa Bay last night. I look for them to suffer a bit of a mental letdown Tuesday now that the streak is finally over.

I also like the advantage the Rays have on the mound in this one. Matt Moore has gone 9-3 with a 4.13 ERA in 15 starts for Tampa Bay in 2013. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in five career starts against Toronto, and the Rays are 4-1 in those contests.

Mark Buehrle is 4-4 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 starts this season for the Blue Jays, including 1-3 with a 5.62 ERA in seven road starts. Buehrle is 6-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 16 career starts against the Rays. In his last start at Tampa Bay on May 6, Buehrle allowed 7 earned runs over 6 innings of work.

Toronto is 9-26 (-19.0 Units) against the money line after having won 4 of their last 5 games over the last 3 seasons. Tampa Bay is 21-6 (+13.6 Units) against the money line vs. an overused bullpen that pitches more than 3.2 innings per game this season. The Blue Jays are 24-51 in their last 75 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Rays are 13-4 in Moore's last 17 starts. Bet Tampa Bay Tuesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

GamePlan

Arizona Diamondbacks +134

Arizona falls into a great system that allows to play on - All underdogs with a money line of +100 to +150 (ARIZONA) - average hitting team (AVG = .255 to .269) against a good starting pitcher (ERA <=3.70) -NL, cold hitting team - batting .240 or worse over their last 15 games.

Diamondbacks are 13-3 in their last 16 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. Diamondbacks are 4-0 in Cahills last 4 starts when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game. Nationals are 1-4 in Gonzalez's last 5 starts as a home favorite.

Washington has really been struggling hitting the ball all season. Gio Gonzalez has been very good for the Nationals but until their offense starts to click we like this live dog here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Steve Rosen

Miami Marlins -111

Marlins are on a roll and are taking on the struggling Twins. The Twins can't seem to find a groove on the road and can't hit the ball. The Marlins are 12-9 in their last 21 games. Correia is 2-3 on the road and is 3-2 at night. On the other hand Fernandez is 2-0 at home and 3-1 at night.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Craig Davis

Tuesday free play winner is the Yankees over the Rangers.

Yes, I'm going against Yu Darvish. I told myself I would never do that again after he beat me the first two times I released against him.

Well, the third time is going to be a charm tonight as I'm taking the Yankees, AT PLUS MONEY IN THE BRONX, to get the win.

I'll take my chances with one of the more consistent pitchers on New York's staff in Hiroki Kuroda. Not only that, but the Yankees have won 11 of 13 vs. the Rangers in the Bronx and that's not easy to do. The only team the Yanks do better than that against at home is the Cleveland Indians.

The first, and only other, meeting between these two Japanese pitchers was back on April 24, 2012. It was Darvish's fourth career big league start and he was on fire. Darvish struck out 10 while throwing 8 1/3 innings in a 2-0 victory... but that game was IN TEXAS.

Kuroda pitched well, but took the loss because he got absolutely no run support.

Having said that, however, Darvish (7-3, 2.84 ERA on the season) is is 0-2 in six starts since May 16. Why? Because now, all of a sudden, he's not getting any run support from the Texas bats (1.99 runs of support in those outings).

Kuroda (7-5, 2.78) also suffered a drought from his offense during a recent cold spurt, but that skid came to an end last Wednesday with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball and he received six runs of support from his mates.

Texas will come in with a lot of confidence, having just taken three games from the Cardinals... but they just don't play well in New York. Take the Yankees at plus money as your free play of the day.

3♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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Jeff Benton

Hot versus semi-hot tonight, as Pittsburgh heads to the Emerald City with 4 wins in a row under their belt, whule Seattle has won their last pair of games coming into tonight's interleague showdown.

While the teams split a pair in the Steel City in May, my money tonight will be on the visiting Bucs to continue their roll. Starter Jeff Locke has been "bringing it" when he takes the mound, as he is on a 6-0 run with a 1.73 ERA his last 14 starts, and is the N.L. league leader in ERA.

That being said, you can assume that Seattle starter Joe Saunders will be to be error-free tonight for the host to pull the upset, and while he has been pretty solid in 2 of his last 3 starts, the fact of the matter is he is still just 5-7 on the season and is the owner of a 4.48 season ERA.

Even if Saunders continues his solid pitching, cannot expect him to match goose eggs all game long with the proven Locke.

Pirates make it 5 in a row.

3♦ PITTSBURGH

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Brad Wilton

Tuesday's comp play release is the Padres over the Phillies.

Last night's comeback win by San Diego is just the type of win that gives the winning side all the momentum in the world, and absolutely crushes the team that winds up on the short side. In this case, the deflated team would be the Phillies who blew a 9th inning 3-0 lead last night, dropping a 4-3 decision in 10 innings of play.

Going to side with the Padres to win again tonight, as starter Jason Marquis is in line for his 10th win of the first half if he can get the "W" tonight, and the fact that he has won his last 8 starts at Petco Park certainly bodes well for the home team.

San Diego is on an overall 13-6 run their last 19 games, and they will get to face Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick who is just 1-1 his last 3 starts against the Padres with a bloated 5.87 ERA. With the Phlllies bullpen proving totally unreliable, have to lay the small juice tonight with San Diego.

4♦ SAN DIEGO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Brett Atkins

Now, on to my free play on the Tigers, as I think we have a value line in catching the Angels, who have lost three in a row.

I'm not going to list pitchers in this one, but I do like the fact Rick Porcello is on the hill for the jungle stripes tonight, as he gets a rematch against an Angels lineup that knocked him around for nine first-inning runs way back on April 20 in Anaheim.

And for the most part, he's been effective for Detroit since that laughable performance, until getting hammered for six runs in the fourth inning by the Baltimore Orioles last Wednesday. 

Again, I'm not listing either him or C.J. Wilson, as it has nothing to do with them - I simply like the fact I'm laying a cheap number at home against a team traveling and on a losing streak. Take the Tigers.

4♦ DETROIT

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Tuesday night is the Tampa Bay Rays, over the Toronto Blue Jays, and I want you listing ONE pitcher in this one, as I like Matt Moore at this cheap price, for the Rays.

Moore broke a June slump by limiting the New York Yankees to three runs on four hits spanning 6-1/3 innings while picking up his ninth win. The  crafty southpaw is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in seven starts at Tropicana Field this season, and is already 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in one start against Toronto.

This kid started the season as the ace in waiting, and now, he and his easy arm action from three quarter is the real deal for the Rays. He works very good arm-side tail with a 92- to 95-mile per hour fastball, and isn't afraid to go up the ladder late in the count when he can sniff a strikeout brewing. He complements his fastball with a power curve and an excellent changeup that sinks and runs from righties.

Take the Rays with Moore on his own mound.

4♦ TAMPA BAY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, June 25

Scott Delaney

On to another free pick winner, as I like the Houston Astros over the St. Louis Cardinals. I won't get too much into this, it's a matter of semantics with this particular matchup, and it can easily be explained without getting long-winded.

Point blank - and unknowingly to many - this is one of the most heated rivalries in baseball, as these two always had it for one another when the Astros were in the National League Central. Now in the A.L. West, it appears the 'Stros still get their chief-nemesis in Interleague play.

The Cardinals have lost three straight, they're on the road in hostile territory and it's in the middle of summer, when Houston is one of the most uncomfortable places to be thanks to humidity.

Take the Astros tonight, it's a value play.

4♦ HOUSTON

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