Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 3

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 3

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

LA Dodgers at Colorado
The Dodgers look to follow up last night's 8-0 win and take advantage of a Colorado team that is 0-7 in its last 7 games after allowing 5 runs or more in the previous game. LA is the pick (-115) according to Dunkel, which has the Dodgers favored by 2 1/2. Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-115)

Game 951-952: Milwaukee at Washington (6:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Lohse) 15.167; Washington (Detwiler) 14.029
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Washington (-150); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+130); Over

Game 953-954: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Lannan) 15.276; Pittsburgh (Locke) 16.961
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-155); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-155); Under

Game 955-956: Miami at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Nolasco) 15.545; Atlanta (Minor) 16.960
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-200); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-200); Under

Game 957-958: San Francisco at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Zito) 14.654; Cincinnati (Cingrani) 14.026
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-180); 9
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+160); Over

Game 959-960: Arizona at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Delgado) 15.306; NY Mets (Harvey) 14.698
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-200); 7
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+170); Over

Game 961-962: LA Dodgers at Colorado (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Greinke) 16.306; Colorado (Chatwood) 13.705
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 2 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-115); Under

Game 963-964: Detroit at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Scherzer) 17.117; Toronto (Johnson) 15.679
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Detroit (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-120); Under

Game 965-966: Baltimore at Chicago White Sox (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Feldman) 15.050; White Sox (Santiago) 15.661
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+120); Over

Game 967-968: Seattle at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Hernandez) 14.524; Texas (Holland) 16.117
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Texas (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-135); Over

Game 969-970: Tampa Bay at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hernandez) 16.643; Houston (Norris) 12.692
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 4; 8
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-135); Under

Game 971-972: NY Yankees at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Sabathia) 15.240; Minnesota (Walters) 13.919
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-150); Over

Game 973-974: Cleveland at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kazmir) 15.204; Kansas City (Guthrie) 16.275
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-120); Under

Game 975-976: San Diego at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Volquez) 13.869; Boston (Lester) 16.192
Dunkel Line: Boston by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-185); 10
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-185); Under

Game 977-978: Chicago Cubs at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Garza) 16.273; Oakland (Colon) 15.205
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Oakland (-180); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+160); Over

Game 979-980: St. Louis at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Miller) 16.676; LA Angels (Williams) 15.490
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-115); Under

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Marc Lawrence

Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays and Astros meet in Houston in Game Three of this four-game set Wednesday evening where Roberto Hernandez battles Bud Norris. Hernandez, aka: Fausto Carmona, has settled in nicely with the Rays starting staff and enters today's contest in solid KW form with 29 strikeouts and 6 walks his last six starts. Hernandez is also 13-5 in his career team starts during July, including 5-0 away. With Norris 4-11 in his career team starts in July, and 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in his career team starts against Tampa Bay, look for more of the same tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Tampa Bay.

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John Ryan

Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Prediction: Colorado Rockies

The simulator shows a high probability that Colorado will win this game. Dodgers are climbing their way back into playoff contention, but this is a tough assignment for them to overcome. Dodgers are just 4-18 (-16.6 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher whose gives up 5.5 or less hits/start this season. Colorado is a near-perfect 10-1 (+9.5 Units) against the money line when facing an NL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.350 to 1.450 this season. Kershaw threw a complete game shutout allowing just four hits to a very strong Rockie offensive club. These types of offenses rarely have back-to-back struggles and I strongly believe that the Rockies will hammer Dodger starter Zack Greinke. He has allowed 24 hits with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP in his last three starts spanning 10 innings of work. In his last start he allowed 4 ER on 12 hits in 6-4 win over Philadelphia. Now, Colorado is a vastly superior team than Philadelphia. So, look for the Rockies bats to come alive in a very big way tonight.

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Jimmy Boyd

Houston Astros +120

There is a lot of value on Houston as an underdog against the Rays today. Tampa Bay is 19-21 on the road this season and they are up against one of the best pitchers in the Astros' rotation. Bud Norris has a 2.38 ERA in his 10 home starts this season. He has given up just three home runs in those 10 games.

Tampa Bay will have Roberto Hernandez getting the start. Hernandez has been pitiful on the road going 1-5 in seven starts. He has a 5.93 ERA and a 1.390 WHIP in those games. Hernandez has not faced the Astros in his career, and as bad as he has been pitching I do not expect to see his first start against them to go very well.

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Game Plan

Texas Rangers -125

King Felix opposes Derek Holland today. Hernandez is 12-18 when starting against Texas with an ERA of 3.87 and a WHIP of 1.281. Holland is 7-2 when starting against Seattle with an ERA of 3.37 and a WHIP of 1.140.

Mariners are 3-13 in Hernandezs last 16 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Mariners are 1-5 in Hernandezs last 6 starts following a team loss in their previous game. Rangers are 14-2 in Hollands last 16 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. Rangers are 21-9 in Hollands last 30 starts as a home favorite.

It is always tough to go against King Felix but Texas coming off a loss will be motivated at home and have the right starting pitcher to oppose King Felix today. Texas is 17-6 at home against Seattle over the last 3 seasons. Take Texas today.

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Jack Jones

Kansas City Royals -113

After losing Game 1 of this series to the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians, I look for the Kansas City Royals to bounce back with a Game 2 victory Wednesday due to the edge they have on the mound in this one.

Jeremy Guthrie is having yet another solid season at 7-6 with a 4.11 ERA. He has been at his best at home, going 5-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.196 WHIP over seven starts. Guthrie is also 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in five career starts against Cleveland.

Scott Kazmir is no match for Guthrie. Cleveland's left-hander has gone 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA and 1.420 WHIP in 13 starts this season. He has been at his worst on the road, going 0-4 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in seven starts away from home. Kazmir is also 3-3 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.560 WHIP in 11 career starts against Kansas City.

The Royals are 12-2 in Guthrie's last 14 home starts. Kansas City is 9-0 in Guthrie's last 9 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Royals are 15-3 in Guthrie's last 18 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Te Indians are 19-41 in their last 60 road games vs. a right-handed starter. Cleveland is 1-5 in Kazmir's last 6 road starts. Bet the Royals Wednesday.

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Brad Diamond

Colorado Rockies -110

Right-handed Tyler Chatwood has been awesome this season for the Rockies. He has a super 4-1 mark with a nice 2.13 ERA. Over the last 7 starts the hurler has held the opposition to 8 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings. Manager Walt Weiss has been consistent holding the hurler to around 6 innings of work as a norm. On the other hand veteran Zach Greinke for Los Angeles has been a picture of inconsistency over the last three outings allowing 10 earned runs in the last 20 innings. He was hit hard by the Phillies and Pittsburgh. With that in mind, I will take a ticket with the Rockies who have owned this series of late, taking 10-of-14.

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Rob Vinciletti

Boston Red Sox -182

The Redsox are a solid favorite here but due to the high line we cannot unit rate, instead making then the free play for tonight. Boston has won 4 of 5 as a home favorite in this range and are on a 6-1 run. They are averaging over 6 runs per game on.340 hitting the past week and should put up runs tonight against the San Diego Padres and starts E. Volquez who has a 6.23 road era this year. Boston will counter with lefty John Lester who is 6-0 at home this season. The Padres have now lost 6 of their last 7 and are just 2-7 as a road dog from +150 to +200. There is also a 15-2 system in this game that plays on home favorites of -140 or more that are off a home favored win at -200 or higher and scored 4 or less runs vs an opponent that was a road dog of +140 or higher and scored 2 or less runs. Seems complicated to understand but these systems have worked well year in and year out. Look for Boston to take another from the fading San Diego Padres.

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Art Aronson

New York Yankees -146

CC Sabathia (8-5, 4.15 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Sabathia took a no-hitter into the sixth inning vs. the hard-hitting Orioles on Friday, but was victimized by the long ball and would ultimately give up four runs off five hits while striking out six over seven innings in his team's eventual 4-3 setback. Sabathia will look to get back into the win column throwing opposite PJ Walters (2-4, 6.03 ERA) who continued his brutal season by giving up six runs off six hits with one walk while striking out one over three innings in a 9-3 blowout loss to the Royals on Friday (note that Walters owns a very unremarkable 1-2, 6.23 ERA home record). Simply put, this is a big game for Sabathia. Let's not kid ourselves, every game is "big" for every pitcher, but a victory today would give the big man his 200th career victory; while past success guarantees nothing in the future, Sabathia will be throwing with the added confidence today in knowing that he's 8-0 with a minuscule 1.79 ERA in his last nine vs. the Twins. One other player you'll want to keep your eyes on today is the Yanks' Robinson Cano, who had a three-run shot in yesterday's 7-3 victory and who has recorded five consecutive multi-hit games, going 12 for 21 with eight RBIs and eight runs plated. And that's bad news for Minnesota as Cano has hit .383 with 14 RBIs over his last 15 regular-season contests in Minnesota. The Twins are in free-fall mode right now having dropped three straight and eight of 11; note that things don't get any easier for the home side tonight either with slugger Josh Willingham on the DL with a meniscus tear. Sabathia gets the slight nod on the mound; the Yanks get the slight nod at the plate. Consider a second look at New York in this one.

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Jeffrey Brandes

Yankees vs. Twins
Play: Over 8½

Pitchers:
NEW YORK YANKEES: CC SABATHIA (L) ERA: 4.15 W/L: 8-6
MINNESOTA TWINS: PJ WALTERS (R) ERA: 6.03 W/L: 2-4

NEW YORK YANKEES starter CC SABATHIA has a 4.50 ERA in his last 3 starts.
MINNESOTA TWINS starter PJ WALTERS is 0-3 with a 16.00 ERA in his last 3 starts.

The Totals looks like a no-braniner. TAKE THE OVER.

Key Trends:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of NY Yankees's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of NY Yankees's last 8 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games at home

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Jim Feist

Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay has a better road record than Houston has at home. The Rays are 18-8 in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of less than .400 and 5-0 against the AL West. The Astros are 10-22 in their last 32 home games vs. a right-handed starter and have all kinds of problems in the field on defense and on the mound. Starter Bud Norris has a 6.30 ERA against the Rays, who have a Top 10 offense in runs scored and on base percentage. And the Astros are 6-20 in Norris' last 26 starts vs. a team with a winning record.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado RockiesFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick Los Angeles DodgersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Dodgers are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. National League West. LA is Dodgers are 5-1 in Greinke's last 6 starts as a favorite. The Rockies are 1-4 in Chatwood's last 5 starts.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs at Oakland AthleticsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Fully respect the recent efforts of Cubs starter Matt Garza, who has three strong outings in a row to tempt any interested suitors in the trade market. But simply have to keep backing the A's at the Coliseum, especially when Bartolo Colon is on the mound. The recent numbers are mostly overwhelming for the former Cy Young winner, who has astoundingly won his last eight starts while being particularly tough to hit at home; four games, all wins; 30 IP, 22 H, and 3 ER for an 0.90 ERA. Oakland had also won 16 of its last 19 at home prior to Tuesday night's battle. And not to nitpick too much with Garza, but note that his recent foes have included very beatable Brewers, Astros, and Mets sides.

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Cajun SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Marlins vs. BravesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 7.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Braves are 3-22 Under at home coming off a win in which they came back from a deficit (night gm) and did not lead by three or more runs after 4 innings. We note that 25 of 38 games in this series have gone Under the total over the last 3 seasons including a run of 12 of the last 17 played in Atlanta.

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Will Rogers

San Francisco vs. Cincinnati
Pick: Cincinnati

The Giants were just no-hit last night by Homer Bailey, have Barry Zito on the mound tonight and generally have just been playing bad baseball of late.  Add it all up, and you have an easy free play on the Reds tonight.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  No-Hitter - Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Giants became the 1st team in MLB to be no-hit this year. They have scored two runs or less in 9 of the last 12 games.  They are just 2-10 over that span, getting held to one or zero runs in each of their last four losses. They have scored just 18 runs while batting .196 as a team the last nine games.  They are 2 for 23 with runners in scoring position the last six games.

2. Barry Zito - This isn't the 1st time this season I've mentioned Zito's road struggles this season and it probably won't be the last.  Still winless away from home in six starts, Zito has a horrible 10.40 ERA and 2.457 WHIP in those outings. He allowed four runs on 10 hits in just 5 1/3 innings in his last start, at Colorado.  The last four times he has faced Cincinnati, he has received only two runs of support.

3. X-Factor - Tony Cingrani makes his return to the Reds rotation tonight, looking to build some solid numbers.  He's 3-0 with a 3.15 ERA as a starter, allowing three earned runs or less in six of seven starts.

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Jesse Schule

Seattle vs. Texas
Pick: Texas

The Mariners won in a rout (9-2) in Game 1 of their series in Texas, chasing Justin Grimm from the game after just four innings. Game 2 might be a different story facing Derek Holland, who tossed a complete game 2-hit shutout in the Bronx his last time out.

Holland (6-4 3.14 ERA) has already defeated the Mariners once this year, allowing just two unearned runs in two starts. Success against the Mariners in nothing new for Holland, he's 6-1 in nine starts versus Seattle since 2010.

Felix Hernandez will toe the rubber for Seattle, and the Mariners have lost each of his last two starts. Hernandez (8-4, 2.70) pitched well in Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on six hits while fanning 11 over seven innings, but as is often the case, the Mariners couldn't give him any runs and Seattle lost 4-2. Run support wasn't a problem in his previous start in Los Angeles, as he allowed seven runs on 12 hits over just five innings, with the Mariners losing 10-9 to the Angels.

Felix has really struggled against Texas, he's 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA versus the Rangers this season. Prior to the 2013 campaign, he posted a record of 1-3 with a 4.48 ERA in five starts at The Ballpark in Arlington since 2010.

While Felix is normally a good bet, he's in a particularly tough spot here in Texas, and a play on the home team comes at a fair price.

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Andrew LangeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Diego at BostonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Edinson Volquez continues to do just enough to make bettors feel like he turning the corner but his overall body of work is still flawed. Some of his peripherals indicate he's pitched better than his 5.50 ERA but walks and command are still and issue and tonight he faces a very patient Boston lineup (AL-leading .350 OBP) in hitter friendly Fenway. Volquez is certainly improved from earlier this season but don't underestimate the significant step up in class from facing the Giants, Dodgers, and Marlins to the Red Sox.
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Jon Lester has had his struggles this season but has also faced one of the toughest schedules in all of baseball. The lefty just finished a five-game swing against Toronto, Detroit, Baltimore, Tampa, and Texas. The numbers don't necessarily show it but he has pitched better of late and seems to be more confident in his approach. This isn't the San Diego lineup of old – they do have some run scoring ability. But I feel at home, and with Doug Eddings behind the plate, this sets up well for a strong effort from Lester. I think this is actually a reasonable price given the matchup.

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Wunderdog

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
Pick: Pittsburgh -150

The Pirates are likely heading for a playoffs spot, and they have done so by dominating at home where they are now 28-14 on the season, despite the loss last night. The good news is that they have been even more lethal following a same home stand loss at home, where they are a robust 9-2 on the season, and neither of those loses came at the hands of a losing team. You know the Phillies' situation has changed when they try to fortify their rotation with John Lannan who has had little success vs. Pittsburgh in his career. Lannan owns a 1-4 mark with a 4.53 ERA when battling the Pirates in his career. At 7-1Jeff Locke is backed by a powerful 2.06 ERA, and has been great thus far on the season, owning six shutout innings vs. the Phillies this season. The Pirates have pounded losing teams to the tune of 22-5 in their last 27 against them. Play on Pittsburgh.

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MLB Predictions

Cubs / Athletics Under 7.5

Tonight I don't expect to see anything like the 8-7 final score we saw between these two teams last night as two hot starting pitchers will take the mound. Matt Garza will be on the rubber for Chicago and he is 3-1 on the year over 8 starts with a 3.83 ERA, .230 OBA and 1.16 WHIP. Over his last three starts he has pitched 22 innings giving up just 2 earned runs while striking out 23 and walking just 5. Oakland will send who has quietly been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball to the mound in Bartolo Colon. Colon is 11-2 on the year with a 2.79 ERA, .257 OBA and 1.08 WHIP. He hasn't allowed more than 3 earned runs against in any of his past 9 starts, and he has an 8 game winning streak during which he's posted a 1.37 ERA. Over his last three starts he has a 2.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, which includes allowing just 1 earned run over 8 innings of work against the Cardinals his last time out. His numbers are better at home where he is 5-0 with a 2.45 ERA, .235 OBA and 0.96 WHIP. Tonight we've got two very solid starting pitchers taking the mound in a pitchers friendly ball park and I think we'll see a low scoring game tonight. Take the UNDER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 3

Harry Bondi

TAMPA BAY (-140) over Houston

We have hit 63% of our free picks since mid-May and many of those selections have been baseball underdogs. Today, however, we're going to lay some wood on the road. We'll gladly risk some bankroll to go against Astros starter Bud Norris, who has a career 6.30 ERA against the Rays. What's more, Houston has won just six of Norris' last 26 starts against winning teams. The Rays are one of the best road teams in all of baseball and Houston is a dismal 10-22 at home against right-handed starters. The price is right. Take the Rays on the road.

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