Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

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Mets / Giants Under 7.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We've got a 'Lefty vs Righty' pitching matchup in Game Two of this NY Mets / SF Giants series. And that works just fine for us. Over the last 10 games, the NY METS are hitting .271 against righties. BUT only .222 against southpaws (and averaging only 2.4 runs per game). And on the flip side, the offensively-challenged host team (GIANTS) are hitting only .183 in their last 10 games... and that includes a woeful .171 against right-handed pitchers.
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Unlike our OVER of the Day (in which both starters have struggled as of late), the situation is opposite in this game. Both of tonight's starters are pitching MUCH better in their last three starts compared to their YTD numbers. Dillon Gee of the Mets comes in with a 4.45 ERA on the year. But he's in the middle of a 7-start stretch in which he's allowed 2 or LESS earned runs SIX times... with an ERA of just 2.47. In fact, he's allowed ONE or less earned runs FOUR times during this stretch. On the flip side, Barry Zito of the Giants enters tonight's game with an ERA of 4.44 on the season (6-10 O/U). But he's stepped up his game as of late with an ERA of 3.30 in his last 3 starts (and a PERFECT 0-3 O/U record). And let's not overlook his dominance at HOME this year. In his 10 home starts in the 2013 season, Zito's ERA is a microscopic 1.98... with 78% of those games going UNDER the Total.
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Working behind the dish in tonight's Game Two is 'Man in Blue' BILL MILLER. He enters tonight's game as the second-BEST 'Under' Umpire (out of 72) for the season... with an overall record of 5-12 o/U (71% Unders). That includes a 2-7 O/U record in al National League games, with an average of just 5.9 combined runs-per-game. His RECENT form is also strong. Since May 30th, he's gone a PERFECT 0-5 O/U in his last 5 games. Average OU line during that streak has been 7.8. And the combined runs-per-game over that 6-week time frame has been just 5.0. Over the last five seasons, Bill Miller has been the BEST 'Under' Umpire in all of Baseball.
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In addition,Miller has gone a PERFECT 0-6 O/U on Tuesdays dating back to last season. Also a PERFECT 0-4 O/U in his last 4 San Francisco Giant games.... and 3-12-1 O/U in NY Met games over the last four years (0-5 O/U last 5!).

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Wunderdog

Boston at Seattle
Pick: Seattle -130

The Boston Red Sox have played at a high level for quite some time, but evidence is being served that it won't last all season long. They are taking some bumps right now as they have lost three straight games. It won't get any easier against Hisashi Iwakuma as he has put together a 7-4 season backed by a strong 2.60 ERA. Allen Webster may not be ready for big league hitters as he is 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA. Boston owns just a 20-46 mark in their last 66 posted as a dog, and has proceeded to lose five straight on the road vs. right-handed pitching. The Mariners have served the dagger at home behind Iwakuma to a total from 7 to 8.5 where they are 10-1 in their last 11. The Red Sox have had trouble here of late as they are just 3-7 in their last 10 here. Take the home team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Nelly

Milwaukee Brewers + over Cincinnati Reds

The Brewers held on for a narrow win last night to open this NL Central series and while the Reds still maintain a strong overall record the recent results have been a bit shaky. Cincinnati is 14-16 in the last 30 games and 9-11 in the last 20 and they have scored three or fewer runs in nine of the last 12 games. On the year the Reds have a team average 11 points lower than Milwaukee owns and the Reds are a losing team on the road at 20-23 with ugly offensive numbers. On the road Cincinnati is batting .237 while scoring less than 3.9 runs per game, including going 2-8 in the last 10 road games. It has been a difficult season for Milwaukee with the starting pitching being the main problem area. With three straight six-inning outings the bullpen is in good shape right now and while Wily Peralta has not been consistent he has high level ability. In 11 of his 18 starts this season he has allowed three or fewer runs and he has reduced his walks in recent weeks. Peralta has allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts combined and he has respectable numbers in two starts against Cincinnati this season. Milwaukee has had the superior bullpen between these teams with a 2.97 ERA on the year and the results for Reds rookie Tony Cingrani have also been a bit erratic. Filling in early in the season, the 24-year old posted a few gems but he is now in the awkward position of juggling back between relief and starting roles. In his first start back he had a decent outing but took 97 pitches to get 17 outs as his control was shaky. In his last nine plus innings he has walked 10 batters and on the year his numbers are far worse on the road. Cingrani owns a sharp 3.40 ERA but his ERA is more than a run lower than his FIP and this is his first Miller Park start, a difficult ballpark to pitch in. Milwaukee is 8-22 against left-handed starters this season which is surprising considering the lineup has better numbers against southpaws overall, batting .262 and scoring over 4.2 runs per nine innings. Milwaukee is 3-2 in the last five vs. left-handers however including a win over Cliff Lee as the current lineup is better suited for the matchup. Milwaukee has had a rough season but the Brewers still deserve respect at home and the home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings in this series.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Joe Gavazzi

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers 

The last time Kennedy took the mound against the Dodgers he plunked both Puig and Greinke resulting in a 10 game suspension. Though Kennedy has pitched well in his last 4 starts vs. LAD with a 2.81 ERA, he is nowhere near the pitcher of 2 years ago who went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA. In fact for the season, Kennedy is 3-4 with a 5.16 ERA. Far more interested in backing the Dodgers whose recent 13-3 surge has brought them within 3 games in the loss column of Arizona for the Division lead. Nolasco returns home where he spent his youth routing for the Dodgers. In 9 road starts, Nolasco has a 3.20 ERA. Nolasco is off a solid start in which he allowed just 2 runs in 7 IP of a 6-3 victory vs. Atlanta. The reborn pitcher gives his best for his new team tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Jeff Alexander

St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (-117)

Wainwright has absolutely owned the Astros. He's 12-1 with an ERA of 1.44 in 14 starts against them. He's 6-0 in his last 6 starts against them with 4 of the wins coming by at least 2 runs. Norris hasn't been the same pitcher on the road where he has an ERA of 5.02. He's 0-2 in his last 2 starts in St. Louis, giving up 8 runs in 11 1-3 innings. The Cardinals have won 11 of the last 13 matchups, including 6 straight in St. Louis by an average of 4.3 runs.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Jack Jones

San Francisco Giants -126

Mired in their worst stretch of baseball this season, I look for the San Francisco Giants to bounce back in a big way Tuesday. With the edge they have on the mound in this one, they should beat the New York Mets with plenty of room to spare tonight.

Barry Zito has been nothing short of dominant at home this season. The left-hander has gone 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.225 WHIP in 10 home starts this year, and the Giants are 8-2 in those contests.

Dillon Gee is just 6-7 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.433 WHIP in 17 starts this season for New York. Gee has been at his worst away from home, going 3-4 with a 6.02 ERA and 1.601 WHIP in nine road starts in 2013.

Zito is 14-3 (+10.4 Units) against the money line as a favorite of -110 or higher over the last 2 seasons. The Giants are 37-18 in their last 55 home games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. San Francisco is 8-1 in Zito's last 9 home starts vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the Giants Tuesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Boston/ Seattle Over 7.5: Not sure that 15 runs will be scored like in last night's game, but I feel confident that we can get at least 4 runs each from these teams. Allen Webster has mad five starts for the Sox and after allowing just 2 ER's in his first start, he has now allowed 19 ER's in his last 4 starts. Overall this year he has a 7.88 ERA with a 1.75 WHIP. Way too many men on base and Seattle has the ability to knock them in as they showed last night. Webster also has a 9.50 ERA in 4 night starts, with those games averaging 14.3 rpg. Hisashi Iwakuma has had a nice year for the M's, but he may be running out of gas after allowing 4 ER's in each of his last 4 starts. All 4 of those starts went over the total, with at least 9 runs being scored in each game. Now he must face the best offense in baseball, so I see no reason why the Sox can't put up at least 4 or 5 runs in this one. I expect the Seattle offense to have the same kind of success vs Webster as we get no less than 9 runs scored in this one. 

Colorado/ San Diego Over 7: Gonna stay on the west coast and take an Over in this game. I know that the Under is 13-4 in Stults' starts this year, but the Over is 2-1 in his last 3 and all three games scored at least 7 runs. Stults comes in struggling, with a 6.06 ERA in his last 3 starts and he has a 4.43 ERA 5 career starts vs the Rockies. He does have a 2.85 ERA at home, but I still expect the Rockie offense to get no less than 3 runs in this one, especially since the Rockies have given Chacin 4.4 rpg worth of support on the road. Speaking of Chacin, he does have s 2.05 ERA on the road, but his road starts have still averaged 7.8 rpg on the year. In his last 4 starts vs the Padres at least 10 runs have been scored in each game, including all 23 this year. Overall in last last 10 starts at least 7 runs have been scored 8 times. The Padre offense is nothing special, but their is the 4th time that they will see Chacin, so the should be able to do some damage vs him. At the very least both teams should score at least 3 runs, which would give us a push. I am expecting at least 9 runs here though.

2 UNIT PLAYS

SAN FRANCISCO -127 over NY Mets: Barry Zito has great home numbers, compared to his road numbers and the Giants have been awesome in his home starts the last 2 years, but a couple things have kept this from being a top play. One is the fact that the Mets are playing better ball right now than the Giants and 2 is the fact that Zito is 0-4 with an 8.18 ERA and a 2.27 WHIP in 7 night starts this year. Having said that I still feel the Giants are the way to go. Zito is 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA at home, while Gee is 3-4 with a 6.06 ERA on the road. Gee faced the Giants once in his career (last year) and he allowed 7 ER's in 6.2 innings in that start, while Zito has allowed 3 ER's or less in 6 of his 8 career starts vs the Mets. Look for the Giants to bounceback after their tough 16 inning loss last night.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Chris Jordan

Last Thursday, Atlanta's promising right-hander Julio Teheran took the mound at home against these same lowly Miami Marlins, and he needed 104 pitches to complete five innings. It was his worst outing of the month, as he tallied a 1.95 ERA in June. Tonight in Miami, I fully expect him to step up his game and dominate in the same manner he overpowered foes in May.

I'm not too worried about him pitching on the road, as this will be his ninth road start of the season. I know Atlanta is mired in a 0-4 slide when Teheran toes the slab on the highway, but the Braves are also a perfect 4-0 when he's laying money in this range.

On the other hand, while the Marlins are surely glad to be on their own field, be aware they're slumping badly, having lost four straight, 36 of 51 against winning teams and 64 of 95 as an underdog.

Now in case you're unaware, all Run Line plays automatically list pitchers with the starters who are scheduled to go at the time of the wager. I want you to be sure Teheran is on that ticket. Now, if for some reason his opponent: Henderson Alvarez is scratched, your ticket will be voided.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to be sure you have action with the pitcher I want listed and the new pitcher scheduled to start by re-wagering the game if that takes place.

3♦ ATLANTA -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Jeff Benton

Your Tuesday freebie is the Angels over the Cubs.

Cubbies feeling pretty good about themselves, as they picked up their 4th win in as many game against the White Sox, as Chicago ran their winning streak to 3 in a row and 6 of their last 9 overall. Pretty good run for the Cubs, but tonight they face an Angels team that has been making a run of their own.

The Halos have won 10 of their last 12 games, and they have won a season-high 7 straight on the road!

Joe Blanton has been a weak spot in the rotation for sure, but he does own decent numbers against the Cubs from his senior circuit days, as Blanton is 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his 6 career starts versus Chicago.

Travis Wood is the Cubs lone All-Star this season, but he is on an 0-3 slide his last 6 starts with a slender 2.58 ERA. As you can see, the Cubs just don't score for him.

In a battle of hot teams heading to the break, I will side with the Angels.

3♦ L.A. ANGELS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Scott Delaney

My free play for tonight is the same team that made me money with my Pay-After selection last night - the Chicago Cubs.

Last night it was solely based on starter Matt Garza.

Tonight I'm not listing pitchers, as it's based on momentum and the fact the Cubbies have won three straight games and catch the Angels at the right time. The Halos arrive after winning their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox - 2 games to 1 - and I don't know if this is the best spot for them before the All-Star break.

Sort of an unexpected upset waiting to happen, as the Cubbies are a feisty bunch that has won three straight, with wins over Pittsburgh (2) and the White Sox, in a write-in game. If that make-up game with the South Siders was anywhere outside Chicago, I'd be worried, but the fact the Cubbies are at home, have been at home and just stole a three-game series (2-1) over the resurgent Bucs, I'd say the Cubs are feeling pretty good about themselves.

Don't worry about listing either pitcher, as I think the Cubbies can get it done on their own merits, but getting to face struggling Joe Blanton doesn't hurt, as he's 2-10 with a 5.14 ERA this season.

Take the Cubbies, it's a great spot.

3♦ CHICAGO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Brad Wilton

My comp play for Tuesday is the Rays on the Run Line against the Twins.

Minnesota cannot get to the break fast enough, as they have dropped 8 of their last 9 games, and 6 of those 8 losses have come by 2 runs or more. That includes the series opener last night when Tampa won it by a 7-4 count.

The Rays are rolling right now, winning 5 in a row and 9 of their last 10 games overall. Their last 8 wins have all come by 2 runs or more too!

I don't really care who is pitching, as Tampa has been getting both the timely hits and the solid pitching in July, so let's side with the Rays on the Run Line to notch another win as they keep the heat on in the competitive A.L. East.

4♦ TAMPA BAY -1

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, July 9

Brett Atkins

As for that freebie, let's talk about the Mariners taking advantage of a struggling Red Sox team that has lost three straight and after reeling off nine wins in 10 games from June 25 through July 5. Hitting the road obviously hasn't been the best thing for the Crimson Hose. They won their series-opener with the Angels, in Anaheim, 6-2, on Friday, but have lost three consecutive - two in Anaheim and last night's series-opener in Seattle.

And the Red Sox aren't just losing, their vividly tarnished after being outscored collectively 23-11 the past three nights. Tonight marks the Red Sox's eighth game in as many days, and I don't care how professoinal a team might be, trips like this are tiresome.

And the Angels have to pace themselves, as they're finishing the first half of the season with six more on the highway and in as many days.

I won't list the pitchers in this one, cause I'm basing this on pure momentum, but I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge Seattle righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who's allowed four runs in each of his last four outings, while going 0-3 with a 5.76 ERA in that span to take some of the luster off his résumé.

The right-hander is still 7-4 with a 2.60 ERA this season, and tonight he'll outduel whomever it is taking the mound, most likely right-hander Allen Webster, who will be making his sixth Major League start. He's 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA this year, and is in big trouble against the M's.

Take Seattle, straight action.

3♦ SEATTLE

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