Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Colorado at San Diego
The Rockies look to bounce back from last night's 2-1 loss and build on their 6-0 record in Jorge De La Rosa's last 6 starts following a team loss in the previous game. Colorado is the pick (+120) according to Dunkel, which has the Rockies favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+120)

Game 901-902: Atlanta at Miami (12:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Maholm) 16.546; Miami (Turner) 15.109
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-130); Under

Game 903-904: Cincinnati at Milwaukee (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 14.421; Milwaukee (Hellweg) 15.668
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-175); 9
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+155); Over

Game 905-906: NY Mets at San Francisco (3:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Wheeler) 14.221; San Francisco (Cain) 15.477
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-170); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-170); Under

Game 907-908: Washington at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Gonzalez) 16.090; Philadelphia (Lee) 14.945
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+115); Over

Game 909-910: LA Dodgers at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 16.811; Arizona (Skaggs) 14.492
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 2 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-115); Over

Game 911-912: Colorado at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (De La Rosa) 14.167; San Diego (Cashner) 13.089
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Diego (-140); 7
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+120); Under

Game 913-914: Texas at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Lindblom) 15.487; Baltimore (Chen) 14.251
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 7
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 915-916: Kansas City at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Davis) 14.873; NY Yankees (Nova) 15.687
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 10
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-140); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-140); Over

Game 917-918: Chicago White Sox at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 15.158; Detroit (Porcello) 16.434
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-200); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-200); Under

Game 919-920: Toronto at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Rogers) 15.635; Cleveland (Masterson) 14.497
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+125); Over

Game 921-922: Minnesota at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Correia) 13.671; Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 16.483
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 3; 9
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-180); 8
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-180); Over

Game 923-924: Boston at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 14.802; Seattle (Harang) 15.789
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Boston (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+115); Under

Game 925-926: Oakland at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Milone) 15.204; Pittsburgh (Liriano) 16.270
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-140); Under

Game 927-928: LA Angels at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Wilson) 15.627; Cubs (Samardzija) 16.323
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-135); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+115); N/A

Game 929-930: Houston at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Lyles) 13.597; St. Louis (Miller) 16.264
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-250); 8
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-250); Over

WNBA

San Antonio at Phoenix
The Mercury look to take advantage of a San Antonio team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games against Western Conference opponents. Phoenix is the pick (-12 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Mercury favored by 14 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-12 1/2)

Game 601-602: Washington at Chicago (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 108.887; Chicago 115.373
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 6 1/2; 162
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 9 1/2; 157 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+9 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: San Antonio at Phoenix (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 102.484; Phoenix 117.005
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 14 1/2; 164
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 12 1/2; 167 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-12 1/2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Marc Lawrence

Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins
Prediction: Miami Marlins

When the Marlins meet the Braves Wednesday in this early afternoon affair at Marlins Park they will send young Jacob Turner to the mound against creaky Paul Maholm knowing Turner is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA at home this season, as opposed to 1-3 with a 3.00 ERA away this campaign. On the flip side, Maholm's 5.18 road ERA is more than 3 runs higher than his 1.93 home ERA this year. With Maholm 2-6 in his last eight away team starts during July, look for the Fish to improve to 5-1 at night behind Turner this season here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Stephen Nover

Washington Nationals+115

The pitching matchup is very even with a hot Gio Gonzalez facing Cliff Lee. There's no question, though, the Nationals are superior to the Phillies especially now they are healthy again.

So there is value getting Washington as a 'dog. The Phillies did edge the Nationals last night, but prior to that game they were one of nine teams having been outscored by an average of at least half a run per game.

As outstanding as Lee has been, the Phillies are 2-7 the past nine times they've been favored in this price range with Lee on the hill.

Gonzalez is 3-0 during his last seven starts with a 2.11 ERA during this span. The Nationals have won 69 percent of Gonzalez's past 52 starts and have won 75 percent of his last 28 road contests.

Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in five starts versus the Phillies. It's interesting to note, too, that Gary Cederstrom is slated to be the home plate umpire. The Nationals are 11-1 the last 12 games he's been behind the plate for their games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami Marlins +120FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jacob Turner has been great for the Marlins this year. In his three home starts Turner has a 2-0 record and a 1.57 ERA. His overall numbers this season are still solid going 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. Atlanta will have Paul Maholm getting the start today and he has not looked good on the road this season. In 11 road starts Maholm has a 5.18 ERA and a 4-5 record. He has allowed 69 hits in 64.3 innings pitched.
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The Braves offense has been inconsistent all season. They have really struggled to get hits when playing on the road. As a team Atlanta has a .244 batting average away from home. The Braves are 1-6 in their last seven games against a starting pitcher whose WHIP is under 1.15 this season and they are 1-4 in Maholm's last five starts against a team with a losing record. The Marlins on the other hand have posted a 6-2 record in their last eight games against a left handed starter.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Rob Vinciletti

New York Yankees -140

The Yankees rarely lose 3 straight at home. However such is the case tonight when they face the KC Royals in the final game of the series. In games off 2 straight home losses in consecutive game the Yankees have won 6 straight. The Royals fit a negative system here tonight that plays against road dogs that are off a road dog win by 2 or more runs and scored 4 or less runs on 5 or more hits, vs an opponent off a home favored loss at -140 or more while scoring 2 or less runs on 5 or more hits. These road teams have lost the last 7 times dating to last season. The Royals have W. Davis pitching tonight and he has a hideous 6.81 road era and a 6.60 era in his last 3 starts. In his 2 appearances here he has thrown just 7 innings, allowing 5 earned runs. The Yankees counter with I. Nova who has won 3 of his 4 home starts and has a 3.57 Home era. Look for the Yankees to get this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Art Aronson

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks
Play: Under 9

Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 2.82 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Ryu is coming off a 10-2 win over the Giants on Friday, giving up two earned runs off four hits with three walks while striking out three over 6 2/3's innings of work. The southpaw has thrown eight-straight quality starts and bring his very respectable 3-2, 3.96 ERA road record into Arizona to throw opposite Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 3.65 ERA) who went eight scoreless frames in a 5-0 win over the Rockies on Friday, scattering three hits with one walk while also striking out five. Skaggs will now look to build off his best start of the season and improve upon his already stellar 2-1, 2.37 ERA home record. These teams have played to some pretty high-scoring affairs this year, but with these two under-the-radar hurlers facing off in the finale of this three games et, I believe that all signs do indeed point to a lower-scoring affair.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Jeffrey Brandes

St. Louis Cardinals -1½ -125

Pitchers:
Houston Astros: Jordan Lyles
St. Louis Cardinals: Shelby Miller

Houston Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles has struggled his past three starts, with a 6.32 ERA in 15 2/3 innings over that span. Last time out, he gave up eight runs on 10 hits in five innings while losing to the Cubs.

Shelby Miller has a 2.80 ERA, 107 strikeouts and a 9-6 record in 17 starts.

Last night The Cards won 9-5 and should cover on the run line again tonight.

RECOMMENDATION: St. Louis Cardinals on the run line (-1.5-125)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Bruce Marshall

Washington vs. Philadelphia
Pick: Philadelphia

Maybe it's time to put a hold on those plans for the Phils to become sellers at the trade deadline. Just when the season seemed to be slipping away in Philly, Charlie Manuel's side has displayed a pulse and can climb back to the .500 level with a fourth straight win (and third in a row over the Nats) tonight at CBP.  Interestingly, the man at the center of most trade talks, ace Cliff Lee, is on the mound tonight, with GM Ruben Amaro claiming he has little interest in dealing the star lefty and his 10-2 record.  No complaints about the recent form of Nats starter Gio Gonzalez, simply a preference for Lee, who has a 2.06 ERA in his last five matchups vs. Washington and beating the Nats in three of the past four tries, the most recent on June 18 when he gave up 2runs in 8 IP with 9 Ks in a 4-2 win.

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Will Rogers

Oakland vs. Pittsburgh
Pick: Under

I'll be the first to admit that the Pirates have let me down the last two days, dropping a pair of 2-1 games to the visiting Athletics. As a result, I'm playing the Under as the two teams wrap up their three-game series at PNC Park Wednesday night.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  Francisco Liriano - It has been a tremendous comeback season for Liriano in 2013 as he has a 2.20 ERA in 11 starts.  Lately, he's been as hot as ever by winning his last three starts and turning in a 1.66 ERA. His most recent outing saw him throw a complete game, allowing only two runs and four hits.  Here at home, he's 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA.  In 9 of 11 starts this year, he's allowed two runs or less.

2.  Pirates Offense - Over the last four games, they have scored only six runs, three times scoring only one run.  That's the problem with the Bucs.  They average just 3.8 runs per game at home.  They are 15-5 Under in the -125 to -175 range at home this season.

3. X-Factor - Oakland hasn't exactly been scoring runs left and right this series, scoring only four times total.   Over the last seven games, they have scored only 25 runs, less than four per game and that's with a 10-run performance Sunday at Kansas City.

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Jesse Schule

Toronto vs. Cleveland
Pick: Cleveland

The Indians gained some ground on the Tigers in the AL Central on Tuesday, winning at home over the Jays while Detroit was upset by the lowly White Sox. Cleveland will look to keep the pedal to the metal on Wednesday night, with Justin Masterson on the mound in Game 2 versus Toronto.

Masterson (10-7, 3.78 ERA) was roughed up by the Tigers in his last start, allowing six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings losing 7-0. Prior to that though he pitched a complete game shutout against the White Sox in Chicago. He's been very sharp at home this season, with a record of 6-2, 2.93 ERA in 10 starts at Progressive Field.

His first start of the season came against the Blue Jays in Toronto, and he was lights out on that day, allowing one run on three hits over six innings earning the victory.

The Jays hand the ball to Esmil Rogers, and like Masterson, he was also lit up by the Tigers his last time out. Rogers (3-4, 3.84 ERA) allowed seven runs on 11 hits over five innings in an 11-1 loss at Rogers Center.

Once again I am finding the Indians undervalued at home, with a record of 26-18, versus a struggling Toronto club that is just 18-25 on the road.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Jim Feist

Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: Cincinnati Reds

Despite being 10 games over .500, the Reds are now 4 1/2 games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central after a shut-out loss on Tuesday to the Brewers, 2-0. Meanwhile, with the All-Star break approaching, the Brewers are already 17 1/2 games out of the division and scheduling tee times for October. Mike Leake will start for the Reds. Leake is 7-4 this season with a nice 2.73 ERA. Johnny Hellweg will make his fourth appearance of the season for the Brewers. Hellweg hopes his four is better than the previous three as he's 0-2 with a 12.79 ERA. Hellweg is also having control problems, walking eight against just two strikeouts this season. Despite losing Tuesday's contest, the Reds are still 13-5 in their 18 games on the road against a losing team. The Brewers have especially struggled against their division foes, going 7-22 the last 29 against the NL Central. Expect the Reds to bounce back here on Wednesday.

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Bryan Power

Houston vs. St. Louis
Pick: St. Louis -1.5

The Cardinals won for me on the Run Line w/ yesterday's free pick, and there's no reason to think that they can't do the same again this evening behind Shelby Miller.

The Cardinals won 9-5 Tuesday. That final score was even a bit misleading as Houston scored four of its runs in the ninth inning.   It was their fourth straight win while the Astros have lost 9 of their last 11. Over the last three seasons, Houston is just 2-11 at Busch Stadium. I just don't see them standing much of a chance in this series.  Did you know that including last year, the Astros have now dropped 29 of 34 games in the month of July?  They have the most losses in MLB w/ 58. At +126, St. Louis has by far and away the best run differential in MLB.  At -137, Houston is by far and away the worst.

I expect Shelby Miller to pitch well for the home team in this one.  He has a 1.59 ERA in eight starts at Busch Stadium this season. There's really no reason to believe St. Louis won't win this game by two or more runs.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Hollywood SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado at San DiegoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado (43-47) has lost 6 of their last 7 road games Under the Total against teams with a losing record. Additionally, the Rockies have played 7 of their last 7 games Under the Total as an underdog. They send out De La Rosa who is 8-5 with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP this season. The right-hander has been a bit better away from Coors Field where he has a 1.29 WHIP and .273 opponent's batting average at home as compared to his 1.28 WHIP and .251 opponent's batting average when on the road. Colorado has played 5 of their last 6 road Under the Total with De La Rosa facing a team with a losing record. The Rockies are 17-27 on the road -- and San Diego (40-50) has played 9 of their last 13 home games Under the Total against teams with a winning percentage below 40%. The Padres counter with Cashner who should be particularly focused to redeem himself after a rough outing where he allowed six earned runs in just 2 innings of work at Washington. Cashner is 5-4 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP so far this season -- but the right-hander has been very tough at home where he enjoys a 2.38 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and .226 opponent's batting average as opposed to his 5.14 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and .280 opponent's batting average when on the road. San Diego has played 4 of their last 5 games Under the Total with Cashner pitching with the Total set in the 7-8.5 range.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Steve Janus

Los Angeles Dodgers -104

The Dodgers amazing surge leading up to the All-Star break has them one-game from getting back to .500 and currently just 2.5-games back of the Diamondbacks for 1st place in the NL West. There's clearly something special going on in LA and I feel like there clearly worth a small play at this price.

The Dodgers will send out talented rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is 7-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts and comes in with a strong 2.21 ERA over his last three. What makes Ryu and the Dodgers such a strong play is the way the Dodgers are swinging the bats in Arizona. In the first two games of this series they have scored 12 runs on 27 hits and that's with leaving 18 runners on base. Arizona's Tyler Skaggs has been up and down in his four starts in 2013. In two starts he hasn't allowed a run and in the other two he's been rocked for 10 runs on 14 hits. I'll take my chances with the way the Dodgers are playing that tonight will be one of those outings where he struggles to make it past the 5th inning.

The fact that this will be the Dodgers 9th straight road game isn't a concern, LA is a dominant 12-4 on the road after playing 7 or more straight away from home over the last two seasons. At the same time, Arizona is a mere 6-15 at home when they go up against a starter who averages more than 6.5 innings/start.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Dave Price

Los Angeles Angels -120

The Cubs have won 5 of 7, including 4 straight. However, they are 0-9 this season following a stretch when they've won 5 or 6 of their last 7 games. I believe they have their work cut out for themselves tonight as they go up against proven southpaw C.J. Wilson. The Cubs are batting just .236 and scoring only 3.7 runs per game against lefty starts this season. Wilson has won four of his last five starts while holding the opposition to two earned runs or less in four of those. The Angels are 12-4 in Wilson's last 16 starts as a road favorite and 8-2 in his last 10 starts as a road favorite of -110 to -150. Chicago's Jeff Samardzija hasn't been quite as sharp lately (4.50 ERA L3 starts). Plus, he has a losing record at home where he has a 4.47 ERA. The Cubs are 3-8 in Samardzija's last 11 starts as an underdog. Take L.A.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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MIAMI +130 over AtlantaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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In his first three starts of the year, Paul Maholm’s ERA after 20.1 innings was 0.00. His ERA after 18 starts heading into today’s game is 3.81. Maholm has been around since 2005. He’s never dominated and he’s become one of those classic, soft-tossing lefties with more guile than talent. Maholm’s WHIP over the past 31 days, covering five starts is 1.55. His ERA over that span is 4.75 and his line-drive rate over that same stretch is a troubling 26%. Maholm has solid command and an elite 51% groundball rate but he’s showing signs of fatigue with seven jacks allowed in his past seven starts and declining numbers right across the board. He remains as hittable as his career BAA of .272 says he is.
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With seven starts in 2013 under his belt, Jacob Turner is looking like a former first-round pick (with DET) that was a key to Anibal Sanchez trade last summer. Turner is coming off a shaky early few innings in his last start but that was against the Cardinals and after allowing four runs in the first three frames, he did not allow another one after that. It was the first time all year that Turner has given up more than three runs in an outing. Turner has kept his base skills consistent in his first 100 innings or so of major league action. Strikeouts are a little light, but he’s shown very good control. A second positive is groundball%, which has improved in 2013 and will work in any stadium. This kid is just 22 years old and is confidence is building with each start. He’s learning to trust his stuff and that’s a huge step in the progress of any young pitcher with this much talent. We’ve been saying it for over a month now that Turner is a pitcher with nasty stuff that should be on your radar. As long as he keeps being offered prices in this range, especially at home where he is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA, we’ll continue to back him and certainly make no exceptions here.
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MILWAUKEE +150 over CincinnatiFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pitching match-up favors the Reds but Cincinnati is struggling so badly at the plate right now that they are a great fade at this ridiculous price. The Reds have scored three runs combined in the first two games of this set. They’ve scored three runs or less in six of their past seven games against the following starters: Wily Peralta, Kyle Lohse, Joe Saunders, Aaron Harang, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum. The price today on them is so high because they’re facing a rookie starter that has surrendered 15 hits and 16 runs in 6.1 innings. Johnny Hellweg has also walked eight batters while striking out just two. However, prior to his call-up, the 6-foot-9 Hellweg turned in five consecutive quality starts at Triple-AAA Reno, going 5-0 with a 0.82 ERA over that span. In 33 innings, he allowed only 22 hits, with 11 walks and 17 strikeouts. Obviously, the problem with Hellweg is a lack of control but a pressing team often helps out pitchers by swinging at strikes out of the zone. The fact that the Brewers are giving him another shot suggests they like what they see in this hard-throwing right-hander, otherwise he would be back down in the minors.
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Mike Leake had a string of nine strong starts snapped in his last game when the Mariners got to him for two bombs and four runs in five innings. Leake last faced the Brewers back in 2011 when he posted a 4.91 ERA in three starts against them that season. Leake has a relatively stable skill set, yes, but disaster starts % shows how erratic he can be and was in 2012. Leake has solid command and his groundball % is also decent but he'll never be close to elite and he is too risky to be spotting a tag like this one, especially with his team struggling to hit and being on the road. Price has influence.
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TAMPA BAY -1½ +116 over MinnesotaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Twins are a frustrated bunch. You could see it on their faces last night, as they sat in the dugout after the Rays hung a four on them in the fourth inning to put them in a 4-0 hole. Game after game, the opposition continues to put up a crooked number in single innings and often it occurs more than once in a game. The Twinkies have lost three in a row and nine of 10 and here are some of those scores: 9-8, 9-3, 10-4, 7-3, 9-5, 11-5, 7-4 and 4-1 last night. Minnesota does not have one starter that would even be a #4 starter on a contending team and its rotation may very well be the worst in the history of MLB. How frustrating it must be for these Twins’ hitters knowing they have to put up eight runs or more to win. It’s Kevin Corriea’s turn to get whacked and here’s his story: Journeyman starting pitcher for the Pirates last year, with a strikeout rate barely higher than his xERA moans about being replaced with his team 15 games over .500 in July for the first time in eons. Good karma is ruined, chaos ensues, team limps to a 21-40 finish and this below average starter escapes into free agency. Correia has 56 K’s in 105 innings to go along with a 1.38 WHIP. His WHIP over his past six starts is 1.53 and his BAA on the year is .297. Correia is a stiff and the bullpen coming in after him is running on fumes right now.
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With a bloated 4.67 ERA, Jeremy Hellickson remains the most undervalued of all the Rays pitchers and one of the most undervalued in the game. Hellickson’s 6.69 ERA in six May starts has his ERA skewed the wrong way and that’s something we can take advantage of. In May, Hellickson was crushed by an unlucky 52% strand rate. His skills in May were near identical to his skills in June is which he went 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA. On the year, Hellickson is still being affected by low 64% strand rate and as that regresses to normal levels, his ERA will drop even more. Hellickson is in for a big second half. He’s striking out more and walking less, his groundball rate is trending in the right direction and is now up to 47%, his WHIP is getting close to an elite level and he should have little trouble thriving here against this frustrated guest.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Chris Jordan

My free winner is on the Los Angeles Dodgers in their National League West clash in Phoenix, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and make note I want you listing both pitchers in this one. I know they've both pitched effectively for their respective teams, but I have to give the nod to Los Angeles left-hander Hyun-Jin Run.

While Arizona's Tyler Skaggs has looked respectable in filling in for an injured Trevor Cahill, and comes into tonight after turning in the best outing of his young career, as he silenced the Rockies over eight innings of three-hit work last Friday. But I don't know if he's ready for a Dodgers' lineup that has caught fire in time to close out the first half.

Instead, it's the Los Angeles left-hander I'd rather back, as he he comes into Phoenix after a solid 6-2/3 innings start in San Francisco, and will be looking for revenge against the Snakes after allowing 11 hits in six innings of his only start against them in a June 12 no-decision.

Cheap price to lay as the Dodgers continue to play well.

4♦ LOS ANGELES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Jeff Benton

Wednesday freebie is the Dodgers over the Diamondbacks.

Sweep time for L.A., as Don Mattingly's team is putting all the pieces together - hitting, pitching, team chemistry, Yasil Puig - as Los Angeles has now won 3 in a row and 14 of their last 17 games.

A win tonight not only completes the 3-0 sweep of the Snakes, it pulls the Dodgers to within 1 1/2 games of first place, and also evens their season mark to .500 for the first time since April when they were 13-13.

Hyun-Jin Ryu is 7-3 for the season, and his ERA over his last 3 starts is just a shade over 2. He is also 1-0 in his 2 season starts against Arizona.

Arizona counters with Tyler Skaggs who is making just his 5th start of the season.

Big-time pressure spot to put Skaggs in, and with the 'Zona bats coming up with just 2 runs in the first 2 games in this series, the pressure will be too much.

Take the Dodgers to complete the sweep.

3♦ L.A. DODGERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Wunderdog

Texas at Baltimore
Pick: Baltimore

Josh Lindblom will make his fifth career start for the Texas Rangers tonight, the last coming all the way back on June 20th. He has fared much better out of the pen, and his four starts claim an ERA of 5.40 on the season. Baltimore certainly has the bats to do some damage here. Wei-Yin Chen has pitched to a 3.03 ERA on the season, and has finally recovered from an oblique injury. The Orioles have been very good at picking up the pieces after a loss, as they have followed a setback by producing a 44-18 mark in their next contest over the last 62 occurrences. Look for a strong effort tonight and back Baltimore.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

Jeff Alexander

Colorado Rockies +129

The Rockies are showing value at this price with De La Rosa on the hill. The southpaw, who has a 3.19 ERA on the season, is just the guy to get Colorado back in the win column. The Rockies are 9-3 in De La Rosa's last 12 starts and 6-0 in his last 6 starts following a team loss in their previous game. The Rockies are also 9-0 in his last 9 starts versus the Padres and 4-0 all-time in his starts at San Diego. The Rockies have won 9 of their last 12 overall against the Padres, including 4 of their last 5 in San Diego.

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