Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 10

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

Jack Jones

Pittsburgh Pirates -131

Off four straight losses, the Pittsburgh Pirates (53-36) will be highly motivated for a victory tonight. Due to their edge on the mound in this one, I believe they get back in the win column with a blowout victory over the Oakland A's.

Francisco Liriano is in the midst of one of the best seasons in his career. The left-hander has gone 8-3 with a 2.20 ERA in 11 starts this season, 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in five road starts, and 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his last three starts overall.

Oakland gives the ball to Tom Milone, who is no match for Liriano in this one. Milone has gone 8-7 with a 4.10 ERA in 18 starts this season, including 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA in 10 road starts.

Pittsburgh is 10-3 (+10.1 Units) against the money line revenging 2 straight one run losses against opponent over the last 3 seasons. The A's are 17-38 in their last 55 interleague road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Pirates are 8-2 in their last 10 interleague games. Pittsburgh is 5-1 in Liriano's last 6 starts overall. The Pirates are 22-7 in their last 29 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. Bet Pittsburgh Wednesday.

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

Brett Atkins

My free play for tonight is on the Chicago Cubs in Interleague action against the Angels of Anaheim, as the two continue their Interleague series at Wrigley Field. And for the Cubbies, you'd think the pennant was on the line, as they're playing with a sense of urgency and have won four straight games. That's why I'm not listing pitchers, as it's based on momentum and the fact the Cubbies are playing their best baseball of the season.

Meanwhile, the Halos arrived after winning their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox - 2 games to 1 - but had the schedule-makers working against them, as I don't think this was the best spot for them before the All-Star break.

Now, when the Cubbies have won four in a row - with wins over Pittsburgh (2), the White Sox in a write-in game and in yesterday's series-opener over these same Halos - 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, not to mention I obviously wouldn't mind if the Angels' C.J. Wilson was scratched.

Take the Cubbies, it's a great spot.

4♦ CHICAGO CUBS

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

Brad Wilton

Wednesday's comp play is Under the total in the Nats-Phils contest.

The first two games of this long four game set have both held low, and tonight's will as well with Gio Gonzalez and Cliff Lee working the mound.

Gonzalez is 3-0 the last 7 times he has started, and his ERA in those 7 efforts is 2.11. The southpaw has also pitched well against the Phillies during his National League tenure, going 3-1 in his 5 career starts, while sporting an ERA of 2.53

Cliff Lee will counter with his 10-2 season mark, and his 2.73 season ERA. Lee is 3-1 the last 4 times he has made the start against the Nationals, and he also is the owner of a slim 2.06 ERA the last 5 times he has dealt against the Nats.

Runs have been hard to come by on Monday and Tuesday for these teams, and I think they will be hard to come by again tonight when Gozalez and Lee keep things quiet.

Washington-Philadelphia Under the total.

4♦ WASHINGTON-PHILADELPHIA UNDER

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

Craig Davis.

Free play of the day on the Detroit Tigers on the run line over the Chicago White Sox despite last night's miserable loss.

Justin Verlander pitched a gem for seven innings but the White Sox caught up to his less-than-average fastball in the eighth and his night was over.

Granted, Detroit didn't provide him any run support... but Verlander was clearly out of gas at the end of the game.

But there's a reason the Tigers lead the divsion while the White Sox are bringing up the rear. The White Sox have also only won 16 road games vs. Detroit's 27 home wins.

Rick Porcello (5-6, 4.82 ERA) gets the start tonight for the home team, and despite two consecutive poor home outings, he was stellar his last time on the mound and I look for him to build off that.

A 7-0 road victory over second-place Cleveland Friday was just what the doctor ordered as Porcello is going to be a key to the Tigers making another post-season run.

Porcello has gone 5-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven starts against the White Sox and is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last three at home.

It won't matter who starts for the White Sox tonight because the Tigers are pissed. The only pitcher they wouldn't be able to dominate is Chris Sale... and we know he's not pitching.

Take the Tigers as your free play of the day.

4♦ DETROIT -1.5

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

Rob Veno 

Minnesota at Tampa Bay
Play: Tampa Bay -1.5

Tampa Bay is currently MLB’s speeding locomotive and its play continues to encourage bettors to jump on. Now winners in 10 of their last 11, it’s important to note the dominance in which they’re winning games. The last nine Rays victories have all been by two or more runs and they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined 48-11. Everything is clicking together right now for Tampa Bay and that especially includes the pitching of Jeremy Hellickson who is 6-1 in his last seven starts. The often inconsistent Hellickson has been on a tear defeating the power offenses of Cleveland, Baltimore, Boston, Toronto and Detroit during this stretch. In those five games, his WHIP was 1.17 and his ERA was 1.80. Add in his dominant victory over the Chicago White Sox last Friday night, and his total line the six wins during this hot streak is: 37 IP, 44 TB allowed, 1 HR, 32K-7BB, 1.08 WHIP and 1.70 ERA. Conversely, the wheels appear to be falling off the Kevin Correia train. After four solid starts, the veteran righty has been raked in his last pair which both resulted in Twins losses. Correia has given up 17 hits, 6 BBs and 9 ER in his last 11 innings averaging 17.8 and 18.0 pitches per inning. That formula is not a good one to face this patient Tampa Bay offense with. Manager Joe Maddon praised his club for their building of multiple run innings during their 10-1 stretch by combining walks and hits. Minnesota (1-9 in their last 10) is combining negatives right now and tonight doesn’t seem to be the time those are going to stop. Rays margin winning ways indicate a run line play at the plus price.

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

Larry Ness

Toronto vs. Cleveland
Pick: Cleveland

Justin Masterson will be at Tuesday’s All Star game (1st-ever appearance) but he’s coming off an ‘ugly’ outing in his most recent start. Masterson gave up six ERs and seven hits in a season-low 4.2 innings of a 7-0 home loss to Detroit this past Friday. However, let’s note that he entered that game at Progressive Field 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA in nine home starts (Indians were 8-1), including a 5-0 record with a 1.49 ERA over his previous six home starts (Cleveland was 6-0). I think we can forgive him ONE bad outing at home. It’s made even easier, considering Masterson is 2-0 with an 0.86 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays, since the start of last season (Indians are 2-1).

Masterson’s job is made easier tonight by a Toronto lineup that has plated two runs or less in FOUR of its last six games. The Blue Jays got eight hits in last night’s series-opening 3-0 loss, but went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position to get shut out of the second time in three games. "We outhit them, but we just didn't outscore them," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "That's what hurts. We had our chances, but we just couldn't get that big hit." Esmil Rogers gets the start for Toronto and like Masterson, is coming of an ‘ugly’ effort in his last outing. Rogers gave up season highs of seven runs and 11 hits in an 11-1 loss to the Tigers last Thursday.

He’s made 30 appearances in 2013 but just seven starts, all of which have come in his last eight appearances. He’s 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA on the season, going 2-2 in those seven starts (Jays are 5-2). Taking it all in, the jays are only 18-25 on the road, while the Indians are 26-18 at home, including 24-12 after a 2-6 start. Masterson has been terrific at home all season and off a rare poor home start last Friday, will be looking to validate his All Star selection with a strong outing here. Considering he owns a 2.80 ERA in 45 career innings against Toronto, that’s my bet.

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

Teddy Covers

White Sox vs. Tigers
Pick: Over

The Tigers lineup is on fire right now.  Detroit has hammered out 54 runs in their last eight games, an average of six runs per contest while scoring at least four in every game.  That’s bad news for struggling ChiSox hurler Dylan Axelrod.

Axelrod is winless in his last seven starts, with a 6.23 ERA during that span.  None of his four previous career outings against the Tigers has been the least bit impressive.  No surprise here if the Tigers approach or exceed this total all by themselves tonight.

But Detroit’s Rick Porcello is an easy pitcher to fade these days; not a pitcher I’m looking to lay more than 2:1 to support.  Porcello’s last two home starts have been absolutely disastrous: 19 hits and 13 earned runs allowed in just 10.1 innings of work.  The Tigers lost those two games 14-8 and 13-3 as their opponent flew Over the total by themselves both times, a clear indicator of Detroit’s ongoing bullpen concerns.

While the White Sox lineup can’t match the Tigers in terms of overall potency, they did hammer Justin Verlander last night in an eleven run, 23 hit outburst.  Following an extended funk, don’t be shocked to see Chicago’s lineup overachieve again this evening.  On a warm summer night in Detroit with the wind blowing out to center, expect another high scoring affair.

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

Joe Gavazzi

St. Louis -1½

The Cards have turned things around following their 3-8 dip. They have now won 4 straight following last night's 9-5 victory vs. Houston which ran their series site streak to 7-0. Houston has fallen into another funk with a recent slide of 3-11 with a .202 BA. That doesn't figure to improve any against Miller who, in 8 home starts, has a 1.59 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 60/8 KBB and .191 OBA. Though Lyles had shown signs of consistency, in his last 3 starts, he has gone 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA and 7/6 KBB. Run line players take note: 45/58 (78%) Houston road losses the last 2 years have been by 2 or more runs. For St. Louis, 44/53 (83%) of all victories this season have come by 2 or more runs including 22/26 (85%) of their home wins by 2 or more runs. Consider making a majority of your play on the run line.

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

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

San Francisco/ NY Mets Over 7: The Mets offense has been hot of late as they have scored 5.63 rpg in their last 11 games, including putting up 6.8 rpg during the first 5 games of this road trip. Today they will face Matt Cain, who has not been pitching all that well this year, as he comes in with a 4.85 ERA overall, including a 6.61 ERA in his last 3 starts and a 5.50 ERA at home. He also has a 5.24 ERA in his 9 day starts. Matt's home starts have averaged 10 rpg, and 7 of his last 10 games overall have put up at least 7 runs. Zach Wheeler is making just his 5th career start and he has been hit pretty good at times, especially in his last 3 starts where he has a 6.00 ERA.  Each on of Zach's starts have put up at least 7 runs and in his lone day start vs a weak hitting Washington squad he allowed 5 ER's in just 4.2 innings of work. San Fran is having trouble scoring of late, but they did put up 6 runs last night and the Mets as a team allow 4.9 rpg in day games. The Giants and Mets should both be good for no less than 3 runs in this one, which will at worst give us a push. I don't think a push will happen as I expect at least 9 runs in this one. 

3 UNIT PLAY

SAN DIEGO -139 over Colorado: The Rockies are having real troubles scoring right now and playing an a hitters park like Petco will not help them. The Rockies can score at will at home, but on the road they have averaged just 3.82 rpg and have put up just 7 total runs during the first 5 games of this road trip. Not good at all. The loss of CarGo has hurt them of late and he is doubtful for this one as well. They will take on Andrew Cashner, who has allowed 3 ER's or less in 5 of his last 6 starts. Andrew has pitched well at home, going 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA and and 0.99 WHIP in 7 starts at Petco this year. Jorge De La Rosa has pitched well for Colorado, but mostly during his day starts, where he is 5-0 with a 1.42 ERA, compared to his night starts in which he is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. The Padre offense is not all that great, but they have scored 4 rpg in their last 5 games and have hit lefties at a .310 clip over that stretch. I look for the Padres to scratch across just enough runs to get their 2nd win in a row here.   

2 UNIT PLAY

PITTSBURGH -131 over Oakland: The Pittsburgh Pirates have never beaten the Oakland A's, but I say that ends tonight in front of the ESPN cameras. Francisco Liriano has been outstanding this year with an 8-3 mark and a 2.20 ERA, while at home he is 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA. Liriano should have little trouble holding down this Oakland offense that has put up just 2 runs in each of the first 2 games of this series. The Pittsburgh offense has struggled in this series, putting up just 1 run in each of the first 2 games, but I expect them to break out here vs Tommy Milone, who is 4-4 on the road, but with a 4.83 ERA. Pittsburgh has been sliding of late, but with Liriano on the mound in a nationally televised game, I see this as a good spot for them to get back on the winning track.

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