Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 19

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 19

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Atlanta at Chicago White Sox
The Braves look to take advantage of a White Sox team that is 1-8 in its last 9 interleague games as an underdog. Atlanta is the pick (-130) according to Dunkel, which has the Braves favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-130)

Game 951-952: LA Dodgers at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Nolasco) 15.319; Washington (Strasburg) 16.744
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Washington (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-155); Under

Game 953-954: Philadelphia at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Kendrick) 16.683; NY Mets (Hefner) 15.833
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+100); Over

Game 955-956: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Liriano) 16.692; Cincinnati (Leake) 15.735
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+105); Under

Game 957-958: Miami at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Turner) 14.476; Milwaukee (Lohse) 15.907
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-145); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-145); Over

Game 959-960: San Diego at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Marquis) 15.359; St. Louis (Westbrook) 14.789
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-180); 9
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+160); Under

Game 961-962: Chicago Cubs at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Samardzija) 14.264; Colorado (De La Rosa) 15.729
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Colorado (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-145); Over

Game 963-964: Arizona at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Kennedy) 14.877; San Francisco (Gaudin) 13.744
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 9
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+105); Over

Game 965-966: Tampa Bay at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Price) 16.036; Toronto (Rogers) 14.816
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-140); Under

Game 967-968: NY Yankees at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Pettitte) 14.100; Boston (Doubront) 15.791
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-150); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-150); Under

Game 969-970: Baltimore at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Chen) 15.565; Texas (Holland) 15.082
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Texas (-140); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+120); Over

Game 971-972: Cleveland at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kazmir) 15.680; Minnesota (Pelfrey) 16.521
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-135); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+115); Over

Game 973-974: Detroit at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Sanchez) 15.497; Kansas City (Santana) 14.394
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-135); Under

Game 975-976: Seattle at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Saunders) 14.059; Houston (Norris) 15.028
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+105); Under

Game 977-978: Oakland at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Griffin) 15.027; LA Angels (Weaver) 16.623
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-135); Over

Game 979-980: Atlanta at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hudson) 16.069; White Sox (Danks) 14.461
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-130); Under

CFL

Toronto at Winnipeg
The Argonauts look to build on their 4-1 ATS record in their last 5 games at Winnipeg. Toronto is the pick (Pick) according to Dunkel, which has the Argonauts favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: Toronto

Game 421-422: Toronto at Winnipeg (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 113.061; Winnipeg 111.075
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 2; 58
Vegas Line: Pick; 53
Dunkel Pick: Toronto; Over

SATURDAY, JULY 20

Game 423-424: Montreal at Calgary (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 109.531; Calgary 122.495
Dunkel Line: Calgary by 13; 48
Vegas Line: Calgary by 7; 52
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-7); Under

Game 425-426: Edmonton at BC (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 106.521; BC 120.171
Dunkel Line: BC by 13 1/2; 47
Vegas Line: BC by 8 1/2; 50
Dunkel Pick: BC (-8 1/2); Under

SUNDAY, JULY 21

Game 427-428: Hamilton at Saskatchewan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hamilton 112.968; Saskatchewan 116.906
Dunkel Line: Saskatchewan by 4; 60
Vegas Line: Saskatchewan by 6; 57
Dunkel Pick: Hamilton (+6); Over

WNBA

Washington at Indiana
The Fever look to build on their 5-0 ATS record in their last 5 games at home versus Washington. Indiana is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Fever favored by 7 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-5)

Game 601-602: Washington at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 108.460; Indiana 116.074
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 7 1/2; 148
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 5; 144 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-5); Over

Game 603-604: Connecticut at Tulsa (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 107.324; Tulsa 106.128
Dunkel Line & Total: Connecticut by 1; 152
Vegas Line & Total: Tulsa by 2 1/2; 158
Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+2 1/2); Under

Game 605-606: Minnesota at San Antonio (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 118.861; San Antonio 106.668
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 12; 163
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 10; 158 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-10); Over

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SPORTS WAGERS

WINNIPEG +3½ over Toronto

The Grey Cup champs are 1-2 but even that mark is a fortunate one because they did not deserve to win their opener, a game in which the Tiger-Cats pretty much did anything they wanted to. The Argos subsequently could not generate enough offense in a Week 2 loss to B.C. and they were manhandled in Week 3 by the Riders in Toronto last Friday. Not only should the Argos be 0-3, there is nothing exciting going on here. The offense has been predictable with Ricky Ray having a high completion percentage because of little dump offs that are getting the team nowhere. The Argos offense is not difficult nor is it complex. You basically stop, contain or frustrate Chad Owens and you ruin the Argos chances.

Winnipeg is so close to being relevant. Last week against Hamilton, the Bombers cleaned up their turnover issue but committed an astounding 19 penalties for 161 negative yards. In the first two weeks of the season, Winnipeg turned the ball over a staggering 10 times. Despite the penalties and turnovers, Winnipeg is 1-2 and both losses have been by just five points each. Wipe out those mental miscues and we’d be talking about a 3-0 Blue Bombers squad that would likely be giving away 3½ points instead of being offered them. This line opened as a pick-em but has been bet up because the Bombers defense has suffered some injuries to key personnel. The body count on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defense has risen to four. Terrell Parker, Desia Dunn and D-tackles J.T. Gilmore and Bryant Turner will all miss this week. Injuries are a part of the game. Every team suffers them and every team is ready with suitable backups. These are key players, yes, but it also opens the door for some other guys to show what they have and it’s not like they’re coming in against some juggernaut offense. With those injuries, Winnipeg might just dig down deeper tonight and focus on playing 60 minutes of smart football. Being at home will give the Bombers a boost for sure. Combine home field with playing a smarter 60 minutes and Winnipeg is more than capable of defeating a Toronto team that has shown very little in terms of creativity, motivation, big-play capabilities or anything else. The Argos are not only being asked to win here, they’re being asked to win by a margin and there is no way the Double Blue is getting our money with the way they’ve played thus far. Let them prove otherwise. We’re calling Winnipeg outright but will gladly accept the points with a little juice as well.

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Jim Feist

Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
Pick: Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are 4-1 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series. Seattle lefty Joe Saunders has been on a roll with a 3-0 record and a 0.87 ERA his last three starts! He has walked only 3 batters in those starts (20.2 innings). He picked up his eighth win of the season last week against the Angels. The left-hander permitted five hits and two walks while striking out five over seven innings in an 8-3 victory. He is 8-8 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in 19 starts at the All-Star break and faces a bad Houston team, one with problems on the mound and in the field. Houston is 19-39 in their last 58 during game 1 of a series, 28-59 following an off day and the Astros are 17-36 in their last 53 games vs. a left-handed starter.

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Marc Lawrence

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels

The Angels and Athletics open a three-game division series Friday night in Anaheim where Jered Weaver matches serves with A. J. Griffin. Weaver toes the slab knowing he is in strong KW form with 14 strikeouts and 2 walks in his last three starts. Weaver is also 13-2 his last fifteen team starts during July, and 8-1 his last nine overall team starts in this series. In a statement-making game, look for the Halos to shine tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on the L. A. Angels.

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Bryan Leonard

Cleveland Indians -125

Scott Kazmir and Mike Pelfrey will kick off the proverbial second half of the season when the two meet Friday night at Target Field. Kazmir entered the All-Star Break on a high note, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.32 ERA in his last five starts prior to the break. In that five-start span, Kazmir posted a 25/7 K/BB ratio and allowed just 20 hits over 31 innings. That included a gem at Progressive Field against the Twins, where he went seven innings and allowed just one run, a mistake to Brian Dozier that left the ballpark. He struck out seven and walked one in that start.

Kazmir's big problem this season has been allowing home runs, especially on the road, where he has allowed seven in 42.1 innings. Kazmir's road starts have come in Boston, Texas, Baltimore, Yankee Stadium, Kansas City (x2), Philadelphia, and Houston. Those are usually good hitter's parks. Kazmir's xFIP is 3.90 and his SIERA is 3.88, indicating that improvement is on the way. Target Field suppresses home runs with the high wall in right field and a deep center field, ranking 19th out of the 30 ballparks in home runs. It's a good park for Kazmir and he should have success there against a lineup a very mediocre Twins lineup. The Indians' bullpen desperately needed the time off, so they'll be fresh and reinvigorated following the four-day hiatus.

Mike Pelfrey allows a lot of baserunners and doesn't strike out many batters, two things that should benefit the Indians offense. In eight home starts, Pelfrey has a 1.66 WHIP, a 5.61 ERA, and opposing batters are batting .326 off of him. Pelfrey came off the DL on July 6 and made two starts before the break, but his routine was thrown off by the All-Star Break, so it's fair to assume that Pelfrey will be rusty. He was all over the place in those two starts before the break, throwing just 38 percent of his pitches for strikes.

The Twins lost 12 out of 15 entering the break and it's hard to see them turning things around with some uncertainty in the clubhouse regarding the trade deadline, the manager, and the fact that the team just isn't very good.

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Rocketman

Oakland @ LA Angels
Play On: Oakland +122

The Oakland A's travel to Los Angeles to take on the Angels on Friday night. Oakland is 56-39 overall this year while the LA Angels are now 44-49 on the season. Oakland is 40-22 last 3 years when playing in the month of July. LA Angels are 15-23 this year against division opponents. The Angels are 27-40 this year when playing at night. Oakland is allowing only 2.4 runs per game their past seven games overall where opponents have a combined team batting average of only .230. AJ Griffin is 8-6 with a 3.68 ERA overall this year and 2-0 his last 3 starts. Oakland has won 5 of the 6 meetings against the LA Angels this year and they have won 15 of the past 23 games when playing at the Angels the past 3 years. Griffin is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in his two starts vs the LA Angels in his career. We'll recommend a small play on Oakland tonight!

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Jimmy Boyd

Boston Red Sox -158

The Yankees have struggled to score runs all season. Against left handed pitchers they have really struggled posting an average of just 3.3 runs per game with a .229 batting average. They have Andy Pettitte on the mound and he has been horrible in his last three starts. In those 17.3 innings pitched he has a 5.19 ERA and has allowed 23 hits.

The Red Sox will send Felix Doubront to the mound. He has a 2.95 ERA at home with 40 strikeouts in 39.7 innings pitched. Run support should not be an issue today as Boston is scoring 5.7 runs per game over their past seven games. At home this season they have a .293 batting average so scoring on Pettitte should not be an issue.

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Ray Monohan

Philadelphia Phillies +100

Do you know which team in the National League East has the best record against the rest of the division? Its the Philadelphia Phillies, who are 10 games over .500 against the division. The All-Star break should have been even more valuable to a veteran team like the Phils and they have Kyle Kendrick who had a very good first half on the mound to get things started again. All he did his last time out against the Mets was pitch a complete game, 3 hit shutout - at CitiField (Kendrick is 2-0 against the Mets this season). Mets starter Jeremey Hefner has also been pitching well but I think there could be a bit of a hangover effect for the Mets after the organization hosted the All-Star festivities. Plus they open in 4th place without much to play for at the moment.

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Rob Vinciletti

Oakland vs. Los Angeles
Play: Under 7½

This game has an excellent pitching matchup with Jered Weaver for the Angels and AJ. Griffin for the Athletics. After a trend of several unders in this series these two have played some wild high scoring games this season. Tonight though it could be tough going as Weaver for LA has gone under in all 10 home starts vs Oakland and 6 of 7 his last 7 in this park. Griffin has allowed just 1 earned run in 2 starts spanning 16 innings here and has gone under in 4 of his last 5 on the road. Oakland is the toughest team to score on in the league and allows the 2nd fewest amount of hits and least amount of bases on balls. There will be no surprise if both these pitchers go deep into this one.

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Freddy Wills

LA Angels -130

These odds are just to good for Jerred Weaver at home where he is 40-12 in his last 52 as a favorite. The Angels ace has a 2.33 ERA over his last three starts and he's dominated the Oakland A's over his career posting a 1.18 ERA over his last 10 starts against them. Weaver will face an Oakland team that hit extremely well in the first half but we saw signs of them slowing down with a .143 average over their last 5 vs. RHP. Oakland is not nearly as dominant on the road and with their star player winning the HR derby I'm thinking they are about to struggle a bit. Oakland also has 151 AB against Weaver where they carry a .159 average and a .450 OPS.

Meanwhile after a slow start with the bats the Angels averaged 5.25 runs per 9 at home vs. RHP and it was far better than that towards the All Star break. A.J. Griffin had an okay start of the season, but he's 1-4 in his last 5 road starts. He's had the luxury of facing the Angels when they are cold, but I think having to face them now on the road will get him into some trouble.

Notable Hot Starters L3 GS:

Chad Gaudin (1-2, 16.1 IP, 0.98 WHIP, 1.10 ERA)
Joe Saunders (3-0, 20.2 IP, 1.16 WHIP, 0.87 ERA)
Jason Marquis (0-3, 17.2 IP, 1.81 WHIP, 2.55 ERA)
Ricky Nolasco (2-1, 19 IP, 1.11 WHIP, 2.84 ERA)
Jeremy Hefner (2-1, 21 IP, 0.57 WHIP, 1.71 ERA)
David Price (2-1, 25 IP, 0.76 WHIP, 1.08 ERA)
Francisco Liriano (3-0, 22 IP, 0.95 WHIP, 1.23 ERA)
Felix Doubrant (2-1, 20 IP, 1.10 WHIP, 2.25 ERA)
Jacob Turner (2-1, 22 IP, 1.05 WHIP, 2.86 ERA)
Wei-Yin Chen (3-0, 1.09 WHIP, 1.47 ERA)
Derek Holland (2-1, 19.2 IP, 1.63 WHIP, 2.75 ERA)

Notable Cold Starters L3 GS:

Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 1.67 WHIP, 6.60 ERA)
Jeff Samdzija (1-2, 17.2 IP, 1.92 WHIP, 8.15 ERA)
Ervin Santana (2-1, 18 IP, 1.72 WHIP, 7.00 ERA)

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Red Dog Sports

Pirates vs. Reds
Play: Under 7½

Liriano faces Mike Leake on Friday night. The Pirates have played 39 overs and 52 unders in 2013. Liriano has 4 overs/7unders and has a 1.23 ERA in his last 3 while Leake's ERA is 2.69. The teams may be a bit rusty after a few days off and travel to and from the game. Look for an under on Friday night.

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Bruce Marshall

Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals
Pick: Washington Nationals

That could have been a real red flag for the Dodgers right before the All-Star break as the offense stalled in the final three games of what seemed to be a very winnable series vs. the Rockies. The Blue scored just 2 runs over the last three games vs. Colorado, dropping two of those outright. If the offense is indeed stalling (read: Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez continuing to cool down), we'll take a lead and look against LA tonight, especially since recently-acquired starter Ricky Nolasco got knocked around pretty hard when he last faced the Nats on April 17, allowing 4 runs and seven hits in 6 IP. Moreover, might as well support Washington when Stephen Strasburg pitches at home, where he has posted a 1.65 ERA and 0.93 WHIP this season.

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Sports Experts 17

Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies
Pick: Chicago Cubs

Jorge de la Rosa is the best pitcher of the Rockies but the team don´t help much to this great starter. Colorado end the first half of the season winning just 4 games out of 10, all on the road. Tonight they face a Cubs team that end much better winning 6 out of 10 to great teams like Cardinals and Pirates. Sports Experts 17 see that this good trend by the Chicago Cubs will continue tonight and win this game to Jorge de la Rosa and the Rockies in Coors Field.

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Ken Thomson

Seattle -119

Joe Saunders has been down right nasty lately.  Only 4 ER in his last 28 2/3 innings......only more than one ER in one of his last seven games.  I looked hard at the under even though Norris got hit up pretty hard his last outing.  I chose Seattle instead because Seager has been steady and Morles and Ibanez have been hitting for power.  If Seattle is focused like they were in a 3-game sweep over the Angels before the All Star Break...the Mariners can finish the year at .500 or slightly better.

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Stephen Nover

Phillies / Mets Under 8

Except for the All-Star Game, there has been no baseball played during the last four days. That means fresh bullpens and rusty hitters.

So going under the total deserves a strong look. I believe the Phillies-Mets matchup for today is the best opportunity for an under with two hot pitchers going against two mediocre offenses in a pitcher's park, Citi Field. 

Kyle Kendrick has established credibility this season. He has been at his finest when pitching at Citi Field going 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA in four starts. Kendrick has faced the Mets twice this season and has a 1.20 ERA against them with an 11-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's allowed less than one base runner per inning in 15 innings.

The Mets' Jeremy Hefner is one of the underrated pitchers in the National League having allowed two or fewer earned runs during his last eight starts. Hefner has allowed less than one base runner per inning during his past four starts.

Kendrick and Hefner are not going against powerhouse offenses either. The Phillies rank 24th in runs and the Mets are 28th in batting average.

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Tony George

Detroit  -130

Kansas City dropped 5 straight headed into the All Star Break.  I look at teams and how they kick off weekend series as part of my capping of games. KC is horrible opening up series on the Weekends, they are 3-8 on Friday Games, as opposed to Detroit who is 10-2 opening up weekend series on Fridays.  KC in a funk and Detroit rolling along with Sanchez on the hill tonight with a 2.93 ERA on the year.  KC counters with Santana who has a 7.00 ERA in his last 3 starts.  All Detroit here on a hot, steamy night in KC.

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Ben Burns

Atlanta vs. Chi. White Sox
Pick: Chi. White Sox +1.5

The Braves check in as favorites vs the money-line. As a result, we're able to get an extra +1.5 runs with the Sox, at a relatively reasonable price.

While I feel that the Sox have an excellent shot at the "upset," I also believe that the extra 1.5 runs could come in handy ...

Either way, on the run-line or on the money-line (I'm choosing the former) I feel that the Sox are providing us with solid value.

Although he's had some trouble on the road, Danks has been stingy at home. Granted, he's only made four starts here. However, in those four starts, he's 2-1 with a stellar 2.22 ERA and 0.777 WHIP, averaging better than seven innings. In 28+ innings here, he's walked only two batters, striking out 22. Not surprisingly, the Sox won three of those four starts.

Like Danks, Hudson has been tough at home while also struggling on the road. In 10 road starts, he's 2-7 with a poor 5.19 ERA. The Braves were 2-8 (-7) in those games.

While Danks is 1-0 vs. the Braves, Hudson's last two starts vs the Sox (one in 2002, one in 2010) both resulted in  losses. Hudson allowed 13 combined runs in 13.3 innings, losing 10-2 and 4-2.

The Sox saw each of their final three games before the break decided by a single run. Meanwhile, Danks and Hudson both saw their final start before the break decided by just one run. Consider Chicago on the run-line.

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Sean Murphy

Oakland vs. LA Angels
Pick: Oakland

The A's lead the A.L. West coming out of the All-Star break and I don't expect them to take their foot off the gas as they head to Anaheim for a series against the disappointing Angels.

Oakland is a modest 26-24 on the road this season but that's still better than the Angels 24-25 mark at home.

The A's have certainly had the Halos number this season, taking five of six meetings so far, including a three-game sweep here in Anaheim back in early April.

Los Angeles will hand the ball to its ace, Jered Weaver. His hot stretch came to an end last weekend in Seattle, as he was roughed up for nine hits and four earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 6-0 loss. As well as he had been pitching, the fact is, the Angels are just 3-4 in his last seven starts overall. Note that they've given him just over three runs per start to work with this season and I'm not convinced that anything will change tonight as the Halos go up against a tough starter in A.J. Griffin.

Oakland is a perfect 4-0 in Griffin's last four starts overall. He's given up two earned runs or less in four of his last five outings. I'll also point out that he's a perfect 2-0 in his career against the Angels, with both of those victories coming right here in Anaheim - by a combined 12-2 score. While the A's are just 4-6 in Griffin's 10 road starts this season, they've actually managed to outscore the opposition by an average of one run per contest, giving Griffin a healthy five runs per start to work with.

In the latter innings, the A's should have an edge with a bullpen that's been among the best in the American League this season. They went into the break in excellent form, posting a collective 2.08 ERA.

This series gives the A's a chance to really lay the hammer down on the Angels, and dampen any hopes they have of a second half comeback. I look for them to get the three-game set off to a winning start on Friday night.

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MLB Predictions

San Francisco Giants - 121

The Diamondbacks come out of the All Star break in first place in the NL West with a 50-45, although they are below .500 on the road at 23-25. The Giants sit fourth in the NL West after a bad month or so heading into the All Star break. The Giants are 43-51 overall, but they are 25-20 at home. Tonight the Diamondbacks will send Ian Kennedy to the mound who is just 3-6 on the season with a 5.42 ERA, .268 OBA and 1.40 WHIP. He posted a 6.83 ERA in June, and over 3 July starts he has a 5.68 ERA. Chad Gaudin has been great since making the switch to starting rotation as he is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA overall, with a .214 OBA and 1.14 WHIP. As a starter he is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. At home this season he has been exceptional with a 0.69 ERA, .191 OBA and 1.04 WHIP through 26 innings of work. Heading into the break he had a 1.10 ERA over his last 3 starts. Take note that the Diamondbacks are just 3-10 in their last 13 road games, 2-8 in their last 10 as a road underdog, 1-4 in Kennedy's last 5 road starts and 1-6 in his last 7 starts overall. The Giants are 6-3 vs the Diamondbacks this year. Kennedy has started against the Giants twice this year with the teams splitting those meetings, and Gaudin has faced Arizona once in a 6-2 victory. Gaudin has been a pitcher I've had my eye on as he always seems to keep the Giants in their games, and he has pitched great at home. Take the Giants here getting a short price at home

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Matt Fargo

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago White Sox
Play: Chicago White Sox

Coming off a miserable first half of the season, the White Sox look to get things turned around in this first game after the break, Chicago went 7-21 over its final 28 games prior to the all-Star game to fall into last place in the American League Central, 14 games behind Detroit. One of the few bright spots along the way has been the pitching of John Danks as he has been very solid of late, posting a 2.93 ERA over his last four starts, all of which were quality outings. This includes a 1.88 ERA in two home starts which dropped his season ERA at home to 2.22 to go along with a spectacular 0.78 WHIP. He has walked only two hitters in 28.1 innings pitched at home and the White Sox are 4-1 in his last five home outings. The Braves didn't exactly close the first half on fire as they went 5-7 over their last 12 games and going back further, they are just 5-9 over their last 14 road games to fall to three games under .500 on the highway. Atlanta hopes to start out strong on the road to open the second half behind Tim Hudson but I'm not banking on it. Hudson is 4-0 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in nine home starts but he is 2-7 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 10 road starts with Atlanta going 2-8 in those games. They have dropped eight of his last nine road games but are still favored here because of the overall team records. This role has not favored them well no matter who is throwing as the Braves are 3-12 in their last 15 games as road favorites of -110 to -150.

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