Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 26

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 26

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Boston at Baltimore
The Orioles look to build on their 11-1 record in Chris Tillman's last 12 home starts against a team with a winning record. Baltimore is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Orioles favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-125)

Game 901-902: NY Mets at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Harvey) 15.627; Washington (Ohlendorf) 14.169
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-135); 7
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-135); Over

Game 903-904: Pittsburgh at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Locke) 14.620; Miami (Alvarez) 15.141
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+135); Under

Game 905-906: St. Louis at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 16.688; Atlanta (Minor) 15.239
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-125); Over

Game 907-908: Milwaukee at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Peralta) 15.282; Colorado (Chatwood) 14.203
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Colorado (-150); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+130); Under

Game 909-910: San Diego at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Stults) 15.764; Arizona (Delgado) 14.553
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Arizona (-145); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+125); Under

Game 911-912: Cincinnati at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Bailey) 15.938; LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 17.392
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-170); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-170); Over

Game 913-914: Chicago Cubs at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Jackson) 13.108; San Francisco (Cain) 14.707
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-175); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-175); Over

Game 915-916: Houston at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Lyles) 14.707; Toronto (Dickey) 13.614
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-240); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+200); Under

Game 917-918: Texas at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Perez) 15.157; Cleveland (Kluber) 14.083
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+115); Over

Game 919-920: Tampa Bay at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 14.103; NY Yankees (Sabathia) 15.568
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-125); Under

Game 921-922: Boston at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lackey) 14.132; Baltimore (Tillman) 15.697
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-125); Under

Game 923-924: Kansas City at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Shields) 15.423; White Sox (Quintana) 16.365
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-105); Over

Game 925-926: LA Angels at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Williams) 14.420; Oakland (Colon) 15.962
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-170); 8
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-170); Under

Game 927-928: Minnesota at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Diamond) 15.849; Seattle (Hernandez) 15.456
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-240); 7
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+200); Over

Game 929-930: Philadelphia at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Hamels) 15.151; Detroit (Fister) 14.080
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Detroit (-165); 8
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+145); Under

Game 931-932: NY Mets at Washington (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Mejia) 14.227; Washington (Zimmermann) 15.869
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Washington (-200); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-200); Over

CFL

Calgary at Winnipeg
The Blue Bombers look to bounce back from last week's 35-19 loss to Toronto and build on their 8-0 ATS record in their last 8 games following an ATS defeat. Winnipeg is the pick (+5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Stampeders favored by only 1. Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (+5 1/2)

Game 123-124: Calgary at Winnipeg (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Calgary 115.532; Winnipeg 115.035
Dunkel Line: Calgary by 1; 50
Vegas Line: Calgary by 5 1/2; 53 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (+5 1/2); Under

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Jesse Schule

Minnesota vs. Seattle
Pick: Over

The Mariners have won six of seven since the All Star break, and they have been locked in at the plate during the month of July. Dustin Ackley was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles yesterday, and he's had plenty of success against the Twins scheduled starter Scott Diamond. Ackley is 4-for-8 with a home run lifetime versus the left-hander.

Diamond (5-9, 5.53 ERA) was torched for six runs on seven hits over just 4 2/3 innings in a 7-1 loss to Cleveland his last time out. He's winless in his last five appearances, and he's surrendered 19 runs during that span.

The Mariners hand the ball to Felix Hernandez, and Seattle's ace hasn't allowed a run in his last two starts. Hernandez (11-4, 2.43 ERA) is 6-0 in his last 10 starts, and the Mariners have won each of his last four.

He's likely to enjoy plenty of run support with the red hot M's lineup facing a struggling opposing pitcher today, and he may not need to be at his best to earn a victory over the Twins.

Joe Mauer has owned Felix in past meetings, hitting .424 with a pair of home runs in 33 career at bats. I don't expect the Twins to enjoy much success against Hernandez today, but they should get just enough to help push the total over the number.

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Will Rogers

Tampa Bay vs. NY Yankees
Pick: Tampa Bay

Thanks to a rainout last night, Tampa Bay gets the benefit of a day off coming into their big weekend series at Yankees Stadium. But make no mistake about it, the Rays don't need any extra advantages right now, given their recent level of play. They have gone 17-3 in the month of July. I like them to take Friday's game.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  Jeremy Hellickson vs. Yankees - Although they won Thursday afternoon in Texas, the Yankees still managed only two runs, the 9th time in the last 15 games they'd done so. I wish them good luck in going up against Jeremy Hellickso, who is 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA his last six starts.

2. CC Sabathia - The hefty lefty simply has not been his old self in 2013, particularly lately.  The team has lost four of his last five starts, including three straight.  He allowed seven runs in a loss to Boston his last start, which was his sixth straight start allowing at least one home run. Even worse for Yankees fans is the fact Sabathia is 1-2 with a 7.29 ERA in three starts this season vs. Tampa Bay.

3. X-Factor - I'd rather not talk about Alex Rodriguez, but what a distraction this has turned into.  The Yankees aren't that good, and don't need outside distractions right now.  Thanks to A-Rod, they have one.

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Bruce Marshall

Cincinnati vs. LA Dodgers
Pick: Cincinnati

Odd as this might sound, the red-hot Dodgers have now lost three of their last four at home after Thursday's 5-2 loss to Mat Latos and the Reds. Considering the Blue had won 23 of 28 entering last night's contest, it points out the sort of odd quirk that can be capitalized upon by the nervy punter who doesn't make going into the teeth of a streak.  For whatever reason, the Dodger offense has also bogged down its last four at Chavez Ravine, scoring just 4 runs total in that stretch.  And for all of Clayton Kershaw's brilliance, remember that he is only 9-6 this season, and has a modest 3.15 career ERA vs. the Reds in six previous outings.  Cincy's Homer Bailey has pitched in some bad luck lately, but he is capable of the brilliant effort as he demonstrated early this month when no-hitting the Giants, and let's not forget that despite LA's recent surge, the Reds still have a far superior record (59-44 vs. 53-48) this season and have beaten the Blue in 5 of the last 7 meetings. Value on the underdog Reds, a lot more formidale than the collection of teams the Dodgers have been beating lately.

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Art Aronson

Minnesota vs. Seattle
Pick: Under

Scott Diamond (5-9, 5.53 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Diamond is coming off an outing to forget in which he gave up six runs off seven hits and three walks, unable to manage a strikeout over just 4 2/3's innings of work vs. the Indians on Sunday. Diamond takes his 3-3, 4.98 ERA into Seattle to throw opposite Felix Hernandez (11-4, 2.43 ERA) who K'd seven Astros in his first start back from the break, ultimately yielding four hits and one walk over six scoreless frames of work in his team's eventual 12-5 victory. "The King" continues to dominate, going 6-0 with a very respectable 2.34 ERA over his past ten starts; note that Hernandez has been particularly effective at home this season going 4-2 with a 2.64 ERA. Coming into Thursday, the O/U is 6-3-1 the last ten between these teams. I believe this one follows suit. Diamond looks to get off the schneid after going 0-3 his last three and Hernandez continues his dominant ways vs. the inconsistent Twins. Consider a second look at the "under" in this one.

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Bryan Power

Texas vs. Cleveland
Pick: Cleveland

The Indians have a nice edge here as they had Thursday off while Texas was wrapping up a four-game set w/ the Yankees. Another edge the Tribe has is that the Rangers can't score right now and aren't playing well.  Throw in the fact that this game is in Cleveland and I like the home team a lot here....

The Rangers were shutout yesterday afternoon by Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees, thus having to settle for a split in the four-game series.  The club has now lost 9 of 12 overall and against the Yankees scored just 10 runs total in the series. Overall, they have scored just 28 runs the last 12 games and are batting .165 w/ RISP during that time. Things will get no easier today against Indians starter Corey Kluber, who is working on a 12.7 scoreless innings streak.

Kluber has a 0.95 ERA his last three starts and has been especially good at home of late, with a 3-0 record and 1.52 ERA his last five starts at Progressive Field.  Last month, he shut Texas down over eight innings, allowing just one run on six hits in a 5-2 Cleveland win on the road.  Behind Kluber, expect the Tribe to roll here.  1* Cleveland.

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Marc Lawrence

Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays

When Tampa Bay sends Jeremy Hellickson to the mound against CC Sabathia and the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium in the opener of this three-game series, Hellickson will look to extend his current team start win streak to seven in a row, and his July team start streak to six wins in row here tonight. On the other side, Sabathia has fallen on hard times, losing each of his last three team starts with a 5.61 ERA to show for his efforts. With Hellickson in solid KW form with 20 strikeouts and 3 walks his last three starts, we'll back the better team, and the better in-form arm, here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Tampa Bay.

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Kyle Hunter

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Miami Marlins    
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to be underrated by the oddsmakers. Jeff Locke has a 2.11 ERA and is facing a Marlins offense that is easily the worst in baseball. Locke has an ERA under 2 on the road so far this year. I expected this line to be closer to -180 or -190. Pittsburgh has the best team ERA in baseball and Miami can't score. Pittsburgh is 6-1 in Locke's last 7 starts against a team with a losing record, and we know the Marlins definitely have a losing record. Lay the price here with the Pirates. Take Pittsburgh.

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Rocketman

Milwaukee @ Colorado
Play: Colorado -143

The Milwaukee Brewers travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies on Friday night. Milwaukee is 4-14 this year when the total is 9 to 9 1/2. Milwaukee is 16-30 on the road this year. Milwaukee is scoring only 3.1 runs per game their past seven games overall where they have a team batting average of only .216. Colorado is allowing only 2.6 runs per game their past seven games overall. Tyler Chatwood gets the start for Colorado where he is 6-3 with a 2.48 ERA overall this year, 3-1 with a 3.63 ERA at home this season and 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA his last 3 starts. Wily Peralta gets the start for Milwaukee where he is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in his one start vs Colorado in his career. Chatwood is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his one start against Milwaukee in his career. We'll recommend a small play on Colorado tonight!

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Jimmy Boyd

Chicago Cubs +160

The Cubs offense is rolling over their past seven games, putting up an average of 4.3 runs with a .261 batting average. Meanwhile, the Giants have scored just 2.6 runs per game over their past seven making the Cubs the hotter team coming into this matchup. The Giants have been a major disappointment this season so it is very surprising to see the Cubs listed as such heavy underdogs today.

I have to give the nod to Edwin Jackson over Matt Cain for today's starting pitcher matchup. Over his last three starts, Jackson has a 1.83 ERA compared to a 14.62 ERA from Cain in his last three starts. Jackson has six wins in 19 starts this season while Cain has six wins in 20 starts. With Jackson pitching so much better than Cain right now, the Cubs are an easy call in this game.

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Ray Monohan

Kansas City Royals -115

James Shields has been a hard luck pitcher all season long. It seems like the better he throws the less offensive support he gets. Lately he has not been as sharp but the team has been playing better. I think these two trends can meet in the middle and make Shields and Kansas City a winner on Friday night at Chicago as slight road favorites. Sure this is a divisional game with a home dog but the Pale Hose are showing few signs of life these days...and Sox starter Jose Quintana has trouble when he has to work his way through a lineup more than a couple of times.

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Chip Chirimbes

New York Nets at Washington
Play: New York Nets

Mets over Nationals- Hard to believe that both these clubs the Mets and the Nationals have 53 losses and that the Mets are favored on the road against anybody. But, although the Nats have won 22 of the last 30 meetings the Mets have been a winner on the road 24-23 including eight of their last 11 but they have Matt Harvey (8-2, 2.23 ERA) who is just the best in baseball right now. He has allowed only 94 hits in 137 innings and has a WHIP for the season of 0.89. Too tough to play against...take the Mets.

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Jeffrey Brandes

Washington Nationals -1½ +109 Game 1

Pitchers:
New York Mets: Jenrry Mejia, RHP
Washington Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann, RHP 12-5, 3.01 ERA

Jenrry Mejia was activated from the DL to make this spot start. He had been on the DL since March 31 with inflammation in his right elbow. He last pitched in 2012, when he went 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA in five games, three of them for starts.

Jordan Zimmermann will take the mound after throwing the shortest start of his career on Sunday, lasting two innings in his first start since sitting out the All-Star Game with neck stiffness, which he believes has gone away.

Key Trends:
Washington is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing NY Mets
NY Mets are 5-12-1 SU in its last 18 games ,when playing Washington
NY Mets are 2-3-1 SU in its last 6 games ,when playing on the road against Washington

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Rob Vinciletti

Arizona Diamondbacks -135

Teams like Arizona that are home favorites that come in off a home favored win and scored 4 or less runs have won 8 of 9 vs teams Like the Padres that won on the road as an underdog in their last game and scored 10 or more runs. The Padres are off a 10-8 road win and Arizona won at home 3-1 over the Cubs. The Diamondbacks are 5-1 as a home favorite off a home win and scored 4 or less runs and San Diego has lost the last 4 times on the road off a road win and scored 10+ Runs. The Padres have lost 8 of the last 9 vs winning teams and are just 4-17 as a road dog from +125 to +150. They have E. Stults pitching tonight and his last 2 starts here in Arizona were nothing special as he has gone 12 innings allowing 7 runs. Delgado for the Diamondbacks has been a pleasant surprise so far with a 3.13 era. Look for Arizona to take the opener here tonight.

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Alex Smart SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle MarinersFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Seattle Mariners -1.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle is on fire as they have won 9 of their L/10 games.Hernandez the Mariners starter vs Minnesota tonight has won each of his last six decisions and has not allowed a run in his last 16 innings.Hernandez has gone 24 consecutive scoreless innings versus Minnesota. He is backed with a aggressive offense. During the month of July the Mariners led the Majors in home runs with 29 and rank second in runs, slugging percentage at .462, OPS at .808 and extra-base hits at 68 prior to Thursday night's game, where they team garnered 8 runs. Tonight I expect they will tee off on a Twins hurler that has struggled all season long as is evident by his blaoted ERA.

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Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore OriolesSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Boston Red SoxFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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John Lackey gets the ball for the Red Sox after a rainout gave him an extra day of rest. The Orioles will counter with "All-Star" Chris Tillman. Lackey could be the American League frontrunner for Comeback Player of the Year. After posting an atrocious 6.41 ERA in 2012, Lackey has been outstanding for the Sox this season. He's only 7-7, but has a 2.95 ERA and 3.64 FIP, very good numbers considering the parks he pitches in. Among all qualified starting pitchers, Lackey has the 11th best K/BB ratio, a sparkling 4.35, as he is walking just 1.94 batters per nine innings. Another key for Lackey has been a big spike in his strikeout rate, now at nearly 8.5 per nine innings. Lackey's performance this season gives the Sox a clear edge in the pitching matchup against a guy due for serious regression.
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Chris Tillman, much to the chagrin of the sabermetrically-inclined, was an All-Star this season. Manager Jim Leyland admitted to the fact that it was mostly his 11-3 record that got him there. Chris Tillman has the eighth-worst FIP among qualified starters and regression will be hitting him very soon. Tillman has already allowed 21 HR in 119.2 innings of work and has gotten lucky because 16 of those 21 have been solo home runs. Tillman is stranding over 83% of his runners, despite a line drive rate of near 24% and all of those home runs. 16 of Tillman's 21 HR allowed have been at Camden Yards, where he has a 4.36 ERA and a 6.05 FIP. While Tillman has been a moneymaker this season for bettors, it's been a lot of luck and a lot of smoke and mirrors. His luck will run out in the second half.

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Jim Feist

Astros at Blue Jays
Pick: Over

Toronto is a great offensive park and the Blue Jays are 8th in baseball in runs scored and slugging. That offense gets to tee-off Houston right Jordan Lyles (4-4, 4.78 ERA), who has been terrible of late walking 7 in this last three starts (0-1, 7.94 ERA). Lyles (gave up 10 runs in his last start nine earned on eight hits and two walks while striking out three over four innings of a 12-5 loss. Lyles has allowed 24 earned runs over his past five starts (26 innings). Of course, Toronto doesn't have an ace on the hill in soft throwing R.A. Dickey (8-11, 4.76 ERA), who is 0-3 his last three starts with a 5.68 ERA. The over is 17-6 in the Blue Jays last 23 games as a home favorite.

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Robert FerringoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland (-170) over L.A. AngelsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Reality has set in for Jerome Williams. The hard-throwing Angels righty got off to a very nice start to the season, stringing together five of six quality starts once he was forced into the starting rotation because of Angels injuries. But Williams had his confidence shot after he was relegated back to the bullpen, and he hasn't been the same guy since. He has been shelled for 24 runs in just 13 innings over his last four starts, with an absurd 15.23 ERA. Williams has given up at least four runs in six of his last eight starts as he has bounced between the rotation and the pen, and the A's were all over him last Sunday in Anaheim. Williams is facing the same team in back-to-back starts, and he isn't exactly the type of pitcher that is going to make a lot of adjustments; he kind of is what he is. The A's are countering with Bartolo Colon, and there aren't enough good things to say about this guy. He threw a complete game shutout against the Angels on Sunday (against Williams), and he has an incredible 17 of 20 quality starts this year. Colon is on the short list of Cy Young candidates, and he has been dominating this year. I like the "over" in this game as well, as I think that both lineups will do well from seeing the same arms twice in a week. But at the end of the day I will go with the home team and the guy that I am convinced can get outs. Take the A's and the over.

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Steve JanusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay Rays +110FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rays are showing some solid value tonight against the Yankees. New York has lost 6 of 9 and will be sending out a struggling C.C. Sabathia to face a team that he's not had a whole lot of success against this season. Sabathia has an uncharacteristic 6.50 ERA and 1.667 WHIP over his last three starts and his struggles against division opponents continued in his most recent outing. Sabathia allowed 7 runs on 9 hits in just 5 innings of work in loss at Boston, jumping his ERA against the AL East to 5.45. He's faced the Rays three times this season and has allowed 17 runs over 21 innings while surrendering 7 home runs.
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Tampa Bay will counter with Jeremy Hellickson, who comes in with a solid 3.00 ERA over his last three starts and he hasn't lacked in confidence when facing the Yankees. He's allowed a total of just 5 earned runs over his last three starts vs New York (21 and 2/3 innings) and in his most recent start he nearly had a complete game shutout (8 2/3 scoreless).
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What makes this a strong play is the Rays as a team are riding a high right now with 7 wins over their last 8 games and are an impressive 17-3 in the month of July. They have been just as strong on the road as at home. They are 6-1 over their L7 road games vs a team with a winning home record.
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One of the key reasons the Sabathia has struggled against the Rays is due to their ability to hit left-handed pitching. Tampa Bay is 21-11 vs left-handed starters this season, thanks to an offense that is averaging 5.0 runs/game with a solid .272 average. Going back even further we see the Rays are 37-15 over their last 52 games vs lefties.

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Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay Rays +102FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The red-hot Rays, winners of 22 of 27, are showing value in the underdog role with Hellickson on the hill. That's because they are 6-0 in his last six starts, a stretch where he hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any game. I've enjoyed backing C.C. Sabathia on numerous occasions throughout the years, but now's not the time to do so. The Yankees have lost each of his last three starts while he's posted a 6.50 ERA. The Yanks are also just 1-5 in his last six starts against the Rays, and he's given up at least five earned runs in each of his last three starts against them. Hellickson has held the Yankees to three earned runs or less in each of his last three starts against them with the Rays winning the last two. Take Tampa Bay.

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