Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

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Saskatchewan -3½ over HAMILTONFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The favorites are 14-4 this season. Road favorites are 5-0 and what that suggests is that unlike previous years, there is a big disparity in this league from the best to the worst. That brings us to this game. The Tiger-Cats were supposed to be a much better group but they’ve gotten progressively worse with each passing week. After giving the Argos a scare in Week 1, the ‘Cats were blown out by Edmonton in Week 2. Blown out by Edmonton is a sentence you’re not likely going to read again this season (although the final score was 30-20, it was 30-13 with just a couple of minutes remaining). An ugly 25-20 win over Winnipeg in Week 3 by Hamilton was followed by last week’s 37-0 debacle in Saskatchewan in a game the Riders were penalized for 100 yards. The Ti-Cats can’t move forward. They have no running game whatsoever, (Henry Burris lead the team last week with 10 rushing yards) and the passing game has not been able to compensate. Last week, Burris was benched in favor of Dan LeFevour late in the game. Hamilton is a mess and it’s somewhat unreasonable to expect them to clean things up against the league’s best team.
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The Riders are a different team from 2012. They added a veteran presence during the off-season with the free-agent signings of defensive backs Dwight Anderson and Weldon Brown, linebacker Rey Williams and defensive ends John Chick and Ricky Foley. They have offensive weapons galore. Kory Sheets had 24 carries for 130 yards, last week, the fourth straight game he has surpassed 100 yards in rushing. Rob Bagg led all of the Riders receivers with five receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Weston Dressler had five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. The previous week, it was different players that contributed and we haven’t even mentioned Darian Durant yet, who converted 20-of-32 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns last week on a sprained foot. This week he’s healthier. It all adds up to the Riders averaging 37.8 points per game while allowing 16.8. If the Tiger-Cats come out and win this game or cover, so be it but everything tells us that is not going to happen. The Riders are the class of the league while Hamilton lacks everything, especially talent.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

John Ryan

Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Houston Astros

The simulator shows a meaningful probability that Houston can win this game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a?58-57 mark for 50.4% winners, BUT has made a whopping 48 units/unit wagered since 1997. The reason it has been so profitable si that the system averages a +180 DOG play. Play against all AL favorites with a money line of -175 to -250 (TORONTO) with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.500 to 1.600 on the season with the game being played in the second half of the season. Let's discuss one of the most common errors an amateur bettor will make in the ML sports of the NHL and MLB. The amateur will be consistently betting far more favorites than dogs in all sports. This method of betting is a sure-fire recipe to lose money in MLB. Presuming that Toronto will win this game against the lowly Houston Astros is the first mistake. if that was the case then the ML would be more like -800 instead of this 2:1 line. In my 18 years of betting experience, I cannot tell you that Houston will win this game today. I can tell you that if you wager the same amounts on the dogs I present to you, you have an excellent shot at banking some profits over the course of the season. This is exactly what this system illustrates. It hits only 50% winners, but win percentage is NOT what matters in the Ml sports. Units won is the only thing that matters. So, making an analogy to the popular Black Jack game that pays out essentially even money for a winning hand, this system pays out $180 for every $100 wagered. You'll never see pay-out odds like that at any BJ table in the universe, but this system has produced very real results that does provide that payout.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

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Milwaukee at ColoradoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Milwaukee Brewers have played very good baseball at home over the past few years, but for the most part they have been a train wreck on the road. So far this season, they are 16-31 on the highway. They were beaten badly here last night 8-3. Since pitching three consecutive shutouts, the Brewers' staff has fallen sharply as they have allowed 30 runs in their last five games. The Rockies' pitching has allowed just 27 runs in their last 11 games, and the way they swing the bats certainly poises them to come out on top here. Milwaukee has really struggled in anticipated offensive games, as they are 3-14 in their last 17 with a total from 9 to 10.5. The Rockies have cashed in on 20 of the last 26 meetings played here, and have the edge tonight. Take the Rockies.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Steve Janus

New York Mets +140

The Mets nearly pulled off the double-header sweep yesterday, as the Nationals needed a walk-off homer by Ryan Zimmerman in the nightcap. Even with the win, the Nationals are just 2-7 over their last nine games and the offense is still in a slump. Washington combined for just 14 hits yesterday and now have a horrific .216 average over their last 7 games and that includes a 14-hit performance against the Pirates on Thursday.

The Mets will send out Dillon Gee against the struggling Dan Haren. When you look at Gee's overall numbers, 7-7 4.07 ERA and 1.398 WHIP, it would appear that this is a pretty even matchup. However, Gee has gone six straight starts without a loss and hasn't surrendered a run in 13 and 2/3 innings, posting an impressive 2.21 ERA over his last 3 starts.

As for Haren, he's in the midst of his worst season of his career. He's just 4-11 with a 5.79 ERA and 1.408 Over 18 starts. Washington has lost each of his last 11 starts. While the offense hasn't helped him out, there's no one to blame but Haren. Opposing offenses are hitting .285 during the losing streak. The Mets offense is averaging 4.4 runs/game and are hitting a respectable .267 as a team during this stretch. It's also worth noting that New York has played their best on the road, where they have 25-24 record (just 46-54 overall).

If that's not enough to convince you to put a small play on the Mets. Gee is 6-1 with a 2.57 ERA over 9 career starts vs the Nationals and Haren is 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA over 7 career starts vs the Mets!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Joe Gavazzi

San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Play: Arizona Diamondbacks 

Now that Arizona has become the “Hunter” in their division trailing the Dodgers by ½ game, they have positively responded. Recently, Arizona is 3-1 with a starter ERA of 1.30 scoring 29 runs on 50 hits. 5/6 Skaggs starts have been at home where he has a 3.38 ERA. Certainly want no part of San Diego or Cashner at this price point. The Padres slide continues with negative runs of 8-22, 6-18 and 3-14 away. In 9 road starts, Cashner has a 5.14 ERA.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Larry Ness

Angels vs. A's
Pick: Over

The 25-year-old Richards (2-4, 4.66 ERA) has worked primarily in relief this season, with only four starts among his 34 appearances. The Angels are hoping a run towards the top of the AL West standings but LA has a long climb. Bartolo Colon (now 14-3) beat them last night 6-4 (Colon allowed just two runs) in Oakland and this afternoon, the angels will try to win by handing the ball to  Garrett Richards. He’s getting a start for the ineffective Joe Blanton, who was bumped to the bullpen. Blanton is 2-13 (5.66 ERA) in 20 starts this year, with MLB’s worst moneyline mark (4-16, minus-$1,683). can Richards be any worse?

The 25-year-old Richards (2-4, 4.66 ERA) has worked primarily in relief this season, with only four starts among his 34 appearances. “I feel like this is an opportunity to go out and pitch and to show them what I can do,” Richards told reporters. Let me note that he’s 1-2 in those four starts (LA is 2-2), allowing 16 ERs on 22 hits over 26 innings for a 5.54 ERA. That’s not exactly good news for LA fans.

Some better news comes in the fact that Oakland starter Tommy Milone is 1-2 with an awful 7.80 ERA in his last three starts vs the Angels, in which he’s allowed five HRs. The A’s have won FOUR of Milone’s last five starts but NOT because of his excellent pitching, as he’s posted a 4.88 ERA in that five-start stretch. Play this one O-V-E-R!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Rocketman

NY Mets @ Washington 
Play:  NY Mets +135

The NY Mets travel to Washington to take on the Nationals on Saturday afternoon.  The NY Mets are 6-2 this year in the 2nd half of the season when playing against a team with a losing record.  Washington has lost 7 of their past 9 games overall.  The Mets are allowing only 2.4 runs per game their past seven games overall where they are allowing opponents a combined team batting average of only .196.  Washington is scoring only 3 runs per game their past seven games overall where they have a team batting average of only .216.  Washington is allowing 6.1 runs per game their past seven games overall.  Dillon Gee takes the mound for the Mets where he is 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA his last 3 starts.  Dan Haren is 4-11 with a 5.79 ERA overall this year, 3-4 with a 6.92 ERA at home this season and 0-2 his last 3 starts.  Gee is 6-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his nine starts vs Washington in his career.  Haren is 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA in his seven starts vs NY Mets in his career.  We'll recommend a small play on the NY Mets today!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Mike Lineback

New York Yankees F5-innings +0.5 -135

Have strong inclination Tampa are ready to give some games back after recent winning streak, which in turn, vaulted team to the top of the AL East Division. Rays rookie start Archer has been solid to date but he has beat up on struggling Toronto, Houston (2x) & Minnesota his last 4 starts. Yes, he has solid stuff, but Yankees start Nova has "nasty-no-hitter" type stuff, and has pitched well since returning from DL. Really like this spot for the Yankees, after losing G#1 of series, and facing Matt Moore tomorrow. Yanks should win at least one game in home series (+.500 club; +.500 at home). And, at Even odds for the game, & a short favorite in F5-innings, we like our chances today, especially with recent addition of Alfonso Soriano to lineup.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Jack Jones

Angels/A's OVER 8

The Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's feature two of the better lineups in the American League. With two terrible starting pitchers going Saturday, I look for a slug fest between these AL West rivals.

Garrett Richards gets the ball for the Angels in this one. The right-hander has gone 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA over 67 2/3 innings this year. In two road starts, Richards is 0-2 with an 8.52 ERA.

Tom Milone takes the mound for Oakland this afternoon. The left-hander is 8-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 20 starts in 2013. Milone is 3-2 with a 5.33 ERA and 1.519 WHIP in five career starts against Los Angeles, while Richards is 0-1 with an 11.11 ERA and 1.764 WHIP in one career start against Oakland.

The OVER is 35-14-2 in Angels last 51 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The OVER is 6-0-1 in Richards' last 7 starts vs. a team with a winning record. The OVER is 18-7-4 in the last 29 meetings in Oakland. The OVER is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings overall. Bet the OVER in this game Saturday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Craig Davis

Free play of the day on the Baltimore Orioles to continue their dominance over the Boston Red Sox.

For years the O's have been the laughing stock of the AL East and have taken a beating at the hands of the Sox. Not anymore.

At the end of the 2011 season the Orioles took four of the last five vs. Boston and even knocked them out of playoff contention. Then in 2012 the O's won over 90 games in the season including posting a 13-5 record against the Beantowners.

This year, now, they've won six of eight vs. Boston despite trailing them in the standings for much of the season.

The Red Sox dropped out of first place and the O's moved a game closer with last night's happenings. Now the O's must continue their dominance over the Sox in order to keep pace with the Rays and keep moving closer to Boston for second place.

Scott Feldman (2-1, 4.73 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season for the Orioles and he's been better and better with each start, including his last outing which resulted in a 9-2 win over the Royals.

Feldman last faced the Red Sox (and beat them) with seven great innings of work for the Texas Rangers back in 2012.

Take the Orioles over the Sox as your free play of the day.

4♦ BALTIMORE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Jeff Benton

Your Saturday freebie is for Yu Darvish and Justin Masterson to mow'em down at Progressive Field, as the Rangers and Indians stay Under the total.

Very rare Over the total for both teams last night.

Texas is still 9-2-2 Under the total their last 13 games, and the Under between the teams is now at 5-1 Under, 8-3 overall the last 11 on the low-side of things!

Hard to argue those numbers, and certainly hard to argue the fact Yu Darvish owns a season ERA under 3, and that the Under has gone 6-1-1 the last 8 times he has made the start. Justin Masterson counters, and the Under is 6-2 his last 8 starts at Progressive Field. The Under is also 6-2 overall the last 8 times Masterson has started home or away.

Cannot make a case against those trends, so play the Rangers-Indians to stay low one more time here on Saturday.

2♦ TEXAS-CLEVELAND UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Brad Wilton

Your comp play for Saturday is going to be the Under in the Minnesota-Seattle contest.

The first 2 games of this weekend set have alternated from Over on Thursday to Under last night.

You may think the way to go in this game is to go Over the total, especially with Samuel Deduno and Aaron Harang trotting to the mound, but I beg to differ.

Deduno has actually pitched quite well his last few times on the mound, as the right-hander has allowed just 3 runs on 10 hits over his last 13 innings pitched, and each of his last pair of starts has ended up playing Under the total.

In fact 8 of Deduno's last 10 starts have seen the hurler allow 3 runs or less, and the Under has gone 4-2 the last 6 times he has made the start.

Aaron Harang has also been pretty steady over the last month-plus of action, as he has allowed 3 runs or less in 6 of his last 7 starts.

With this being a late-afternoon start followed by a night game last evening, going to look for the pitchers to hold the advantage in this one.

Twins-Mariners to hold Under the total on Saturday.

2♦ MINNESOTA-SEATTLE UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Brett Atkins

My free winner for Saturday afternoon is on the Over in the Angels/A's game. All Total plays automatically list pitchers with the starters who are scheduled to go at the time of the wager, and I want you to be sure the following pitchers are the starters of record on your ticket when making your play: Garrett Richards and Tommy Milone. If one or both of these pitchers is not going, this is a no-play.

Let's start with Richards, who has spent some time in the Angels' rotation this season, but hasn't made a start since April 30. Today the right-hander steps in for Joe Blanton, who has struggled this season, and I'm not sure Richards is going to last too long against a tough A's team that hits the ball well at home.

That being said, I won't endorse the Athletics, not with Milone on the hill. I know he is in after rebounding nicely from his shortest outing of the season in his previous start, by limiting the Astros to two earned runs (three total) on just five hits with one walk and five strikeouts over six innings last Monday, but he also has a career 5.33 ERA against the Halos.

The Over has cashed 8 of the last 11 meetings, while the high number has been money over the last 29 meetings in Oakland, with a 20-7-2 run.

1♦ OVER Angels/Athletics

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Chris Jordan

My free play is on the Texas Rangers getting it done on the road in Cleveland against the Indians, and I want you listing both Yu Darvish over Justin Masterson.

I love the way Darvish came off the disabled list last Monday and looked stellar over 6-2/3 innings, firing scoreless frames in a 3-0 victory over the New York Yankees. He's now 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his past three starts, and make note. He lost his only start to the Indians last season, so there's some revenge to consider.

As for Masterson, can't count on a pitcher who is 0-4 lifetime with a 6.49 ERA against a team like the Rangers, knowing how explosive Texas can be. And make note, the Rangers will be out for revenge from last night, when manager Ron Washington's club tallied eight runs and 14 hits in an 11-8 loss to the Tribe.

Take Texas and list both.

4♦ TEXAS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 27

Scott Delaney

My free winner for today is on the New York Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays, and I want you listing both Ivan Nova over Chris Archer in this pitching rematch from not too long back. Nova will be out for revenge, and I think he gets it in rather easy fashion.

Though Archer picked up his fifth win on Sunday, at Toronto, after allowing one run in seven innings and has now won his last three starts and has allowed just three earned runs over his last 28-1/3 innings in a span of four starts - today he is pitching under a lot of pressure.

At Yankee Stadium, against a pissed-off team that desperately needs to find an offensive spark and he faces Nova, who as I mentioned is in revenge.

Nova, in fact, has been solid since returning to the Yankees' rotation in late June. He comes in after taking a hard-luck loss on July 22 at Texas, where he allowed three runs in seven innings. Nevertheless, he still boasts a 2.72 ERA and .214 opponents average in five outings since June 23.

Take the pinstripes today, and list both.

5♦ NEW YORK

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