Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, July 29

Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, July 29

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Cincinnati at San Diego
The Padres look to build on their 6-0 record in their last 6 home games against a team with a winning record. San Diego is the pick (+140) according to Dunkel, which has the Padres favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+140)

Game 951-952: St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Westbrook) 15.220; Pittsburgh (Liriano) 16.869
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-150); Under

Game 953-954: NY Mets at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Hefner) 15.585; Miami (Turner) 14.492
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Miami (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+100); Over

Game 955-956: Colorado at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (De La Rosa) 15.311; Atlanta (Beachy) 14.206
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+125); Over

Game 957-958: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Lohse) 14.274; Cubs (Samardzija) 15.634
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-120); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-120); N/A

Game 959-960: Cincinnati at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 15.284; San Diego (O'Sullivan) 16.384
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+140); Under

Game 961-962: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Danks) 14.655; Cleveland (McAllister) 17.224
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-170); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-170); Over

Game 963-964: LA Angels at Texas (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Weaver) 14.377; Texas (Garza) 14.016
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Texas (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+115); Under

Game 965-966: Toronto at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Rogers) 14.502; Oakland (Griffin) 15.905
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Oakland (-165); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-165); Over

Game 967-968: Tampa Bay at Boston (6:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Price) 16.886; Boston (Doubront) 15.353
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-115); Under

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Marc Lawrence

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres
Prediction: San Diego Padres

The Reds and Padres open a three-games series in San Diego Monday evening where Mike Leake matches serves with Sean O'Sullivan. Leake toes the rubber off a phony 'inside-out' win in his most recent start in which he lasted 6 innings while allowing 12 hits and 2 walks in an 8-3 win as San Francisco this past Wednesday. Meanwhile, O'Sullivan will look to maintain his spot in the starting lineup knowing he has cashed two of his three career home team starts during July. Look for a gritty effort by O'Sullivan and the Padres here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on San Diego.

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Matt Fargo

Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres    
Play: San Diego Padres

The Padres had a pretty successful roadtrip to open the second half of the season as they went 6-4 which is certainly a huge improvement from their previous roadtrip where they went 1-9 including losses in each of the last nine games. After winning eight straight games at home, the Petco Park advantage went away as San Diego dropped nine of its last 12 games to close the first half of the season. The Padres head back home for the first time in over two weeks knowing they are 6-0 in their last six home games against teams with a winning record and they look to extend that behind Sean O'Sullivan. This is just his third start of the season but after being out of the Majors since 2011, he has looked pretty solid. He is coming off a quality outing against the Brewers and in his two starts, he has allowed only four earned runs, posting a 3.18 ERA in the process. Both games resulted in losses though as his offense managed just one run in each game but I expect a better output tonight. The Reds opened their roadtrip by winning four of five games even though the one loss was counted as a home game because of a makeup. However, they dropped their last three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers as the offense managed to do hardly nothing, scoring a total of two runs in those three games. Cincinnati turns to Mike Leake who is having a very strong season with a 2.73 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 20 starts. His last two starts have resulted in wins but they were questionable. He allowed 12 hits last time out at San Francisco and before that, he allowed three run against Pittsburgh but all three of those were solo home runs. He has been outstanding on the road but memories of his only career start against San Diego could haunt him as he allowed five runs in just 1.2 innings nearly one year ago to the day.

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Rocketman

St Louis @ Pittsburgh
Play: Pittsburgh -146

The St Louis Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates on Monday night. Pittsburgh is 51-31 this year against right handed starters. St Louis is scoring only 3.6 runs per game their past seven games overall where they have a team batting average of only .228. Pittsburgh is a solid 32-18 at home this year where they are allowing only 3 runs per game and opponents a combined team batting average of only .221. Jake Westbrook is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA on the road this year. Francisco Liriano seems to finally be getting back to his old self going 10-4 with a 2.23 ERA overall this year, 5-1 with a 1.67 ERA at home this season and 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA his last 3 starts. Westbrook is 1-7 with a 5.31 ERA in his 10 starts vs Pittsburgh in his career while Liriano is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his one start vs St Louis in his career. We'll recommend a small play on Pittsburgh tonight!

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Stephen Nover

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves    
Play: Colorado Rockies

Brandon Beachy was a great pitcher last year - until he got hurt. Beachy hasn't pitched in more than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He's making his season debut today and will be on a pitch count.

I hope Beachy can make it back, but I'm not expecting much this season. It often takes a pitcher a 1 1/2 years to come back from Tommy John surgery - if they even reach their former status. The Braves could be without star closer Craig Kimbrel as he's pitched an inning during each of the last three days.

This isn't the greatest of situations for Atlanta as the Braves had to play last night while everyone else had day games.

Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his last seven starts. The Braves haven't seen him since 2010 and have many new faces since they last faced him.

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Jeffrey Brandes

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves    
Play: Atlanta Braves

Pitchers
COLORADO ROCKIES: JORGE DE LA ROSA (L) ERA: 2.97 W/L: 10-5
ATLANTA BRAVES: BRANDON BEACHY (R) ERA: 0.00 W/L: 0-0

The Rockies are on the road after completing a 5-5 homestand. Starting for the Rockies is JORGE DE LA ROSA. He's 1-1 with a 7.24 ERA in two career starts against the Braves. Starting for Atlanta is Brandon Beachy, who is making his first start since June 16, 2012. Beachy, who posted a 2.50 ERA in his last four rehab starts, will take Tim Hudson's spot in the rotation.

Key Trends:
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
Atlanta is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games when playing Colorado
Atlanta is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Colorado
Colorado is 6-13 SU in its last 19 games on the road

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Justin Bay

Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians    
Play: Cleveland Indians

John Danks for the White Sox and Zach McAllister for the Indians will be facing off in this matchup.

Danks is coming into this game having a rough career against Cleveland with a 4.94 ERA and Indians hitters batting .260. He is also struggling on the road with a 6.03 ERA and opponents hitting .312. He is coming off a rough start vs. DET giving up 6 earned runs through 7 innings. Indians have a very strong lineup top to bottom and are 3rd highest scoring team in the league at 4.8 runs/game. I look for Danks to struggle for the White Sox on the road against a hot team.

McAllister is coming into this game with very good stats at home (2.87 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and opponents hitting .238. In his last outing against the White Sox, he let up 3 earned runs through 5.2 innings. The White Sox are the lowest scoring team in the league at 3.7 runs/game. Look for McAllister to have solid outing against a weak lineup.

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Art Aronson

Cardinals vs. Pirates    
Play: Under 7

Jake Westbrook (7-4, 2.95 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Westbrook and the Cards hammered the Phillies 11-3 on Wednesday. Westbrook gave up three earned runs off nine hits over seven strong innings while striking out two and walking no one. He takes his very respectable 6-2, 3.14 ERA "night game" record into Pittsburgh to throw opposite Francisco Liriano (10-4, 2.23 ERA) who went 7 2/3's scoreless frames in a 4-2 win over the Nationals on Wednesday, scattering two hits with three walks while striking out eight in the commanding performance. Liriano will now be looking to improve upon his near perfect 5-1, 1.67 ERA home record. While four of these teams first five games vs. each other in 2013 have flown above the posted number, I feel that trend gets bucked tonight as these two confirmed studs battle each other into the latter frames, the total ultimately sneaking below the posted number in the end; consider a second look at the "under" in this one.

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Rob Vinciletti

Tampa Bay vs. Boston
Play: Under 8½

This is a one game affair here tonight as Both teams are burning a day off to get this one in. This game is also a rematch between these two Pitchers Doubront for Boston and Price for Tampa as both pitched here in their last start and the game went under. In the series 13 straight between these two here have played under and our system is to take the under for all road teams like Tampa that are off a road favored loss where they scored 5 or more runs, vs an opponent who was a road favorite Like Boston that scored 2 or more runs. These games have gone under 9 times with 2 pushes the past few years. Boston has played under in 9 of 11 of late vs winning teams and 14 of 22 this month they were hitting just .219 over the past week heading into Sundays game. Tampa has played under in 6 of their last 8. Price for Tampa has a decent 3.33 road era and Doubront for Boston has a 2.92 home era. So we will back the under here tonight.

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Alex Smart

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox    
Play: Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are red hot having won 21 of their L/25 games overall and look to continue their sizzling pace behind Cy Young award winner David Price. The southpaw has really been in a groove of late, after a slow start to his current campaign. He was also in top form the last time he went against the BoSox in a win as is evident by allowing just one run and five hits. It must be noted that the Rays are a bankroll expanding 40-18 in Prices last 58 road starts.

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Sports Experts 17

New York Mets at Miami Marlins
Pick: New York Mets

SPORTS EXPERTS 17 enter this Monday with a great service provided to all our followers posting our TRADITIONAL Free Pick with a 6-0 run last 6 days. JEREMY HEFNER one of the worst pitchers in the NY Mets will face tonight a motivated Marlins that just won 2 out of 3 to a potencial playoff contender: The Pittsburgh Pirates. This doesn't say that they are a good team, pitching today for Miami is JACOB TURNER with a horrible season playing 10 games and going 3-3 losing his last 2 starts. This Monday the Marlins will come back to the real losing world they had all season long, facing the Mets will make the Marlins be confident, but Hefner will make his best to win this game, and after losing very close games to the Brewers 0-2 and to the Rockies 1-2 in his last two starts this game is a GUARANTEE WINNER for the Mets by the hand of JEREMY HEFNER. NEW YORK METS OUR FREE PICK FOR MONDAY.

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Jim Feist

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates

A huge series, with these teams battling for first place. St. Louis plays the fourth game of a long road trip and starter Jake Westbrook is aging with marginal stuff. And he's always struggled against the Pirates, with a 1-7 record and a 4.81 ERA against them. The Pirates have home field and will be sky high for this showdown. Ace lefty Francisco Liriano (9-4, 2.44 ERA) is on the hill and is resureccting his career with 84 Ks in 81 innings. His first-half numbers: 9-3, 2.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP.

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Jesse Schule

Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs
Pick: Milwaukee Brewers

The Cubs have done just fine since losing Alfonso Soriano in a trade to the Yankees, as they are coming off a three game sweep of the Giants in San Francisco. They return home to host the Brewers in Game 1 of a four game series on Monday. Milwaukee has gotten the better of the Cubs so far this season, winning 5-of-8. Kyle Lohse will toe the rubber for the visitors, and he's coming in on top form. Lohse (7-7, 3.37 ERA) allowed a single run on five hits over seven innings in a 3-1 win over San Diego his last time out. Prior to that he tossed six scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over Miami. He's been successful against the Cubs in recent seasons, posting a 3.17 ERA while winning his last three starts against Chicago. The Cubs hand the ball to Jeff Samardzija, and the big fella has really been struggling. Samardzija (6-9, 3.94 ERA) allowed four runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, not factoring in the decision in a 7-6 Cubs victory at Arizona. He walked five batters in that game, and he's struggled with his command throughout the month of July, issuing 15 free passes in four starts. Samardzija has been far more successful on the road (2.72 ERA) than he has been at Wrigley. He's 2-4 with a 5.46 ERA in 10 starts in Chicago this season. The Brewers had their way with him in Milwaukee earlier this season, scoring five runs on six hits, including a pair of home runs in a 5-4 home victory. Given the history, there isn't really any reason to be optimistic about Samardzija tonight.

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Bruce Marshall

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays

In this makeup of a rained out game last week, Tampa Bay starter David Price has the rare chance of beating the Bosox twice at Fenway Park in a 5-day span. No starting pitcher has accomplished that feat in 82 years! Price overwhelmed Boston's hitters last Wednesday in a 5-1 win, lowering his career ERA to 1.96 in Fenway Park with a 5-1 mark in nine starts. The ERA is the lowest mark among active pitchers with at least 20 innings at Fenway. Price is also 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA in five starts since being activated off the disabled list July 2, and even with Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Yankees, the rays are 12-4 in their last 25 games. With first place in the AL East on the line, prefer Price over Bosox counterpart Felix Doubront.

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Bryan Power

Toronto vs. Oakland
Pick: Oakland

Remember when the Blue Jays matched a franchise record w/ 11 straight wins?  Neither do they probably. Toronto is still well entrenched in last place in the American League East and won't be moving up in the standings anytime soon.  Oakland, meanwhile, will be looking to build its lead in the AL West....

The Blue Jays got a tough draw coming out of the All-Star Break, playing Tampa Bay and the Dodgers, the two hottest teams in baseball at the time. The end result was six straight losses, seven if you include a loss to Baltimore in their final game of the first half.  They were able to take three of four over the weekend against the Houston Astros, but that was at home and consider the level of competition.  Oakland will be a far tougher challenge as the AL West leaders come in at 62-43 on the season and with plenty of momentum.

The A's have won six of eight overall, including three straight over the Angels.  They won in come from behind fashion Sunday, winning 10-6.  They have averaged five runs per game during the 6-2 run.  On the mound, they will send out AJ Griffin, who is having a fine year w/ a 3.84 ERA and 1.122 WHIP in 21 starts.  He has a 15-3 team start record the last two seasons here at home where Oakland is an AL best 33-16 this season.

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Will Rogers

Angels vs. Rangers
Pick: Under

We knew long ago that it wasn't going to be the season the Angels were hoping for, but now the division rival Texas Rangers are rapidly following suit.  Considering who's pitching in Monday's series opener between the two teams (Jered Weaver and Matt Garza) and how these respective offensive perfomances haven't been performing, take the Under.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Weaver - It was a slow start to the year, but the former Cy Young winner has regained his old form by not allowing a single run over his last two starts (14 2/3 innings).  He's allowed just six hits total, both games went Under and the last was a 1-0 final (in his team's favor).  Overall, the Under has cashed in 11 of Weaver's 13 starts this season.  The Under is 18-12 all-time when he starts against Texas.

2.  Garza - His Rangers debut could not have gone any better as the right-hander allowed only an unearned run Wednesday in a 3-1 win over the Yankees.  Going back to his time with the Cubs, Garza has won six straight starts with a 1.23 ERA.

3.  X-Factor - Obviously the potential loss of the Albert Pujols for the season is huge for the Angels.  But what has happened to the Rangers' offense?  Already a huge Under team (62-37 this year), Texas has been shutout in three of its last four games and enters Monday on a 21-inning scoreless streak.   They had a season-worst two hits Sunday.

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Joe GavazziFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland IndiansFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We continue our almost daily exercise of fading the White Sox. Since pulling even at 24-24, CWS has gone 16-38 including being swept this weekend at home by KC in a trio of games where they were outscored 10-3 with a .196 BA. That is a microcosm of their bad offense, bad defense and bad attitude. Pitching Danks in this spot is no reason for hope. In his last 2 starts, both at home, Danks allowed 11 runs in 14 IP. But he is much worse on the road where he has gone 0-5 with a 6.03 ERA. Danks offers little hope against Cleveland, a team he has faced 16 times with a 4.94 ERA. Far prefer surging Cleveland. The streaky Tribe has put together recent runs of 18-5, 5-16, 15-5, 7-10 and now 4-0 including outscoring Texas by a combined count of 7-0 in their weekend sweep. McAllister eased back into action after being on the DL with a finger injury. But he has done his best work from this mound where Cleveland has won 4-6 McAllister starts in which he has a 2.87 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. In 5 outings vs. CWS, McAllister has a 3.07 ERA. Ride the respective momentum of each of these teams to a top play winner.

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Ray MonohanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red SoxFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Tampa Bay RaysFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Just a half game separated Boston and Tampa as they meet to make up for a game that was postponed earlier in the week. The Rays have David Price on the mound and that is what gives them the edge in this one. Both pitchers have been sharp of late but who are you going to trust more, Price of Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront? Price threw a complete game at Fenway just last week while Doubront was chased after 6 innings. I could easily see that happening again, so take the Rays as a slight favourite in this important makeup game.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay vs. BostonFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These same two starting pitchers opposed each other here less than a week ago. Price got the better of Doubront that day, a 5-1 Tampa victory.
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A closer look at that 7/24 game reveals that the O/U line opened at nine and closed at 8.5. The O/U line for today's rematch opened at 8.5 and has currently fallen to eight. I believe that's offering some value.
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True, both pitchers are very capable. However, it can often be an advantage for the hitters, if they've just recently had a good look at the same pitcher that they'll be facing.
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While Tampa road games are averaging 8.9 runs, Boston home games are averaging 9.3. Consider the Over.

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Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado vs. AtlantaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jorge de la Rosa and Brandon Beachy will face off on Monday night to open up a series between the Rockies and the Braves. de la Rosa has pitched well this season, but he's overachieving a bit and there should be normalization in his numbers in the near future. He has gotten away with a BB/9 rate above 3.00 and a line drive of nearly 25% for the most part this season and that seems unlikely to continue for a guy striking out a below average number of hitters. His road ERA this season is 3.25, but his FIP is above 4.00 and his xFIP is 4.24. This month, de la Rosa is stranding nearly 87% of opposing baserunners. That's not sustainable at all and the Braves have a pretty good offense.
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Brandon Beachy makes his first start back from Tommy John rehab, the first in the Majors for Beachy since June 16. Beachy walked 18 in 30 innings at Triple-A Gwinnett during his rehab period, so we would certainly expect some control problems and some rust for him in his first start back. It's a long road back from Tommy John and control is usually the last thing to return. It's likely that he'll be pitching with some nerves as well. It's very hard to expect Beachy to be sharp here and mistakes at the Major League level get punished.

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