Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Cincinnati at San Diego
The Padres look to build on their 13-3 record in Eric Stults' last 16 home starts. San Diego is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Padres favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+115)

Game 951-952: Cincinnati at San Diego (3:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Bailey) 15.619; San Diego (Stults) 16.649
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+115); Over

Game 953-954 St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 15.286; Pittsburgh (Locke) 14.503
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 6
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-120); Under

Game 955-956: San Francisco at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Gaudin) 14.815; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 13.887
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-105); Over

Game 957-958: Colorado at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Chatwood) 14.177; Atlanta (Minor) 16.640
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 2 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-160); Under

Game 959-960: NY Mets at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Mejia) 15.698; Miami (Alvarez) 14.579
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Miami (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-110); Under

Game 961-962: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Peralta) 13.575; Cubs (Jackson) 14.934
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-125); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-125); N/A

Game 963-964: Toronto at Oakland (3:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Dickey) 14.936; Oakland (Colon) 16.471
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Oakland (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-160); Under

Game 965-966: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 15.751; Cleveland (Kluber) 15.127
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-170); 8
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+150); Over

Game 967-968: Houston at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Bedard) 13.744; Baltimore (Gonzalez) 15.150
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-240); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-240); Over

Game 969-970: Seattle at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Iwakuma) 16.111; Boston (Lackey) 15.157
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Boston (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+130); Under

Game 971-972: LA Angels at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Williams) 13.896; Texas (Perez) 15.497
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Texas (-140); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-140); Over

Game 973-974: Kansas City at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Guthrie) 16.462; Minnesota (Correia) 15.165
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-110); Under

Game 975-976: Washington at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Gonzalez) 16.621; Detroit (Verlander) 15.700
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Detroit (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+125); Under

Game 977-978: Arizona at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Miley) 14.199; Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 16.118
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 2; 9
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-170); 8
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-170); Over

Game 979-980: NY Yankees at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Kuroda) 14.925; LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 16.906
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 2; 5
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-185); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-185); Under

WNBA

New York at Washington
The Liberty look to build on their 4-1-1 ATS record in their last 6 road games. New York is the pick (+6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Mystics favored by only 4. Dunkel Pick: New York (+6 1/2)

Game 601-602: New York at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 106.609; Washington 110.690
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 4; 142
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 6 1/2; 147
Dunkel Pick: New York (+6 1/2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Jesse Schule

Milwaukee vs. Chicago
Pick: Chicago

The Cubs were hard luck losers not once but twice yesterday, as Milwaukee rallied to come from behind and win both games of Tuesday's double-header. Chicago will try to avoid the sweep in the series finale at Wrigley tonight.

Edwin Jackson will toe the slab for the home team, and he's recently turned his season around after a horrendous start. Jackson (6-11, 4.89 ERA) allowed a pair of runs on just four hits over 6 2/3 innings in a win over the Giants in San Francisco his last time out. He's 3-1 over his last five starts, and the Cubs have won four of those five games, the only exception being a 4-3 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.

Jackson has allowed just one run on seven hits over 12 2/3 innings defeating the Pirates and Cardinals in his last two home starts.

Wily Peralta will get the nod for the Brewers, and he's coming off a rough outing in Colorado his last time out. Peralta (7-10, 4.54 ERA) was torched for eight runs on seven hits over just 3 2/3 innings in an 8-3 loss to the Rockies.

The Cubs hammered him the last time they faced him, scoring seven runs on eight hits over five innings in a 7-2 win at Miller Park. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a similar story here at Wrigley tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Bruce Marshall

Yankees vs. Dodgers
Pick: Under

While the L.A. press and the major networks continue to fawn over Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, there is another more important development in the Dodgers' current 27-6 run, their best 33-game stretch since the franchise was located in Brooklyn back in 1953. It's stellar pitching, reflected in the fact that the Blue has scored only 12 runs over its last five games, yet won the last four of those. Over their last 19 games, the Dodgers have allowed three runs or fewer on 15 occasions, and two runs or fewer 12 times.  Moreover, tonight they send to the mound their ace, Clayton Kershaw, with MLB's lwoest ERA (1.96) and with an even-better 1.72 ERA over his last six starts.  Meanwhile, the Yanks counter with ex-Dodger Hiroki Kuroda, who in also in top form. allowing only 2 ER in 26 IP over four July starts.  Looks like another 2-1 or 3-2 game to us.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Marc Lawrence

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres
Prediction: San Diego Padres

When Eric Stults to the mound against Homer Bailey and the Reds in the finale of this three-game series Wednesday afternoon, Stults will enter the game sporting an 8-1 mark with a 2.45 ERA in his home team starts this season, a dramatic improvement over his 4-9 record on the road with a 4.64 ERA. Stults is also 11-1 his last twelve home team starts, including 8-0 his last eight. With Bailey now 0-4 with a 4.68 ERA since his no-hitter a month ago, and just 2-8 in his day team starts this season, we'll stay at home with the better form arm there today. We recommend a 1-unit play on San Diego.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Jimmy Boyd

San Diego Padres +120

The Cincinnati Reds have now lost five consecutive games coming into today's matchup against the Padres. San Diego, on the other hand, has won seven of their last nine games. The Padres have more going for them than simply being the hot team. The have the Reds outmatched offensively, as well as at the starting pitcher position.

The Reds have a .239 batting average over their past seven games and they are scoring a mere 3.5 runs per game. San Diego is scoring 4.6 runs per game over their past seven. Homer Bailey has a 2-8 record on the road this season and in his lone no decision game the Reds lost for a 2-9 team record. Meanwhile, Eric Stults has been lethal at home for the Padres. He has a 5-1 record to go along with his 2.45 ERA.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Rocketman

Arizona @ Tampa Bay
Play: Tampa Bay -154

The Arizona Diamondbacks travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Devil Rays on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay is 20-4 in the month of July this year. Tampa Bay is 9-1 in Inter-League play this season where they are scoring 6.1 runs per game. Tampa Bay is 99-41 last 140 games as a home favorite of -150 to -175. Tampa Bay is 23-11 against left handed starters this year. Tampa Bay is allowing only 2.9 runs per game their past seven games overall where they are allowing opponents a combined batting average of only .217. Jeremy Hellickson is 10-3 overall this year, 5-1 at home this season and 2-0 his last 3 starts. Hellickson has 103 strike outs compared to only 31 walks on the season. We'll recommend a small play on Tampa Bay tonight!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Jim Feist

Angels at Rangers
Pick: Over

This is a great park to hit home runs and and a pair of meatball pitchers are on the mound. LA is in town with a talent, top 10 offense, but starter Jerome Williams (4.73 ERA) has been awful, with an ERA over 10 his last 4 starts. The over is 13-3 in the Angels last 16 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600. The over is also 34-15-2 in the Angels last 51 road games vs. a team with a winning record and they face a terrific Texas offense. But this LA offense will score off Texas lefty Martin Perez, who has been struggling of late with an ERA over 5 his last 4 starts. The over is 21-9-2 in the last 32 meetings, so don't look for any defense;

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Ray Monohan

San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Play: Philadelphia Phillies   

The Phillies and Giants are too disappointing teams who are out of the race. On Wednesday we are going with a simple pitching play taking Kyle Kendrick, the better of the two starters at home. Given how poor the Giants are playing I was surprised that you can get a -115 on Philadelphia which is why we should take it to the bank. Kendrick is 2-1 lifetime against San Francisco and pitches a lot better at home. Both of these teams are good fade candidates in the second half but unless the Philly lineup gets gutted by some trades at the last minute they should be the victors in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Rob Vinciletti

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

The Padres are a live dog here this afternoon. The Reds fit a System that cashes 80% the last 10 years and plays against Road favorites with a total of 8 or less if they are off a road favored loss by 2 or more runs and scored 2 or less runs and are playing an opponent off a home dog win by 2+ runs if they scored 4 or more runs and had 10 or more hits. We have two teams headed in opposite directions. The Reds have dropped 5 straight while The Padres have now won 4 straight. The Padres have a Solid bullpen edge when comparing home to road era for both teams. Cincinnati has also lost 8 of the last 9 on the road vs left handers. San Diego has Lefty E. Stults going and they have won 11 of his last 12 starts here. Stults has a stellar 2.52 home era and has allowed just 8 earned runs in his last 53 innings pitched here. Homer Bailey goes for the Reds and he has a a 6-0 record vs the Padres. However when we dig into those starts we see that Homer has allowed 8 runs in his last 10 innings vs the Padres and has allowed 13 earned runs in his last 24 road innings. So he's a Homer alright. The Reds have lost 7 of his last 8 road starts. Based on the system, the Pitching and the overall team form we will back the Padres today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Matt Fargo

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves
Play: Colorado Rockies   

The Braves are a perfect 5-0 to open this homestand including wins in the first two games against Colorado. Now they are favored by their biggest amount which equates to value going the other way. With the Washington loss last night, Atlanta now has a 10-game lead in the National League East, by far the biggest lead in any division, and while no lead is safe, the Braves are looking pretty good to make it back to the playoffs. The offense has exploded in the last two games but the Braves are 2-6 in their last eight games after scoring five runs or more in their previous game. Mike Minor gets the call tonight and he has been solid all season with a 2.89 ERA and 1.04 WHIP through 21 starts including tossing four consecutive quality outings. His ERA does jump to 3.28 at home which is certainly still good but the Braves have had trouble putting the lesser teams away with him on the hill as they are 1-4 in his last five starts against teams with a losing record. The Rockies are now 7.5 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West but there is still a lot of time to make up ground. They have not been able to put any big runs together but they have been able to avoid putting together big losing streaks as they are 8-2 in their last 10 games following a loss. Tyler Chatwood will be making his 15th start of the season and he has quietly put together a very strong season. He has a 2.48 ERA which would be good for fifth lowest in the National League but he does not qualify yet because of not enough innings pitched. His ERA dips to 1.23 on the road through six starts and he has allowed one run or less in five of those. As a matter of fact, he has allowed two runs or less in 12 of his 14 starts.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Art Aronson

Yankees vs. Dodgers
Play: Under 6

Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.51 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Kuroda dominated the Rangers on Thursday, scattering six hits with one walk while striking out three over seven scoreless frames in his team's eventual 2-0 victory. Kuroda has not surrendered a run in three of his last four starts and is in fact 3-0 with a minuscule 0.69 ERA through four outings in July. He'll take his very respectable 3.18 ERA road record into LA to throw opposite Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 1.96 ERA) who gave up one run off six hits with no walks while striking out eight over eight superb innings of work in a 2-1 win over the Reds on Friday. Kershaw is now 5-1 with a tiny 2.19 ERA over his last six starts, striking out 45 and walking just three in that span (note that he sports an awesome 1.74 ERA home record so far in 2013). No need to overanalyze this one; with these two studs battling it out, runs will definitely be at a premium. Consider a second look at the "under" in this matchup.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Steve Janus

Mets/Marlins UNDER 7.5

Tonight's matchup between the Mets and Marlins feature two 23-year-old starters who are both coming into this game off a dominant start. New York's Jenrry Mejia, threw 7 shutout innings in his MLB debut at Washington, while Miami's Henderson Alvarez tossed 6 shutout innings, allowing just two hits against the Pirates. Alvarez has been lights out in each of his last three starts, posting a 0.92 ERA and 1.017 WHIP. Both of these two youngsters are trying to make a name for themselves and I believe it's going to be quite a duel on the mound. It only helps matters that the game will be played at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. On top of that you have two poor offenses in this one. The Mets are hitting just .238 as a team this season and Marlins are even worse at .231. The UNDER is 12-2 in the Marlins last 14 games overall, 9-1 over their last 10 vs a team with a losing record and a perfect 7-0 following a loss.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Dave Price

Baltimore Orioles -1.5 -104

The O's are showing value at home on the run line with Miguel Gonzalez on the hill. He's been rock solid at home where the O's are 8-0 this season in his starts. They've won these by an average of 3.3 runs. They are 12-0 in his home starts dating back to last season. The Astros, on the other hand, are 0-5 in Erik Bedard's last five starts, losing these by an average of 4.0 runs. They are 0-4 in his last four road starts, losing these by 3.8 runs on average. Bedard has a 5.79 road ERA while Gonzalez has a 3.78 home ERA. The Astros are 0-7 in their last 7 games in Baltimore. Take the O's on the run line.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Will Rogers

Colorado vs. Atlanta
Pick: Atlanta

I don't see much reason why we shouldn't be expecting the Braves to make it three in a row over the Rockies tonight at Turner Field. Well, Tyler Chatwood certainly has pitched well for Colorado, but that's simply not going to be enough against a far superior opponent.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  Mike Minor - The Braves lefty has pitched very well of late. He just beat St. Louis, allowing only one run on four hits over seven innings.  He has a 2.05 ERA and 0.818 WHIP over his last three outings and on the season his ERA is just 2.89 in 21 starts. I see him outpitching Chatwood.   Colorado is just 14-25 vs. southpaws in 2013

2. Home field Advantage - Atlanta is a MLB best 36-15 at home this season, and that includes a 19-5 mark in the -125 to -175 price range. Colorado is now 11 games under .500 on the road for the year. They last won a road game on July 14th.

3.  X-Factor - Not only are these teams going in opposite directions of late, with the Braves winning five in a row while the Rockies have lost six of nine, but Atlanta has totally dominated Colorado head to head as well.  Not just this season, but over the last three years as they are 16-4 against them, including 9-1 at Turner Field.  In the first two games of this series, Atlanta has scored 20 runs and has 26 hits.  In the season series with Colorado (five games), they are averaging 7.8 runs/game and batting .311.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Wednesday night is on the Los Angeles Dodgers Run Line, as I see them taking it to the visiting New York Yankees in the second game of their Interleague series.

We all know Run Line plays automatically list pitchers with the starters who are scheduled to go at the time of the wager, but make note I am not concerned with who goes for either team tonight and want you playing this game on the Run Line regardless.

When you restrict yourself to listing pitchers on a daily basis, it's a sucker bet, because there are times the pitchers have nothing to do with the value of the play. So be aware of anyone who restricts you to listing pitchers with every play being released. That being said, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to be sure you have action even if one of the pitchers scheduled to start is scratched, and re-wager the game if that takes place.

Now, with all that, the matchup you're likely to have on your ticket is Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw, and since I believe the Dodgers' ace left-hander is the best pitcher in baseball, this is a matchup in your favor.

Kershaw comes in after firing eight innings of one-run ball and ended up beating the Reds last Friday, his fifth victory in his past six starts. The dominating southpaw has struck out at least eight in four of his past five trips to the rubber, and make note, he's 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA in five starts this month. So if there were any pitcher you'd want auto-listed in a run-line play, it's Kershaw.

Nonetheless, the Dodgers have won four straight, and I like them no matter who is stepping to the hill. They're seeing and hitting the ball well, and they're performing from all aspects. Lay the run line with Los Angeles, and remember to keep your eye on the pitchers and re-wager the game in the event of a pitching change.

3♦ L.A. DODGERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Jeff Benton

Wednesday freebie is the Tigers in their matinee finale over the Nationals.

Justin Verlander may not be having a Cy Young type season, but I have a strong inkling that he will simply dominate the feeble Nationals attack this afternoon.

Washington has lost 8 of their last 12 games, and they have been held to 2 runs or less in 8 of the 12 setbacks as well.

Meanwhile, Detroit has won 4 in a row and 8 of their last 9.

Gio Gonzalez has been pitching well, but with little offense to support his cause, cannot count on him working a no-no today at Comerica Park.

Lay it with the Tigers.

4♦ DETROIT

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Brad Wilton

Tonight's comp play is a "why not?" release on the Pirates over the Cardinals.

It is clear the Bucs are rolling. It is also clear the Cards are NOT rolling.

Pittsburgh has taken over first place in the Central Division, as the Pirates have won the first 3 of this 5 game set, and have won 8 of their last 11 overall.

St. Louis' losing streak is now at a whopping 6 straight games after getting swept over the weekend in Atlanta, and dropping the first 3 here at PNC Park.

"Why not" back the Pirates as the small home dog tonight?

Until I see some evidence that the funking Redbirds can put together a night where they get both pitching and hitting, I have no issue going against them.

It's Wainwright and Locke, and with Locke looking for win #10 on the season, I will side with the surging Pirates to make it 4-for-4 against the sliding Cardinals.

Pittsburgh is the play!

3♦ PITTSBURGH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Brett Atkins

My free winner for tonight is on the Texas Rangers over the Angels of Anaheim, one night after these two looked as if they were playing a football game. Texas' come-from-behind 14-11 win had to serve as somewhat of a dagger, and I don't if the Halos will be able to recover quite honestly after losing the way they did the past two nights.

Monday A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto each hit solo home runs to deliver a walk-off win for the Rangers, ruining Jered Weaver's dominating outing. Last night Leonys Martin's three-run shot capped Texas' second straight victory in walk-off fashion. Last night the Rangers negated four leads, with Soto - Monday's walk-off hero - stroking a three-run shot in the eighth inning and Adrian Beltre delivering a game-tying hit in the ninth.

Plus, it's crystal clear the Rangers see how hot Oakland is, and know they can't afford to let up. I won't list either pitcher in this game beause I think the Halos are slumping and Texas has caught them in Arlington at the right time. The Angels have lost five straight overall, and are in on additional losing streaks of 1-7 as a road pup and 1-8 on the highway.

Take Texas tonight.

5♦ TEXAS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Scott Delaney

My free winner for Wednesday night is on the Tampa Bay Rays over the Arizona Diamondbacks, as the Snakes are mired in a three-game slide and now face one of the two hottest teams in baseball since late June.

One day after Roberto Hernandez became the 4th Rays starter to throw a complete game this month - no other team has more than two pitchers with one - you have to believe in Tampa Bay's chances in the American League East. The Rays improved to 28-9 since June 18 with last night's 5-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.

I'm not going to worry about listing Arizona's Wade Miley and Tampa's Jeremy Hellickson, cause this is all about riding out the freight train and a red-hot Rays team right now, as it's also a remarkable 21-4 this month. On the other hand, the Snakes are just 13-14 in July.

And make note, Tampa Bay has won 11 of its last 12 when its opponent starts a left-hander, while the Rays lead the Majors with a 23-11 mark against southpaw starters. Take Tampa tonight.

4♦ TAMPA BAY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, July 31

Bob Balfe

Boston Red Sox -150

I never am thrilled when we take a favorite around this price, but I just can't see Seattle beating Boston tonight. Lackey is the better pitcher and Seattle has trouble scoring on the road. All it takes is that one crooked run inning for the Red Sox and its all over. This team just made a major trade and the buzz around Boston is starting to get stronger as they are in a tight playoff race. They need wins in these spots. Take the Red Sox.

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