Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Seattle at Baltimore
The Orioles look to improve on their 10-1 record in Chris Tillman's last 11 starts against AL West teams. Baltimore is the pick (-165) according to Dunkel, which has the Orioles favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-165)

Game 951-952: LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 15.101; Cubs (Wood) 16.281
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-140); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+120); N/A

Game 953-954: Colorado at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Chacin) 13.224; Pittsburgh (Cole) 15.527
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-150); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-150); Over

Game 955-956: Atlanta at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Medlen) 17.594; Philadelphia (Martin) 12.999
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 4 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-150); Over

Game 957-958: St. Louis at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Miller) 16.262; Cincinnati (Arroyo) 15.124
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+100); Under

Game 959-960: Washington at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Zimmermann) 14.121; Milwaukee (Gorzelanny) 15.103
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Washington (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+120); Over

Game 961-962: Seattle at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Harang) 14.320; Baltimore (Tillman) 15.884
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-165); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-165); Under

Game 963-964: Chicago White Sox at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Santiago) 14.611; Detroit (Fister) 17.800
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 3; 7
Vegas Line: Detroit (-230); 8
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-230); Under

Game 965-966: Houston at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Cosart) 15.010; Minnesota (Deduno) 14.177
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 10
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 967-968: Texas at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Ogando) 14.217; Oakland (Milone) 15.549
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-140); Under

Game 969-970: Toronto at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Redmond) 15.692; LA Angels (Hanson) 14.523
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 10
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+100); Over

Game 971-972: Cleveland at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Jimenez) 14.268; Miami (Fernandez) 15.219
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Miami (-125); 7
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-125); Under

Game 973-974: Kansas City at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Davis) 16.851; NY Mets (Gee) 14.557
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+100); Over

Game 975-976: San Francisco at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Bumgarner) 15.703; Tampa Bay (Archer) 14.681
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-140); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+120); Under

Game 977-978: Arizona at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Delgado) 14.355; Boston (Lester) 16.148
Dunkel Line: Boston by 2; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-170); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-170); Over

Game 979-980: NY Yankees at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Sabathia) 16.755; San Diego (Cashner) 15.144
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: San Diego (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-110); Over

CFL

Hamilton at Edmonton
The Tiger-Cats look to take advantage of an Edmonton team that is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games in Week 6. Hamilton is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Eskimos favored by only 1. Dunkel Pick: Hamilton (+3)

Game 421-422: Hamilton at Edmonton (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hamilton 107.968; Edmonton 108.850
Dunkel Line: Edmonton by 1; 49
Vegas Line: Edmonton by 3; 53
Dunkel Pick: Hamilton (+3); Under

MONDAY, AUGUST 5

Game 423-424: Winnipeg at BC (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 106.242; BC 120.398
Dunkel Line: BC by 14; 52
Vegas Line: BC by 11; 48
Dunkel Pick: BC (-11); Over

WNBA

Washington at Chicago
The Mystics look to build on their 4-1 ATS record in their last 5 games against Chicago. Washington is the pick (+7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Sky favored by only 5 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Washington (+7 1/2)

Game 601-602: Los Angeles at Tulsa (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 118.019; Tulsa 106.690
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 11 1/2; 166
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 8 1/2; 160 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-8 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: San Antonio at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 103.483; Minnesota 122.642
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 19; 152
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 14; 156 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-14); Under

Game 605-606: Washington at Chicago (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 111.678; Chicago 117.146
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 5 1/2; 155
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 7 1/2; 161 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+7 1/2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Marc Lawrence

Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
Prediction: Texas Rangers

The Rangers and Athletics open a three-game division series in Oakland Friday evening where Texas will send Alexi Ogando to the mound as they look to improve to 5-1 this season behind the right-hander in games against the AL West. Ogando opposes southpaw Tommy Milone, who has struggled going just 1-3 in team starts in this series in his MLB career. With that, look for the Rangers to improve to 5-1 the last six games in this series here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Texas.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Jimmy Boyd

St. Louis Cardinals +105

You won't find the Cardinals as an underdog very often, let alone when they have Shelby Miller on the mound. This year Miller has a 2.78 ERA with 124 strikeouts in 116.4 innings pitched. Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo does not even come close to comparing to Miller as he has just 76 strikeouts in 138 innings pitched.

The Reds are having some major struggles at the plate right now. They have lost five of their last seven games and it is directly related to the fact that they have a .194 batting average during that seven game span. They have also managed to score just two runs per game throughout that stretch. The Cardinals are the better team with the better pitcher, and a win today should be easy to come by.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Jim Feist

Braves vs. Phillies
Play: Over 8½

Atlanta starter Kris Medlen (7-10) hasn't been able to get it going and has an ERA of 6.05 his last three starts. Atlanta is on a 17-8-3 run over the total and the over is 12-3-1 in the Braves last 16 vs. a team with a losing record. The Philadelphia Phillies bring up right-handed pitcher Ethan Martin from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make his major-league debut Friday against the Atlanta Braves. The 24-year-old started 21 games for the Iron Pigs and has marginal stuff, with a 4.12 ERA. And when these teams meet the over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings, including 5-1-1 over the total in the last 7 meetings in Philadelphia. Play the Braves/Phillies over the total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Freddy Wills

Baltimore Orioles -1½ +130

Chris Tillman certainly is not a household name, but very quietly he's been putting up a very solid season. He comes in posting a 3-0 record and a 2.14 ERA over his last three starts. All year he's shined during night starts with an incredible 10-1 record while his offense has really backed him up. He's got great numbers against the Mariners in 4 starts posting a 0.98 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. The Mariners have 56 AB and a .411 OPS against him. Tillman will have to other things working for him. He's on 6 days rest where he's pitched extremely well this season and he is facing Aaron Harrang.

Notable Hot Starters L3 GS:
Chris Archer (3-0, 25 IP, 0.64 WHIP, 0.36 ERA)
Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 22 IP, 0.86 WHIP, 1.23 ERA)
Jose Fernandez (3-0, 21 IP, 0.90 WHIP, 2.14 ERA)
Jon Lester (2-1, 19.2 IP, 1.12 WHIP, 2.29 ERA)
Hector Santiago (0-3, 20 IP, 1.15 WHIP, 2.70 ERA)
Doug Fister (3-0, 20 IP, 1.05 WHIP, 1.35 ERA)
Jarred Cosart (2-1, 21 IP, 1.14 WHIP, 0.86 ERA)
Sam Deduno (3-0, 21 IP, 1.14 WHIP, 1.29 ERA)
Shelby Miller (2-1, 16.2 IP, 1.32 WHIP, 2.70 ERA)
Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 21.1 IP, 0.98 WHIP, 1.69 ERA)
Alexi Ogando (1-2, 15.1 IP, 1.30 WHIP, 2.93 ERA)
Randall Delgado (3-0, 20.2 IP, 0.97 WHIP, 1.31 ERA)
Dillon Gee (1-2, 20.2 IP, 0.82 WHIP, 1.74 ERA)

Notable Cold Starters L3 GS:
Tommy Hanson (1-2, 12 IP, 1.75 WHIP, 9.75 ERA)
Jordan Zimmerman (0-3, 15 IP, 1.80 WHIP, 8.40 ERA)
Wade Davis (1-2, 15 IP, 1.73 WHIP, 6.00 ERA)
C.C. Sabathia (0-3, 14 IP, 2.36 WHIP, 10.93 ERA)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Rob Vinciletti

Cleveland Indians vs. Miami Marlins    
Play: Miami Marlins

The Marlins fit a Dominator system that plays on home favorites off a home dog win that scored 4 or less runs, vs an opponent that is off a home favored win and scored 5 or more runs, this simple set up has won 15 of 17 times the past 10 Years. If the Posted total in these 17 games is 8 or less the system excels to 11-0. The Indians are on a long home winning streak and now take to the road where they are 4-12 as a road dog from +100 to +125 and have lost 5 of the last 6 at N.L. East venues. The Marlins, mean while beat the Mets the last two nights and are 4-1 at home off a home dog win. Cleveland has Jimenez on the mound and he is 0-9 in his last 9 Road August starts, allowing a whopping 25 earned runs in his last 17 innings in those starts. He has also lost his last 2 road starts vs the Marlins. J. Fernandez counter for Miami and he has a solid 8-2 home record and a 1.57 home era. Over his last 41 innings here at home he has allowed just 6 earned runs. Look for Miami to cool off Cleveland tonight. make it Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Art Aronson

Royals vs. Mets    
Play: Over 8

Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Davis is coming off a great outing in which he went 7 1/3's scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory over the White Sox on Saturday. So is it time to jump on the Davis bandwagon after one decent start? Obviously not. Davis has been as inconsistent as you can get this year and had failed to make it past the third inning in his previous start; the victory in fact snapped a four-start losing streak. Davis will take his horrible 4-4, 6.57 ERA road record into New York to throw opposite Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13 ERA) who gave up four runs off six hits over seven innings of work in his team's eventual 4-1 setback to the Nats on Saturday. Gee has looked brilliant at times this season and pretty pedestrian in others; note that he sports a poor 3-5, 4.36 ERA record in all "night games" this season. These teams haven't played since 2004, but with these two confirmed "gas-cans" going head to head in the opener of this three-game set, all signs do indeed point to a higher-scoring affair; consider a second look at the "over" in this matchup.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Brad Diamond

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs    
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers

On Friday we have a key free selection in the Cubs and Dodgers afternoon affair. After back-to-back challenging road outings against Toronto and Arizona, Hyun-Lin Ryu (9-3, 3.14) returned to form with a solid effort against the Reds, hurling 7 solid innings allowing 1 earned run on 2 hits. Opposing lefty Wood (7-7, 2.79) of Chicago has been compiling solid work over his last 31 innings with just 9 earned runs hitting the plate. But, the Cubs have lost three of their last four. And, with Travis Wood starting the Cubbies show at 2-10 vs. winning units and 1-5 in game #2 of a series. With LA 16-5 in road outings, I will grab a ticket with the visiting Dodgers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Bruce Marshall

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
Pick: Cincinnati Reds

The Cardinals unleashed a week's worth of frustrations last night in Pittsburgh, scoring 13 runs against the Bucs after tallying only 10 runs in the entirety of a 7-game losing streak entering PNC Park. Not sure, however, that cures all of the ills for the Redbirds, who now must face a similarly hungry Cincy side that enters tonight having lost 5 of 6 and scoring just 9 runs in the process. But the Reds are back at Great American Ballpark, where they are 32-17 this season, and look forward to facing St. Louis starter Shelby Miller, whose road efforts have lagged behind his home performances all season, as his 6.07 ERA in his last three road efforts would indicate. True, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo hasn't beaten the Cards in three previous starts this season, but has been extremely sharp in recent outings, posting a 1.69 ERA in his last three efforts.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Ben Burns

New York vs. San Diego
Pick: San Diego

With Granderson expected to return and Sabathia on the mound, the Yankees may initially seem like an obvious choice. However, a closer look reveals that its actually the Padres' starter who is currently in better form.

While he has had a few too many walks of late, Cashner is coming off back-to-back quality starts. In seven home starts this season, he's 4-2 with a stellar 2.49 ERA and 1.085 WHIP.

On the other hand, Sabathia has gotten rocked in two straight starts. He gave up seven earned runs in each of those starts. In each case, he lasted only five innings. In his previous start, he gave up eight runs in four innings, although only three of those were earned.

A closer look reveals that the Yankees lost Sabathia's last three starts by a combined score of 28-17 and that he's got a  brutal 10.93 ERA and 2.357 WHIP in those games. For the season, he's 3-4 with a 5.39 ERA in 10 road starts.

The Padres have hit considerably better against southpaws than against right-handers this season. They're averaging 4.7 runs in games against left-handed starters, going 20-18 (+6.1). (The Yankees average 4.1 rpg vs. right-handers.)

The Padres are also a very respectable 29-24 (+6.1) when playing at home with a line in the +100 to -125 range.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Bryan Power

San Francisco vs. Tampa Bay
Pick: Tampa Bay

Am I missing something here? Why are the Rays available at such a bargain here against the weak-hitting Giants? Led by some phenomenal pitching, Tampa Bay played .800 baseball in the month of July. They have possibly their best pitcher, Chris Archer going tonight. This one almost seems "too easy."

Archer has a 2.39 ERA and 1.049 WHIP in his 11 starts this season. But it's what he's done lately that's really turned heads. The team has won his last seven starts, and over his previous three his ERA is 0.36 w/ a pair of complete game shutouts! He totally dominated the Yankees last time out, giving up only two hits. I realize Giants starter Madison Bumgarner also didn't allow any runs his last start either, going eight innings and allowing only four hits, but he's not nearly as effective on the road.

The problem the Giants will have this weekend is the fact they just don't hit consistently.  They won yesterday, but scored only twice as that's all you need to get by the Phillies these days.  Sadly, it sixth time in the last seven games San Francisco has scored three runs or less.  Not coincidentally, they have lost all six of those games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Will Rogers

Chicago vs. Detroit
Pick: Detroit -1.5

On paper, this shapes up as the most lopsided series of the weekend in Major League Baseball. The Tigers have won five straight and 9 of 10.  The White Sox have lost seven straight and 10 of 11.  Therefore, I have no problem taking the home team on the run line (-1.5) Friday.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Awful White Sox - Words cannot describe just how awful the White Sox have been lately.  They lost 6-1 yesterday. They have scored just 15 runs total during the seven-game skid and things promise to get no better tonight against Doug Fister, who is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA his last three starts.  Chicago has the worst offense in the American League. They are just 5-16 their last 21 games at Comerica Park.  They have lost 13 of 16 games overall.

2. Surging Tigers - Meanwhile, Detroit is finally living up to its advanced billing.  They now own MLB's best run differential at +132, tied w/ St. Louis.  They will likely get Miguel Cabrera back tonight.  He's obviously a major reason the team is averaging 5.7 runs per game at home this season.

3. X-Factor - As if being infinitely better in every facet of the game wasn't enough, Detroit also had the day off yesterday while Chicago had to play in Cleveland.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Robert Ferringo

Take Tampa Bay (-1.5, +115) over San Francisco

There is a ton of attention being given to the Los Angeles Dodgers for their amazing run over the last two months. But Tampa Bay has been nearly as good, going 23-4 in their 27 games prior to Wednesday. Having Madison Bumgarner on the hill for San Francisco should help keep the moneyline in a reasonable area for this game, and if it is less than -150 I would say just play this one straight up. Bumgarner has been awesome, but the Giants have lost his last two starts, and they are a sinking ship. The Giants are currently in last place in the National League West, and they are a complete disaster. San Francisco has been on a 7-18 free fall. They are 18-37 in their last 55 games overall, and they are just 5-12 in their last 17 road games. Even worse, San Francisco is 6-22 in their last 28 games as a road underdog. These are just two teams going in opposite directions. Young Chris Archer has won seven straight starts and has just a 2.39 ERA on the season. He has a miniscule 0.29 ERA in his last four starts, giving up just a single earned run in his last 31 innings. I like the home team to take care of business here, and I look for the Rays to continue their ascension.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

CHRIS JORDAN

My free winner for tonight is on the Pittsburgh Pirates against the travel-weary Colorado Rockies, who come out of Atlanta beaten and worn out, and now have to play the best team in the bigs. And besides, the Bucs owe me big time, after losing last night.

I think the Pirates will be a tad-bit pissed off after being routed 13-0 by St. Louis last night, and will be out to pick up on the winning run that helped them overtake the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central.

The Rockies were outscored 40-13 in suffering a four-game sweep against Atlanta, and has lost eight of 11 games. They're now a season-worst eight games below .500, and tonight they get a taste of young Gerrit Cole, the Pirates' top prospect who was brought up earlier this season and has been an asset to the rotation.

I'm not listing anyone, cause the Pirates should win regardless. Lay the chalk.

5* PITTSBURGH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

JEFF BENTON

Your Friday freebie is for the Rockies and Pirates to stay Under the total.

Colorado plated 8 runs on Monday night in their series opener against Atlanta, but the bats have really gone quiet since, as the Rockies scored 3 on Tuesday, were shutout on Wednesday, and managed just 2 runs on Thursday night in the finale.

This is the first meeting of the year between the teams, and 4 of 5, and 6 of the last 9 overall played between these senior circuit clubs have stayed Under the total.

Jhoulys Chacin has seen the Under come in in 3 of his last 4 starts. On the road this season Chacin sports a 1.90 ERA.

Gerrit Cole counters for the Bucs, and he has allowed 3 runs or less in ALL 9 of his big league starts, while the Under has banked in each of his last 4 assignments.

Run scoring at a premium this Friday night.

Rockies-Pirates to stay Under the total.

3* COLORADO-PITTSBURGH UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

BRETT ATKINS

My free winner for tonight will be on the Baltimore Orioles Run Line, over the Seattle Mariners. And make note, though all Run Line plays automatically list pitchers with the starters who are scheduled to go at the time of the wager, I am not concerned with who goes for either team tonight and want you playing this game on the Run Line regardless. 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.

The M's are going to be a bit downtrodden, after their ace lost in Boston yesterday, and the team saw a five-run deficit disappear in the bottom of the ninth inning. As exciting as the Red Sox made it for the home fans, can you imagine how disappointed the Mariners were? Now they have to play in Baltimore 24 hours after that humiliating defeat.

As I said, with the run line play comes an auto-listing of pitchers, and it'll likely be Seattle's Aaron Harang and Baltimore's Chris Tillman, who is 9-1 over his last 10 starts since June 1. The Orioles' right-hander has won three consecutive starts, including a 6-0 win over Boston, which he limited to just two hits over seven scoreless innings his last time out.

Take the O's on the Run Line.

2* BALTIMORE -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

BRAD WILTON

Friday night's comp selection is the Cleveland Indians to continue their winning ways in Miami.

The Tribe are winners of 8 straight, and will get to face the Marlins who own the worst record in the National League.

All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez will look to cool off the Indians, and while the kid has been one of Miami's few bright spots, it is hard to back him here, as the Indians are clicking on all cylinders right now, and starter Ubaldo Jimenez is no pushover.

Jimenez enters off an 8 scoreless innings win over the Texas Rangers, and he has gone 4-2 on the road this year where his ERA is almost a full 2 runs lower than it is at home.

Jimenez sports a 3.30 road ERA this year, and he will be facing a Miami team that is not known for its offense.

Have to side with the streak Indians in this one.

4* CLEVELAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

SCOTT DELANEY

My free play for Friday night is on the Tampa Bay Rays, over the San Francisco Giants, and I want you listing both pitchers in this one: Tampa's Chris Archer over Frisco's Madison Bumgarner.

Forget for a moment the Rays are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, while the defending World Series champs are mired in wicked losing streak that has them sitting in the National League West cellar. Let's, instead, talk about the pitchers.

Archer rolls into this one after tossing a complete-game shutout last Saturday against the New York Yankees, the second time he's done so over his last three starts. The strength of Tampa Bay's winning run over the past month or so has been the starting rotation, and Archer has emerged nicely, coming into his own. He needed only 97 pitches to blank the Bronx Bombers, and make note the Rays are 7-0 in his last seven starts.

With Bumgarner, I give it to him, he's been stellar in his two starts since the All-Star break, throwing 15 innings and allowing just one run. But he's a mediocre 6-4 with a 3.25 ERA away from AT&T Park this season, and he'll be facing the Rays for the first time in his career. I'm not so sure if this is the right time or place for an introduction.

I'm going to side with the better-performing team, and I'll go ahead and list both pitchers.

1* TAMPA BAY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Matt Fargo

Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
Play: Chicago White Sox   

We lost with the White Sox yesterday as Chris Sale came out with a pretty poor effort which led to the seventh straight loss for the. Chicago is also just 1-10 in its last 11 games while the sweep at the hands of the Indians made it six straight losses on the road. While the offense was the culprit during the early part of the skid, the pitching has been the issue of late as the White Sox have allowed 19 runs over their last three games. I think that changes tonight with Hector Santiago taking the hill. He was arguably one of the unluckiest pitchers last month as he posted a 2.48 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in five starts yet did not get a win to show for it. The offense managed only nine runs total in those games and that led to Chicago going 0-5 in those starts. This came after scoring 19 total runs in his previous two starts so the ability is there to produce. One of the recent starts came against the Tigers and Santiago tossed a quality outing. Detroit had the day off yesterday after starting its homestand a perfect 5-0 with sweeps against the Phillies and Nationals. The Tigers are clinging on to a two-game lead in the American League Central over Cleveland as the Indians have been even hotter but this is not a great situation tonight as the Tigers are 0-4 in their last four games against teams with a winning percentage below .400. Doug Fister gets the call tonight and he has been having a very solid season, posting a 3.67 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 21 starts. He has been especially good of late as he has tossed three straight quality starts, posting a 1.35 ERA in the process with the Tigers going 3-0 in those games. He had allowed six runs in three of his previous four starts however and we will go against him here as he has had some troubles against the White Sox in the past and this number is just simply too high.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 2

Dave Essler

Oakland -135

With Ogando not sharp or efficient in his last two outings since coming back from the DL, the Rangers playing late in the heat, traveling, Oakland having the day off, and Milone being efficient with a rested bullpen, this is in play. Add to that Cruz leaving the game (Thursday), there's no reason not to think Oakland wins this game.

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