Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Ray Monohan

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres    
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates

A lot of the same reasons for backing Pittsburgh yesterday apply today. Francisco Liriano dominated a weak Padres lineup with 13 strikeouts and now it will be A.J. Burnett’s turn to expose them. Burnett is not quite as good as Liriano but he will only be facing hulking righty Tyson Ross who enters the contest with a losing record despite solid peripherals (I know so does Burnett). The difference is in the quality of the lineup backing him up. The Bucs are way superior featuring slugger Pedro Alvarez who already found the range yesterday going deep for his NL best 31st time. Even better value with Pittsburgh tonight too.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Big Kat SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati RedsSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Take: Arizona Diamondbacks +135FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Arizona Diamondbacks will look to bounce back from their series opening loss to the Reds on Monday when the two teams meet tonight at the GreatAmericanBallPark in Cincinnati. Patrick Corbin, who has been the best starter for the DBacks this season, will take the ball for a team that trails the Reds by 6 games in the NL Wild Card race. Corbin has struggled a bit in his last four starts but he is 12-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 24 starts this season. The Reds will counter with rookie Tony Cingrani, who has been excellent since joining the rotation for an injured Johnny Cueto. This will be his first career start against Arizona but he has gone 6-2 with a 2.78 ERA in his 15 starts.
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Here are a few trends that have us leaning to the underdog Diamondbacks this evening:
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Diamondbacks are 7-2 in their last 9 vs. a team with a winning record.
Diamondbacks are 5-2 in their last 7 games as an underdog.
Diamondbacks are 5-0 in their last 5 after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game.
Diamondbacks are 5-0 in Corbin’s last 5 starts vs. National League Central.
Diamondbacks are 10-1 in Corbin’s last 11 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
Reds are 1-4 in their last 5 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.
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Pair those trends with the fact that the DBacks have been lights out with Corbin on the mound, going 23-5 in his last 28 starts over the last two seasons and we’ll take them at a nice plus price tonight to get the road win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Craig Davis

After dropping a tough 4-3 decision to the Rays last night (a game in which I gave you a 4♦ free play on the UNDER which cashed), I'm turning to the Orioles to win the second game of the series tonight as they are desperate to stay in contention in the AL East division.

I realize all the cards are stacked against me tonight (the Rays have won six of the last seven vs. Baltimore), but I'm going mostly on pure "want to" from the Orioles tonight.

The Rays not only trail the Boston Red Sox by one game in the AL East, they also have a solid lead for the first Wild Card spot in the American League and they'd like to increase that lead tonight.

Alex Cobb pitched well against the O's last year, but in his only appearance at Camden Yards... he wasn't able to get out of the 5th inning.

This will be his first start against them in 2013, and considering he pitches better at home than on the road, I'll take my chances.

Miguel Gonzalez (8-5, 3.84 ERA), has good stuff and should be able to quiet the Tampa bats, but he hasn't had a win in over a month.

Yes, I do expect him to turn that around tonight.

Granted, he has been better over his last two starts, allowing three runs in six innings vs. San Diego followed by allowing two runs over seven innings vs. Arizona.

Gonzo is 5-1 at home this year and I expect him to make that 6-1 tonight.

Take the O's as your free play of the day.

2♦ BALTIMORE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Jeff Benton

Your Tuesday freebie is to continue to play against the Rockies on the road.

Last night Philly held on for the 5-4 win, as they have now won 17 of the last 20 regular season series meetings with Colorado at Citizens Bank Park. That loss dropped the Rockies to just 2-14 their last 16 away from Coors Field.

Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa has been a large part of the Rockies road woes, as he is just 6-6 with an over 4 ERA on the highway this season. His ERA against the Phillies is over 8, and he has lost his last 4 decisions against the Phils.

Tyler Cloyd counters for Philly, and Cloyd is making his first start since June when he was sent down to the minors. Cloyd will be looking to increase the Phillies winning streak under new skipper Ryne Sandberg to 3 in a row.

Based on Colorado's road struggles, look for the Phils to make it 3 straight tonight at home.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Brad Wilton

My free selection winner for Tuesday is for the pitchers to dominate the hitters as the Braves and Mets open this short two game series with an Under with Brandon Beachy and Zack Wheeler on the hill.

Beachy is showing signs that he is back from Tommy John surgery, as his last 3 starts show a 2-0 mark and just 5 runs surrendered in his last 20-plus innings worked. 2 of those 3 starts have also played Under the total.

Zack Wheeler counters for the Mets, and Wheeler has turned in back-to-back solid efforts, allowing just 2 runs his last 12-plus frames pitched, while striking out 16 batters. Both of those starts did stay Under the total as well.

Mets just played a make-up game yesterday in Minnesota and it wound up being their 6th Under in their last 9 games.

Gong to side with the pitching to hold down the hitting tonight.

Braves and Mets Under the total on Tuesday.

2♦ ATLANTA-N.Y. METS UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Brett Atkins

My free winner for Monday is the Washington Nationals the Chicago Cubs.

The Nationals' postseason chances are fading quickly, and if there were ever a series they would need to embrace, I'd think this is it, as they have three more games left against the punchless Chicago Cubs, who won the series-opener last night. The Nationals are now 16 games behind Atlanta in the National League East and 10-1/2 behind Cincinnati for the second wild card.

If there were ever a time to see the Nationals' potentially dangerous pitching rotation, it's in this series, as the baby bears have been shut out in five of their last nine home games.

Chicago came into this series hitting an abysmal .197 as a team with nine extra-base hits in its previous eight home games, and had lost six of seven overall and nine of its last 10 at home before last night's win.

I suspect the Nationals will be out for revenge in this one.

4♦ WASHINGTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Chris Jordan

My free play for Tuesday is on the Philadelphia Phillies minus a cheap price against a struggling Colorado Rockies, who arrive at Citizens Bank Park mired in a three-game slide.

Go ahead and list both pitchers in this one, as I see Philadelphia's Tyler Cloud getting the best of Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa.

The Rockies' 32-year-old Mexican left-hander is 0-4 with a 7.24 ERA in seven games (five starts) against Philadelphia. Even further,  De La Rosa is a sub-par 4-5 in 13 starts on the road this season. His road ERA is 3.84.

With Cloud, we got a young, fresh arm that returns to the hill after being called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace John Lannan, who was put on the disabled list with what could be a season-ending knee injury. Cloud is back in the rotation after a solid 4-1 showing, along with a stifling 1.33 ERA in his last seven starts for the IronPigs.

Cloyd last pitched for the Phillies back on June 12, when he took a no-decision after allowing one run in five innings of a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. He'll be geared up for this one, and I think will be seasoned for the win.

Take Philadelphia.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Scott Delaney

My free winner for tonight is on the Tampa Bay Rays, taking an even-money price, in Baltimore against the Orioles in American League East play. Tampa Bay, which trails Boston by one game in the American League East, opened the series last night with a win, as Evan Longoria continues his torrid stretch with 11 extra-base hits in his last 12 games.

Remember, it wasn't too long ago the Rays were the hottest team in baseball, while we were all wondering if the Dodgers' win streak would last. That was about a month ago. Well Los Angeles kept streaking and the Rays cooled off. Now they're looking like a hot team once again, and I like the price I ssee in this clash.

The Rays have won five of six overall after a six-game losing streak, while the Orioles, who trail Oakland by four games for the second American League Wild Card spot, have dropped six of its last seven to Tampa Bay - including four straight at home.

Take Tampa Bay.

3♦ TAMPA BAY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Jeff Alexander

Milwaukee Brewers +1.5 (-129)

Lohse has struggled against his former club, but he hasn't faced them since 5/19. A lot has changed since then. The Brewers have won 11 of Lohse's last 15 starts, including 5 of his last 6, and he's allowed 3 earned runs or less 14 times during this stretch. He's especially been good in Milwaukee where the Brewers have won 7 of his last 8 starts with the lone loss coming by a single run. St. Louis' Lynn hasn't been the same pitcher on the road where he has a 4.87 ERA. That's a far cry from the 3.04 ERA Lohse has posted at Miller Park this season. The Cardinals are 1-4 in Lynn's last 5 road starts. Bet the Beermakers on the run line.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, August 20

Joe Gavazzi

Atlanta -145

This is a brutally tough travel spot for the NY Mets. They spent 10 days on the West Coast going 4-6 before making a stopover in Minnesota last night for a game with the Twins. Now they must continue their cross country peregrination to return home to face the best team in baseball. The Braves enter tonight at 76-48 including a recent run of 19-3 in which they have outscored opposition 112-55. Though Wheeler has been a pleasant surprise for the Mets at 5-2 with a 3.43 ERA, his peripherals imply that that may not continue. Wheeler has just a 5.75 ERA in 4 home starts along with a mediocre 1.38 WHIP and 57/29 KBB. Far prefer Beachy in his 4th start following the year-long DL stint for Tommy John surgery. When he departed last June, Beachy had a 2.00 ERA, best in MLB. Improving with each start, Beachy has a 1.29 ERA his L3 starts and solid peripherals with a 1.08 WHIP and 19/4 KBB.

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