Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Brad Wilton

Friday night's comp play winner is the Nationals over the Royals.

It was fun while it lasted, but it looks like the bubble has burst on Kansas City's playoff dreams.

The Royals have dropped 5 in a row, and are now 7 games back in the wild card standings.

The KC offense has gone south - 2.1 runs per game in losing 8 of their last 10 games overall - and is likely to stay south when they face Gio Gonzalez.

Gio has allowed just 4 runs to score in his last 18 innings pitched, and his team comes into Kansas City having won 3 straight to pull to within a game of the .500 mark for the first time since the middle of July.

Bruce Chen will make the start for the Royals, and Chen is coming his first loss of the season, allowing 6 runs and 8 hits in just over 5 innings of work his last time out.

Things just not going in Kansas City's favor right now, while Washington has a little mojo going for themselves coming into this one, so let's back the Nats to hand the Royals loss #6 in a row.

3♦ WASHINGTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Brett Atkins

My free winner for tonight is on the Houston Astros at home against the struggling Toronto Blue Jays, who I think will have problems in the Houston humidity to start this series, after getting stymied in New York in a four-game set. Forget about the Jays winning on six straight Fridays, and I know both teams are in on losing streaks after being swept, but Toronto has been on the road and are still on the road.

Don't bother listing either starting pitcher - Toronto right-hander Todd Redmond or Houston righty Jordan Lyles - because this looks more like a momentum play and simply going against a travel-weary Toronto team that won't want to deal with the climate. Trust me - that's a big deal in baseball.

And Houston is no fun in the summer months, as it's far too humid.

Toronto's five-game losing streak is extended tonight, as the Astros take Game 1.

2♦ HOUSTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Chris Jordan

My free play is on the Chicago White Sox over the Texas Rangers.

Yes, the Rangers have won eight straight on the road, and yes they're about 22 games better than the South Siders, but there's something to be said about a losing team on a win streak. And with Chicago riding a six-game spree, I like the fact the oddsmakers have made the White Sox a favorite in this game.

Ever heard of a trap game? This could very well be it, if the Vegas Village idiots down on the Strip are begging bettors to take the underdog here.

I'm not listing pitchers in this one, as it's a pure momentum play, but I will tell you I don't mind knowing Chris Sale is on the bump for the Sox. The young southpaw has won his last three starts after stifling Minnesota to three runs over seven innings on Saturday. The 24-year-old has registered quality starts in 19 of his 23 outings, including nine of his last 10. And make note, he is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in seven games (three starts) against Texas during his career.

Yeah, I'll lay the money here.

2♦ CHICAGO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Scott Delaney

My free winner for tonight is out of the American League West, as I like the Seattle Mariners to get things done on the Run Line against the Angels of Anaheim. Although all Run Line and Total plays will 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.

And don't get me wrong, I do like the fact we'll have Felix Hernandez on the hill tonight. Though Seattle's ace right-hander Hernandez has allowed five or more runs in two of his last three outings and  lasted only five innings against Texas in his last start, this is his favorite opponent to pitch against.

King Felix has a 3.97 ERA in 33 career starts against the Halos, and is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against them this season.

More than anything, though, the Halos have struggled and come in mired in a four-game slide.

1♦ MARINERS -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Big Al McMordie

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 23

Harry Bondi

SEATTLE (-2.5) over Green Bay

We have hit 4 of our last 5 in the NFL Preseason and tonight we are again backing one of favorite pre-season coaches. Seattle Head coach Pete Carroll is 9-1 ATS in the pre-season since taking over the Seahawks. Not only has Seattle won but Carroll has delighted in crushing teams in the pre-season having won six consecutive pre-season games by double digits!!That's unheard of in pre-season games and it's a big reason why the Seahawks are favored on the road. The Pack seem content to get to the real games as they have been very vanilla in splitting their first two pre-season games. We expect more of the same from them tonight and for Carroll to play to win again in the pre-season. Take Seattle over Green Bay.

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