Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 26

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 26

Jeff Alexander

St. Louis Cardinals -105

Cincy's Leake has been good on the road, but he's been hit hard in his last two outings and has a poor record against the Cards. He's lost both starts against them this season and gave up seven earned in five innings of a 15-2 loss against them earlier this month. St. Louis has won eight of 12 in the season series, and it is 35-16 in its last 51 home meetings versus the Reds. The Cardinals are also 41-15 in their last 56 home games versus right-handed starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 26

Craig Davis

Free play of the day today on the Cincinnati Reds over the St. Louis Cardinals in a huge NL Central battle.

I'm not going to lie, I'm always worried about releasing against the Cardinals at home as they continue to play well in St. Louis, year after year.

Vegas was in a peculiar situation with this one... knowing the Reds are throwing one of their best pitchers vs. a pitcher with a 5.00+ ERA. But the game is in St. Louis!!

Honestly, I believe we're getting tremendous value with Mike Leake on the hill.

Tyler Lyons, the Cardinals lefty starter tonight is just 2-4 on the season with a 5.09 ERA, will replace the injured Jake Westbrook on the bump. Despite having some success in his first two starts of the year, he's since gone 0-4 with a 7.66 ERA over his last five MLB starts.

In fact, one of those losses was to these Reds, 4-2, back in June.

Mike Leake (11-5, 3.12 ERA) has admittedly been awful this month and probably is getting excited to get to September.

The last time he faced the Cardinals I had the under in that game... and the Cards tagged him (and the bullpen) for 15 runs in a 15-2 loss. Needless to say, he was WAY OFF that day and the game DIDN'T quite finish under the total.

In his last start vs. Arizona, he wasn't great, but did get back on track with a 10-7 win by allowing four runs over 6+ innings of work.

Value play here... take the Reds over the Cardinals as your 4♦ free play of the day.

4♦ CINCINNATI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 26

Brad Wilton

Monday's comp play will be to back Cliff Lee and the Phillies to add to the Mets woes.

Philly just ended a 10 game homestand with a win on Sunday in Roy Halladay's return to the rotation, as the Phillies head to New York having won 6 of their last 8 games.

New York has dropped 4 straight, and has been outscored in those losses by a 24-5 count. The Mets have now lost 6 of their last 8 games overall.

Cliff Lee will face rookie Zack Wheeler, as Lee looks for his first win since way back on July 5th. The veteran southpaw is riding an 0-4 skid his last 6 starts, while Wheeler comes into this one with a 2-0 mark his last 3, and an ERA just a shade over 2.

Lee is due, and he is catching the Mets at the right time, as the New York offense of just 5 runs in their last 4 games should be just the recipe for success for Lee and his mates this Monday night.

Back Philly to hand the Mets loss #5 in a row.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 26

Chris Jordan

My free pick is on the St. Louis Cardinals in their series opener against the Cincinnati Reds in National League Central play.

The National League Central is crazy busy with playoff contention, and this series can tell us a lot. Personally, I think the St. Louis Cardinals are going to create some distance in the division and might even pull away from the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cardinals come into this series riding a 10-4 win streak, and catch the Cincinnati Reds, who have lost two of three after a disappointing series against the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend. Now, to have to play at Busch Stadium, this will be trouble.

The Cardinals have won eight of the last 12 meetings, so the mental edge is with the Redbirds. Lay the cheap chalk.

5♦ ST. LOUIS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 26

Scott Delaney

My free play for tonight is on the New York Yankees laying the cheap -110 in Toronto, against the fledgling Blue Jays, who continue their disappointing season.

And while the preseason-hyped Blue Jays have turned into a flop, the Yankees remain in playoff contention and should have plenty of confidence for this series, regardless of it being played in Rogers Centre, as New York swept a four-game set against Toronto at home last week.

The Bronx Bombers improved to 12-1 in the season series with the four-game sweep. And I believe the Yankees will come in fired up after salvaging the finale of their three-game road series against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, when Alfonso Soriano scored on Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly in the 11th inning.

The Yankees are seven games out of first place in the American League East, behind the Boston Red Sox, and are 3-1/2 games  back of the Oakland Athletics for the second wild-card spot. Too much motivation for the Bombers to ignore this price.

3♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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