Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 2

Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 2

DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAF

Florida State at Pittsburgh
The Seminoles look to take advantage of a Pittsburgh team that is 6-13-1 ATS in its last 20 September games. Florida State is the pick (-10) according to Dunkel, which has the Seminoles favored by 13. Dunkel Pick: Florida State (-10)

Game 219-220: Florida State at Pittsburgh (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida State 107.822; Pittsburgh 94.703
Dunkel Line: Florida State by 13; 46
Vegas Line: Florida State by 10; 49
Dunkel Pick: Florida State (-10); Under

MLB

Tampa Bay at LA Angels
The Rays look to snap a four-game losing streak and take advantage of an Angels team that is 0-7 in its last 7 home games against a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is the pick (-130) according to Dunkel, which has the Rays favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-130)

Game 901-902: NY Mets at Atlanta (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Matsuzaka) 14.649; Atlanta (Maholm) 16.133
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-200); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-200); Over

Game 903-904: St. Louis at Cincinnati (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 16.217; Cincinnati (Latos) 15.408
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+100); Under

Game 905-906: Pittsburgh at Milwaukee (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Morton) 14.663; Milwaukee (Thornburg) 15.711
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+110); Under

Game 907-908: Miami at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Alvarez) 14.137; Cubs (Wood) 15.534
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-150); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-150); N/A

Game 909-910: San Francisco at San Diego (3:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Zito) 14.389; San Diego (Kennedy) 15.784
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: San Diego (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-155); Under

Game 911-912: LA Dodgers at Colorado (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 15.932; Colorado (Bettis) 16.366
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-200); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+170); Over

Game 913-914: Washington at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Strasburg) 14.100; Philadelphia (Hamels) 15.132
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 5
Vegas Line: Washington (-120); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+100); Under

Game 915-916: Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Quintana) 14.909; NY Yankees (Hughes) 16.581
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-150); Over

Game 917-918: Detroit at Boston (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Fister) 16.365; Boston (Lackey) 15.321
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Boston (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+110); Under

Game 919-920: Seattle at Kansas City (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Hernandez) 15.747; Kansas City (Duffy) 14.375
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-120); Over

Game 921-922: Minnesota at Houston (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Albers) 14.082; Houston (Clemens) 15.156
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+105); Over

Game 923-924: Baltimore at Cleveland (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Norris) 14.604; Cleveland (Masterson) 16.085
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-140); Under

Game 925-926: Texas at Oakland (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Holland) 16.179; Oakland (Straily) 15.014
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-110); 8
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-110); Under

Game 927-928: Tampa Bay at LA Angels (9:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Archer) 16.514; LA Angels (Richards) 15.207
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-130); Over

Game 929-930: Toronto at Arizona (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Rogers) 13.957; Arizona (McCarthy) 15.374
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Arizona (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-150); Under

CFL

Edmonton at Calgary
The Stampeders look to take advantage of an Edmonton team that is 6-16 ATS in its last 22 September games. Calgary is the pick (-8) according to Dunkel, which has the Stampeders favored by 21. Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-8)

Game 235-236: Edmonton at Calgary (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 106.793; Calgary 127.646
Dunkel Line: Calgary by 21; 53
Vegas Line: Calgary by 8; 57
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-8); Under

WNBA

Los Angeles at Atlanta
The Sparks look to take advantage of an Atlanta team that is coming off an 85-68 loss at Chicago and is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 games following a SU defeat. Los Angeles is the pick (-2) according to Dunkel, which has the Sparks favored by 4. Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-2)

Game 601-602: Los Angeles at Atlanta (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 116.541; Atlanta 112.712
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 4; 160
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 2; 155
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-2); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 2

Jimmy Boyd

San Diego Padres -152

The Padres are the play in this game for several reasons. For starters, the Giants have averaged just 3.4 runs per game over their past seven games. They are facing a Padres team that has averaged 4.4 runs per game against left handed starters. San Diego has also performed well against division opponents, scoring 4.1 runs per game on a .254 batting average.

Barry Zito has been nothing short of horrible this season. He is 0-8 in his 11 road starts and has a 9.65 ERA. The Giants are 1-10 as a team in those games. Over his last three starts Zito has posted a 12.27 ERA and a 0-3 record. For the Padres Ian Kennedy has a respectable 4.77 ERA in his 11 home starts. Kennedy is 6-3 in his career against the Giants while Zito is 5-10 in his career against the Padres.

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Jim Feist

Mariners at Royals
Pick: Under

I always like a good pitchers duel, but especially when you have two teams that don't exactly knock the cover off the ball. King Felix Hernandez takes to the hill for the Mariners. Hernandez has not himself of late, posting a 0-3 mark his last three starts with a 9.64 ERA. Still, he has a nice 12-8 mark overall with a 2.97 ERA. The Royals will toe the rubber with Danny Duffy. Duffy has only three games started for the Royals, but he's been excellent, posting a 2-0 mark with a 1.10 ERA. In addition, Duffy has 17 KO's in 16 1/3 inning pitched. The Royals had a rough trip to Toronto, scoring just seven runs over three games (five of those in the final contest). The M's are 19th in baseball in runs and 25th in batting average. If Hernandez returns to form, like I believe he will here, this one should be very low scoring.

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Sam Martin

St Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Cardinals won yesterday to break a horrible three-game losing streak which saw St. Louis get outscored by a combined 22-1 count. The first game of that losing streak came against these Reds as Cincy won 10-0 in the final game of a three-game set at St. Louis, but now the Reds will be the home team and we look for them to emerge victorious. Mat Latos has been very good at home with an 8-1 record (9-2 team start record) and he looked good in a home win the last time he faced the Cards here in Cincinnati, going 7 innings allowing just two ER's. Wainwright was rocked for nine runs in just two IP against the Reds in that 10-0 loss last week and while we don't expect a repeat performance, we don't think he'll bounce back enough to compete with Latos.

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Rob Vinciletti

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Arizona Diamondbacks    
Play: Arizona Diamondbacks

This game applies to a nice 13-2 system for Arizona and all home favorites that lost their last game by 5 or more runs as a home favorite while scoring 2 or less runs on 5 or more hits and are now taking on an opponent off a home loss that scored 4 or less runs. Toronto has lost 5 of the last 6 on the road off a home loss. Arizona is averaging 5.7 runs the past week and have won 10 of 13 as a home favorite from -150 to -175. Arizona B. McCarthy has better number than Toronto starter M. Redmond who has struggled on the road. Look for Arizona to take the opener and come away with a Labor day win.

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Bruce Marshall

Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs
Pick: Miami Marlins

We've been picking our spots carefully of late with the Marlins, who finally broke a 6-game losing streak with a 7-0 win on Sunday at Atlanta. But we like the price and situation on Monday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs and starter Travis Wood,who is 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .283 in his last five starts at home--all Chicago losses. Miami, which seems to hit in streaks this season, might carry some of Sunday's offensive momentum into the Windy City and help starter Henderson Alvarez, whose ERA is still a respectable 3.91 this season despite a couple of recent shaky starts and little run support in recent outings.

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Jeff Clement

Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians
Play: Cleveland Indians

Baltimore has Bud Norris(9-10) ERA of 4.13 on the hill against Cleveland's Justin Masterson(14-9) ERA of 3.49. Norris is 3-0 in his last 6 starts while Masterson has been great at home with a 8-3 record and ERA of 3.06. Cleveland is coming off a win yesterday as Mike Aviles hit a grand slam to give his team the win 4-0 over Detroit. Santana is batting .300 with 2 HR's and 5 RBI's since moving to the cleanup spot in the Indians lineup. The Indians are 3.5 games behind in the wild card race in the A.L. and with Masterson pitching at home they should get the victory.

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Bryan Power

Baltimore vs. Cleveland
Pick: Cleveland

It's a late start time in Cleveland on Monday and I like the Indians to start the series w/ a win over the Orioles. Both teams won in dramatic fashion Sunday. Baltimore rallied from three down to defeat the Yankees, scoring all 7 runs in the top of the 7th. Cleveland won on a grand slam in Detroit in the top of the 9th.....

The Tribe has its best pitcher Justin Masterson going tonight. He has a 2.65 ERA his last three starts, all of which have been on the road.  He's been quite successful at home this season, turning in an 11-4 team start record at Progressive Field.  He has a 3.06 ERA and 1.250 WHIP in those 15 starts. He did not fare well in his lone start this year vs. Baltimore, but that came at Camden Yards.  But this is an Orioles lineup that has scored in only one of its last 21 innings.  Granted, it was one big inning, but overall this is a struggling club that's dropped four of its last six.

This is a very important series for two teams chasing the Wild Card.  Baltimore is trailing suddenly struggling Tampa Bay by three games while Cleveland is just 3.5 games back.  Fortunately for the Indians, this series is at home.  Not just because of Masterson's exploits either; the team is 40-26 at Progressive Field this season including 19-6 at -125 to -175 on the money line. Orioles starter Bud Norris has not been particularly effective of late w/ a 6.89 ERA and 2.042 WHIP his last three starts.  Cleveland takes the series opener.

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Nick Parsons

Tampa Bay vs. LA Angels
Pick: Tampa Bay

It's desperation time for the Rays who suffered their seventh loss in eight games and fourth in a row in yesterday's 5-1 setback to Oakland. Now sitting 5 1/2 games back for the lead in the AL East, I look for this struggling club to stop the bleeding tonight behind what I believe to be the clearly superior starter in this matchup.

Chris Archer (8-5, 2.81 ERA)

Archer dominated the Angels on Wednesday, giving up one earned run off five hits with no walks over seven innings, striking out five in the commanding effort.

The 24-year old has gone seven frames in three straight starts and has given up just four earned runs in that span.

Note that he's 3-2 with a very respectable 3.02 ERA on the road this season.

Garrett Richards (4-6, 4.16 ERA)

Richards was shelled for four earned runs off seven hits and three walks over just 3 1/3's innings at Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

Richards has been wildly mediocre this year and sports an extremely pedestrian 4.08 ERA home record.

The bottom line: Archer is in fact 3-0 with a minuscule 1.52 ERA in his last five away from friendly confines which is bad news for an Angels team which has lost four straight in front of the home town crowd.

Two sluggers you'll want to keep your eyes on today are the Rays Yunel Escobar, who is hitting .389 in 21 career games vs. Los Angeles, while Ben Zobrist is batting .385 during an 11-game hit streak vs. the Angels (note that Zobrist had two hits off Richards on Wednesday).

I believe the numbers favor the visitors. Consider a second look at the Rays in this matchup.

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Will Rogers

St. Louis vs. Cincinnati
Pick: Cincinnati

The Cardinals have had the Reds number for much of this season, going 10-5 in head to head play. But the last time these two NL Central rivals met, it was Cincinnati winning 10-0 over Adam Wainwright and they'll get to see him again here.  I'm forecasting another Reds win.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  Mat Latos - Like Wainwright, things did not go well the last time Latos faced Monday's opponent. He allowed four runs in six innings and the team lost 6-1. But that was on the road.  At home, Latos is 8-1 in 11 starts with a 2.90 ERA and 1.192 WHIP.  Prior to the subpar outing against the Cards in his last start, he had been pitching very well. In fact, he'd allowed two earned runs or fewer in six consecutive starts.  When working on five or six days rest the past two seasons, Latos has a 19-4 TSR.

2.  Wainwright - It's been another solid season, but things clearly did not go well in his last start, which was against the Reds.  There he allowed nine runs in only two innings, and that was at home as the Cardinals lost 10-0.  For his career, Wainwright is only 5-8 in 14 starts vs. Cincinnati, turning in a 5.02 ERA.

3. X-Factor - While St. Louis was able to avoid a sweep Sunday, beating the Pirates 7-2 (had been shutout previous two days), Cincinnati was losing in Colorado 7-4.  But the Reds have been simply remarkable this season when off a loss at Great American Ballpark.  They're 19-3 in that role.

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Art Aronson

San Francisco vs. San Diego
Pick: Over

The visitors will send Barry Zito (4-10, 5.81 ERA) to the hill to face the Padres. In his return to the bullpen, Zito allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings of a 12-1 loss to Boston on Aug. 21 before giving up five runs in four frames of last Monday's 6-1 defeat at Colorado. He's pitched fewer than five innings in each of his last five starts, going 0-4 with an 11.21 ERA. He's 0-8 with a 10.10 ERA in 10 road starts this season while tossing fewer than six innings in each. Zito went just two innings while allowing four runs in just two innings of a 10-1 loss to the Padres in his last meeting with the Padres. Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy (5-9, 5.10) has been inconsistent in five starts with the Padres since being acquired from Arizona, going 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA. After striking out eight in seven scoreless innings to beat Pittsburgh 2-1 on Aug. 21, he allowed six runs and walked five in 4 1/3 innings of Tuesday's 10-9, 10-inning loss to the Diamondbacks. The o/u line is pretty low here for two pitchers that have been pretty bad of late and consistently bad all season. The larger number has landed in five of seven games between these two teams taking place in San Diego and we should expect it to happen again. Take a look at the “over.”

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Ray Monohan

Minnesota -115

Twins rookie Andrew Albers is showing that he fits right in at the Major League level. He burst onto the scene with a couple of shutout performances but even though he has cooled of late the Twins, even without recently traded 1B Justin Mourneau, have enough to beat the Astros and their rookie hurler Paul Clemens, who has been hit hard over his first few starts. Albers doesn’t dominate with the strikeout but he doesn’t walk anybody either averaging less than one BB per start. Against the league’s least patient lineup he should have no problem pitching the Twins to a victory is in this meaningless contest between two teams way out of the race.

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Tony Stoffo

Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees
Play: Chicago White Sox 

With Jose Quintana matching up with Phil Hughes here today sure makes the White Sox the very live dog in this spot here. As Quintana is going for a fourth straight quality start - while Hughes is on a current 9 game losing streak and is coming off a horrible outing against the Blue Jays where is allowed 5 runs and 7 hits in just 4+ innings. So as you can see Chicago at this plus price the definite play here. White Sox are 9-2 in their last 11 games vs. a right-handed starter. White Sox are 5-1 in Quintana's last 6 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Yankees are 2-8 in Hughes' last 10 starts vs. American League Central. Yankees are 2-8 in Hughes' last 10 home starts. The White Sox the very live dog here today

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Bryan Leonard

Mariners / Royals Under 7

A great pitching matchup should be on display on Monday afternoon when Felix Hernandez and Danny Duffy square off on a Monday afternoon at Kaufman Stadium. King Felix is turning in his usual season, a sub-3.00 ERA with a mediocre record and a lot of strikeouts. Hernandez should go over the 200 mark in strikeouts in this start against the Royals, who have managed just over four runs per game this season. Felix doesn't walk hitters, doesn't give up many home runs, and can be counted on for a consistent effort almost every time out. He'll have extra motivation in this start, coming off quite possibly the worst outing of his career. Current Royals are just 26-for-107 off of Hernandez with a .355 slugging percentage.

Danny Duffy has been really impressive in his return from Tommy John and he has two big things working in his favor in this start. He's a left hander who has never faced the Mariners and the Mariners are struggling mightily, with seven losses in their last 10 games. Duffy has been getting more confident each time out and has thrown 12.1 scoreless innings in his last two starts. He's a very promising arm that has a great chance to be a part of the Royals' future. The Mariners rank 29th in OPS against left handed pitching this season, so Duffy should have a lot of success in this one.

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Wunderdog

Seattle at Kansas City
Pick: Kansas City -103

The Kansas City Royals are a young team on the climb. For the fist time in a long time, they will be playing meaningful games to start September. They are catching a poor Seattle team with their ace, Felix Hernandez, struggling. Hernandez has dropped his last three starts none of which were uglier than his last one where he yielded 9 runs on 11 hits, lasting just three innings. Danny Duffy has given the Royals' rotation a lift at 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA, and has not yielded a single run in his last two starts. Hernandez is not only struggling in the moment, he has an extended stretch of struggling when facing a winning team where the Mariners are just 5-16 in his last 21. The Royals own a 7-0 mark behind Duffy in his last seven starts vs. a losing team. Go with Kansas City.

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John Ryan

Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Prediction: Colorado Rockies

The simulator shows a meaningful probability that Colorado will get this unexpected win. Although the Dodgers are running away from the rest of the competition in the NL West and challenging for the best record in the NL, they do stumble once in a while. Colorado is out of the race, BUT they have played their best ball against the better teams. They are 14-5 (+9.5 Units) against the money line in home games when playing against an elite team posting a win percentage between 54% to 62% this season. They are also a money making 22-10 (+10.6 Units) against the money line in home games after one or more consecutive overs this season. Kershaw has been incredibly great this season, but even he has periods of below average performances and/or gets victimized by the lack of offense in his starts. Kershaw is 3-7 (-9.9 Units) against the money line after giving up <=1 earned runs in his last 2 outings this season. (Team's Record) Don't forget too, that Colorado is a tough place for opposing pitchers. Rockies are batting 0.285 with a 0.339 OBP in 69 home games this season. Kershaw took the loss against the lowly Cubs in his last start. Chad Bettis will have his hands full facing the Dodgers lineup, but we are getting paid handsomely with the highly inflated line near 2:1to assume that risk. Take the Rockies.

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Joe Gavazzi

Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians    
Play: Cleveland Indians 

Neither of them is acting like they deserve it or want it. Baltimore enters on a 7-11 slide and is trailing Boston by 8 ½ games for the division lead and Tampa Bay by 3 games for the Wild Card. Cleveland enters on a 9-15 slide. Following a 1-5 road trip, they trail Detroit by 7 ½ games and are 3 ½ behind Tampa Bay. However, Cleveland’s victory yesterday sets up a situation which finds them to be 30-14 home/win on a field where they are 40-26. Since being acquired by Baltimore from Houston, Norris has failed to go more than 6 innings allowing 18 R in 33 IP of his most recent 7 starts. Despite pitching a bit better on the road of late, his road miseries of recent years continue with a 4.88 ERA on the road this year. Far prefer the slants of Masterson. Cleveland has won 11/15 of Masterson home starts where he has 3.06 ERA. In good current form, Masterson has a 2.13 ERA his last two starts, and a solid history v. Baltimore with a record of 4-0 and 2.30 ERA.

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Rocketman

Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics
Play: Texas Rangers     

Texas is a very nice 44-16 against division opponents this year where they are scoring 5.7 runs per game. Texas is allowing only 3.3 runs per game their past seven games overall. Oakland is scoring only 3.9 runs per game against left handed starters this season. Derek Holland is 9-6 with a 3.00 ERA overall this year, 7-1 with a 2.85 ERA on the road this season and has a 2.37 ERA his last 3 starts. Daniel Straily is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA his last 3 starts. Holland is 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his ten starts vs Oakland in his career. We'll recommend a small play on Texas today!

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Doug Upstone

Minnesota Twins vs. Houston Astros    
Play: Minnesota Twins

Huge pitching advantage for the Twins today in Houston. Play Minnesota minus 112 and a small play on the runline at plus 135 is wise as well. Paul Clemens, in my opinion, shouldn't be in the majors - opposing batters have hit .310 against him in 15 home appearances. Twins, win!

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Steve Janus

Chicago Cubs -129

The Cubs are showing solid value as a small home favorite against the Marlins. Miami is coming off a hard fought series against division rival Atlanta and I just don't see them being motivated on the road against Chicago in this spot. The Cubs on the other hand have won two straight, wich should have them focused in this one.

Chicago will send out the underrated Travis Wood, who has pitched much better than his 8-10 record might suggest. Wood has a 3.09 ERA and 1.105 WHIP in 27 starts and is coming off a brilliant outing at Los Angeles, where he out pitched Clayton Kershaw. Wood didn't allow a single earned run in 7 innings of a 3-2 victory.

Miami counters with the struggling Henderson Alvarez, who is 0-2 with a 6.58 ERA and 1.463 WHIP over his last three starts. The Marlins are also a poor 7-22 against the NL Central this season, 8-22 in their last 30 games vs a left-handed starter and 0-4 in Alvarez's last 4 starts as a road underdog.

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