Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 11

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 11

Bob Balfe

Rays / Red Sox Over 7.5

These teams have played to some very low scoring games the past few times they have gotten together, but a lot of those times Price was on the mound for Tampa. Boston is crushing the ball right now while Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster has been struggling. This is a perfect time for Tampa to find their bats and home. I just can't see Boston being shutdown they way they have been hitting the ball. This total has great value. Take the Over..

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 11

Craig Davis

My free play winner for Wednesday is the New York Yankees at Baltimore.

Every so often you get a pitcher who has spent a long career with the same team in the same division and faces a few teams several times over his baseball lifetime.

That's the case with Pettitte against the Orioles over the past decade plus.

Pettitte has started against the O's 42 times in his career and has won 28 times vs. only six defeats with a 3.52 ERA. Those are staggering numbers considering the number of times the bullpens blow leads or hitters start to get comfortable hitting against a pitcher.

Not so with Baltimore as they simply haven't figured out how to dominate Pettitte. While his overall numbers this year aren't great like they have been in the past, you can't argue his success against the Birds.

Scott Feldman (5-4, 3.63 ERA) counters for Baltimore and is 3-4 with a 3.58 ERA in seven career starts against New York. Quite a difference from Pettitte and his numbers against Baltimore.

Pitching favors the Yankees tonight and I believe they get a much-needed win in the wild card race as they continue to chase Tampa.

Take New York as your free play of the day.

3♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 11

Brad Wilton

My Hump Day free play is the Washington Nats to keep their feint playoff hopes alive with another win over the Mets.

The Nationals have won 4 in a row coming into tonight's game, and they have also won 3 straight and 6 of their last 8 against the Mets. Throw in 17 wins their last 21 games played at Citi Field, and I think you can rejoice tonight if you are a Washington fan.

Dan Haren has been hit hard his last pair of starts, and that includes a 10-3 loss to the Mets a couple of starts ago. Prior to those last 2 "mulligans", Haren had been 4-0 over his 6 previous starts with an ERA under 2.

Gonna look for him to return to form against the weak-hitting Mets who have dropped 7 of their last 9 games.

Zack Wheeler will go for New York, and Wheeler definitely has the look of a pitcher that will be around for a while based on his efforts this season, but he is still a rookie, and he is facing a team that pretty much needs to run the table in order to sneak into the postseason.

The playoffs may not happen for the Nats, but I see a 5th straight win happening.

Go with Washington.

4♦ WASHINGTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 11

Chris Jordan

The Los Angeles Dodgers ended their winning streak two nights back, have won two in row against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and must now focus on getting this division wrapped up. And at the rate the Atlanta Braves are playing, the Dodgers could be making a run at homefield advantage throughout the National League playoffs.

Atlanta, which has lost five of its past nine, is 87-57, just a couple game ahead of the Dodgers (85-59) for the lead in the senior circuit. Close behind are the St. Louis Cardinals (84-60).

The Dodgers have tamed the Snakes all season, and come in having won the last five meetings - including a three-game sweep in Phoenix back in July. Now they're on the verge of doing the same at Chavez Ravine, and it's just what the doctor ordered after a recent four-game slide.

Though I don't plan on listing pitchers in this one, since I think the momentum is swinging in Los Angeles' favor, I don't mind saying Arizona's Patrick Corbin has lost his last three starts, and Dodgers southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu is back after getting scratched last Friday because of a stiff back. He contends he is ready to go for tonight's finale with the D-backs.

The Dodgers reduced their magic number to six after Tuesday's 11-inning walk-off victory. Los Angeles plays the Diamondbacks five more times in the next nine days, so it'll help with confidence down the stretch for the Dodgers to finish things off right tonight.

3♦ L.A. DODGERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 11

Scott Delaney

Last night I made you money with the Washington Nationals as my 20 Dime winner, tonight I'm telling you to take them as a free winner over the New York Mets, as we have another pitching rematch situation on our hands. That's why with this game I want you listing both Dan Haren and Zack Wheeler.

When these two met on Aug. 31, the Mets destroyed both Haren and the Nationals, winning 11-3 in Nationals Park, and I can tell you that's the kind of loss that lingers, and both Haren and the Nationals will be out for revenge.

Since that win, the Mets are a brutal 2-7 - including losses in the first two meetings of this series, losing 9-0 on Monday and 6-3 last night.

And while I know Haren struggled for the second straight outing after allowing five runs on six hits in three innings of a 7-0 setback to Miami on Friday, that's another type of performance that lingers in a pitchers' mindset, and he'll want to make that right.

The 32-year-old veteran right-hander was brutalized for seven runs on nine hits in just 2-2/3 innings against the Mets, and while I know Haren's performances on the road have left a great deal to be desired - he's 3-8 while allowing a .276 batting average - I think is the right spot for him to dominate.

As for Wheeler, who is 7-4 with a 3.38 ERA on the year, he comes in after returns home where he owns just a 2-3 mark and 5.08 ERA while walking 15 in 33-2/3 innings. He's going to get shellacked tonight.

2♦ WASHINGTON

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