Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Teddy Covers

Minnesota vs. Chicago
Pick: Minnesota

It’s been an ugly season for the Chicago White Sox, but it’s gotten even worse here in September. Chicago is 2-15 in their last 17 games and they’ve been outscored 84-36 so far this month, including 42-7 during their current six game skid after getting swept at home by the Indians over the weekend. 

And yet somehow, this team is favored tonight.  That gives us a prime opportunity to step in and bet against this sorry squad without laying any juice! The Twins certainly aren’t juggernauts, but at least they’re competitive, a modest 7-9 in their last 16 games, with six of those seven wins coming at an underdog price.  The Twins enjoyed a late game rally to come back and beat Tampa yesterday, a solid boost of positive momentum; something that matters when we’re talking about two sub .500 teams just playing out the string.

Twins starter Liam Hendriks has lousy numbers overall, but he’s enjoyed great success against this anemic White Sox lineup.  In three previous starts against Chicago, Hendriks has thrown a quality outing each time, and he’s allowed three earned runs or less in four of his five starts since his callup from AAA back in August.  ChiSox starter Erik Johnson has allowed eleven runs in 9.1 innings in his first two big league starts, issuing more walks than strikeouts.  The White Sox lost those two games by a combined score of 15-6, and can be expected to lose his start tonight as well.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Doug Upstone

Philadelphia Phillies -1½

Huge mismatch on the hill in this one with Cliff Lee vs Sam Dyson, who is making his first start in the Majors on the road tonight. Lee is quietly having a great season and has a 4-1 record lifetime against the Marlins. The Phillies have been out of it for a while but he is far from mailing it in with 7 or more IP in 5 of his last 6 starts. His last game against the Fish was a 3 hit shutout which makes me feel more confident taking the run line on this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Jeff Alexander

LA Angels +135

The A's are rolling, but a LAA club that has won 14 of 17 on the road is showing value at this price considering how good Wilson has been. The Angels are 4-0 in Wilson's last 4 starts, 5-0 in his last 5 road starts, 4-0 in his last 4 starts as an underdog and 3-0 in his last starts against the A's. While it's been a terribly disappointing campaign for the Angels, Wilson has been one of the few bright spots. Look for him to continue his terrific season tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Harry Bondi

Pittsburgh / Cincinnati Over 40.5

Coming off a pair of nice FREE WINNERS this weekend lets go against the public tonight and GO OVER the total in the Monday Night Game. Pittsburgh is incredibly banged-up and has no running game so its only chance in this one is to let Big Ben throw it early and often. That will slow up the clock and lead to a lot of possessions and scoring opportunities for both teams. Steelers have absolutely owned Cincinnati in this series of late but the shoe is on the other foot this year. Bengals have the better team and will try to put as many points on the board as possible to embarrass their division rival. Paybacks a bitch. Go over.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Craig Davis

Free play of the day on the LA Dodgers to exact a little revenge on the Diamondbacks tonight and get back on the winning track despite being swept by the SF Giants.

Granted, the Dodgers might be playing a little soft these days because of their massive lead in the NL West division, but they can't afford to get too complacent as they have a post-season run to get ready for.

I believe they'll get it done with Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was beaten by the D'backs the last time he faced them.

Despite that last loss to Arizona, Ryu is still 13-6 on the season with a 3.07 ERA and he wasn't all that terrible in that game anyhow.

Ryu allowed only three earned runs in a 4-1 loss, throwing 6 1/3 innings without walking a single batter. Yes, he allowed 10 hits and only struck out one, but he wasn't rattled and is looking forward to the rematch.

As for Trevor Cahill, he pitched about like Ryu in his last start vs. the Dodgers, but didn't earn a decision in a 5-3 loss. Since the D'back are basically out of the playoff race, I don't think we'll see his best stuff tonight without the pressing feeling of needing to perform at a high level.

Take the Dodgers at even money as your free play of the day.

2♦ L.A. DODGERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Brad Wilton

Monday free play winner will be the Phillies on the Run Line over the Marlins.

The Marlins just played 12 innings on Sunday, and were unable to come up with a run, as Miami has now dropped 8 of their last 10 as they head to Philadelphia for this Monday date with Cliff Lee and the Phils.

Philadelphia did lose on Sunday to Washington, but the Phillies have still been on the plus side in 6 of their last 9 outings.

Sam Dyson and Cliff Lee are scheduled to make the start in this one, and Dyson will be making his first start of the season after coming out of the bullpen with just 8 innings under his belt.

Lee has found a late-season groove, going 3-0 his last 4 starts, and the southpaw has fanned 30 batters over his last 29 innings pitched.

Philadelphia has won the last 5 games played against Miami, outscoring the Marlins by a 30-9 margin.

This one should not be close.

Phils on the Run Line.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Brett Atkins

My free winner for tonight is on the Cleveland Indians over the Kansas City Royals, and I want you listing both pitchers: Scott Kazmir and James Shields.

Real quick on this free play, which is a pitching rematch between the hurlers, and a game I have Kazmir getting revenge in from last Thursday. The southpaw lasted just four innings in a 6-2 loss in facing Shields at Cleveland. It was the fifth time over eight starts Kazmir has lasted five innings or fewer. Plus, this has been the case in three of his four starts against Kansas City in 2013, during which he has a disappointing 4.43 ERA.

Well, I'm under the belief this game here is about put-up or shut-up!

With the wild card race in the American League heating up, and these two embroiled in the first of three crucial games, Kazmir has no choice but to produce his absolute best since Cleveland comes in a half-game out of a wild card spot; Kansas City, meanwhile, is 3-1/2 games behind.

The Indians are on a nice run, though, having won nine of 12 overall after completing a four-game sweep at the Chicago White Sox yesterday.

I'll list both and go with the road dog and revenge theory.

2♦ CLEVELAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Chris Jordan

My free play for Monday night is on the Oakland Athletics, minus the money against the Anaheim Angels. And yes, I still - and always call them the ANAHEIM Angels - cause that's where they play. They don't play in Los Angeles, it takes an hour to get to Los Angeles, especially in that traffic, and they don't deserve to use another city's name. So if you're wondering - there's your answer!

And tonight the Athletics - which plays in Oakland, and that's why they call themselves Oakland - are going to enjoy pouncing their American League West rivals. Oakland has won 16 of 20 and is on top of the standings, having increased its lead in the division to a season-best 6-1/2 games with 13 to play after taking three straight from second-place Texas this past weekend.

I won't list the pitchers cause the momentum is on the Athletics' side.

Oakland is in on winning runs of 6-0 against the A.L. West, 5-0 versus southpaws and 37 of 54 at home. Take the A's tonight.

1♦ OAKLAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Scott Delaney

My free play on Monday night is on the Tampa Bay Rays laying the money at home against the struggling - and fading - Texas Rangers, who have lost six in a row.

I know we're talking about TWO struggling teams, and I know they both have the exact same record at 81-67 - but the Rays are in a much better place right now.

In addition to losing six straight, the Rangers have gone 2-11 this month to fall into a tie with the Rays at 81-67, and one-half game ahead of the Cleveland Indians, in the wild-card race. The Rays are 7-14 in their last 21 contests and have won three of four after blowing a 3-0 lead at Minnesota on Sunday and lost.

So, the Rays are struggling less than the Rangers. And for Texas to have to travel to Tampa Bay, it's just bad news. The Rangers have gone six games without a home run, their longest drought since 1995, and the Rays need one more win to clinch their sixth straight winning season.

My money is on Tampa Bay.

5♦ TAMPA BAY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Charlie Scott

Steelers vs.  Bengals
Play: Over 40.5

Expect the Steelers offense to rebound from Last week when they were only able to score 9 points vs Tennessee. Look for Big Ben to pass a lot. On defense the Steelers will give up passing yards and the Bengals now have the weapons on offense to score. In Today's High scoring NFL 40 is a relatively low Total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, September 16

Big Kat Sports

Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati
Take: Cincinnati -6.5

We didn’t release this play to our clients because it looked like the number was locked in at 7. Since there has been a slight drop in the number, we’ll release it as our Monday Free Play. The Steelers are ravaged with injuries and their banged up offensive line will have their hands full all night with a Bengals D that is much better than they played last week against the Bears. This marks the first time since the 2006 season that the Bengals are favorite over Pittsburgh and we expect a huge effort from them tonight on both sides of the ball in front of a ramped up crowd at Paul Brown Stadium. If they can cut down on the turnovers tonight (3 last week vs. Chicago); Cincinnati should roll over the Steelers tonight in the Queen City.

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