Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

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Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees
Play: Tampa Bay Rays

Tonight is the night the New York Yankees officially get eliminated from the playoffs. Last night Tampa dominated the Yanks and put them a step close to the reality of missing the post. Well tonight that reality comes real as the Rays who are just red hot, winners of 5 straight put the nail in the coffin. David Price takes the mound for Tampa and with the Yanks bats being as cold as they are he will be able to shut down this NY team. This NY teams has lost 7 out of 10 after seeing themselves just a game out of the wild card spot before playing a 3 game series vs the Red Sox. Tampa Bay’s pitchers have posted a 1.67 ERA during the five-game streak, its longest since a six-game run July 13-22. Phil Hughes has struggled in his last 12 starts posting a 0-6 record with a 5.33 ERA. We are going to roll with the Rays as they get one step closer to making another post season appearance.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Bob Balfe

Seattle Mariners -110

Reality is starting to set in for Kansas City that they will not be making the playoffs. By the time tonight’s game goes off a few teams ahead of them will have won and their west coast trip will continue to fade just like last night’s 4-0 loss. This is a good baseball team that will make the playoffs next year, but it has to be tough coming up a few games short. This should be a great pitching duel tonight. Take Seattle.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Bruce Marshall

Oakland vs. LA Angels
Pick: Oakland

Oakland is playoff-bound but still definitely motivated to finish the regular season on an uptick because it is trying to overtake Boston for best overall record in the AL. So a win over the Angels in this afternoon's rubber match of a midweek set is paramount for the A's, and starter Dan Straily has been effective lately with a 4-0 record and a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts.  Angels starter Jered Weaver has been tough on Oakland in the past, but his durability is an issue at the moment after being scratched from his last start due to forearm tightness, and has a non-dominating 3.79 ERA in his last three starts.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Craig Davis

Today's free play is on the Yankees and Rays to go over the posted total. Shoot, the Rays might get there by themselves in the first few innings vs. Phil Hughes.

Why that guy is still employed is beyond me?!?!?! His ERA is flat out awful (5.07) and yet he still has a spot on a major league roster. How can that be??? Seriously... how do the Yankees keep him up in the bigs?

You can't tell me they don't have one single pitcher in the minors who isn't capable of at least replicating Hughes's numbers. Shoot, I could come out of retirement at 40 years old and give up five runs per game... and I might not even be able to hit 80 on the gun anymore.

Hughes will allow a few in the first, a few in the second, and before you know it the score will be Tampa 6 New York 0. The question is not whether or not the game goes over the total, the question is WHEN will it happen?

I say we're at 8 runs by the 6th inning, at the very latest.

Take the Yankees/Rays over the total as your free play of the day.

5♦ TAMPA BAY-N.Y. YANKEES OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Jeff Benton

Your Wednesday freebie is the Under in the Arizona-San Diego contest from Petco Park.

The recent meetings between these two West division rivals shows a bunch of low scoring affairs. Last night's series opener saw just 5 combined runs, as the teams have played Under the total in their last pair of meetings and 4 of their last 5 overall.

Petco Park continues to be a hitters' graveyard, as the Under is now 13-3 the last 16 San Diego home games.

The pitching matchup features former D-Backs 21 game winner Ian Kennedy getting another crack at his old team. Kennedy allowed 6 runs in under 5 innings when he faced Arizona back on August 27th. I am going to look for Kennedy to get a measure of revenge tonight with a quality start to close out his disappointing 2013 campaign.

Randall Delgado will make his second start this year against the Padres, and will look to reprise his line from his July outing against Diego, when he pitched a complete game 3-hit shutout in an Arizona 10-0 win over San Diego.

Delgado is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA his last pair of starts, while Kennedy has gone 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his 5 lifetime starts at Petco Park.

Going to look for the runs to be limited, and for the D-Backs and Friars to hold Under the total on Hump Day at Petco.

2♦ ARIZONA-SAN DIEGO UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Brad Wilton

My free play for Wednesday is the Mariners to take care of the Royals for the second night in a row.

Seattle blanked Kansas City by a 4-0 score last night, and they could very well win by a similar score tonight when Hishashi Iwakuma takes the ball for his final start of the season.

Iwakuma has been a steady contributor all season long for the Mariners, and enters this start with 15 straight scoreless innings under his belt. He is on a 3-0 run his last 8 starts, and sports an ERA of 1.89 the last 7 times he has trotted out to the mound.

Ervin Santana is in search of his 10th win of the year when he takes the mound this Wednesday night, and while he has pitched well (1-1 his last 3 starts with an ERA of 1.71) down the stretch, there is a strong chance KC will start this game knowing that they have been eliminated from the postseason chase if Cleveland handles their business against Chicago earlier in the night.

With the Indians a -295 favorite, chances are Kansas City will have nothing to play for but their pride tonight, so I will back Iwakuma as he looks to end the year with his scoreless innings streak in-tact.

2♦ SEATTLE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Brett Atkins

My free winner for tonight is going to shock you, but I like the Houston Astros over the Texas Rangers in a Texas Tussle.

Sounds crazy, right? I mean who in their right mind wants to play the dismal Astros, who have lost 107 games already? Well, at +245 and in a game that anything can happen, I like my chances with them. And I want you listing both Dallas Keuchel, Houston's left-hander, and Texas southpaw Martin Perez.

I actually think the play is against Perez, who is 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in his last three starts, and could be ripe for an upset loss. He is 2-3 with a respectable 3.07 ERA in seven starts at Rangers Ballpark, but none of it is impressive enough for me to believe the Rangers should be laying this big a number.

Perez made one start against the Astros, back on Aug. 11 in Houston, and beat them, 6-1, with his only complete game. Still doesn't faze me one bit, as I think Keuchel is the better pitcher right now.

Houston's lefty rebounded nicely from a pair of shaky outings by limiting the hard-charging Indians to one run in seven innings last Thursday in Cleveland.

Yes, the Rangers are 16-2 in 18 meetings against their in-state rival. But wouldn't it be great to be on the right side of this upset when it happens? It happens tonight.

2♦ HOUSTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, September 25

Chris Jordan

My free play for tonight is on the L.A. Dodgers getting it done in San Francisco against their N.L. West-rival Giants, and I want you listing Ricky Nolasco over Barry Zito, who is 0-3 in his last three starts with an 11.57 ERA.

Zito is making his final start of 2013, and this could very well be the last one of his career with the team. The veteran lefty is a late replacement for originally scheduled starter Madison Bumgarner, who is being shut down for the rest of the season. Quite honestly, in speaking of the defending World Series champs, you can shut them all down for the rest of the season, as it's pretty bad now.

I do like Nolasco, who was putting up stellar numbers after his acquisition, and has seemingly tailed off his last two starts. If there were ever a game for him to rebound and prove his worth - while putting management and Manager Don Mattingly at ease about his postseason readiness - this is the game. Why? Cause the right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 career starts against the Giants.

Though it's a longshot, the Dodgers are still in line to get homefield advantage throughout the N.L. Playoffs. The Cardinals continue their series with Washington, while the Braves have been slumping lately. Nothing would surprise me, so I'll look for the Dodgers and Nolasco to be at their best.

2♦ LOS ANGELES

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