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Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, April 28

Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, April 28

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

San Antonio at Dallas
The Spurs look to avoid going down 3-1 in the series and come into tonight's contest with an 8-3 ATS record in their last 11 games when playing on 1 days rest. San Antonio is the pick (-4) according to Dunkel, which has the Spurs favored by 9 1/2. Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-4)

Game 501-502: Miami at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 124.326; Charlotte 118.912
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 5 1/2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 7 1/2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (+7 1/2); Over

Game 503-504: Atlanta at Indiana (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 112.817; Indiana 128.909
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 16; 180
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 6 1/2; 186 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-6 1/2); Under

Game 505-506: San Antonio at Dallas (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 131.197; Dallas 121.657
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 9 1/2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 4; 203 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-4); Under

NHL

San Jose at Los Angeles
The Sharks head back to LA tonight following a 3-0 loss in Game 5 and face a Kings team that is 0-5 in its last 5 games after allowing 2 goals or less in the previous game. San Jose is the pick (+100) according to Dunkel, which has the Sharks favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: San Jose (+100)

Game 67-68: Pittsburgh at Columbus (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.433; Columbus 10.797
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-145); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-145); Under

Game 71-72: Colorado at Minnesota (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 11.811; Minnesota 10.951
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+115); Over

Game 73-74: San Jose at Los Angeles (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose 12.102; Los Angeles 11.373
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-120); 5
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (+100); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Oakland at Texas
The Rangers open a big three-game set with the A's tonight and come into the contest with a 7-0 record in Yu Darvish's last 7 starts. Texas is the pick (-150) according to Dunkel, which has the Rangers favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Texas (-150)

Game 901-902: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Samardzija) 15.227; Cincinnati (Simon) 16.119
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-160); 7
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-160); Over

Game 903-904: Milwaukee at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Gallardo) 16.267; St. Louis (Wacha) 15.373
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-165); 7
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+145); Over

Game 905-906: Colorado at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Morales) 15.902; Arizona (Miley) 14.690
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Arizona (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+105); Under

Game 907-908: San Diego at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Ross) 14.234; San Francisco (Bumgarner) 15.775
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-155); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-155); Under

Game 909-910: Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Odorizzi) 14.516; White Sox (Rienzo) 15.434
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+105); Over

Game 911-912: Oakland at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Gray) 14.005; Texas (Darvish) 15.667
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Texas (-150); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-150); Under

Game 913-914: Cleveland at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Masterson) 15.583; LA Angels (Skaggs) 14.797
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105); Over

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Matt Fargo

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds    
Play: Chicago Cubs +140

The Cubs came through for us yesterday and we will back them again on Monday in what is another great spot with exceptional value. Chicago halted its four-game losing skid behind a sensational effort from Jason Hammel and they turn to Jeff Samardzija to piggyback that and there is no reason to think he wont. He has been pitching outstanding even though he has little to show for it. He has a 1.53 ERA and 1.10 WHIP through five starts, all of which have been quality outings yet he has not gotten a win as the offense has not giving him much as the bats are producing just 2.4 rpg in his starts. Despite eight straight quality efforts going back to last season, he has gone 11 straight starts without a victory but this is a great situation for that to end as the Reds are 2-7 in their last nine home games against right-handed starters. Cincinnati got swept in Atlanta over the weekend and sitting at 11-14 on the season, it does not have much business laying this kind of number. Alfredo Simon has something to do with that but I do not see him keeping this up very long. He has opened the season with four quality outings but distractions continue to pile up. After the manslaughter charged was dismissed a few years back, he was recently hit with a lawsuit for sexual assault. I do not see the focus being there tonight and while the Cubs offense has been spotty, the Reds are averaging just 2.75 rpg for Simon.


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Scott Spreitzer

Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angels    
Play: Cleveland Indians +115 

Both teams limp into Anaheim a bit for this one. The Angels return home from a 9-game road trip where they went 4-5. Cleveland, meanwhile, dropped three straight in San Francisco. But the Tribe will face Tyler Skaggs and the Angel righty has yet to find Angel Stadium to his liking, getting tagged for a 5.54 ERA & 1.46 WHIP. While the sample size is low, just two home starts thus far, Skaggs did not fare well at his previous home stadium, Chase Field. Justin Masterson counters for the Indians and the righty has owned the Angels, posting a 2.45 ERA in 12 career outings against them. He's also felt at home at the "Big A." Not only do we have the starting pitching advantage, but the Angels bullpen continues to struggle, ranked 24th in the league, while Masterson will be backed by MLB's 8th best pen. After losing by a run in three of their last four games, I expect at least one more night in the "L" column for the Angels. I'm backing the Cleveland Indians on Monday night as they look to extend their run to 5-0 against the Angels when Masterson is on the mound.

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Jack Jones

Los Angeles Angels -122

The Los Angeles Angels get the call as a small home favorite over the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of this series Monday.  I believe they are showing excellent value here with the underrated Tyler Skaggs on the mound.

Indeed, Skaggs has held his own this season, going 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.107 WHIP in four starts.  He is averaging a whopping seven innings per start as well, so he has been able to save the bullpen by going deep into games, which is an added bonus.

Justin Masterson is coming off a career year in 2013, but I expected a lot of regression from him in '14.  That has been the case thus far as he's 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.571 WHIP in five starts.  He has given up 5 earned runs and 21 base runners over 11 innings in his last two starts against the Angels.

Los Angeles is 277-219 (+50.3 Units) against the money line at home when the money line is +125 to -125 since 1997.  Cleveland is 21-40 (-16.5 Units) against the money line as a road underdog of +100 to +125 over the last 3 seasons.  The Indians are 6-17 in Masterson's last 23 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150.  The Angels are 20-8 in their last 28 vs. a team with a losing record.  Bet the Angels Monday.

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Red Dog Sports

Brewers vs. Cardinals
Play: Under 7

These two have played unders in 17-2-1 in their last 20 Monday games. Ryan Braun was out for Sunday's game and surely won't be 100% on Monday. Gallardo has 1 over to go with 4 unders and his ERA is 1.42 while Michael Wacha has an ERA of 2.10. Hopefully we see a 3-2 type of score that stays under on Monday.

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Art Aronson

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants    
Play: San Francisco Giants -155

The Giants lost two of three to the Padres earlier in the year so will be plenty motivated coming into this series. San Francisco comes in looking for its fifth straight win overall and eighth straight home win over the Friars.  The visiting Padres will send Tyson Ross to the hill; the right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two career starts at San Francisco. Ross has had trouble with Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt, who are each 4 for 9 off him. The Giants will counter with their best pitcher in Madison Bumgarner (2-2, 3.14 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 3.11 ERA in his last seven home outings against San Diego with 47 strikeouts over 46 1/3 innings of work. San Francisco comes in with plenty of momentum, off an inter-league sweep of the Indians at AT&T Park and are finally starting to get on a bit of a roll. San Francisco limited Cleveland to just five runs in that series; Brandon Hicks hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday's 4-1 victory. I think Bumgarner and the Giants are worth the price of admission today; how about you?


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Heath Mac

Chicago vs. Cincinnati
Play: Under 7

The Cubs are not picked to challenge in the National League and might be out of the running already as they have struggled in most areas. The Cubs did snap a four game slide with a 4-0 decion at Milwaukee on Sunday behind another strong effort on the mound from Jason Hammel. Hammel tossed a three hit shutout over seven innings while whiffing seven to improve to 4-1. The bats totaled nine hits with Starlin Castro blasting a pair of solo bombs while Mike Olt and Darwin Barney drove in a run each. The Cubs open the series on the mound with ace Jeff Samardzija who has yet to win his first game. Samardzija has been outstanding despite an 0-2 record as he has posted a 1.53 ERA over 35.1 innings.

I don't think Cincinnati has hit their stride at the plate which isn't anything out of the ordinary as we have this struggle at the plate before. Having said that, the lack of scoring has hurt the work on the mound which has hurt the win column. Facing the pitching heavy Braves over the weekend didn't help as the Reds were swept away following a 1-0 loss in ten innings on Sunday. Ace Johnny Cueto received a no decision for eight innings of three hit baseball with eleven strikeouts but JJ Hoover wasn't as fortunate as he lost it with a 10th inning run plated on a pair of hits. The offense managed only five hits and walked and didn't threaten. Cincinnati sends Alfredo Simon to the bump in game one of their series with the Cubs on Monday. Simon has been one of the top hurlers in the game thus far with a 3-1 record and 1.30 ERA covering 27.2 frames.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Cubs's last 5 games on the road. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cincinnati's last 6 games. The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Cincinnati's last 21 games at home.

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Rob Vinciletti

Oakland A's vs. Texas Rangers    
Play: Texas Rangers -141

Texas has won 14 of 15 April starts made by Yu Darvish, including all 4 this year. They have won his last 4 home starts dating to last year as he has allowed just 6 runs in 26 innings here .Texas also fits a powerful system that plays on certain home favorites with a total of 8 or less that are off a road loss, despite scoring 5 or more runs, if they are taking on a team off a road loss that scored 2 or less runs, like Oakland. Texas has won 9 of 13 vs divisional teams ands 6 of 8 vs winning teams. In a solid pitching match up we will take Darvish over Gray and back Texas.


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Marc Lawrence

Milwaukee Brewers at St Louis Cardinals
Prediction: St Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals and Brewers meet in Game One of a three-game NL Central division series in St. Louis Monday evening where MIchael Wacha opposes Yovanni Gallardo. Wacha toes the slab in fine KW form with 35 strikeouts and 5 walks in his five starts this season. On the flip side Gallardo has failed miserably in this series, going just 3-15 in his career team starts against the Cardinals. With the Redbirds having won 14 of the last 19 games in this series, look for more of the same this evening. We recommend a 1-unit play on St. Louis.

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Jim Feist

Chicago at Cincinnati
Pick: Under 7

Is it too early for the Cubs to start looking forward to next year? Chicago is already 10 1/2 games back in the NL Central and have won just seven of their first 23 games. The offense has been horrible, totally just 84 runs (2nd worst in the NL). The Cubs have a team batting average of just .230 (fourth worst in the NL) and are averaging just 3.65 runs per game (3rd worst). This is why Jeff Samardzija is 0-2 this season with a great ERA of 1.53 and WHIP of 1.10. Samardzija has had five quality starts and no wins. He's allowed two earned runs or fewer in all his starts and has a 3-to-1 KO-to-BB ratio. There just isn't much more the Cubs could expect out of the 29-year old righthander. The Cincinnati Reds are off to a mediocre start, winning 11 of their first 24 games and sitting seven games back in the NL Central. The pitching staff has been solid, allowing just 3.38 runs per game. Alfredo Simon has been a bright spot for the Reds, posting a 3-1 record, 1.30 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. The 32-year old has allowed just four earned runs in his four starts over 27 2/3 innings worked. Both these pitchers have been excellent, they just don't have many bats backing them up. I look for a pitchers duel here on Monday and I'm going with the UNDER.

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Bryan Leonard

Chicago at Cincinnati
Play: Chicago +135

The Cubs and Reds renew their NL Central rivalry on Monday night at Great American Ball Park with a matchup of right-handers. It'll be Jeff Samardzija for the Cubs going up against Alfredo Simon for the Reds.

If you look at pitchers that are seriously overachieving, Alfredo Simon is clearly near the top of the list. Simon has a BABIP against of .190, despite a strikeout rate of just 15.5 percent. He's stranding nearly 91 percent of his runners and that will not continue for a pitcher with a below average strikeout rate. Simon has a 1.30 ERA but a 3.88 FIP and a 4.33 xFIP. His SIERA of 4.38 also signals regression on the horizon. The Cubs aren't a great offense, but all it takes are ground balls finding holes against Simon and the Cubs are an above average baserunning team.

Besides the statistics that show regression, Simon has an off-field distraction to tend to. Reports came out on Sunday that a woman has filed a civil suit against Simon regarding a past incident involving alleged sexual assault. A guy like Simon with a mediocre arsenal that is a converted reliever due to the Mat Latos injury cannot afford to have a lack of focus. Between the advanced metrics and the distractions, the Cubs stand a good chance of providing Samardzija with some run support.

Jeff Samardzija has traded strikeouts for ground balls so far this season, but he's still one of the most underappreciated arms in baseball. The Reds have averaged three runs per game over their last seven games. Samardzija has adopted more of a pitch-to-contact approach to allow himself to work deeper into games as he has traded some four-seam fastballs in for two-seamers. That change was beneficial against the Reds in his last start and should be again here against a struggling offense. While Samardzija is striking out fewer batters, he's also walking fewer and is trending positively in home runs allowed.

We'll trust in the advanced metrics and expect Simon's regression to start here and look for another fine outing from Samardzija.

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Will Rogers

San Diego vs. San Francisco
Pick: San Francisco

Though the Padres were able to take 2 of 3 from the Giants earlier this month, that was in Petco Park. The Giants just swept the Indians and are rolling

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Padres Can't Hit - That would be putting it mildly. They are last in runs scored and on base percentage. They 28th in batting average and 29th in slugging percentage.  They won yesterday, but scored only four runs, keeping a streak alive that's seen them score 4 or less runs in 13 straight contests.  You won't win many games with that little production at the plate.

2.  Madison Bumgarner - The big lefty has a perfect 7-0 team start record his last seven starts at home vs. San Diego.  He's gone 46 1/3 innings and struck out 47 during that win streak.

3. X-Factor - Giants pitching allowed just five runs in their weekend sweep of Cleveland.  The bullpen has a 0.45 ERA here at home.

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Bryan Power

Oakland vs. Texas
Pick: Under

Last week saw Texas sweep Oakland on the road, which was pretty impressive.....

The A's responded by winning their next two games, beating the lowly Houston Astros. But then, they lost the final two games of the series.  The Rangers are also coming off a surprising weekend result, that being dropping two of three to Seattle.  So now the teams enter this series tied atop the AL West at 15-10.  You couldn't ask for a better pitching matchup for Monday's opener as Sonny Gray opposes Yu Darvish.

Texas has won all four of Darvish's starts despite never scoring more than four runs in any of them. That's because Darvish has allowed a total of 5 ER in 28 IP, which works out to a 1.61 ERA and 1.107 WHIP.  His shakiest outing did come against these A's, last week, which continued a disturbing trend. Darvish has never really been at his best against Oakland, but after they were held to just one run on two hits yday, I expect things to go better here.

Gray received no run support in his start against the Rangers last Wednesday, the second time that's happened to him in five starts this year.  Still, he comes in w/ a 2.25 ERA and 1.344 WHIP.  Once again, he won't have to deal w/ Shin Soo-Choo, who may be headed to the DL. If you can, I would obviously recommend shopping around and grabbing the number at 7.5.  But regardless, I expect a pitchers duel and this one to finish well Under the total.

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Chase Diamond

Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats
Play: Charlotte Bobcats +7½

This game features the 3-0 Heat at the 0-3 Bobcats. I really expect the Bobcats to possibly win tonight and at the very least keep this game close. This team was embarrised at home the other night and will be fully motivated tonight for sure. The public is all over the Heat again and Vegas knows this and has adjusted this line and over inflated it. 67% are backing the Heat and we are going sharp here and taking the Bobcats.


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Jimmy Boyd

Colorado Rockies +116

The Rockies are playing extremely well right now. Colorado won 6-1 last night to take 2 of 3 against the Dodgers and are now 7-3 in their last 10 games overall. Offensively this team is absolutely hitting the cover off the baseball in the first month of the season. The Rockies lead the league in both batting average (.294) and slugging percentage (.470), are 2nd in runs scored (140) and 3rd in on-base percentage (.346).

Hard to not like that offense to take advantage of Arizona starter Wade Miley, who is just 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.278 WHIP over his first six starts. Miley has really struggled at home, where he's got a 6.75 ERA and 1.500 WHIP. Colorado counters with Franklin Morales, who is working off back-to-back strong starts. Morales has allowed just 2 runs on 9 hits with 12 strikeouts over his last two starts (13 innings).

Colorado is a perfect 4-0 in Morales' last 4 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150 and 4-0 in his last 4 starts versus the NL West. Arizona on the other hand is just 8-21 in their last 29 home games and 2-5 in Miley's last 7 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150.

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Bob Balfe

Oakland A's +120

Texas swept the early season meeting in Oakland so it is only fitting that the A’s come into Texas and try to pay them back. Both starting pitchers have been excellent, but it goes back to what I said last night about the bullpens. Texas has issues and if this game is close late I think it favors Oakland who has a better pen. Texas lost a tough game last night in Seattle which are really hard to recover from. Take the A’s

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MLB Predictions

Colorado Rockies +124

These two teams met at the beginning of this month in Colorado, with the Rockies taking 2 of the three games. The Rockies are coming off a series win in Los Angeles vs the Dodgers and are now 14-12 on the season and 6-8 on the road. The Diamondbacks dropped two straight vs Philadelphia to lose their weekend series at home, and are now an awful 8-20 on the season and just 2-13 at home. Tonight's match up is a southpaw match up with Franklin Morales on the mound for Colorado and Wade Miley on the rubber for Arizona. Morales is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA, .260 OBA and 1.36 WHIP on the season. He had one rough starts vs Chicago allowing 6 earned runs, but other than that game he's been very solid. In his last two starts he has gone a combined 13 innings allowing just 2 earned runs with 12 strikeouts and 3 walks. On the road he is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA so far this season. Wade Miley is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA, .231 OBA and 1.28 WHIP. He did pick up a win vs Colorado earlier this year allowing 2 earned runs over 8 innings of work. Although it includes his "home" start in Australie, Miley is just 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA over three home starts this season. Take note that the Rockies are tied for 1st in the MLB for team average vs lefties and 4th in team OPS, while the Diamondbacks are 22nd in average and 25th in OPS vs left handed pitchers. Also note that the Rockies are 7-3 in their last 10 overall, 4-1 in their last 5 as an underdog, 4-0 in Morale's last 4 starts as an underdog, and 8-3 in Morale's last 11 road starts. The Dbacks are just 1-6 in their last 7 games as a favorite, 1-9 in their last 10 vs left handed starters, and 2-9 in their last 11 following a loss. I find this to be a pretty equal pitching match up tonight, but the Rockies have an advantage at the plate - especially with two lefties on the mound. I'll take the Rockies at a nice underdog price.

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Bruce Marshall

Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Cleveland Indians

Pitching matchups suggest Cleveland should be an interesting underdog tonight at Anaheim against the Angels. That's because starter Justin Masterson is 4-0 in his career against Los Angeles and has allowed a .249 average to Angels hitters. He's been especially good on the road with a 2.14 ERA in six career games at Angel Stadium. Meanwhile, Halos starter Tyler Skaggs has struggled at home, where he has posted a 5.54 ERA, and the Angels are only 3-6 thus far at the Big A.

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River City Sharps

Rockies / Diamondbacks Over 8.5

We like the OVER in this game as the Rockies bats have been on fire, which we think continues tonight against Wade Miley. We know that the D’Backs have really been struggling at the plate, but think that Arizona will get their share of runs against Morales, who has struggled against the D’Backs over his career, allowing 10 runs and 15 hits in just 16 innings at Chase Field. We expect a high scoring affair tonight in Phoenix.

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