Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, May 13

Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, May 13

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Washington at Indiana
The Wizards try to stay alive in the series as they head back to Indiana tonight to face a Pacers team 4-13 ATS in its last 17 home games. Washington is the pick (+5) according to Dunkel, which has the Pacers favored by only 2. Dunkel Pick: Washington (+5)

Game 733-734: Washington at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 120.289; Indiana 122.040
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 2; 177
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 5; 180 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+5); Under

Game 735-736: LA Clippers at Oklahoma City (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 124.342; Oklahoma City 126.626
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 2 1/2; 217
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 5 1/2; 212 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (+5 1/2); Over

NHL

NY Rangers at Pittsburgh
The Penguins return home after a 3-1 loss in Game 6 and look to clinch the series against a Rangers team that is 2-5 in its last 7 games following a win. Pittsburgh is the pick (-170) according to Dunkel, which has the Penguins favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-170)

Game 71-72: NY Rangers at Pittsburgh (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 10.766; Pittsburgh 12.453
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-170); 5
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-170); Under

Game 73-74: Chicago at Minnesota (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 11.294; Minnesota 12.321
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+110); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Tampa Bay at Seattle
The Rays look to bounce back from last night's 12-5 loss to the Mariners in the series opener and come into tonight's contest with a 6-1 record in David Price's last 7 starts in Game 2 of a series. Tampa Bay is the pick (-115) according to Dunkel, which has the Rays favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-115)

Game 951-952: San Diego at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Cashner) 15.713; Cincinnati (Leake) 14.889
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+105); Over

Game 953-954: Pittsburgh at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Cole) 15.494; Milwaukee (Estrada) 16.929
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-120); Under

Game 955-956: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Arrieta) 14.544; St. Louis (Wainwright) 16.190
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-260); 7
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-260); Under

Game 957-958: Washington at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Strasburg) 14.587; Arizona (Arroyo) 14.960
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Washington (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+115); Over

Game 959-960: Miami at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Turner) 14.867; LA Dodgers (Beckett) 15.102
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-160); Under

Game 961-962: Atlanta at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Minor) 15.750; San Francisco (Vogelsong) 14.699
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-115); 7
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-105); Over

Game 963-964: Cleveland at Toronto (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Masterson) 15.881; Toronto (Dickey) 14.687
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105); Under

Game 965-966: Detroit at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Smyly) 14.978; Baltimore (Jimenez) 16.645
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-110); Over

Game 967-968: Boston at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 14.871; Minnesota (Nolasco) 15.776
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Boston (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+100); Under

Game 969-970: Texas at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Harrison) 15.489; Houston (Keuchel) 14.989
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Texas (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-125); Over

Game 971-972: Chicago White Sox at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Carroll) 15.409; Oakland (Pomeranz) 14.677
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Oakland (-190); 8
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+165); Over

Game 973-974: Tampa Bay at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Price) 16.322; Seattle 14.987
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-115); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-115); Under

Game 975-976: LA Angels at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Shoemaker) 15.337; Philadelphia (Lee) 14.789
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+140); Over

Game 977-978: NY Mets at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Wheeler) 14.237; NY Yankees (Nuno) 15.896
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-135); Under

Game 979-980: Colorado at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Morales) 15.129; Kansas City (Shields) 16.657
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-155); Under

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Rob Vinciletti

Los Angeles Angels vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Play: Money Line: -155     Philadelphia Phillies -155

The Angels travel in tonight off a loss in Toronto last night. Road dogs in this range that lost as a road dog by 2 or more runs last night and scored 4 or less runs have lost 17 of the last 20 times, vs an opponent off a 1 run road loss that also scored 4 or less runs. The Angels are just 6-22 as a road dog from +125 to +150 and they have Shoemaker making his first start of the season. He will oppose veteran lefty Cliff Lee who has a stellar 2.06 home earned run average. The Phillies are 9-1 as a home favorite off a road loss after scoring 4 or less runs. In game one of this series we will back the Phillies.


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Jim Feist

Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants
Pick: San Francisco Giants

A good situational spot for the home team with Atlanta traveling almost 3,000 miles for this one. Atlanta has all kinds of offensive troubles and the Braves are 3-7 in their last 10 games vs. a right-handed starter. Mike Minor (0-2, 6.97 ERA) still hasn't found his form yet after missing time on the DH, just 2 starts and 10 innings this season. Minor's second start of the season was one to forget, as he allowed 11 hits, six earned runs and two walks with six strikeouts over 4.1 innings. The Braves are 1-7 in Minors last eight starts and the Giants are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record. San Fran starter Ryan Vogelsong turned in his best outing of the season Thursday, giving up just one run on five hits over 7.1 innings. Vogelsong was in vintage form Thursday, exhibiting great control (64-of-104 pitches for strikes) and inducing 11 groundouts against one of the National League's top lineups. He has really turned things around in his last three starts, posting a 0.89 ERA with a 14-8 strikeout to walk ratio over that span. Giants are 21-8 in Vogelsong's last 29 starts with 4 days of rest and 20-9 when he pitches at home. San Francisco is 7-2 when they play the Braves, so grab home field.

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Art Aronson

San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds    
Play: Cincinnati Reds -125

The Reds have been dominant in this series when they have been the host and I expect for that trend to continue tonight. The Padres will send Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.86) to the bump looking to extend the club’s three game winning streak. Cashner has lost four straight starts and San Diego was shut out in the last three, bringing the total to five games that the team has failed to score when he's on the mound. Cashner struggled on Wednesday, allowing four runs, two earned on seven hits over four innings in a loss to the Royals. The biggest thing we need to take away from Cashner’s early starts this season is that he has struggled mightily away from Petco Park thus far with an 0-3 record and a very pedestrian 5.00 ERA. Cashner is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in limited innings versus the Reds life time. The Reds meanwhile will start Mike Leake (2-3, 3.40 ERA); Leake (2-3. 3.40) has pitched at into the seventh inning in each of his seven outings, but he's received four runs of support over his last three to go 0-2. Keep in mind though that the Reds are 5-2 when hosting the Padres the last three seasons. San Diego is 6-10 on the road this year while the Reds are 10-8 at home. Consider laying the fair price to get the Reds at home.


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Marc Lawrence

Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks
Prediction: Washington Nationals

The Nationals and Reds meet in Game Two of this three-game series in the Queen City Tuesday evening where Stephen Strasburg opposes Brandon Arroyo. Strasburg takes the mound in strong KW form with 31 strikeouts and 6 walks in his last four starts knowing he is 3-1 in his career team starts in this series. On the flip side, Arroyo is 0-3 with an 8.36 ERA at home this season. With that, look for Arroyo to fall to 10-5 in his last six teams starts versus the Nats this evening. We recommend a 1-unit play on Washington.

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Jesse Schule

Mets at Yankees
Pick: Over

The Mets took Game 1 of the "Subway Series" with a late rally, scoring five runs on Yankee relievers. We could see another high scoring affair in tonight's Game 2, with 23 year old Zack Wheeler starting opposite Vidal Nuno. Wheeler (1-3, 4.35 ERA) tossed six scoreless innings, not factoring in the decision in a loss to the Marlins his last time out. Despite a solid outing in Miami, his numbers on the road remain poor - 1-2, 5.06 ERA. Nuno (1-0, 5.47 ERA) allowed one run on four hits over 6 1/3 innings in a blowout win over the Angels his last time out. He didn't look all that sharp, missing the strike zone early and often, but the Halos continued to swing at his offerings, bailing him out of trouble. His numbers at Yankee Stadium aren't pretty, he's posted a 10.22 ERA in three appearances at home so far.


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Ray Monohan

Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles    
Play: Baltimore Orioles -102

By now we should all know that Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez is one of the streakiest players around. As bad as he was in April - 6.59 ERA - he has been that good in May - 0.71. I am going to ride that streak with an O’s team that just got slugger Chris Davis back from the DL. Obviously I am hoping for a solid outing from Ubaldo but with David back this Baltimore club can slug with anybody in MLB.

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Bryan Power

San Diego vs. Cincinnati
Pick: Cincinnati

San Diego is coming off one its most impressive series of the year, where it took 3 of 4 from the Marlins.  But still this isn't a very good team as they continue to rank near the bottom of the league offensively & are still three games below .500. I don't like their chances Tuesday against the Reds & Mike Leake.

Cincinnati took 2 of 3 from Colorado over the weekend, pretty impressive considering the Rockies' offensive numbers and the way that they were playing coming into that series.  Of course, the best news of all was the return of closer Aroldis Chapman on Sunday and him routinely being able to hit 100 mph on the gun.  Today's starter Mike Leake has gone at least seven innings in all seven of his seven starts. His last two he's allowed just 2 ER both times.

The Reds shouldn't need many runs here given that the Padres have scored the fewest times in all of baseball. That includes being shut out five times when Andrew Cashner is on the hill including each of L3 outings.  Not surprisingly, four of the five members in the Padres' starting rotation rank in the bottom five in the league in run support.  Cincy has a solid homefield advantage, having won 8 of 11 here at Great American Ballpark.

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River City Sharps

Cincinnati Reds -111

The Cincinnati Reds were one of the popular picks to win the National League Central this season, but have gotten out of the blocks slowly. However, they may be starting to get on a roll as they enter this three-game series with the San Diego Padres. The Reds took two of three games this weekend from Colorado and enjoyed a nice off day on Monday to prepare for Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.86 ERA) and the Padres. The Reds will send Mike Leake (2-3, 3.40 ERA) to the mound, who is 0-1 lifetime against San Diego with a respectable 3.45 ERA. The Padres have been offensively challenged all season, but did have a breakout weekend vs. the Marlins, where they put up 24 runs. The Reds have feasted on the NL West as of late, winning five of their last six games. We think you are about to see the Reds jump back into this NL Central race as they know the Brewers continue to play good baseball, so we're going to back Leake and the Reds here tonight.

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Chase Diamond

Rangers vs. Penguins
Play: Penguins -151

This game has the 3-3 Rangers at the 2-2 Penguins. This has been a hard fought series and a good try by the Rangers I just seee Pitsburgh as too much for the Rangers tonight. Pens were up 3-1 and the Rangers have fought back. Public is now backing the Rangers at a 56% clip. We will take the home team here as I see them winning this 3-1.


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Jimmy Boyd

San Francisco Giants -108

The Giants come in with the best record in baseball at 25-14. San Francisco has won 2 straight and are 14-4 over their last 18 games. The Giants are showing incredible value as a small home favorite against the Braves tonight.

San Francisco will start Ryan Vogelsong, who has a strong 2.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over his three home starts and a sensational 0.89 ERA and 0.984 WHIP over his last three starts. Atlanta counters with Mike Minor, who will be making just his third start of the season. Minor is still trying to shake off the rust. He's allowed 8 runs on 18 hits in just 10 and 1/3 innings of work.

It's not surprising to see Vogelsong come in pitching well. He's 16-7 in his last 23 starts in the month of May. Vogelsong is also 19-8 ATS after 2 or more consecutive wins and 16-6 in his last 22 starts after allowing 1 or less earned runs in his last outing.

There's a key system in play telling us to fade the Braves. Road teams with a money line of -100 to -150 who are allowing 3.8 or less runs/game on the season (NL), after scoring and allowing 5 runs or less last 4 games are just 18-42 over the last 5 seasons. That's a 70% system in favor of the Giants!

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Heath Mac

NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins    
Play: NY Rangers +142

The Penguins have struggled to find any success on the offensive end as of late, scoring just one goal in each of their last two games. Sidney Crosby has just one goal and two assists in this playoff series and one goal in all of the playoff games this season. With the Penguins offense struggling, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has also had a difficult time, allowing seven goals in his last two games after back-to-back shutouts earlier in the series. The Penguins are 1-6 in their last seven games when scoring less than three goals.

I like the value we're getting with the Rangers in this spot. Not only are the Rangers one of the better road teams in the league, but they've also been playing inspired hockey since the death of St. Louis' mother. The Rangers are red hot right now and should have just enough in the tank to beat an inconsistent Pittsburgh squad.

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Bryan Leonard

Washington at Arizona
Play: Arizona +120

Stepping in and taking the Arizona Diamondbacks as a home dog here. The D Backs are playing its best ball of the season and we have an underrated pitching matchup. Bronson Arroyo had an uncharacteristic off-season as he was in his free agent year. He remained out on the market for quite some time and was a late signee by Arizona. He started the preseason a bit behind the eight ball and back problems caused him to struggle out of the gate. Arroyo has been a workhorse in his career and he has rounded into a nice routine as of late. He's pitching well right now while his counterpart today has been very inconsistent this season. Strasburg is being overpriced right now because of his name and not his results.

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Brandon Shively

New York Mets vs. New York Yankees    
Play: New York Mets +116

The Mets are swinging the bat and are competing on a consistent basis. They have now held the lead in 31 of their 37 games this season. I like them tonight vs. a struggling Yankee team as I feel the Mets have the better starting pitcher, and the better lineup suited to win this game. Also after last night's 9-7 win, the Mets now have taken the last 5 games from the Yankees, including a 3-1 victory last season when Nuno was the starter for the Yankees. Nuno has been terrible at home this season in 3 appearances and the Mets should be licking their chops this Tuesday night.

The Mets are hitting .263 on the season vs. southpaws and are scoring 4.1 runs a game vs. left handed starters. Granderson responded with a 2 run homerun last night in his return to Yankee stadium and I have the feeling he is getting his swing back and will respond in a big way again tonight. The Mets get to use a DH and that guy is Bobby Abreu (former Yankee). Eric Young is batting leadoff and is 7-for-14 in the last 5 games and this is important as the leadoff guy is getting on base and Murphy and Wright are following up with some extra base hits. Chris Young hit a 2R homer last night and this might just be what he needed to wake up after being in a slump the last week. I like Young hitting towards the bottom of the lineup as this adds some extra firepower for the Mets.

The Mets will call on Zach Wheeler tonight and he has tossed quality starts in 5 of his last 7 appearances. This will be his first start vs. the Yankees and I can see him tossing a nice game here tonight as the Yankees lineup is not familiar with this youngster.

For the Yankees, Nuno will be on the rubber who has a 10.22 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP in 3 appearances at home this year and the linesmakers still have installed the Yankees as a favorite in this game. Nuno is not a strikeout pitcher and is primarily a flyball pitcher supported by a 48/28 flyball/groundball ratio this season. He has not thrown over 82 pitches in a start this season and this will in turn to the Yankees bullpen who have not been able to hold a lead as of late. Thornton, Aceves,  and Claiborne have all been getting rocked and I have to assume whoever gets the nod to come in for relief will give up a few runs tonight.   

Injuries: The Mets are fully healthy with their best line-up of the season, while the Yankees have a few injuries to note. Carlos Beltran is listed as doubtful for this game, while Ichiro is listed as questionable. Teixeira is listed as probable but this guy is hobbling around on a bad hamstring and I question his effectiveness when running the bases.

In closing, the majority of the public money is on the Yankees tonight with a cheap price to pay at home. With the Mets being 12-2 their last 14 vs. the AL East and 7-3 in Wheeler's last 10 starts as a road underdog, let's take the Mets tonight plus the money.


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MLB Predictions

San Francisco Giants +100

The Giants won the first of this series last night by a score of 4-2. The win improved them to 25-14 on the season and 11-5 at home. The Braves are now 21-16 overall and 8-8 on the road. These two teams had a 3 game series in Atlanta two weekends ago and the Giants swept that series, and are now 4-0 against the Braves allowing just 5 runs over those games. Mike Minor will make his 3rd start of the season tonight. He is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA, .391 OBA and 1.94 WHIP. He went 6 innings giving up 7 hits but just 2 earned runs vs the Giants in his first start, but followed that up giving up 11 hits and 6 eanred runs over 4.1 innings of work in his last start. Between the minors and the majors this year he has given up 9 homeruns in 33.2 innings of work. The Giants will have Ryan Vogelsong on the mound tonight and he is 1-1 on the season with a 3.93 ERA, .263 OBA and 1.42 WHIP. 3 of his first 4 starts weren't good, but since then Vogelsong has posted a 0.89 ERA over his last 3 starts. One of those starts included 6 innings allowing just 5 hits and 1 earned run in Atlanta. He is also 0-0 with a solid 2.50 ERA in three home starts and is holding batters to a .210 average at home. Take note that the Braves are last (30th) in the MLB in team batting average so far in May hitting just .213. They are also 28th on the season against righties hitting just .221 as a team with a .631 OPS. On the other hand the Giants are 11th hitting .262 as a team against lefties with a .765 OPS. Dating back to last season the Braves are just 1-7 in Minors last 8 starts and 0-6 in his last 6 starts with a total set att 7-8.5. The Braves are just 4-9 in their last 13 games overall and 0-5 in their last 5 road games. San Francisco is 6-1 in their last 7 home games, 7-0 in their last 7 vs a left handed starter, and 8-1 in their last 9 vs a team with a winning record. They are also 20-9 in Vogelsongs last 29 home starts and 4-1 in his last 5 starts overall. I see no reason we should be getting even money here on the Giants, and I will take that for 5 units.


Chicago White Sox +180

The White Sox scored 3 runs in the top of the 9th last night to make things interesting, but lost 5-4 to Oakland. With that the A's improved to 11-9 at home, while Chicago is 8-11 on the road. Tonight's match up features Scott Carroll for Chicago and Drew Pomeranz for Oakland. Carroll is making his fourth start of the season and of his Major League career. he is 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA, .319 OBA and 1.56 WHIP. He had two very solid starts allowing just 1 earned run over 13.1 innings, but then allowed 6 earned runs over 4 innings his last time out. Pomeranz is 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA, .191 OBA and 1.02 WHIP, but that includes just 1 start over 10 appearances. As a starter last season in the MLB he had an 0-4 record and 8.10 ERA over 4 starts, and in 2012 he was 2-9 with a 4.93 ERA over 22 starts. Although the A's deserve to be favorites tonight at home, there is no way Pomeranz should be this big of a favorite given his past track record as a starter in the MLB. I'll take a shot at a big underdog, with the WHITE SOX at +180.


L.A. Dodgers -1.5 +145

I think there is tremendous value in this game. Jacob Turner has been over valued for quite some time now. He had one okay year, but Turner was once the Tigers best pitching prospect in the minors. A career best 3.74 ERA is not what many people thought we'd get out of Turner. There is still plenty of time for him to turn it around, he is still young, but 2014 is proving to be a train wreck for him thus far. In three starts his ERA is all the way up to 6.75 and got throttled against the only two good offenses he has faced this season, the Rockies and Angels. He looked fine against the Padres in his last start, but they are not the biggest measuring stick. Dating back to 2013, that was the first start Turner allowed less than 3 runs in seven starts. Turner had a great first-half of the season, but tailed off majorly towards the end of the season. His 3.74 ERA from last season is a reflection of what he did early on. Turner's rough end to last season has carried over to this one as the 6.75 ERA indicates. His WHIP and OBP is just outrageous as well, a 1.69 and .375 OBP. Conversely, Josh Beckett has really impressed me. After 35.1 innings pitched Beckett possesses a 2.80 ERA. His home numbers are quite impressive too, 2.66 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. If he can stay healthy Beckett is a great asset to this team. And at the moment, he is healthy and showing that he has some gas left in the tank. I thought the Dodgers would be more expensive against Turner, so I'm going to try and take advantage of a nice price on the -1.5.

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Bob Balfe

San Francisco Giants -105

We saw last night a perfect example of the Braves bats just not being very active. The Giants have had their way with Atlanta as of late and I just think you continue to fade a team that struggles to put up offense at this price against a team that has owned them as of late. Take the Giants.

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Bruce Marshall

Clippers at Thunder
Play: Thunder

It took a belated rally from a 16-point deficit in the 4th Q on Sunday for the Clippers to pull even in this series. But that happened after Ok City put the brakes to its offense and tried to slow the pace, which was an ill-advised strategy. The Clips are not having much success slowing Kevin Durant, who scored 40 on Sunday, and the Thunder has been able to successfully accelerate the tempo when it wanted over the past three games.

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Playersbet

Detroit Tigers vs Baltimore Orioles
Play: Detroit Tigers

We cashed 3 units last night with the Tigers and we are right back on them tonight. We are raising the bar tonight and putting 4 units on this game. The tigers are not a happy team especially after last nights beanball at Tori Hunter. Drew Smyly is the real deal and we expect him to shut down Baltimore tonight.

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DAVE COKIN

DETROIT TIGERS AT BALTIMORE ORIOLES
PLAY: DETROIT TIGERS -105

I’ve written about Drew Smyly in past editions of this blog, so I’ll skip the lengthy detail and just cut to the chase. Smyly will never blow hitters away with his array, but the lefty knows how to pitch.  He’s doing a very solid job for the Tigers this season, first out of the bullpen and now as a starter, and I can see no apparent reason Smyly doesn’t deliver another quality outing tonight.

Ubaldo Jimenez will throw for the Orioles, and he can be a puzzle to analyze. There are times when he looks ridiculously tough. When Ubaldo is on, he can make hitters look foolish. But there are just as many occasions when Jimenez gets out of whack with his mechanics and gets himself in scalding hot water with his lack of command.  One thing we do know about Jimenez through the 2014 early returns is that he’s struggling at home. He’s lost all three appearances in Baltimore, and none were quality starts.

I’m giving Smyly a slim edge as far as the starting pitching goes. But beyond that, I see this as a favorable matchup for the Tigers.  Detroit is the better offensive team, and even better than that in the isolated situation. The Orioles have had a bad time at home against lefties all season, averaging a paltry 2.36 runs per nine innings, while hitting a stunning .184.

I’m also convinced that the Birds are really going to miss Matt Wieters. Losing a true first-string catcher is a critical injury for any team, particularly when it’s a top tier receiver. I think this is going to be a big problem for the Orioles if Wieters is not able to return at the end of the month, or if the elbow problem persists and causes him to miss multiple games moving forward.

I have no problem with the price on tonight’s game. I made Detroit a 6/5 favorite, thus I’m actually quite pleased to see the number where it is. If it’s close heading to the finish line, the Birds might have a slight edge with their relief corps and a very good close game skipper in Buck Showalter. But the majority of the advantages look to me to be on the side of the visitors tonight, so the play is on the Tigers.

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