Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Bob Balfe

Milwaukee Brewers -135

The Reds will be pitching Latos for the first time this year who is coming off a bumb knee. Gallardo is always a great pitcher at home and the Brewers usually are money in the bank at home. Cincinnati is not generating runs this year either. The Reds will probably only allow Latos to go 4 innings or so before they go to their bullpen which is a bit shaky. Take the Brewers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Chase Diamond

Minnesota vs. Detroit
Play: Detroit -1½

This game features the 32-33 Twins and the 34-29 Tigers. Big time mismatch in this game as this is the first time this season I have taken a -1.5 as I just hate laying points. Twins have won 3 straight and are due for a let down today. Tigers are hungry and have the much better pitcher in Anibal Sanchez who is 2-2 with a 2.24 ERA.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

River City Sharps

Rangers vs. Mariners
Play: Over 7.5

While we don't play as many MLB totals as some, we were able to cash a freebie last night with the Giants bullpen implosion in the ninth inning as the Giants and Rockies went over the number. We are looking at another nice totals play for Saturday MLB when the Texas Rangers and lefty Joe Saunders (0-2, 3.60) face off with Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 5.97) and the Seattle Mariners. Ramirez has really been a disappointment for the M's his season and he has been hit hard in the majority of his starts. In games between these two clubs, the OVER is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings in Seattle and the OVER is also 9-2 in the Rangers last 11 games vs. teams with a winning record. We see Ramirez getting hit hard again tonight and Saunders is looking for his first win of the season. We think this one is going OVER the posted total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Scott Spreitzer

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals    
Play: St. Louis Cardinals +117 

Lance Lynn out-dueled Jordan Zimmerman last night for a 1-0 St. Louis win.  The Redbirds continue to find ways to beat the Nationals, now on a 29-8 run at home against them.  Tonight's matchup looks intriguing on paper with Strasburg & Miller, the scheduled starters.  The Washington righty owns nice stats against the Cardinals, except where it counts...in the win column, where his team is 0-3 in his outings against the NL Central entry.  Meanwhile, Shelby Miller, like his team, "owns" the Nats. Miller has posted a 0.50 ERA in three starts against the Nationals with a 2-0 mark to show for it.  As has been noted in some previews, Jason Werth, Denard Span, Adam LaRoche, and Ian Desmond, are a combined 4-for-31 against the Cardinal righty.  The Nationals have won just 4 of their last 15 on the road against teams with a winning record, while the Cardinals enter on a 9-1 run as a home underdog.  I'm recommending St. Louis as they look to extend their run to 11-2 in their last 13 against the Nats.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Jack Jones

Detroit Tigers -1½ +111

After losing the first game of this series to Minnesota, and nine of their last 12 games overall, I look for the Detroit Tigers to come out highly motivated for a victory Saturday night.  In fact, I fully expect them to win this game by multiple runs.

The Tigers have a massive edge on the mound behind Anibal Sanchez, who is 2-2 with a 2.24 ERA and 0.941 WHIP in 10 starts this season, including 0-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 0.656 WHIP in his last three outings.  Sanchez has posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.254 WHIP in eight career starts against Minnesota.

Sam Deduno is one of the worst starters in the big leagues.  The right-hander has gone 2-3 with a 5.25 ERA and 1.472 WHIP in seven starts in 2014, including 1-1 with a 7.43 ERA and 2.026 WHIP in his last three.  Deduno is also 2-2 with a 6.83 ERA and 1.699 WHIP in five career starts against Detroit.

Plays on all favorites against a 1.5 run line. (Money Line =+135 to -190) (DETROIT) - revenging a loss vs opponent as a home favorite of -150 or more, a marginal winning team (51% to 54%) playing a marginal losing team are 40-14 (74.1%, +30.4 units) since 1997.

Minnesota is 25-46 against the run line (-27.7 Units) vs. an AL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.20 or better over the last three seasons.  Detroit is 17-4 against the run line (+14.0 Units) off a loss to a division rival as a favorite of -150 or higher over the last two seasons.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

John Ryan

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers    
Play: Arizona Diamondbacks +128

The simulator shows a high probability that ARZ will win this game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a  76-42 mark for 64.4% winners and has made 40 units/unit wagered since 1997. Play on road teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (ARIZONA) and is an average hitting team batting between .255 to .269 and with an on base percentage of .260 or worse over their last 3 games and is now facing a solid starting NL pitcher posting an ERA <=3.70. Dodgers start Dan Haren, but is not in a solid spot for a win. He is just 4-15 (-16.0 Units) against the money line when facing teams outscored by opponents by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record); 9-18 (-15.6 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons; 10-20 (-22.7 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -110 or higher over the last 3 seasons. Dodgers have under performed so far this season and are just 6-15 (-14.8 Units) against the money line at home when the total is 7 to 8.5 this season;  1-8 (-10.3 Units) against the money line after 3 straight games where they committed no errors this season. Take Arizona.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Harry Bondi

ST. LOUIS (+120) over Washington

We used the Cardinals as a winner last night for our "Steam Team" and we'll look to cash another winning ticket on the Red Birds tonight. Over the last three years, St. Louis has only been a home dog nine times and they have gone 7-2 in those games. Tonight they face Nats ace Stephen Strasburg, who has not been nearly as effective on the road as he has been at home this season and he is winless in his last three starts vs. the Cards. St. Louis starter Shelby Miller, on the other hand, has had great success against the Nats, posting a 0.50 ERA in three starts and overall St. Louis has won 10 of 12 against Washington. Home dog is barking!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Bryan Leonard

Cleveland at Boston
Play: Over

Second look at TJ House in the last 11 days for the patient Red Sox should bring quality at bats. House is likely to be sent down after this start as he has been a quality fill in for the Tribe. But the more the league sees his limited stuff the harder it is to disguise.  Jake Peavy is just not the same pitcher he was in San Diego. He clearly struggles each and every start and as much as he wills himself to succeed the talent just isn't there any longer.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Anthony Michael

St. Louis Cardinals +110

Strasburg has been pitching well recently but he is in a bad spot here since the Cardinals have gone 6-2 at home against the Nationals and they are excellent on Saturday games. The Cards are 7-2 over the past few years as a small home underdog as well. Washington is terrible on Saturday and Miller goes for St. Louis who has been outstanding against Washington in the past.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Bryan Power

NY Yankees vs. Oakland
Pick: Oakland

The A's got hammered last night, losing 7-0 to the Yankees.  Such results are far from the norm for the AL West leaders as Friday marked one of the handful of games this year where they didn't at least have a chance to tie the game up in the 9th inning.  They had only two hits too, something I was thankful for as I had the game Under 7.5 and was able to eke out a win. Look for the Oakland offense to bounce back tonight.

The A's lineup is 2nd in all of MLB right now in both OBP and number of runs scored.  Yesterday marked just the fourth time this season they've been shutout.  Even after last night's setback this team still has the best run differential in either league & it's not even close.  They are +123 and the best team over in the NL, San Francisco, is at +56.

It helps that Oakland will have Scott Kazmir on the mound tonight. Not only does the lefty have an 11-2 TSR w/ a 0.976 WHIP, but lately he's been even sharper w/ a 1.21 ERA & 0.896 WHIP his last three starts.  The team has won each time and at home Kazmir is 3-1 (4-1 TSR) w/ a 0.777 WHIP.  Hiroki Kuroda is 0-3 all-time against the A's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Dave Price

Boston Red Sox -130

With convincing victories in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox have now rattled off seven straight at home.  Look for their home success to continue against a Cleveland club that is 8-20 in its last 28 away from home.  The Indians are 3-13 in their last 16 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150, 1-7 in their last eight road games versus teams with a losing record and 1-8 in their last nine at Fenway.  Boston is 38-14 in its last 52 home games versus teams with a road winning percentage of less than .400.  Peavy has struggled of late but still has better numbers than Cleveland rookie T.J. House.  House outpitched Peavy in Cleveland June 3, but I don't see it happening again.  Peavy's clubs are 4-2 in his last six starts versus the Indians, including 2-0 at home during this stretch.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Dennis Macklin

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers    
Play: Detroit Tigers -1½ +111

The Tigers are 3-9 in their L12 but don't blame Anibal Sanchez who rocks a 1.59 ERA over his L4 starts. Don't mind laying the extra run either as the former Marlin has always been a mystery to the Twinkies sporting a 2.42 ERA in eight LT starts. Sam Deduno has his moments but hasn't had any recently getting spanked to the tune 5.25 for the year and 7.43 in his last three. He's given up a whopping 27 baserunners (2.000+ whip) in his last 11 1/3 innings work and his ERA against Motown in five career starts is 6.83. You couldn't find a better spot for the Tigers to get healthy.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Tony Stoffo

Rangers / Mariners Over 7.5

With Joe Saunders matching up with Erasmo Ramirez tonight - makes for a strong release on the over here. Saunders had a 4.99 ERA in 13 starts at Safeco - while:

Ramirez is 0-4, 6.75 in his last 7 starts.

Over is 9-2 in Rangers last 11 vs. a team with a winning record.

Over is 9-4 in Rangers last 13 games vs. a right-handed starter.

Over is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings in Seattle.

Over is 16-5 in Marquezs last 21 games behind home plate vs. Texas.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

SPORTS WAGERS

Kansas City -1 +115 over CHICAGO

After yesterday’s 7-2 victory, Kansas City has not only won five in a row but they’ve won nine of the past 10 games they’ve played at this venue. We mentioned yesterday that the Royals, based on their numbers, should be scoring a lot more runs than they were and they made us look good by hanging up a crooked number in the first inning and going on to an easy win. More of the same is a distinct possibility here against Hector Noesi. This is Noesi's third team in 2014. Noesi went 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA in 21 innings for the Mariners last year. He spread out those 21 innings over five of the six months of the season but the abuse he took at Tacoma (5.83 ERA) indicates that his promotions were not merit-based. This year, Noesi is 2-4 with an ERA of 5.40. He has a unacceptable WHIP of 1.50 and a shaky 36%21%/44% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball profile. He has poor control, he’s been extremely hittable at this level and he’s put up those awful numbers (both on the surface and under) with an unsustainable 80% strand rate over his last five starts. We've seen worse base skills but Noesi needs some extra fastball juice or a more of a groundball lean to take the next step. We're not optimistic.

Danny Duffy has shown some flashes of the upside he displayed prior to his Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago, including a near no-hitter. While his overall skills do not support his current 3.26 ERA, his raw stuff gives him much more strikeout upside than he is showing. Besides, this one is about backing Duffy. The bet here is based on the hot Royals winning again, at a place they win often, against one of MLB’s worst starters.


N.Y. METS -120 over San Diego

We’re not in the habit of playing favorites because it’s not often that you find value in doing so but if the Giants are -160 (or thereabouts) over the Rockies than the Mets should be -180 over the Padres. We see lots of games at a higher price than this one and that's so wrong because thiis a significant pitching mismatch in the Mets favor and the Padres are dead last in the majors in several key offensive categories. The Padres have lost five in a row and nine of their past 11 games. Over that span they are hitting a pathetic .159 and it’s not just because they play in an extreme pitcher’s park. On the road, San Diego is batting a league low .212. Prior to this series they played three in Philly and scored five times and now they’ll face one of MLB’s most undervalued pitchers in Zack Wheeler. Wheeler cruised through three straight starts before a small road bump against the Giants earlier this week (4 ER in 3.2 IP on 86 pitches). Still, his 4.20 ERA and 1.40 WHIP have huge room for improvement because Wheeler has some of the best skills in the game. Wheeler posts a strong K-rate of 9.2 K’s/9 through 13 starts and a 55% ground ball percentage. He does a great job of keeping balls in the park (0.6 HR/9) and the only reason his ERA is high is because of a low strand rate of 70%. Wheeler has the third best xERA in all of baseball over his last seven starts, which sits at 2.46. Expect a run at double-digit strikeouts and a win against the Padres today.

Jesse Hahn's promotion was as short-lived as expected. Hahn was sent to AAA-El Paso after his June 3rd start against the Pirates in which he was tagged for six hits and four earned runs in 3.2 innings. Hahn gets an emergency start here because Eric Stults was put on the bereavement list. His first start was at Petco and he was hammered. His second start isn’t likely to be much better, as Hahn takes the step from Double-AA San Antonio to the majors and it’s not like he was dominating the Double-AA Texas League. He posted a .252 BAA and pitched just 35 innings over eight starts. Hahn was yanked almost every game after pitching four innings or less, as the (San Antonio) Missions tried to bring him along slowly. His chances of pitching deep into this game are slim and his chance of success are just as slim.


Colorado +150 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Giants are cooling off a bit with four losses in their past five games including the opener of this series last night, 7-4. San Fran is always tough to beat at home, especially in day games but wagering against Ryan Vogelsong cannot be ignored when he’s priced this high. Vogelsong is having a decent year with a 4-3 record to go along with a respectable 3.84 ERA but his skills still say he’s a risky proposition. Vogelsong has a weak 38%/23%/39% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball profile. His K rate is up but so are his walks, which has led to a below average 1.32 WHIP. Vogelsong significantly outpitched his skills during 2011-12 resurgence but it caught up to him and he was exposed last year. This year’s he’s outpitching his skills again and he’ll be facing a hot-hitting Rockies team that has won three in a row and has scored 35 runs over their last four games. Wagering on Vogelsong is a dart throw.

In his first major-league start five days ago, Christian Bergman didn’t set the world on fire but what he did do was hold the Braves to six hits and three earned runs in six innings. That was at Coors Field and the kid showed he deserves another shot. Bergman is hoping to translate some of his minor league success to the major leagues. He set a Triple-A Colorado Springs franchise record with 24 consecutive scoreless innings and an improbable 0.30 ERA in the month of May. We profiled Bergman in our MLB call-ups section so you can read more about him there. At this price against Vogeslong, Bergman and the Rockies most certainly offer up some nice value.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Jeffrey James

Detroit Tigers -175

Sanchez has been excellent lately giving up only 3 runs in his last 3 starts covering 21+ innings of work. Deduno goes for the Twins and he has been terrible lately giving up 11 runs in his last three starts covering less than 15 innings of work. Detroit is good in this price range at 7-4 as favorites between 150 and 175 and the Twins have not been strong against righties. Take the Tigers behind Sanchez here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Jeff Alexander

NY Yankees +145

The Yankees are showing an awful lot of value at this price considering their road record (22-15) is better than Oakland's home mark (17-13).  The Yankees have won 4 straight on the road, 5 straight versus AL West clubs and 5 straight versus clubs with winning records.  NY is also an impressive 12-3 in its last 15 road games versus southpaw starters.  Kazmir is off to a tremendous start, but I'm not sold.  He has an ERA of 4.03 lifetime and has been hit hard 4 of the last 5 times he's faced the Yankees, giving up 20 earned runs in 25 2-3 innings during this span.  Kuroda has allowed just 2 earned runs in 16 innings in 2 career starts in Oakland.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Dave Essler

Toronto -105

There's a number of reasons for me to bet this. First of all, the weather. There should be a decent cross-breeze blowing, which seriously helps the knuckle ball. Dickey's road start-stats aren't that solid, but a lot of them have been in cold weather (which he hates) or at home in the Dome w/no wind. So, IMO, advantage R.A. first. And yes, Norris has been pretty decent this year. However, before he shut down Boston, he had seriously regressed, giving up four or more runs in three straight games, and a ton of flyballs. Toronto is obviously not the team you want to start doing that against. And of course most of the Jays have been fairly successful against him. Normally I don't like the Jays pen, but two things. First, it wasn't abused last night, and secondly, unless Dickey gets hammered, he can throw 120 pitches every game. Lastly, the pressure is on the O's after dropping last night's game, where they also failed to score. Toronto is probably far looser, IMO. Baltimore is 15-16 at home, while the Jays are 20-12 on the road. I could go on, but why.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Wunderdog

Toronto vs. Baltimore
Pick: Baltimore -101

The Toronto Blue Jays are maintaining residual value from their long run, but in a negative way now. They have leveled out, and are not the team that most view them as at this point in time. They have not gotten the Cy Young numbers from R.A. Dickey that compelled them to bring him to Toronto, and although he is 6-4 he carries an ERA of over 4 on the season. Bud Norris has won three of his last four starts, the most recent, an eight-inning gem vs. Boston where he allowed 0 runs in eight innings. Norris has held the Birds in check twice this season, allowing just 3 runs in 13 innings against them. Baltimore is 8-2 in their last 10 division games, and with Norris on the hill, they are 5-1 in his last six division starts. Dickey has not been good as a road favorite, with the Jays stumbling to a 1-5 mark in his last six.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Michael Alexander

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles
Play: Baltimore Orioles -103

The Blue Jays are just 1-5 in Dickey's last 6 road starts and 1-6 in his last 7 starts as a road favorite. On the other hand the Orioles are 5-1 in Norris' last 6 home starts and 5-1 in his last 6 starts vs AL East opponents. The Orioles are 8-2 in their last 10 games overall vs the AL East and are 5-1 in their last 6 games vs a starter with a WHIP higher than 1.30.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

Larry Ness

Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners
Pick: Texas Rangers

Yu Darvish tossed a six-hitter in Wednesday's 6-0 win over Miami, then Nick Tepesch and three relievers combined on a two-hitter as the Rangers beat Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Friday, 1-0. Texas (33-34) has won back-to-back games following a four-game skid and with a win here, gets back to .500. Ron Washington's club hasn't posted three straight shutouts since July 2011 and will need a big effort from Joe Saunders (0-2, 3.60 ERA) to do it Saturday. He's facing the Mariners for the first time since going 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA for them last year.

However, facing Seattle, particularly at Safeco, is a role the lefty has thrived in. He is 8-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 career starts vs the Mariners (teams are 13-2!), including 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA over his last nine games against them in Seattle. Saunders hasn't won anywhere since beating Houston with the Mariners on August 31, going 0-5 in his last eight starts. He spent nearly two months on the disabled list with an ankle injury earlier this year but has pitched well in three starts since returning, allowing four ERs in 16.1 innings. However, the Rangers have backed him with a total of two runs in those games.

Saunders should get some support tonight, as his mound opponent, Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 5.97 ERA), seems to be getting worse as his young career goes on. He was 1-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 2012, in 16 appearances (including eight starts / team was 3-5). He made 14 appearances last year (13 starts), going 5-3 with a 4.98 ERA (team was 6-7 in his starts). That leads us to 2014, where he’s 1-4 with a 5.97 ERA in eight starts (team is 3-5), as Ramirez owns a 1.67 WHIP while opponents bat .294 against.

Saunders get that elusive win here!

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