Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, June 14

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

Bruce Marshall

Costa Rica vs Uruguay
Pick: Over

Costa Rica does not mind playing at a faster pace as it showcases young Arsenal (on loan to Olympiakos) striker Joel Campbell. With several players from European leagues and the MLS on the roster, the Ticos have an interesting blend of speed and vision on attack. Firepower edge to Uruguay and its Liverpool-based striker Luis Suarez, but we think these two at least get to three goals tonight in Fontaleza.

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

Sam Martin

Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

Even pitching matchup on paper with the D'Backs sending Collmenter to the hill and the Dodgers countering with Haren, but we give the overall edge to Los Angeles here at home after winning the series opener last night 4-3.

The Dodgers have completely owned Arizona since these two teams opened the 2014 MLB season over in Australia, and the Dodgers have won 9 of the first 12 matchups so far this season. Don't expect a different result today noting Collmenter's career 5.83 ERA vs. the Dodgers (six starts).

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

OC Dooley

Nationals -130

This is one of three different FOX-TV regional primetime telecasts and many viewers will be treated to arguably the hottest “star” pitcher in the game.  In the past three Washington starts heavily-touted Stephen Strasburg has a spectacular ERA (1.42) to go along with a 27 different STRIKEOUTS along the way.  I am aware that the Nationals have lost the last pair of days but they actually entered Thursday riding a massive WINNING streak of “11-1”.  The Nationals managed to win three out of four games in a series during the week at San Francisco against an opponent who had the best overall record in the entire National League.  This is one of those “due theory” picks as in three lifetime starts against the Cardinals Strasburg has pitched well (2.37 ERA) even though failing to garner a victory each time.  On the mound for St. Louis this evening is Shelby Miller who admittedly is coming off a pitching gem, but his ERA spanning the prior three assignments was right near the EIGHT mark.  To make a long story short the offensive struggles of St. Louis continue as they won a 1-0 squeaker last night even though just getting back the services of their slugging percentage leader from a stay on the disabled list

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

Scott Delaney

Not listing pitchers in this one because the San Diego Padres are toiled in this brutal road trup and have already lost five in a row as they continue this three-game set in Queens, N.Y., at Citi Field, after losing the opener last night.


Though the Mets are mired in a 2-9 slide overall, they've won four of their last seven home games and should be able to take advantage of the West coast Friars for a second straight night.


The Padres' pitching staff has been solid all season, continually putting the team in a god position to win, but it's their futile offense that has them slumping terribly.


San Diego ranks last in the Major Leagues in batting average (.215), hits (475), slugging percentage (.343), on-base percentage (.274) and runs (202). To put that last stat in perspective, the 29th ranked Reds have scored 29 more runs than San Diego.


Granted, the Padres own a 21-4 record this season when scoring four or more runs, they've done so in only 25 games in 2014; they've played 67.


I'm cool with taking the Mets, who haven't lost a season series to the Padres since 2009.


2* N.Y. METS

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

Chris Jordan

Miami has held its own in its own stadium, and tonight the Marlins are my free play, as they're going to be out to end a two-game skid that includes last night's 8-6 loss to these Pittsburgh Pirates. Miami, which is 34-32 on the year, has a 22-12 mark at Marlins Park. That's the second-best record in baseball, as the San Francisco Giants are 23-13 in their park.

The Fish just finished up a seven-game road trip that rolled through Tampa Bay, Chicago and Arlington, so they may have been a bit tired. Despite the two-game slide, Miami has won six of 10 overall,.

Tonight the Marlins get back to winning.

As for the pitchers in this game, I'm not going to list Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton or Miami's Randy Wolf, but I can tell you I don't mind the fact we have this matchup.

Morton is in after lasting at least seven innings for just the third time in 121 starts. So durability is not his strong suit. And pitching down in humid Miami could limit his grip on the ball and we could see him having to take velocity of his pitches because of that. With Wolf, the Marlins' lefty has pitched at least five innings in each of his three starts since signing with the team.

But again, don't worry about listing the pitchers in this game, just play the teams as is in straight action.

1* MIAMI

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

Gabriel DuPont

My free play for today is going to be the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians, as I look to improve upon my 16-8 free-pick run. In this game be sure to list Jake Peavy and T.J. House in this game.

The SMART INTANGIBLE in favor of the Red Sox - Boston as won two straight after last night's 10-3 win over the Indians, as the Crimson Hose pulled even at home with a 17-17 mark at Fenway Park.

The SMART INTANGIBLE working against the Indians - Cleveland is in last place in the American League Central, and come into this one having lost four straight games. While the Indians are 21-11 at home, they're an abysmal 12-24 on the road.

In conclusion, why BOSTON is my SMART PLAY in this game - I'm listing both Peavy and House in this one, as this is a rematch from June 3, in which House took the no-decision after 5.2 innings of work, but Peavy took the loss. Boston's crafty northpaw was tagged for eight hits and five earned runs over 6.1 innings of work. Thing is, Peavy hasn't been himself on the road. He showed that by following the loss in Cleveland with a disappointing performance in Baltimore, allowing four earned runs over seven frames. But while he has a 5.40 ERA on the road, he has a 4.23 ERA at home.

House is in after getting pelted pretty good by the Texas Rangers, as they terrorized him for six runs overall - five of them earned - in just 3-1/3 innings. Though the Indians went on to win easily, 17-7, it doesn't mean he's doing his part. In his last four starts he's allowed 13 earned runs over 21.1 innings for a 5.49 ERA. Look for Boston and Peavy to get revenge in this one.

5* BOSTON

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

Brad Wilton

Stephen Strasburg and Shelby Miller are hooking up for the second time this season. Their first meeting produced a 3-2 Nationals win in late April, and an Under. I look for a similar outcome in this June showdown.

Strasburg's ERA over his last 3 starts stands at 1.42, while his counterpart has seen his last pair of starts, and 8 of his 13 starts overall hold Under the total for the season.

The weekend set opened last night with an Under to make it an 8-1-2 Under clip the last 11 series meetings since last season.

With last night's Under, the Cardinals have now played Low in 6 of their last 7 contests.

Still with the pitchers to rule, and the series trends to continue to stay on the lower side of things scoring-wise.

Nationals-Cardinals Under the total.

3* WASHINGTON-ST. LOUIS UNDER

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

Jeff Benton

Your Saturday freebie is the same as Friday's freebie...Yankees-A's Under the total.

On June 3rd, Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir worked the mound at Yankee Stadium in a game that landed Under the total. Not surprising since Kuroda has found his rhythm, and Kazmir has been doing it all season.

Kuroda enters this game with 3 runs or less allowed in each of his last 5 starts, and 3 of those 5 - including his last pair - have ended up playing Under the posted total.

Kazmir is 7-2 with a 2.20 season ERA. Over his last 3 starts, the southpaw has an ERA of 1.21 which includes his start against the Yankees and Kuroda in which he allowed 2 runs while working 6-plus innings that day.

New York is 15-7-1 Under the total in their last 23 Saturday contests, and after holding Under in last night's series opener, they are Under in 7 of their last 9 games played in Oakland.

The Yankees offense just doesn't have that thunder anymore, so my suggestion is to play another Under on Saturday night between New York and Oakland.

3* N.Y. YANKEES-OAKLAND UNDER

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

Craig Davis

Your free play of the day is on the Oakland A's on the run line over the New York Yankees.

Let's remember, despite last night's 7-0 Yankees shutout win over Oakland, the A's have still won 8 of the last 11 vs. New York and despite their 23-14 road record, Oakland is still very good at home, especially vs. the Yankees.

The last time Scott Kazmir faced the NY Yankees it was against Hiroki Kuroda (today's starter) and it wasn't long ago. Kazmir was the beneficiary of timely hitting and good defense in a 5-2 win at Yankee Stadium.

Kazmir has lost only twice pitching at home in his last 10 attempts. I think it's safe to say they'll be focused for this one today. Take the A's as your free play today on the run line.


1* OAKLAND -1.5

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

Scott Delaney

Not listing pitchers in this one because the San Diego Padres are toiled in this brutal road trup and have already lost five in a row as they continue this three-game set in Queens, N.Y., at Citi Field, after losing the opener last night.

Though the Mets are mired in a 2-9 slide overall, they've won four of their last seven home games and should be able to take advantage of the West coast Friars for a second straight night.

The Padres' pitching staff has been solid all season, continually putting the team in a god position to win, but it's their futile offense that has them slumping terribly.

San Diego ranks last in the Major Leagues in batting average (.215), hits (475), slugging percentage (.343), on-base percentage (.274) and runs (202). To put that last stat in perspective, the 29th ranked Reds have scored 29 more runs than San Diego.

Granted, the Padres own a 21-4 record this season when scoring four or more runs, they've done so in only 25 games in 2014; they've played 67.

I'm cool with taking the Mets, who haven't lost a season series to the Padres since 2009.

2♦ N.Y. METS

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

Andre Gomes

Uruguay / Costa Rica Under 2.5

Uruguay is considered to be one of the dark horses of this tournament due to their great results in the last years: they were 4th in the last World Cup and they won the Copa America in the following year. They are an experienced team with a great national coach and probably, they have the best front two duos in the competition in Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani.

The potential problem is that Luis Suarez is coming from an injury and he might be far from being @ 100%. Uruguay doesn’t have much talent on their midfield, so they need badly Suarez to create open-plays for them.

On the other end, Costa Rica will just be happy to packed in and hope for the best in a counter move. Most likely, they will use a 5-3-2 formation and note that they are a well organized and disciplined team. Their Goalkeeper is coming from a great individual season in Spain (Levante) so it’s not going to be easy to break them and score goals.

My leans for this contest are Costa Rica & Under. I would love to grab an AH (+1.5) line but this won’t happen for sure as I expect Uruguay to have some problems to create chances and therefore, my lean w/ Under makes sense as well IMO.

Obviously, if Uruguay scores an early game (like Colombia did against Greece today) we would be in trouble, because Costa Rica will have the pressure to abandon their defensive mindset to tie the game and naturally, they will be exposed on the back, but I'll take my chances in a low scoring game

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