Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 15

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 15

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Miami at San Antonio
The Heat look to avoid elimination on Sunday night and come into Game 5 with an 8-2 ATS record in their last 10 games when trailing in a playoff series. Miami is the pick (+6) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Miami (+6).

Game 709-710: Miami at San Antonio (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 131.797; San Antonio 127.150
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 4 1/2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 6; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+6); Under

WNBA

Atlanta at Washington
The Mystics play host to an Atlanta team that is 5-17 ATS in its last 22 road games. Washington is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Mystics favored by 3 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Washington (+2 1/2)

Game 601-602: Phoenix at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 113.037; Minnesota 120.562
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 7 1/2; 172
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 5 1/2; 164
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-5 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: New York at Connecticut (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 108.305; Connecticut 108.802
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 148
Vegas Line & Total: Connecticut by 4; 152
Dunkel Pick: New York (+4); Under

Game 605-606: Atlanta at Washington (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 112.555; Washington 116.007
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 3 1/2; 157
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 2 1/2; 152
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+2 1/2); Over

Game 607-608: Seattle at Tulsa (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 107.229; Tulsa 108.040
Dunkel Line & Total: Tulsa by 1; 141
Vegas Line & Total: Tulsa by 5 1/2; 144
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+5 1/2); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

LA Angels at Atlanta
The Angels wrap up their series tonight in Atlanta against a Braves team that is 2-9 in Mike Minor's last 11 starts as a home favorite of -110 to -150. LA is the pick (+120) according to Dunkel, which has the Angels favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+120)

Game 901-902: Pittsburgh at Miami (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Worley) 17.745; Miami (Alvarez) 16.622
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Miami (-150); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+130); Over

Game 903-904: San Diego at NY Mets (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Kennedy) 16.913; NY Mets (Matsuzaka) 15.605
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: San Diego (-135); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-135); Under

Game 905-906: Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Wood) 14.619; Philadelphia (Burnett) 11.532
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 3; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+120); Over

Game 907-908: Cincinnati at Milwaukee (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 16.056; Milwaukee (Estrada) 17.705
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-125); Under

Game 909-910: Washington at St. Louis (2:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Fister) 15.837; St. Louis (Garcia) 14.139
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+100); Over

Game 911-912: Colorado at San Francisco (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Nicasio) 12.042; San Francisco (Bumgarner) 18.206
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 6; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-210); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-210); Under

Game 913-914: Arizona at LA Dodgers (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Arroyo) 14.468; LA Dodgers (Beckett) 15.918
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-160); Under

Game 915-916: Minnesota at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Nolasco) 16.589; Detroit (Porcello) 15.592
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Detroit (-160); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+140); Over

Game 917-918: Toronto at Baltimore (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Happ) 16.597; Baltimore (Tillman) 17.409
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-125); Under

Game 919-920: Cleveland at Boston (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kluber) 18.132; Boston (Workman) 15.240
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 3; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-105); Over

Game 921-922: Kansas City at Chicago White Sox (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Shields) 16.362; White Sox (Rienzo) 14.945
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-155); Under

Game 923-924: Tampa Bay at Houston (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Price) 15.614; Houston (Peacock) 16.554
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-180); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+160); Over

Game 925-926: NY Yankees at Oakland (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Nuno) 13.914; Oakland (Chavez) 15.545
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-180); 8
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-180); Under

Game 927-928: Texas at Seattle (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Martinez) 15.207; Seattle (Iwakuma) 14.412
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-190); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+165); Over

Game 929-930: LA Angels at Atlanta (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Santiago) 15.907; Atlanta (Minor) 14.827
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+120); Over

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SPORTS WAGERS

Switzerland +159 over Ecuador

For unfathomable reasons the Swiss are only a slim favorite against an Ecuador team that they are clearly superior to. The price being offered is a silver lining. Without question, this is a fortuitous happenstance for gamblers and Swiss supporters alike. The speculation is admirable but mistaken. The Swiss enter the FIFA World Cup as the sixth ranked team in the world and rightfully so. Switzerland was sparkling in winning group E of UEFA qualification en route to their third consecutive World Cup. The Swiss went undefeated, as they won seven of 10 contests while drawing three. The Swiss have not lost a fixture in years. Its last noteworthy result was a draw against 11th ranked Croatia in an international friendly.

Still, Ecuador hauntingly is viewed as a potential upset artist with the Swiss. Perhaps, oddsmakers fear that Switzerland will make any early exit from the World Cup as they did in 2010. However, that type of prophesizing is unwarranted and unnecessary. Switzerland will dominate this group and exit as the Group Winner ascending to the knockout round. Ecuador cannot be taken lightly and we can’t imagine for a second that the Swiss will take anyone lightly after being eliminated early in this event in 2010. Invest. 


Honduras +1032 over France

France and Honduras have never met before on any pitch. This is the inaugural collision between the European dynasty and their up and coming South American counterparts. Astonishingly, betting on Honduras can net any taker a handsome bounty if they dare offer at the massive take-back.

Comparing the FIFA Rankings, France is slotted at number 17 overall. Honduras is ranked 33rd. This by no means implies that France is twice as good as Honduras or does this cast a shadow of impunity in Honduras’ qualification. The presumption is that France will win the match because they are a perennial European power, however not so long ago, the expectation of French superiority greatly diminished. Teams like Belgium and Greece usurped the French in the rankings and were suddenly held in higher distinction. With these notions considered, Greece and Belgium on average are lesser of a favorite against less quality opponents overall. Honduras should by no means be a heavy underdog, as their body of work en route to the World Cup was exquisite.

The Hondurans pummeled fellow qualifier Costa Rica, they defeated America in the aggregate and they were a problem for Mexico. None of the three teams could come up with a win against Honduras. In fact, Honduras outscored these opponents 5-3. America is a 13th ranked football club, Mexico is ranked 19th respectively. Without question, Honduras can compete against top twenty opponents and France is no different. On a neutral pitch, Honduras is very capable of pulling off an upset. With a better than 10-1 incentive to the bold souls willing to place the bet, a victory by Honduras could be a sweet return on an enticing investment. Choosing Honduras with these odds may very well turn out to be the steal of the first week of the FIFA World Cup. Huge overlay.

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LT Profits

Miami vs San Antonio
Pick: Spurs -6

Few people saw the San Antonio Spurs beating the Miami Heat in five games in these NBA Finals, but we now expect that to happen with the Spurs wrapping things up at home! San Antonio proved it is the better team here with back-to-back blowout wins in Miami in Game 3 and Game 4. The Heat have stepped up their game while in desperation mode in the past, but for the first time since LeBron James arrived they are simply outmatched in this series as they have no answers for the scorching Spurs’ offense, with the only quarter this entire series where we saw the customary Miami defense being the fourth quarter of Game 2. The Heat could start out strong early here, but in the end look for the Spurs to pull away to an NBA title. The Spurs are 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games vs. teams with winning road records.

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DAVE COKIN

TORONTO BLUE JAYS AT BALTIMORE ORIOLES
PLAY: TORONTO BLUE JAYS +105

The Blue Jays let one get away on Saturday, with a really awful coaching decision playing a huge part in the defeat. Top of the eighth, Jays trailing 3-1, Jose Bautista on first with one out. Edwin Encarnacion laces a double to left field, and for reasons only third base coach Luis Rivera knows, he waves Bautista around and Joey Bats is out at the plate.

This was a genuinely terrible decision. The situation absolutely dictates that the runner only be sent if he’s going to score standing up. Otherwise, you must take the second and third with one out. The chances of scoring easily here were zero. Plus, you’ve got JJ Hardy as the cutoff man, and Hardy is one of the best in the game at his job as far as defense is concerned.

Almost needless to say, the next two Jays hitters each reached base and Toronto did manage to close the deficit to 3-2. There’s no way of knowing whether or not that would have happened had the Blue Jays not taken the bad gamble. But at the very least, this was a costly blunder and one a veteran baseball guy like Rivera simply cannot make.

As for today’s game, there’s risk involved as JA Happ isn’t exactly a stopper and the Blue Jays aren’t playing very well these last several days. But I’m going to have to lean Toronto’s way here, based on a couple of sets of numbers that look to me to be good barometers.

First off, the Orioles haven’t hit lefties at all well in their home ballpark. They’re managing less than three runs per nine innings against southpaws at this site. Happ isn’t a high level guy to be sure, but those are still numbers worth noticing.

Then there’s Chris Tillman, who simply hasn’t been sharp. Tillman has now strung together eight consecutive starts with an xFIP of 4.33 or higher. There’s just no way I can ignore stats like that, as they’re significant indicators that Tillman is not a pitcher who would fall into the reliable category at the present time.

The dicey part of this equation is the suddenly quiet Toronto offense. But I can see them getting some breakout here if they run into the same Tillman who has been showing up recently. Add in the meager Baltimore digits against lefties, and I have to consider the Blue Jays a live dog in this series finale.

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Rob Vinciletti

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Play: Detroit Tigers -148

The Tigers will look to take the rubber game of the series today and we note that they are 16-3 at home off a home win where they scored 10 or more runs. Minnesota has lost 4 of 5 on the road off a road loss where they scored 5 or more runs. That brings us to the system in this game. We are playing on certain home favorites that are off a home Favored win from -140 to -199 that won by 2 or more runs and score 10 or more runs, vs an opponent off a +140 or higher road dog loss by 2 or more runs but scored 5 or more runs on 10 or more hits with no error. Some what complicated system but it has won 15 of 16 times, The Tigers have R. Porcello going and he has won 9 of his last 12 home starts. He will oppose Twins righty Ricky Nolasco who has a dreadful 7.31 road era. We will go with Detroit today.


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Dennis Macklin

Blue Jays vs. Orioles    
Play: Over 9

The Jays haven't been hitting like they were during their recent 19-5 run but the O's Chris Tillman (1-1, 9.30 L5) might just be the cure for what ills. In his last start against the Jays on April 23rd, the Baltimore righty was touched up for seven earned (three homers) getting just 16 outs. The visitors counter with J.A. Happ who is nothing special and rocking his own 6.50 ERA over his last three. His 24/38 BB/K ratio in just 47 and change innings helps understand his problems getting people out. Play the Over.

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Art Aronson

Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners    
Play: Seattle Mariners -178

I feel that the talent discrepancy on the mound justifies in laying the larger price in this match-up. The Rangers send Nick Martinez (1-3, 463 ERA) to the mound; Martinez was torched for eight runs in two innings by the Indians on Monday. This now makes three straight poor outings in a row for Martinez and a trip back to the minors is imminent. The Mariners will counter with Hisashi Iwukuma (4-3, 2.79 ERA); Iwakuma held the Yankees to three runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings in a loss on Tuesday. Iwakuma though has completed at least 6 2/3 innings in seven of eight outings this year and he's worked at least six frames each time. Note that in his last start against the Rangers, the Japanese hurler went eight innings while giving up two runs. The Mariners have struggled of late with five losses in a row but will certainly see this game as a golden opportunity to get back in tothe winner’s circle; the Rangers can’t feel too comfortable with Martinez on the hill since they gave up 17 runs in his last outing. Consider laying the price to get the Mariners.


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Marc Lawrence

San Diego Padres at New York Mets
Prediction: San Diego Padres

The Padres and Mets put the finishing touch on this three-game series Sunday afternoon in New York where Ian Kennedy toes the rubber for San Diego at Citi Field. Kennedy is well acclimated with the Big Apple from his days with the Yankees and it shows as he is 5-1 in his career team-starts against he Mets, including 2-0 here. Kennedy is also 4-2 in his six road starts this season, opposed to 2-4 at home. With that look for more of the same here today. We recommend a 1-unit play on San Diego.

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Jim Feist

Pittsburgh Pirates at Miami Marlins
Pick: Miami Marlins

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the hottest teams in June, posting a 9-4 Mark and scoring a league-best 72 runs in the process. They bring a four-game win streak into today's game at Miami after beating the Marlins handily on Saturday. But, as good as the Bucs have been, I am going against them here on Sunday. First, Miami is one of the better home teams in baseball with a 22-13 mark this season. The Marlins have also played well in June and look to avoid the sweep here on Sunday. And they will do it with arguably their best pitcher, Henderson Alvarez. While Alvarez is only 3-3 on the season, he does boast an excellent 2.56 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Moreover, the Marlins have won the last five starts by Alvarez and seven of his last eight. And Alvarez has been amazing of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 26 1/3 innings with just two walks and 19 strike outs. Pretty impressive! Another reason I am going against the Bucs is the starting of pitcher Vance Worely. Worley makes his first start of the season after being acquired from the Twins. Bucs manager Clint Hurdle really likes this guy, but his numbers haven't proved him right yet. Worely was 1-5 last year for the Twins with a 7.21 ERA. And, at triple-A Indianapolis this season, Worley was just 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA. Not exactly numbers to wow you by. Alvarez just too hot a pitcher right now, plus Miami is a good home bet and Worley just too big a question mark at this time.

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Bruce Marshall

Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
Pick: Houston Astros

Numbers suggest we have to give Houston a look at this sort of price. Especially since visiting Tampa Bay has lost 15 of its last 18 overall and 11 of its last 12 on the road. Normally, we might overlook those sorts of numebrs with David Price on the mound for the Rays, but they have lost in his last three starts as well. Astros starter Brad Peacock looks capable of keeping the anemic Tampa Bay offense in check after posting a 2-0 record with a 2.66 ERA in his last four starts.

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Footy Tipster

Switzerland vs. Ecuador
Pick: Switzerland

This game should be a very close encounter on Sunday. Both sides know a win is vital to have any hope of progressing in the group.

This may well prove to be the 2nd & 3rd place battle!

We see Switzerland shading this one by the narrowest of margins and 151 is a generous price on this one!

The Swiss know what it takes to win in a World cup, this time 4 years ago the beat current World Champions Spain 1-0 in the first game of their group.

Also, Switzerland eased through their qualifying group to make the World Cup, taking 24 points from a possible 30!

Both teams are fairly evenly matched, but Switzerland's quality could seen them scrape a win.

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Andre Gomes

Ecuador vs. Switzerland 
Play: Ecuador -119

Ecuador is one of the toughest teams in the world when they play at home basically due to the home court factor i.e. they play in Quito in extreme high altitude – It’s like the Nuggets in the NBA playing at home but in a football open stadium close to 10000 feet high. Obviously, on the road they lose such edge… However, the good news for today is that the game will be played @Brasilia w/ altitude of 1,172m or 3,845ft (the highest in the tournament), so I can see the Swiss team struggle a bit physically against Ecuador.

Still note that Ecuador has some talent and they are experienced at this level. Since 2013 they had some interesting results vs. top teams: 0-0 vs. Argentina, 1-1 vs. Netherlands and 2-2 vs. England already in this month.

They are well disciplined on the defense and this could be a major problem for a Switzerland side who isn’t comfortable in assuming the control of the game and rather prefer to assume a more caution style – they will attempt to spring forward quickly on the break.

Amazingly, we are yet to see a draw in the competition and this could really be the first one. We can grab Ecuador AH (+0.25) @ decent odds and in a potential draw, we still won half of our bet – something I can’t ignore and therefore, I’m taking Ecuador in here.

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Erin Rynning

San Diego at NY Mets
Play: San Diego -120

The Padres and pitching coach Darren Balsley have done great work with this afternoon’s expected started Ian Kennedy. Kennedy struggled with the Arizona Diamondbacks last season before he was traded at the July 31st deadline to the Padres. The struggles continued for the right-hander after he was traded as he posted an overall 4.91 ERA in 2013. However, Kennedy still possessed good stuff and wasn’t too far removed from the 21-4 record and 2.88 ERA of 2011. Prior to this season Kennedy and Balsley were able to make key adjustments and we’ve seen an uptick in velocity and more of a reliance on the curveball. Kennedy’s strikeouts are up, walks are down, and he’s clearly outpitched (3.02 xFIP) his current 3.63 ERA and 5-7 W-L record. Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Daisuke Matsuzaka will be making his fourth start of the season for the Mets. His 2.95 ERA is sparkling, but I seriously doubt that number will hold up in the long run. He still struggles with efficiency with and alarming 28 walks in 39 frames this year. It will be five or six innings of marginal pitching at best for Dice-K, while the Mets’ bullpen continues to be a mess. Take the Padres on Sunday afternoon.

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Chase Diamond

New York vs. Oakland
Play: Oakland -175

This game features the 35-32 Yankees at the 41-27 Oakland. We backed Yankees yesterday and that was the wrong side today even at this high juice price we are getting good value. Let's face it Vidal Nuno is no Major League pitcher and his numbers prove that. Jesse Chavez has been solid going 5-4 with a 3.04 ERA. Oakland won yesterday expect them to carry that over to a easy winner today public is backing Oakland and so will we.


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Bryan Leonard

Cleveland -107

With the opportunity to secure a 5-5 road trip, the Indians will send Corey Kluber to the mound against Brandon Workman of the Red Sox. Kluber ran into some struggles against the Red Sox in his last start, but the problems had to do with pitch sequencing and not his actual performance, with a lot of weak hits to the opposite field. We expect that he will make the necessary adjustments and work inside a little bit more to open up success with his cutter and slider.

Kluber has been fantastic for the Indians all season and has the opportunity to get some momentum going as the Indians come home to face Anaheim on Monday. The Indians offense will get another crack at Brandon Workman, who is due some regression as a starter.

Workman has walked over 10 percent of opposing batters faced while starting, but has gotten bailed out by a .206 BABIP against. The Indians faced Workman for the first time in his last start and their lefties should have a much better idea of how to approach him. We're confident that Kluber is talented enough to make the adjustments and we're just not sure that's the case with Workman because of his strikeout-to-walk ratio as a starter and the lack of a swing-and-miss pitch.

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Bob Balfe

Atlanta Braves -135

There is nothing better to play under the lights against a 0-6 pitcher at home. This is a perfect spot for Atlanta to break the bats out. The Braves struggled out in Colorado, but now have a chance to get back on track tonight. Minor is the superior pitcher here. Take Atlanta.

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Harry Bondi

SAN DIEGO (+110) over NY Mets

We won our second-straight free pick yesterday on the home dog Cardinals and today we look for the Mets to break through with a much-needed win at the Mets. Padres starter Ian Kennedy, formerly of the Yankees, has won five of his six career starts against the Mets and is 2-0 in this ballpark. He has also been much more effective on the road this year (3.32 ERA) than at home. The Mets average just 3.2 runs per game at home vs. righties this year and will struggle here today against Kennedy and while Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched well for the Mets, he is due for a classic early-exit. Padres avoid the sweep!

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SPORTS WAGERS

Pittsburgh/MIAMI Over 7½

The Marlins and Pirates have combined for 54 hits and 28 runs in the first two games of this series. Pittsburgh alone had 17 hits on Friday and 18 hits on Saturday and now we get a very beatable number because of Henderson Alvarez’s 2.56 ERA. Alvarez is 3-1 at home with a 1.47 ERA but it cannot last. Alvarez has not been able to turn his 93 MPH fastball into strikeouts. He has just 50 K’s in 81 innings and his 1.28 WHIP is above league average. His average swing and miss rate doesn't offer much hope for more Ks in the near future either. Alvarez has been greatly aided by an unsustainable 86% strand rate, which is the second highest mark among starters with eight or more starts. His surface stats are tempting to buy but his skills say a serious ERA correction is forthcoming. Alvarez is grossly overvalued and provides us with a solid over bet (not fade) because the opposing pitcher may be worse.

Vance Worley makes his first start of the year. In 10 games started last year for the Twins, Worley went 1-5 with an ERA of 7.31 and an oppBA of .368. Only two of his 10 starts were of the pure quality variety. Worley’s 2011 success seems long ago. Bone spurs hurt his 2012 results but they don't explain the 2013 debacle. In 2011 and 2012 Worley recorded a decent amount of K’s but his swing and miss rate said it wasn't going to last, and it didn't. His luck may turn at some point and but when the Twins don’t want you and your skills start this low, chances of success are slim. Expect plenty more hits and runs in this one.


Kansas City -1½ +115 over CHICAGO

The Royals hung a five in the fourth inning of yesterday’s game en route to a 9-1 win and they hung a four in the first inning of Friday’s 7-2 win. The Royals have another great chance of putting up another crooked number against Andre Rienzo. Rienzo is 4-3 in nine games started with an ERA of 5.25. He also has a 1.50 WHIP and the White Sox have lost his last three games by scores of 8-4, 4-2, and 7-1. Rienzo’s poor surface stats this year are supported by his poor beneath the hood stats and there are no signs of improvement. This Brazilian import has not been able to miss MLB bats like he did in minors. His curveball is a legit strikeout pitch but lack of other dominant pitches and weak velocity don't bode for him at this park. Chronic wildness usually seals his fate and he’ll now face a team that’s seeing beach balls.

K.C. has now won 10 of its last 11 games at U.S. Cellular Field and they’ve won six in a row overall while outscoring their opposition 39-14 over that span. They’ve also won the last seven games that James Shields’ has started. With nine pure quality starts in 14 games, a skills supported 3.44 ERA, outstanding control (21 BB in 92 IP) and a groundball ball bias profile (51%/30% GB/FB) Shields’ is as reliable as almost any pitcher in the game. For whatever reason the Royals thrive at this park. They came into this series swinging some warm bats and subsequently buried the South Side in both games so far. The beat figures to continue in this one.


N.Y. Yankees +158 over OAKLAND

Vidal Nuno has an ugly 4.97 ERA after appearing in 13 games, 10 as a starter. Nuno got off to a very rocky start and in fact, after his April 20th start, he had an ERA of 6.75. Since then he’s been able to shave off nearly two runs per game on his ERA and over his last five starts covering 30 innings, he’s posted an ERA of 3.60. Nuno has a BB/K split of 4/23 over that same span of 30 innings and if not for an unlucky 69% strand rate his numbers would be even better. Pitching much better and with more confidence than he had when he first came up, Nuno offers up some nice value here against Jesse Chavez.

Jesse Chavez started the season in fine form. He had a 1.89 ERA and 0.95 WHIP inn April. Since then, he has been more mediocre than dominant. His skills over the last month were poor and they are showing no signs of improving. Chavez continues to pitch well against RH bats but he can’t get lefties out consistently and that’s a problem here. Lefties are hitting .292 against Chavez with a SLG% of .400 and an OPS of .755. Risk averse bettors should definitely avoid him today because the Yanks will send out a lefty-heavy lineup that includes Brett Gardiner, Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson, Yangervis Solarte, Jacoby Ellsbury and Ichiro Suzuki. Mark Teixeira is a switch hitter also and is questionable for today’s game. Still, the Yanks are loaded on the left side, they’ve won four of five and at this price against Chavez they are very worthy of backing.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 15

Michael Alexander

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Miami Marlins
Play: Miami Marlins -120

Alvarez, tied with the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Cueto with a major league-leading three complete games, is expected to take the mound for the first time since leaving after 5 1/3 innings with a strained left hip in last Sunday’s 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Venezuelan native permitted two run (one earned) and seven hits, putting an end to 26-inning scoreless streak. Alvarez went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two outings last season versus the Pirates – the only times he has ever faced them.

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