Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 15

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

Matt Fargo

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals    
Play: Washington Nationals +106

We won with St. Louis last night as the Cardinals have taken the first two games of this series and have now won five of their last six games overall. I like Washington's chances today to avoid the sweep as well as avoiding its fourth straight loss. The Nationals opened this roadtrip at 5-1 so they would certainly like to come out of here with a winning trek. I expect the solid pitching to continue tonight behind Doug Fister who has been awesome since a poor opening start after coming off the DL in early May. He has allowed two runs or fewer in six straight starts with the Nationals winning all of those games. His ERA over this winning stretch is 1.83 and even more impressive could be the fact that he has a 29:3 K:BB ratio. The Cardinals counter with Jaime Garcia who is coming off seven shutout innings at Toronto for his best start of the season. He has struggled at home this season however as he has a 6.16 ERA in three starts and while he has not lost any of those games, St. Louis is 0-3 in those starts. Going back to last season, the Cardinals are 3-7 in Garcia's last 10 starts as a favorite.


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

Jimmy Boyd

St Louis Cardinals -114

The Cardinals are showing excellent value as a small home favorite against the Nationals on Sunday. St Louis has taken each of the first two games in the series and have done so thanks to dominant pitching. The Nationals have scored just 1 run on 6 hits over the first two games. I look for their offense to stay in a funk against the Cardinals Jaime Garcia, who is coming off a dominant start against the Blue Jays. Garcia held Toronto to just 3 hits over 7 shutout innings.

Road underdogs with a money line of +100 to +150 who are a below average hitting team (AVG <=.255) against an average starting pitcher (ERA=4.20 to 5.20) -NL, with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.150 or better on the season-NL are just 16-53 against the money line since 1997. That's a 77% system in favor of the Cardinals.

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

Dave Price

Washington Nationals +106

St. Louis southpaw Jaime Garcia has struggled at home where he has posted a 6.16 ERA and the Cardinals have lost each of his three starts.  His struggles figure to continue against a Washington club that is batting .289 and averaging 4.6 runs per game against left-handed starters.  The Nationals are 4-0 in their last four games versus a left-handed starter.  Fister has been great for the Nationals with a 2.68 ERA on the season, and they have won each of his last six starts.  The Cardinals are 2-6 in their last eight games as a home favorite, 3-8 in their last 11 games as a favorite of -110 to -150 and 1-6 in their last seven games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.  The Cardinals are 3-7 in Garcia's last 10 starts as a favorite and 3-11 in his last 14 starts the third game of a series.

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

Jack Jones

Baltimore Orioles -110

The Baltimore Orioles are showing tremendous value as a small home favorite over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday.  I'll take advantage and back them due to the massive edge they have on the mound in this one.

Chris Tillman has been one of the more underrated starters in the league over the past couple of years.  The right-hander went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 2012, and 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 2013.  He has been dominant at home in 2014, posting a 2.51 ERA over five starts at Camden Yards.

J.A. Happ just hasn't materialized into the pitcher he was supposed to be when he entered the big leagues.  The left-hander has gone 45-45 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.412 WHIP over 122 career starts and 23 relief appearances.  He is 5-3 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.606 WHIP this season for Toronto as well.

Tillman is 10-1 (+10.6 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opponents by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The Orioles are 14-3 in Tillman's last 17 home starts vs. a team with a winning record.

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

Dennis Macklin

Toronto vs. Baltimore
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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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, June 15

Bryan Power

Washington vs. St. Louis
Pick: Under

I unfortunately lost w/ the Over yday as St. Louis won 4-1 to continue their head to head domination over Washington.  Call it a lesson learned, because after a 1-0 final in Friday's opener, I feel we're now headed for a third-straight low scoring affair between these two clubs.  Take the Under...

Yesterday's total was 6.5 runs and I felt getting to seven was achievable.  It turns out I was wrong, though I can be vindicated here if the teams get to 7 runs and I'll still win this wager because the number has been moved to 7.5 at some shops. It's a flat 7 runs at the majority of shops currently, with heavy juice on the Over, but I expect most places to follow suit and bump the total up one-half run.

The Nats' Doug Fister has seen the team win each of his last six starts & when you have a 2.68 ERA & 1.031 WHIP it's easy to see why.  He threw seven scoreless innings at San Francisco in his last start.  Meanwhile, the Cards' Jamie Garcia has an interesting ERA/WHIP split of 4.26/0.947, which means that he's been extremely unlucky when it comes to the percentage of baserunners allowed scoring.  He too threw seven scoreless innings his last time out.  In fact, Cardinals pitching has allowed one run or less in 5 of its last 6 games, including FOUR shutouts!

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

Bruce Marshall

Heat at Spurs
Play: Under

The pace of this series has mostly slowed as it has proceeded, with the excpetion of few eruptions by the Spurs in the first half of Game Three, and soem garbage-time baskets in Game Four. That Game Four did stay "under" however, and we suspect however many games remain in the Finals will also go the same way, as this has become a full-blown halfcourt offense series, especially with Miami reluctant to push the pace.

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

Dr. Bob

Miami at SAN ANTONIO (-6)

San Antonio is showing that they're a better team than the Heat but after a second straight dominating performance in Miami the Spurs are in a very negative situation. Not only does Miami apply to a 54-13 ATS playoff bounce-back situation but the Spurs apply to a 5-40-2 ATS game 5 situation. The only game the Heat have covered was game 2 in San Antonio when that same 54-13 ATS situation applied and the Spurs are 1-4 ATS when they apply to that 5-40-2 ATS game 5 angle. I've passed on the two games when the situation favored Miami and even leaned with the Spurs in game 4 despite the negative situation. My ratings favor San Antonio by 8 1/2 points.

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

Wunderdog

San Diego @ New York
Pick: New York +110

A good spot for the New York Mets to break out of their funk, playing their sixth straight home game. San Diego is 3,000 miles from home playing its sixth straight road game, part of an eight-game trip. The Padres are on a 1-5 run. The last two times they were favored they lost 7-3 and 6-2. That's what happens when you're stuck with the worst offense in baseball, 30th in runs and on base percentage, 29th in slugging. The team is 3-5 in San Diego starter Ian Kennedy's last eight starts, and he got pounded the last game giving up five runs in seven innings of a 5-2 loss at the punchless Philllies. San Diego is 21-34 against right-handed starters this season, so grab the home dog. Play the New York Mets.

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

Sam Martin

Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners
Prediction: Texas Rangers

While we don't often like to back a team that is on the wrong side of an obvious pitching mismatch, we will take the massive +170 payout on Texas here and believe the Rangers have better than a coin flip's chance of taking this game based on Seattle's offensive woes.

Rangers are clearly the superior offensive club in this matchup, and the Mariners have been held to 3 runs or less in each of their last six games - losing their last five. Iwakuma has great numbers, but Seattle has only won once in his five home starts. Big payout more than worth the risk!

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

Jeff Alexander

Atlanta Braves -133

I'll get behind the Braves with Minor on the mound.  He was rocked last time out at Colorado, but many pitchers have fallen victim to flighty Coors Field.  Prior to that he has given up 3 earned runs or less in 5 straight and 10 of 11 starts.  He's often been up for the challenge against quality competition as the Braves are 15-6 in his last 21 starts versus teams with a winning record.  The Braves are 36-16 in their last 52 home games versus teams with a winning record and 21-7 in their last 28 home games versus teams with a winning road record.  Santiago's clubs are 1-11 in his last 12 starts overall and 0-6 in his last 6 starts on the road.  He has an ERA of 5.02 on the road this season.  The Angels are 2-6 in their last 8 road games, 1-6 in their last 7 road games versus a team with a winning home record and 0-4 in their last 4 games as a road underdog.

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

Steve Janus

New York Mets +111

The Mets shouldn't be a home dog against the Padres, who had lost 4-straight on the road prior to yesterday's win. New York will be sending out Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.833 WHIP over his two home starts this seasons. I'll take my chances on Matsuzaka out performing San Diego's Ian Kennedy, who was rocked for 5 runs on 7 hits at Philadelphia last time out. Kennedy also has a 4.25 ERA and 1.361 WHIP over 6 career starts against the Mets, while Matsuzaka has a 1.50 ERA in his career against the Padres.

Key Trends - Kennedy is 7-13 in his last 20 starts when listed as a favorite of -110 or higher and just 14-24 in his last 38 starts following a team win. The Mets are 13-5 in their last 18 after hitting .200 or worse over their last 3 games and 28-12 in their last 40 after being held to 2 hits or less in their previous contest.

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