Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 25

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 25

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Toronto at NY Yankees
The Yankees open their series against Toronto tonight and come into the contest with a 20-2 record in the last 22 games between the two teams. New York is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Yankees favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-145)

Game 901-902: St. Louis at Chicago Cubs (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Kelly) 12.439; Chicago Cubs (Wood) 14.546
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs 2; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-135); No Run Line
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+115); N/A

Game 903-904: Arizona at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Miley) 14.768; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 16.043
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Arizona (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+105); Over

Game 905-906: Washington at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Roark) 15.303; Cincinnati (Simon) 16.674
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-110); Under

Game 907-908: San Diego at Atlanta (7:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Hahn) 13.539; Atlanta (Wood) 16.685
Dunkel Line: Atlanta 3; 6
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-165); 7
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-165); Under

Game 909-910: NY Mets at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Wheeler) 17.353; Milwaukee (Gallardo) 15.235
Dunkel Line: NY Mets 2; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+135); Under

Game 911-912: Pittsburgh at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Morton) 14.402; Colorado (Anderson) 15.332
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 12
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-140); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+120); Over

Game 913-914: LA Dodgers at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Greinke) 17.416; San Francisco (Lincecum) 15.979
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-125); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-125); Under

Game 915-916: Toronto at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Buehrle) 14.278; NY Yankees (Kuroda) 15.923
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-145); 8
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-145); Over

Game 917-918: Boston at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 15.242; Tampa Bay (Price) 17.422
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 2; 7
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-150); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-150); Over

Game 919-920: Oakland at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Hamel) 16.122; Texas (Williams) 13.535
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Oakland (-165); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-165); Under

Game 921-922: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Danks) 15.644; Minnesota (Correia) 16.235
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-125); Over

Game 923-924: Cleveland at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Tomlin) 15.136; Kansas City (Ventura) 16.857
Dunkel Line: Kansas City 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-140); Under

Game 925-926: Detroit at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Smyly) 17.233; LA Angels (Skaggs) 15.618
Dunkel Line: Detroit 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+120); Over

Game 927-928: Baltimore at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Gausman) 16.864; Seattle (Hernandez) 15.957
Dunkel Line: Baltimore 1; 6
Vegas Line: Seattle (-180); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+160); Under

Game 929-930: Miami at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Hand) 15.325; Houston (Keuchel) 14.414
Dunkel Line: Miami 1; 8
Vegas Line: Houston (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+115); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

CFL

Winnipeg at BC
The Lions host Winnipeg tonight and come into the contest with a 10-2 ATS record in their last 12 games overall. BC is the pick (-7) according to Dunkel, which has the Lions favored by 13 1/2. Dunkel Pick: BC (-7)

Game 123-124: Winnipeg at BC (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 106.958; BC 120.365
Dunkel Line: BC by 13 1/2; 57
Vegas Line: BC by 7; 52 1/2
Dunkel Pick: BC (-7); Over

SATURDAY, JULY 26

Game 125-126: Ottawa at Hamilton (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 104.243; Hamilton 116.131
Dunkel Line: Hamilton by 12; 44
Vegas Line: Hamilton by 4 1/2; 48
Dunkel Pick: Hamilton (-4 1/2); Under

Game 127-128: Toronto at Saskatchewan (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 107.401; Saskatchewan 118.317
Dunkel Line: Saskatchewan by 11; 54
Vegas Line: Saskatchewan by 6; 50
Dunkel Pick: Saskatchewan (-6); Over

WNBA

Chicago at Atlanta
Chicago heads to Atlanta tonight to face a Dream team that is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 Friday games. Atlanta is the pick (-8 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Dream favored by 10 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-8 1/2)

Game 651-652: Tulsa at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulsa 105.584; Washington 116.943
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 11 1/2; 165
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 4 1/2; 160 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-4 1/2); Over

Game 653-654: Chicago at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 106.047; Atlanta 116.526
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 10 1/2; 155
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 8 1/2; 159 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-8 1/2); Under

Game 655-656: San Antonio at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 105.379; Minnesota 118.734
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 13 1/2; 166
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 8 1/2; 160
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-8 1/2); Over

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DAVE COKIN

PITTSBURGH PIRATES AT COLORADO ROCKIES
PLAY: COLORADO ROCKIES +110

I can’t recall the last time I bet on the Rockies to win a baseball game. I can state with certainly it’s been at least two months, although I’ve definitely made a number of anti-Rockies wagers in that time span. But I’m going to take my chances with this last place entry tonight in a game that I believe sets up well for them.

The key here is Brett Anderson, and the impression he left with me on the eye test in his most recent start. I pay quite a bit of attention to dips in velocity and normally want to go against those pitchers seeing a substantial decline. That’s the case with Anderson presently, and in fact I’ve made two successful plays against the lefty since he came off the disabled list.

But off what I’ve seen of Anderson, I was fortunate to get those two winners. He got bombed by the Twins in the opening inning of his first start off the DL, but settled down after that and actually pitched much better than his line might have indicated. Anderson was even better last time out in a stellar seven inning effort against the Pirates. The Bucs eventually won that game, but they did very little against Anderson. If he’s locating his arsenal like he was in that most recent start, I would expect this to be a tough night for the Pirates hitters, even in the hitter’s haven known as Coors Field.

Charlie Morton will throw for the Bucs tonight. Morton has been very tough, but is still prone to the occasional big inning. I also don’t like the way his stuff figures to play out at Coors. Morton has made two career starts here, and while his overall lines weren’t terrible, one thing really caught my eye. Morton is a pitcher who thrives and survives getting ground balls. But in those two starts at Coors, his ground ball percentage was way below its norm. That’s a red flag for me, as when Morton doesn’t get grounders, he also doesn’t get wins as a rule.

The downside here is that the Rockies are a bad baseball team with an awful bullpen. Plus, the Pirates have demolished losing teams all season. But I really liked what I saw from Anderson and want to try him here. I also don’t mind the fact that it’s a lock that the Pirates will be a very popular public side tonight, while I’m of the belief the pro dough is going to show on the home dog. You won’t see me on this bad baseball team often, but tonight I’ll be taking my chances with the Rockies in the role of home dog.

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Rob Vinciletti

Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
Play: Kansas City Royals -117

The Royals fit a nice system here that has cashed 9 of 10 times playing on home favorites with a total of 8 or less that won as a home favorite by 1 run at less than -140 last night and scored 2 or less runs on 5+ hits and had no errors, vs an opponent off a road dog loss and also scored 2 or less runs on 5+ hits . The Royals have won 3 of 4 at home off a 1 run home win if they scored 2 or less runs. Cleveland has lost 14 of 22 here in KC, including the last 3. KC has the pitching edge with Ventura who has been slid in 3 starts against Cleveland allowing just 3 earned runs in 21 innings. Ventura has a superb 1.29 era in his last 3 starts. Tomlin for the Tribe has hit the skids losing his last 3 starts with a 6.88 era. Look for KC To Take another from Cleveland.


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Jim Feist

Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Pick: Chicago White Sox

Chicago continues to be a Top 10 team in runs scored and slugging. Lefty John Danks (8-6) has quietly turned his season around allowing 3 runs or less in 4 of his last 5 games. That Chicago offense will tear up Minnesota's 33-year old Kevin Correia (5-12, 4.76 ERA), with opponents hitting .296 off him. Correia labored through four innings Sunday, surrendering four earned runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out four in a loss to the Rays.

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Jack Jones

Tampa Bay Rays -134

The Tampa Bay Rays are simply rolling right now.  They have won seven straight to get right back in the thick of the AL East and AL Wild Card races.  This team has been the best in baseball since late June, going 18-6 in their last 24 games overall.  I'll continue to ride this gravy train Friday.

That's especially the case with ace David Price on the mound.  The left-hander has claimed that he is pitching better than he ever has over the last month-plus.  He has gone 10-7 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.041 WHIP in 21 starts this season, including 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 0.811 WHIP in his last three.

Price has given up three earned runs or fewer in each of his last 10 starts.  The left-hander is also 10-7 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.086 WHIP in 23 career starts against Boston.  Jon Lester is pitching well this season, but he is 14-11 with a 4.10 ERA in 30 career starts against Tampa Bay.

Boston is bringing up the rear of the AL East at 47-55 as it has simply had a World Series hangover.  The Red Sox are 1-9 in their last 10 road games vs. a left-handed starter.  The Rays are 55-27 in Price's last 82 starts vs. AL East opponents.  Tampa Bay is 5-0 in Price's last five starts.

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Steve Janus

Tampa Bay Rays -140

The Rays are the hottest team in baseball and I believe this is a great price to back them at home with their ace David Price on the mound. Price is 10-7 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.041 WHIP over 21 starts and has been lights out of late, posting a 1.09 ERA and 0.811 WHIP over his last 3 starts.

Key Trends - Boston is 1-9 in their last 10 games against a left-handed starter, 1-7 in their last 8 games played on astroturf and 6-13 in their last 19 as an underdog. Tampa Bay is 20-7 in their last 27 overall, 7-2 in Price's last 9 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150 and 39-19 in his last 58 starts against a team with a losing record.

System - Play Against - Road teams (BOSTON) - poor hitting team (AVG <=.260) against an excellent starting pitcher (ERA <=3.20) -AL, with a hot starting pitcher- WHIP <= 1.100 over his last 10 games are 42-12 (78%) against the money line over the last 5 seasons.

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Scott Spreitzer

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds    
Play: Washington Nationals -111

The Reds enter the weekend series on a 0-6 slide, averaging just 2 rpg.  They're also on a 0-8 slide against right-handed starters and will face Tanner Roark tonight.  The Washington righty owns a 2.31 ERA & 1.15 WHIP in his last nine starts, spanning 58 1/3 innings.  While Simon owns strong numbers for the Reds, his lineup, sans Votto & Phillips, doesn't match Washington's, even with Ryan Zimmerman sidelined.  Jayson Werth (probable), Dennard Span, Anthony Rendon, and Ian Desmond are all producing strong offensive numbers of late.  The Nats head into this one on a 55-25 winning run as road chalk and they're "catching" the Reds at the right time, in my opinion.  I'm recommending a play on the Nationals on Friday.

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Jimmy Boyd

Chicago White Sox +104

The White Sox are once again showing great value against the Twins. Chicago cashed in on Thursday as a big road underdog and I look for them to carry over that momentum on Friday. I believe the White Sox have a huge edge on the mound with John Danks going up against the Twins' Kevin Correia.

Danks comes in with a not so impressive 4.35 ERA and 1.419 WHIP over 20 starts, but those poor numbers can be pinpointed to 4 really bad starts where he allowed 7 earned runs or more, including his most recent start at Houston. When you look past those horrible outings, you find a pitcher that has allowed 3 or fewer earned runs in 11 of his last 14 starts. On top of that, Danks is 8-4 with a much more respectable 3.68 ERA over 14 starts in night games. Corriea on the other hand is 2-7 with a 6.33 ERA and 1.556 WHIP at home and 2-6 with a 5.74 ERA and 1.488 WHIP in night games.

If you go back over previous seasons, Correia is just 6-22 in his last 28 starts at night and 3-13 in his last 16 starts at home. Plus, Minnesota is just 6-26 in their last 31 home games against AL teams with a batting average of .255 or worse. These three trends combine to form a massive 80% (61-15) system in favor of the White Sox. T

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Red Dog Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies    
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates -115

The Pirates are 5-1 in their last 6 and getting key hits from Andrew McCutcheon and the rest of their underrated lineup. The Rockies are 1-7 in their last 8 games and are off a nice home win against Stephen Strasburg to prevent a sweep from the Washington Nationals. The Rockies are without SS Troy Tulowitzi and Justin Morneau and that should hurt their offense.

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Art Aronson

San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves    
Play: Atlanta Braves -168

I think the Braves are worth the price at home here. The visiting Padres will turn to rookie Jesse Hahn (5-2, 2.21 ERA); note that the right-hander was optioned to Triple A to continue pitching during the All-Star break. The Braves will start a promising young pitcher as well in Alex Wood (7-7, 3.24 ERA), who was solid in his last outing, limiting the Phillies to one run over six innings in the victory. The pitching matchup would seem to be a “wash”, but I’ll give the slight nod to Wood because of the home field advantage. Atlanta also has the advantage considering the Padres just played a late game in Chicago; and note that Atlanta is 10-6 as a home favorite in the -150 to -160 range this season. While Hahn has been pretty good so far at the professional ranks, I think the book is still out on him, the sample size is still too small in my opinion. Consider laying the “Wood” on Atlanta.


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Brad Diamond

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies    
Play: Arizona Diamondbacks -115

Philadelphia is coming off a much needed series closing win over the Giants behind lefty Cole Hamels who is on an incredible run via quality starts.  Tonight, though, the Phillies return to action when Arizona comes to town.  The Phillies are 6-2 L8 in the series 13-3 in Philly vs. Arizona.  Actually, Arizona has a better road mark at 23-25 than the Phillies home record of 20-32.  For Arizona lefty Miley hits the hill with 4 straight quality starts.  The D’backs have won Miley’s last three team starts behind 20 2-2/3 innings and a 1.74 ERA.  Arizona is a PERFECT 5-0 off a loss and 4-0 vs. a losing unit.  Philadelphia is 3-10 in Kyle Kendrick’s L13 team starts.  Critical the Phillies are 0-6 as an underdog.  The club house in Philadelphia is riddled with trade talk because of aging veterans and inconsistent play up and down the lineup.  Manager Sandberg is trying to make changes, but the Phillies are hitting only .238 as team #27 in baseball.  Actually, Arizona is a better hitting unit #17  with a decent .256 average.  With the D’backs performing much better in July, I will take a ticket with the visitor.

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Marc Lawrence

Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies
Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates

Edges - Pirates: Morton 3-0 last three team starts versus Colorado, and 6-1 last seven team starts during July. Rockies: Anderson 1-5 last six team starts during July, and 6.55 ERA at home this season (as opposed to 2.25 away). With the Pirates 4-0 against N.L. West opposition behind Morton this season, we recommend a 1-unit play on Pittsburgh.

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Jesse Schule

Toronto vs. New York
Pick: Under

The Yankees have won 6-of-7 on this home stand so far, and not one of those games has gone over the listed total. They open a new series tonight against AL East rivals Toronto, in a game with serious playoff implications.

Mark Buehrle will toe the slab for the visitors, and he's been stuck on 10 wins since June 1st. Buehrle (10-6, 2.86 ERA) is 0-5 since the beginning of June, however Toronto has won each of his last two starts. He's got good numbers on the road, with a record of 5-3, 2.44 ERA in 10 starts.

The Yankees hand the ball to Hiroki Kuroda, who has been pitching quite well lately. Kuroda (6-6, 3.88 ERA) allowed one run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings in a home win over Cincinnati his last time out. He's 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts in July.

Yankee Stadium hasn't been much of a "hitter's park" lately, as 20 of the last 28 home games have resulted in the total falling short of the number.


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Bryan Power

Dodgers vs. Giants
Pick: Over

I realize that when you have two pitchers the caliber of Zach Greinke and Tim Lincecum going against one another, the natural tendency is to go Under. But in this particular instance, that would be a mistake. As I've said before, too many things have to "go right" to stay Under a total this low.  With the Dodgers slightly favored, there's always the chance the Giants will come up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, meaning three additional outs would need to be recorded.  You'll also notice the high juice on the Over here, reflecting that the early bettors seem to agree with me on this one.  Take the Over.

Then you have the fact San Francisco came into yday averaging 6.1 rpg their last seven.  They were shut down by Cole Hamels Thursday as I expected (cashed a 10* on the Phils), but I can see them bouncing back here against Greinke, who has never been the same pitcher on the road throughout his career.  In his last start, at St. Louis, Greinke allowed four runs in just 5 2/3 IP and also walked five batters.

Lincecum made history in his last appearance and it wasn't a start.  He came out of the bullpen to earn a save in Tuesday's marathon win.  While he only worked two-thirds of an inning there, don't be surprised if it throws him off somewhat.  I understand that his team is a pennant race, but Bruce Bochy hasn't exactly managed his rotation in the best way since the Break.

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Chase Diamond

Arizona vs. Philadelphia,
Play: Arizona -118

This game features the 44-58 Arizona and the 44-58 Phillies. Although we backed the Phillies yesterday that was because of Cole Hamels. This team is a mess Ryan Howard is benched this team is going nowhere and is a really veteran group with not much motivation. They are just 20-32 at home and Arizona is 23-25 on the Road. Kyle Kendrick is in self destruct mode I'm surprised they are still sending him out there Wade Miley is a smart lefty and only 27 he is only getting better.6-6 with a 4.16 ERA. Arizona is 6-4 last 10 games and look for them to take this easy tonight.


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River City Sharps

Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
Play: Minnesota Twins -110

The Twins have struggled a bit post All-Star break and so have the Chicago White Sox, so something has to give tonight when they open up a three-game series in Minneapolis. The Sox will give the ball to John Danks, who was rocked for six runs and 10 hits the last time he faced these Twins on June 22nd. The Twins will counter tonight with Kevin Correia, who leads the American League with 12 losses. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will see that Correia has really given the Twins seven quality starts before his last outing, which was a loss to the Rays. Something to consider here in this spot...Danks has really struggled at Target Field, posting a 1-4 career mark with a 7.50 ERA. The Sox are 1-5 in Danks' last six road starts vs. teams with a losing record and an incredible 5-21 in Danks last 26 Friday starts! We really like the home team here tonight and think Correia gives the Twins another good outing.

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Brandon Shively

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs    
Play: Chicago Cubs +135

I will back the Cubbies today as a home dog . It appears the public is betting on Saint Louis driving this line even higher and giving us more value.

The Cubs will have Wood on the mound who has indeed been struggling, but he has faced the Cardinals twice this season and the Cubs have won both games. One game he was facing Wainwright and the Cubs found a way to get to the 'Ace' and get the 6-5 win. I will also note that this was a Day game. The other was a 17-5 win when the Cubbies bats went crazy. While Wood has had a rough month of July, he is a guy that is very capable of pitching a gem and that's what I am looking for today. Wood's numbers are much lower in Day games and at Home as well, and I feel the value lies with the home dog. Wood said, 'It's not like I'm sailing balls all over the place, I'm just missing." He is too good of a pitcher to keep getting rocked----look for a strong quality start today.

Since the All-Star Break, the Cubs are hitting .230 while the Cardinals are hitting .222, but the Cubs have a slightly higher SLG% and I'll give them the advantage as Yadier Molina's injury to Saint Louis has been evident to their offensive production.  I will also note that the Cardinals are only 12-14 SU this season (-4.5 units) vs. left handed starters and this is an inflated line in my opinion.

The Cards will have Kelly on the mound who took a ND vs. the Cubs back on 4/11 as the Cubs won the game 6-3. This will be Kelly's 3rd start since coming off the DL and I still have questions about this guy. For beginners, he is not a strikeout pitcher. He relies on groundballs which can be a good thing, but the fact he that the staff will more than likely keep him on a pitch count under 100 pitches and that just leaves more room for error for a Saint Louis bullpen that can be a trainwreck at times. Lefties are hitting .349 vs. Kelly this season and the Cubs have a lineup where they can stack the plate with lefties and this should be a big advantage for them in this game.

Trends: The Cubs are 5-2 in Wood's last 7 home starts and are 10-4 in their last 14 home  games vs. a team with a winning road record.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 25

Bruno Bets

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies
Play: Colorado Rockies +110

I have suspended paid plays for this weekend, as I just cannot get out of my own way. I am beginning to believe I am over-thinking things as I have also begun to take myself off of winning plays. You have been duly warned.

This is a rematch from Anderson's last start when he deserved a much better fate after the Rockies lost 3-2. Today at home he gets the W. Morton also pitched very well, but Colorado does not hit on the road. A different story at Coors by a long-shot. Almost a carbon-copy, as the Pirates do not hit well on the road. Catching the Rockies as a home dog in this spot is one I cannot pass up.

Anderson has not fared well at home, however most damage has been done in day games when he has not been fooling anyone. It has been a different story under the lights and against the Bucs. He should have the confidence coming off the game at PNC to know that he can handle this line-up while his goes to work.

I am a Charlie Morton fan however the Pirates did take him off the hook in his last start, although he did pitch effectively. We can likely expect another well-pitched game, so staying clear of the Over may also be a wise choice?


Bruno's Bitchin' Bases

Despite Arizona's poor record this season, they have been able to hit. Miley has been good lately and especially so on the road. Just not much to be said for Philly at the moment. They have won two games since the break and they were both Hamels ' starts. All Snakes, all day here. Kendrick has also had a great deal of trouble with this D-Backs' line-up.

I do think the White Sox (Danks) are over-valued a bit on the road due primarily to the Twins' struggling offense. Correia has not been bad and actually has been quite effective, but does suffer from a serious lack of RS. I think he gets it here. IF the Minnesota bats do start going, the Under may not be safe, but at 9 flat it will be a pass. Obviously, I am not recommending anything at the moment, but I do have the Rockies, D-Backs and Twins parlayed at 6/1. The Twinks do have a career team batting average of .301 vs Danks, so he may be just what they need?

In spite of how well Wheeler has pitched lately, the Mets just are not hitting and they haven't scored for him on the road. This kid has game, but cannot win them himself. I do still believe that the Crew are the class of the division. Although I am not seeing a lot of scoring here I haven't seen much of anything too clearly lately, so will just leave this total alone.

Just no chance of backing the Jays at Yankee Stadium....period. They have been hitting, but is Buerhle's 1-11 career record vs New York a fluke? With the career 5.81 ERA that goes with it, I would tend to doubt it. Kuroda has had some issues with a couple of key Jays, so we may finally see some runs scored at the Bronx Zoo? As implausible as 17 straight losses at New York seems, I cannot buck it.

Ahh yes.....the Angels. After boxing a couple of games yesterday, they wound up being the only side I missed on the Pool. My initial numbers favored the Tigers and I somehow wound up on LA anyway. That is just how things have been going the past week. When your head becomes your worst enemy rather than your best ally, it is generally time for a break. I have no excuses, I have just sucked lately and it is up to me to figure out why? I have preached at length about not "tinkering" too much when things go sideways and have gotten myself caught up in doing just that. My digits again suggest that the Tigers are the right side, although they have never faced Skaggs. They do appear to be seeing the ball very well and although Skaggs has had moments of brilliance, generally speaking, he has not been overly deceptive. He has not pitched well at home in his last couple of starts yielding 8 ER in just 13+ IP. Smyly has gotten an abundance of run support on the road lately. Should still be some payback for that long winning streak the Angels had against Detroit? We'll probably see Soria at some point this evening?

With The Freak's history against the Dodgers and his current form, it does surprise me to see the Giants in the underdog role? Although he has dominated the NL West, Greinke often suffers from a lack of run support and I am not sure that he doesn't again here? Lincecum has allowed just a .195 BAA at home this season and I am not sure that will work for a scuffling Dodgers' offense. LA has lost 6 of Zack's last 7 road starts. I'll wait to see the line-ups as, IMO, the Dodgers should not be favored vs Lincecum unless some key bats are missing?

Red-Flag Alert ~ I actually liked the Rangers prior to the pitching change, but cannot back Williams. Hammel has struggled a bit since returning to the AL and has not received much support, either....usually a bad combination. As I said, no chance of backing Williams, but I would tread carefully on this one. I do think that it may be time for Washington to retire, though. I have seen a few "questionable" decisions on his part lately.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, July 25

Bob Balfe ‏

Royals / Indians Over 8

I hope you guys got to tune into last nights game. What a great pitchers duel it was. Both pitchers today have been struggling of late and I believe the lack of offense last night will show up early and often today. Cleveland does well against right handed pitching and Ventura will give them plenty of extra base runners with his recent control issues. Tomlin has been awful in his last 3 starts. Look for this one to sail over the total.

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