Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Tony Stoffo

Padres vs. Braves
Play: Over 7.5

With Eric Stults matching up against Mike Minor here sure makes for a solid release on the over in this spot as Stults is 0-8 with a 5.43 ERA in 11 starts on the road this season. While Minor has posted a 7.65 ERA over his last eight starts. Add in the fact that tonight's home plate umpire Morales has seen the over go 7-1-3 in his last 11 times he has called balled and strikes only adds to this play on the over here. Over this posted total the play here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

LT Profits

Baltimore vs Seattle
Pick: Under 7.5

Two teams on six-game ‘under’ streaks square off when Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles visit Roenis Elias and the Seattle Mariners. Both pitchers are making their first career starts vs. their respective opponents here, which should make things tougher on each offense. Gonzalez has allowed three earned runs or less in 14 of his last 15 starts for the O’s while allowing only four runs in the other outing, and he is facing a Seattle offense batting .218 vs. right-handed pitchers at home while averaging 3.24 runs per nine innings against them. Elias went into a skid following a hot start, but he rebounded to hold the Mets to one run on five hits last time out and is facing a Baltimore lineup batting a paltry .210 vs. righties over the last 10 contests. The ‘under’ is 21-8 in the Mariners’ last 29 games vs. right-handed starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Non Stop Sports Picks

Rockies +105

We can't back Volquez at Coors, even against the beat up Rockies. Volquez is 0-6, with a 12.00 ERA in 7 starts against the Rockies. And opposite of him is Morales, who I actually like and he should eat up 6 or so innings today. Plus, the Pirates aren't hitting. And if they couldn't hit Matzuk or Anderson, I'm definitely not going to think they're going to hit Morales. In the end, the Rockies are hitting, the guys who are injured are giving other guys chances to step up, and I think the Pirates are going to get rolled today.

If you want my thoughts on other games, I DO like the UNDER tonight in the MLB game with it being Peavy's first start against Ryu...I see that one going UNDER. And I also like the Reds today +110. But the Reds aren't hitting well right now, and I can't take Latos to pitch like Cueto did yesterday. So what I'm going to do is play the afternoon games, then if we're up...I will play the UNDER tonight for 2*. This WON'T be an official play or one we'll track for records, but my job is to help us make money...and if we're up after the 3 afternoon games, I will play the UNDER on the Giants/Dodgers game.

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Line Catchers

Padres / Braves Over 7.5

The Padres and Braves have split their first two games of this series and Sunday sees two lefty’s go head to head in Atlanta. Eric Stults gets the nod for the Padres and has had an awful season up to this point in 2014. He is 3-12 in 20 starts and ranks 4th worst in the NL with a 5.00 ERA and 3rd worst with a lofty 1.46 WHIP. Stults has struggled even more in his 11 starts away from San Diego, going 0-8 with a 5.43 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. Stults has given up 20 HR in 2014 and ranks worst in the NL in terms slugging percentage against with .496.

The Braves give the ball to Mike Minor, who has been roughed up to the sound of 12 ER on 21 hits over 9 IP innings in his last two outings. Minor is 1-5 with a 5.70 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in 8 starts away from Turner Field this season. Just like Stults, Mike Minor gives up a lot of HR with Minor surrendering 10 homers in eight starts at home in 2014.

Although the Padres have been cold with the bat in 2014, they have hit a purple patch recently by hitting .282 and averaging over 5 runs per game over the last week. The Braves are just 3-14 (.214) with RISP in the opening two games of this series and have left 18 runners on base. I like both teams to put runs on the board tonight and with the goal at 7.5, I see great value in taking the Over in this match up.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Sleepy J

LA Dodgers -102 
How do you think the Dodgers are going to treat Peavy? When a pitcher has been traded away, i like to play against if i think we have some value. Let's face it. Peavy is a grinder and a baller but has a horrible record. I don't think he is that bad in reality. I do however think the Dodgers with Ryu on the mound at a price of -102 is a gift. Dodgers are playing well in SF. The Giants have struggled to hit the ball the last 4 games. I think SF can wake up the bats against Ryu but i dont think Peavy can silence this Dodger team. Dodgers are looking for a sweep here and to spoil this debut for a guy they can really take advantage of..I dont mind going against a guy making a move to another team. I'll be happy to back Puig, Ramirez & Ryu tomorrow.

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SPORTSWAGERS

Arizona -109 over PHILADELPHIA

Roberto Heredia Hernández (formerly Fausto Carmona) still isn’t fooling anyone. His biggest problem is his inability to find the strike zone. Hernandez has the worst BB/K split in the majors in terms of ratio among pitchers with at least 10 starts. In 106 innings, Hernandez has walked 54 batters while striking out just 71. Hernandez has posted a horrific hr/f of 11% for two years running. A drop in control, struggles vs. lefties and dominant start/disaster start split all hint that a disastrous second half might be in the cards, just like last season.

Vidal Nuno really isn’t much better but at least he throws strikes and is in much better form. The “change of scenery” theory in which traded players are invigorated may apply here. Nuno has a BB/K split in his last five starts of 7/24 in 27 innings. He’s posted a 3.29 ERA over that span and has a good chance to keep it going here. The real story behind this wager however, is that the Diamondbacks are simply playing much better and scoring a lot more runs. The Phillies went off for nine runs on Friday but that was only their third win in 11 games. They’ve also scored three runs or less in six of those 11 losses. Philadelphia’s .224 batting average at home against lefties is the fourth worst mark in the majors. By contrast, Arizona is hitting .280 over their last 15 games, which is the second best mark in the NL. They are also 9-6 over that span and have scored 15 runs over the first two games of this series. On Friday they scored five times but between Mark Trumbo and Miguel Montero, batting 5th and 6th respectively, that pair left 12 runners stranded. The Snakes could’ve tripled Friday’s output. The Diamondbacks could be in for a strong second half, as they grossly underachieved in the first half and now they’re heating up. As a small favorite here, one has to like their chances.


Miami +103 over HOUSTON

The Marlins have won six of seven and the first two games of this series while the Astros have dropped four straight and seven of their last nine. Over their last three games, Houston is hitting .198 and has scored four runs. Collin McHugh returns to the rotation after rehabbing from a finger injury. McHugh was performing poorly before going down. He gave up 10 earned runs in 17 innings in his last three starts - all losses. In fact, he has not posted a victory since June 3. McHugh had a nice run early in the year which has led to his 3.28 ERA but don’t expect it to continue. Formerly Colorado’s waiver fodder and NYM farm-hand, Houston picked up Collin McHugh, owner of a career 8.94 ERA at the MLB level, in December and inserted him into the rotation in April following a Scott Feldman injury. So, color us surprised that he's been able to stick around. Dude caught lightning in a bottle for a brief time but the league has caught up to him.

Jacob Turner is high on our radar as a prime breakout target. Jacob Turner was the key to the Anibal Sanchez trade in the summer of 2012. Turner was demoted to the pen to work some things out and in his reinsertion into the rotation last Tuesday he pitched five strong innings against Atlanta. He’ll likely get stretched out a little more here. His average fastball velocity is +1.2 mph vs. 2012 and ‘13. He has a high 12% swinging strike rate, so his 8K/9 potential is right there. He also has outstanding command against both LH and RH bats. Turner comes in with an elite groundball rate in his career of 52%. This year it’s a point higher at 53%. At age 23 with a 1st-round pedigree and nasty stuff, he is most definitely a pooch worth backing against the reeling and free-swinging Astros.


COLORADO +107 over Pittsburgh

For whatever reason, the Pirates are the only team in MLB that has trouble scoring runs at this launching pad. Pittsburgh has been outscored in the first two games of this series 16-2. Previously, they played here last August and got swept, scoring seven runs in three games. That’s five straight losses at this venue for the Bucs, where they have scored nine runs in those five games. Furthermore, this has been a house of horrors for Edinson Volquez. In seven games started at Coors over the last three years, Volquez has allowed 52 hits in 32 innings for a BAA of .362. In those 32 frames, he’s walked 19 batters, surrendered 33 runs and has been tagged for six jacks. His record at Coors in the last three years reads as follows: 1-5 W/L record, 9.19 ERA, .362 oppBA, 2.42 WHIP. He’ll now face a Rockies team is seeing beach balls and that leads the NL in many offensive categories over the past 15 games that include a team batting average of .290 with 19 bombs. Volquez has to be feeling a little anxious about starting here because he basically pitches with the sacks full every inning before getting rocked. Should the Pirates really be favored based on their own and Volquez’s performances here recently? We think not.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Tom Barton

Oakland vs. Texas
Pick: Oakland -190

Another large line with the A's but how can I refuse this team right now playing a weak Texas team and tonight throwing their ace and Cy Young candidate. I can't. The price didn't scare me yesterday and won't here today either. Scott Kazmir has been everything a Cy Young winner should be and his resume has few blemishes. Kazmir has allowed just one team in the last 10 starts to reach over 2 runs and the A's are 15-5 when he takes the hill. Kazmir also has allowed just 3 runs in his last 26 innings and seems to be getting stronger. The A's just keep winning and now take on Miles Mikolas. Mikolas has a 7 1/2 ERA this year and in his 21 innings this year has walked 5 men, given up 3 homers and an insane 28 hits. The A's bats will crush him and Kazmir will hold this Rangers team in check for yet another winner.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Scott Pritchard

Dodgers at Giants
Play: Giants

Happy Sunday, let's make some money betting major league baseball. The Giants are hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. I see value with the home team at this price. The Giants will prevail based on pitching, defense and how these two teams matchup.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Wunderdog

New York Mets vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Play: Milwaukee Brewers -121

The New York Mets are not a good road team, and a weak offensive one. The Mets are 4-9 in their last 13 road games, plus 9-19 in their last 28 games as a road underdog. New York starter Jacob deGrom has won three in a row, but it was against weak offensive teams. He still has a losing record for the season and has a 4.14 ERA on the road. He faces a powerhouse first-place Milwaukee offense, sixth in baseball in runs scored and fifth in slugging. Milawukee is on a 5-1 run, and the Brewers are 6-1 in their last seven games as a home favorite. The Mets are 1-4 in the last five meetings, and the home team holds all the cards again.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Scott Delaney

My free play for tonight is on the Kansas City Royals, against the Cleveland Indians, as I think this A.L. Central rivalry continues to favor the home team.

Don't list the pitchers here, but just know this is a very cheap number to lay with Danny Salazar and Bruce Chen. I'm more intrigued by the five-game win streak, the fact the Royals are at home, it's a Sunday afternoon and the weekend momentum is always in favor of a winning team on its own field.

The Royals have outscored their foes by a combined final of 24-12 during this win streak.

When these two teams met earlier this month in Cleveland, the Royals lost the last two games, 7-3 and 4-1, after winning the series lid-lifter, 7-1. A series win is most certainly on the brains of these Royals players, exacting revenge for before.

There's also the matter of these two playing for second place in the American League Central, as just 2.5 games separate the two. The Royals' win the past two nights over the Tribe distanced them ahead in the standings, and they'll be looking to further themselves even more.

2♦ KANSAS CITY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Craig Davi

Your free play of the day is the LA Dodgers over the SF Giants in the finale of their three-game set.

These are two teams headed in completely opposite directions as the Dodgers have won five of their last seven while San Francisco has dropped 18 of their last 24 at home... a place they typically dominate.

Jake Peavy was acquired by the Giants to help stop the bleeding but I'm not sure that's the best case scenario for San Francisco. I believe Peavy's best days are behind him and while he might be a decent stop-gap measure, he's had plenty of bad outings that lead me to believe otherwise.

Let's also factor in the numerous injuries the Giants have suffered recently and it's just hard to see them beating the Dodgers many times, including today. Brandon Belt, Angel Pagan, and Matt Cain won't return for a while and catcher Hector Sanchez was recently placed on the DL with a concussion.

Los Angeles is simply playing better right now and should win this one going away. Take the Dodgers as your free play of the day.

2♦ L.A. DODGERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Jeff Benton

Your Sunday freebie is the Mets and Brewers to end their series with an Under on Sunday afternoon.

When these teams play, the Under has been the way to go, as both already this weekend at Miller Park have held Under to make it a 9-2 Under clip the last 11 series meetings.

The low trends don't stop there, as New York is now on a 7-1 Under run their last 8 games overall, while Milwaukee stands at 5-1 Under their last 6 games played.

Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson is in need of a quality start as he brings in an over 5 ERA for his 16 innings in the rotation this summer, while Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom continues to sparkle, going 3-0 his last 3 starts with an ERA of 0.86, and he has allowed 2 runs or less in 5 of his last 6 starts.

Play the Under at Miller Park today.

4♦ N.Y. METS-MILWAUKEE UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Gabriel Dupont

Now on to my free play for today: Washington (+105) at CINCINNATI

I look to improve upon my 38-25 free-pick run the past nine weeks by playing the Washington Nationals over the Cincinnati Reds.

The SMART INTANGIBLE with the Nationals - Doug Fister. The right-hander is gunning for his 10th win of the season against the same Reds team he beat on May 20. In that outing, Fister fired seven strong innings, allowing two runs while striking out five and walking one.

The SMART INTANGIBLE working against the Reds - Mat Latos. For as much respect as I have for the right-hander, he comes in after horrendous defense failed Latos in a 5-2 loss to the Brewers on  Monday. Nevertheless, he did miss some spots, and I think he'll make the same mistakes here.

In conclusion, why Washington is my SMART PLAY in this game - This is the same Reds team that began the season's second half with seven straight losses, so even though they snapped the skid with a 1-0 win yesterday, it doesn't scare me today, since Washington is still the better team. I mean, yesterday was a pitchers' duel, so what else did you expect?

I am more intrigued with the fact Cincinnati's hitters haven't failed miserably against Fister, going 7-for-42 (.167) against the right-hander overall. List both and take the Reds today.

2♦ WASHINGTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Chris Jorda

My free play is the Tampa Bay Rays over the Boston Red Sox.

Not going to lie, upon first glance, I was worried there was no line on this game, then I realized, who cares about an overnight pitching change - just deal with it. Given the winning streak the Rays are on makes me feel comfortable in taking Tampa Bay again.

I won't list Allen Webster or Chris Archer, but I do think it's a grave mismatch here, and that Webster will see an early exit. I mean, yes, the defending World Series champions' young right-hander has been called up for the first time this season to start in place of Jake Peavy, who was traded to the Giants, and he'll be out to prove his worth. But Webster wasn't anything spectacular for Triple-A Pawtucket, going 4-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 21 starts. He arrives at the bigs to take on the hottest team in the league.

During Tampa Bay's win streak, it's crept back into the wild card race. And given this is the erratic American League East, I like to think they've worked themselves into the divisional race as well.

The Rays have the fifth-best batting average (.276) in July, while for the season, they rank 10th with a .262 home batting average. Boston, meanwhile, ranks in the bottom half of the bigs - 20th overall - with its .243 road batting average. And overall for the year, the Sox rank 20th with a .248 batting average.

2♦ CHICAGO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Brad Wilton

It wasn't easy, but it was a win, as Toronto held on for the 6-4 Saturday win at Yankee Stadium as they snapped a 17 game series losing streak in the Bronx.

I say right back to the loss column for the Jays here on Sunday, as Shane Greene turns in another solid performance in the starting rotation for the Yankees.

Greene is coming off his first loss after winning back-to-back starts at Cleveland and Baltimore, as he did allow 4 earned runs in his sloppy (3 fielding errors!) 5-plus innings last time out in the Bronx.

Retribution time for Greene as he opposes J.A. Happ who is coming off a solid home win over Boston his last trip to the hill, but also sports and over 6 road ERA this season.

Happ is making his first start of the season against the Yankees, and with his team sporting a 1-17 road mark in this series, I would say the odds are stacked against Happ and the Jays.

Play the Yankees.

3♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Jimmy Boyd

Cleveland Indians -107

The Indians are showing great value as a small favorite Sunday. Cleveland will be sending out Danny Salazar, who pitched well in his first start after getting called back up to the big leagues. Salazar held the Twins to just 1 run on 6 hits in 5 innings of work. Kansas City counters with Bruce Chen, who comes in with a 5.77 ERA over 6 starts this season and has a 4.71 ERA and 1.415 WHIP over 13 career starts against the Indians.

There's also a strong system in play telling us to fade the Royals. All underdogs with a money line of +100 or higher who are very bad AL offensive team (<=4.2 runs/game) against a team with a very good bullpen (ERA<=3.33), on a good fielding streak, 10 straight games with one or less errors are 95-70 over the last 5 seasons. That's a 70% system in favor of the Indians.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Jack Jones

Los Angeles Dodgers -123

The Los Angeles Dodgers are showing tremendous value as a small road favorite over the San Francisco Giants Sunday.  They have a big edge on the mound and should win with ease because of it.

Hyun-Jin Ryu has gone 11-5 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.209 WHIP over 19 starts this season.  He has been at his best on the road, going 7-2 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.146 WHIP in 10 starts.  Ryu is 3-3 with a 3.24 ERA in seven career starts against San Francisco.

Jake Peavy is way past his prime and just cannot get it done at a high level in the big leagues any more.  He got traded to the Giants and will be making his first start for his new team today.  Peavy has gone 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA and 1.428 WHIP in 20 starts this year for the Red Sox.

The Dodgers are 21-3 (+16.5 Units) against the money line vs. an NL team with a batting average of .245 or worse in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.  The Dodgers are 44-19 in their last 63 games as a road favorite.  The Giants are 1-8 in their last 9 games as a home underdog.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Red Dog Sports

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays    
Play: Tampa Bay Rays -154

The Rays are on a roll as they won Saturday and have now extended their winning streak to 8 games as they try to get back into the pennant race. Chris Archer is a solid pitcher on the mound toaday at home and Ben Zobrist and Evan Longovia lead the Tampa Bay offense.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Bruce Marshall

New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: New York Mets

The Brewers continue to roll and have extended their lead to three games over St. Louis in the NL Central after Saturday's 5-2 win. But this will not be an easy test on Sunday vs. emerging Mets starter Jacob deGrom, who is 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA over his last six starts, and he's won three straight behind a 0.86 ERA, striking out 26 with three walks in 21 innings. He also leads all NL rookies with 79 strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Brew crew has dipped into AAA Nashville to recall starter Jimmy Nelson, who has struggled (5.06) in earlier appearances this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, July 27

Bruno Bets

Arizona vs. Phillies
Play: Under 8.5

This play is predicated more on the lack of run support that these starters receive than their actual numbers. Going by Hernandez's 1-5 home record alone it is hard to fathom that he has actually been quite effective at Citizen's Park? A sinker-ball pitcher who does a decent job keeping the ball in the park, his team-mates have provided him with just 12 runs of support in his last 5 starts, including 6 in his last outing in a losing cause. That game appears to be more an aberration than what he can likely expect going forward. Although the BB has always been an issue for him, he has conceded just a .208 BAA at home.

Nuno has had similar issues since being acquired by the Diamondbacks receiving a total of just 8 runs in his three starts. On a travel day, I do expect some quick AB and provided that the bullpens don't blow things up, a solid Under to cash.

Although the Phillies started the season scalding the ball in matinee affairs, they have since cooled off and neither team has hit particularly well in day games (.244/.242). To be get Ev+ money on a solid 8.5 is one that I won't pass on. The fact that almost 90% of the public is on the Over, without a line push, can only be pleasing to me. Although this appears to be a game that the Phillies CAN win, the funky L/M will keep me off a side here. Trumbo being out is likely an edge to the offense.

Most know how badly I have been scuffling lately, so please be sure to Do the Work!


Bruno's Bitchin' Bases

The Rockies, Marlins and the Rockin' Fish parlay saved the day yesterday, but I cannot count on that every day. The clarity that I usually have has been clouded lately and I still have not determined why, so tread carefully.

Although the Rockies line can surely set us up due to the last couple of nights, it is still a road game and worse still for the Buccos, a day game. We have talked endlessly about the huge difference in the Pirates day/night, home/away numbers and a day game on the road are far and away their worst splits. It is almost uncanny in that Pittsburgh ranks Top 3 in H/N games and bottom 3 in A/D games. Again, I will be on the team that CAN hit anytime, except on the road. I may indeed be pushing my luck with a third consecutive "half-value" play on the Rockies -1½ (+190), but I have to stick with them here. Volquez has been good, but things can go sideways on him in a real hurry.

Not going to be able to back the Over at Great American today, but I do have a sneaking suspicion that we may actually see some offense. The starters' numbers do not bear it out, so I will give it a pass, though. Looks like a stiff breeze to LF, but heavy air? With the entire world backing Fister, I'd have a hard time doing so. The Reds have not been hitting, but they have the offense to break out at any moment. Fister does tend to get run support. I know that the Cinci offense has been struggling, however they are 17-4 in Latos' last 21 home starts a winning team. That is enough to keep me off of Washington. Just sayin'.

Another Red-Flag Alert on Oakland? Although they do appear to be the play behind Kaz, as we noted earlier against the Yankees, Mikolas has done some nice work facing LHB (.227 BAA). Having said that, he has been terrible at Arlington. Certainly not saying that the A's will not win this, just a heads-up that all may not be as it appears? The quick-strike capabilities (and Mikolas' home-work) will keep me off of this Under, though.

We know (and more importantly, the Cubs know) that they can hit Wainwright. No chance of laying that type of juice to back the Cards here. The fact that SL has never seen Hendricks and and that the Cubs have scored 6 runs in each of his starts does not bode well for AW here, IMO. We can go on about how great Wainwright is and that he will make the adjustments, but I don't think we can count on it. Quite simply, he has allowed 32 ER on the season and the Cubs have 12 in 3 starts. I do expect they will score. More astounding still is the fact that he has allowed only 12 ER on the road and SIX came in his lone Wrigley Field start. No chance of backing the Cardinals here and due to their lack of familiarity with Hendricks, I will be looking at the Cubs (+155) Mini. Their early game defense has been horrendous lately. I think it is wise to leave that bullpen on the rack, although a Cubs' W will be no surprise.

Neither pitcher gets much run support and the series has been low-scoring at Safeco to this point. Both offenses have scuffled since the break and that may not change today? Nice to have caught at 8 flat, but I could not even go Over 7.5. Hard to gauge motivation on getaway days, but the M's may have a slight edge here. Elias has done a fair job keeping opposing hitters in the park and that is huge against the Orioles. Gonzalez has been prone to the big-fly on the road.

Although I'd like to take a look at the Astros/McHugh Mini, (-125) is a bit pricey for a team that has not hit lately. I do think that this one is Houston's to lose.

That's a wrap for today's Bitchin' Bases. Good luck and good fortune to all (including me....LOL). Stack 'em Up, friends!

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