Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

LT Profits
Dodgers vs Angels
Pick: Dodgers +101

We cashed a nice underdog ticket with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Los Angeles Angels last night, and we are coming right back with the Dodgers again at a much smaller price in the Freeway Series from Anaheim Thursday. Hyun-Jin Ryu has quietly been one of the best third starters in the league for the Dodgers at 12-5 with a 3.39 ERA and 111 strikeouts vs. 24 walks in 124.2 innings, and he has now recorded eight Quality Starts in his last nine starts. He also tossed a masterpiece in his only career outing vs. the Angels last year, a Complete Game two-hit shutout. C.J. Wilson has been simply awful for the Halos lately with a 12.50 ERA and 2.61 WHIP over his last five starts while not lasting beyond five innings in any of them! The Dodgers are 11-2 in their last 13 games vs. left-handed starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Rocketman

San Francisco @ Milwaukee
Play: Milwaukee -123

The San Francisco Giants take on the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon.  Both teams come in with identical 62-52 overall records on the season.  Jake Peavy gets the start for San Francisco where he is 1-11 with a 4.73 ERA overall this year, 1-7 with a 5.80 ERA on the road this season and 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA his last 3 starts.  Wily Peralta is 13-6 with a 3.52 ERA overall this year, 7-4 with a 3.82 ERA at home this season and 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA his last 3 starts.  Milwaukee is 2-0 when Peralta starts against San Francisco.  We'll recommend a small play on Milwaukee today!


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Bruce Marshall

Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Los Angeles Angels

Now that we have a chance to view this crackling Freeway Series after watching a few games, it seems wholly justified that the four-game set would end in a split. The Dodgers got an unexpected yeoman's effort from recently struggling starter Dan Haren on Wednesday's 2-1 win at Anaheim, and if that is to be the pattern in this series, then keep an eye on Angels' Thursday starter C.J. Wilson, who has labored in recent starts, not getting beyond the fifth inning in five starts since June 24 (a span of time that includes a stint on the DL). Remember, despite Wednesday's win, the Dodgers are 2-6 in their last eight games at Anaheim.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Craig Davis

Thursday free play is the Dodgers-Angels Under the total.

When this series started, there was a lot of talk about Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw and how fun that matchup would be to watch. Having said that, the story of this series so far has been the overall pitching from both teams, as only one game of the three so far has gone over the total (a 5-4 final).

The Dodgers won a 2-1 game last night while the Angels won a 5-0 shutout in the opener of this series. It wraps up tonight with Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 3.39 ERA) facing off against CJ Wilson (8-7, 4.47 ERA) in what I expect to be a low-scoring game.

Ryu has posted a 3-0 record and a 2.42 ERA over his last four starts, including 26 innings of work since being blasted by the Detroit Tigers back on July 8. So it's almost been an entire month of fantastic pitching and I expect it to continue tonight.

The Wild Card is CJ Wilson, as he just recently returned to action after missing three weeks because of a sprained right ankle. Although his first return to action start wasn't great, he does own a 4.37 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers and he knows he must step it up tonight to give his team a chance.

Take the UNDER as your free play of the day.

2♦ L.A. DODGERS-L.A. ANGELS UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Gabriel Dupont

I like the Red Sox tonight, at the big plus-price, to get it done against the Cardinals, and in this game I want you listing both Brandon Workman andAdam Wainwright.

The SMART INTANGIBLE with the Red Sox - Brandon Workman will be motivated to get back on track after losing his last four starts. I like his tenacity and chances here, as he's being underestimated for this one. Last time out, he pitched well enough to win, allowing just two earned runs over five innings. The right-hander has limited opponents to a .223 average.

The SMART INTANGIBLE working against the Cardinals - Adam Wainwright. The ace of the Cardinals' staff has been chased early in two of his last three starts, which is clearly uncharacteristic, but makes me wonder. In his last three starts, he has allowed 11 runs on 20 hits in 17 innings.

In conclusion, why Boston is my SMART PLAY in this game - Something tells me the Red Sox will play this one tough, hit Wainwright hard and that Workman is poised for a big game. I don't know why - it's a hunch. And in sports betting, sometimes hunches are better than actual thinking. Of course, that's when I refer to my free-pick section, cause I certainly wouldn't want to charge anyone for my dart throwing.

Seriously though, the Red Sox are doing everything in their power to prove they haven't "packed it in" and are still "trying to win." They beat the Redbirds less than a year ago in the World Series, this is the first series since and I like the big underdog here, to leave the series by stealing a pricey win over the hometown ace. Who knows? Sometimes hunches are profitable.

3♦ BOSTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

SPORTS WAGERS

Indianapolis +3½ over N.Y. JETS

The preseason means nothing in terms of wins and losses. It’s a time for coaches to evaluate personnel while revealing nothing to the opposition to look at on film. It’s a time for fringe players and rookies to show what they have and try to earn a spot on the roster. Trying to predict which team will come out and try harder or be sharper is a difficult task indeed and that’s why so many refuse to wager on preseason games. 

Both teams’ starting offense and defense will play somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 plays. That’s a given in Week 1. From that point on we’ll see all the backups and it’s anyone’s guess what happens from there. So what do we base this choice on? Coach histories and patterns is the answer. This will be Rex Ryan’s sixth season as the head coach of the Jets. Ryan’s preseason coaching history shows a clear pattern. In Week 2 of the preseason, Ryan is 3-2 straight up, in Week 3 he is 3-2 straight up and in Week 4, he’s also 3-2 straight up. However, in the first game of the preseason, Rex Ryan’s Jets are 0-5 straight up, suggesting he cares not about the first week, focusing more on everything else besides the scoreboard. Chuck Pagano is 4-4 in his two years as head coach in the preseason and he’s 1-1 in Week 1. The wager here, however, is not based on Pagano’s record but more on Rex Ryan’s 0-5 record in the first week. Throw in the 3½-points and we have a pretty nice window to work with.


Seattle -1½ over DENVER

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is not only highly competitive and hates losing in any situation, he’s also a strong believer in setting a winning tone and mindset right off the bat. Carroll is 11-5 in the preseason in his four years as the Seahawks coach. He also shows a clear pattern, as he’s 4-0 in Week 1 of the preseason and 3-1 in the final preseason game of the schedule. That’s 7-1 combined in Week’s 1 & 4 while he’s posted a .500 record over Week’s 2 and 3 in the preseason. Carroll has shown a strong pattern for his team to perform well in Week’s 1 and 4. We all know the Seahawks won the Super Bowl and Carroll preaches a winning attitude. Last year it started in the first game of the preseason when the Seahawks went into San Diego and whacked the Chargers 31-10. In 2012, Seattle opened the preseason with a 27-17 win over Tennessee. Carroll has a clear intention of scoring points in Week 1 and putting his entire offense in a good frame of mind. Dude plays to win in the first week. 

Broncos Coach, John Fox has been around a long time and will now enter his 13th year as a head coach split between Carolina from 2002 to 2010 and Denver. His two teams are a combined 28-24 straight up lifetime in the preseason but we’re seeing a different John Fox now than from his early days as a head coach in this league. From 2002 until 2006, Fox’s Carolina Panthers went 17-3 in the preseason. Since then his teams are 11-21, suggesting his intent in the preseason has changed dramatically over the past seven years. Denver is a perceived powerhouse this year that was embarrassed by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. The media will talk about revenge or sending a message but do not buy that ludicrous angle. Forget revenge, as in the preseason there is no such thing. Fox and the Broncos will show the Seahawks absolutely nothing here that will resemble anything they’ll do when the real show begins just in case they meet again. The bet here is based on Pete Carroll being a freak that can’t stand losing, especially against teams that the media says is better than his.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Dennis Macklin

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Los Angeles Angels    
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers +100

It's not easy to go against a team that is 29-9 in its L38 home games but it's impossible to back the Halos with C.J. Wilson on the mound. The former Ranger southpaw has been getting hammered before and after coming off the DL. Wilson has given up 15 earned on 22 hits in his L9 1/3 innings work and lasted just four outs in his first start back. RYU does his best work on the road and pitched a complete game two-hit shutout the only time he faced the Angels last year. The Bums get the money tonight at the Big A.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Bob Balfe

NY Jets -3.5

This Jets team has come a long way this offseason and are working on getting back to the playoffs. Mike Vick in town will not push Geno Smith to become a better QB. The receivers and backup receivers on this team are really good and the running game features two new players that will have to get a lot of touches to get used to this system. The Jets are always going to have a great defenses in this system. This could be a dangerous team if they can put it all together. Take the Jets.


Cincinnati Bengals +1.5

The Chiefs come into this season pretty much intact on defense, but now a lot younger on the offensive line. This is a team that has a lot of young players they need to get a look at and pretty much every single position is locked up for the starters. Andy Reid is not one to really care much for the preseason. Cincinnati has better 2nd and 3rd string players and I like their backup skilled players a little bit more. Take the Bengals.


Seattle Seahawks -1.5

The Broncos were rocked in the Super Bowl so you would think the revenge factor would be on tonight, but it is preseason and these players and coaches couldn’t careless to put Manning out there with a chance to get hurt to win a preseason game. This Broncos team is stacked and remember last year they had so many key injuries and still made it to the Super Bowl. There is no way this team allows any of these guys to get hurt in the preseason. Just like when Manning was with the Colts this team is built around him. When he is not under center they just can’t move the ball. The backup QB’s and RB’s really are not that great for this team. If the Broncos stay healthy I believe they are another Super Bowl team. Seattle just has too much team speed in this one. Take the Seahawks.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

BONES BEST BETS

CARDINALS -1 -128

If this isn’t a pitching mismatch then we don’t know what is. Brian Workman is a #4 starter at best and going up against Wainwright at home tonight will not work out well for him. Wainwright was torched in his last start (7 earned runs over 5.1 innings against the Brewers) but we can assure you that this will not happen again. Next to Kershaw, this is arguably the best pitcher in baseball and one little bump in the road will not change our opinion on that.

METS @ NATIONALS UNDER 7 -120

Both deGrom and Zimmermann have been solid this year but fantastic of late. deGrom owns a 0.82 WHIP and a 1.31 ERA over his last 3 starts. Zimmermann meanwhile owns an almost as impressive 0.95 WHIP and a 2.84 ERA.

REDS -121

The Reds should be much bigger favorites at home. They are 30-25 at home this year while the Indians are 23-35 on the road. Homer Bailey is hot and has given up only 2 earned runs and 8 hits in his last 2 starts in 15 innings. He is also 5-2 at home with a 1.20 WHIP and 3.43 ERA on the year. House has struggled on the road for the Indians where he holds a 0-2 record with a 1.59 WHIP and 4.78 ERA in 32 innings pitched. Look for the Reds to make it 3 straight vs the Indians today.

PHILLIES -111

Coming off a big 10-3 win last night we like the Phillies here again tonight. Phillies start Roberto Hernandez who has won his last three decisions. Posting decent numbers this year also despite a 6-8 record he comes into the game with just a 3.87 ERA. Philadelphia is 6-1 in their last seven home games. Their opponent, the Astros are 0-6 in their last six interleague road games, 0-8 in their last eight games in Philadelphia. Collin McHugh is a nice starter for the Astros but we like the better team at home here tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Ian Cameron

Baltimore at Toronto
Play: Toronto -110

This is a maximum intensity spot for the Toronto Blue Jays who aim to take the rubber match of their pivotal three-game series vs. Baltimore. Toronto bounced back impressively last night with a 5-1 win after a lethargic and poorly played 9-3 loss in the series opener. JA Happ, who was a major question mark early in the season when he was inserted back into the rotation, has allowed just four earned runs in his last 18.1 innings of work over his last three starts for a 1.96 ERA. He faced Baltimore on the road back in June and did a very good job neutralizing the Orioles allowing a single run in 6 innings of work with no walks and 7 strikeouts in a 5-2 win. I expect him to have another good outing tonight and the Blue Jays bullpen is rested and ready following Drew Hutchison’s 1 run, 1 hit gem last night which saw him pitch 8.2 innings. Miguel Gonzalez has been solid for Baltimore as of late but his road ERA is a bit higher at 4.12 for the season and he did labor in his last outing against Seattle yielding 4 runs on 7 hits in just 5 innings of work. If he can’t pitch deeper than that in tonight’s game, it could put a lot of strain on the Baltimore bullpen after Wei-Yin Chen pitched just 5 innings last night and Bud Norris pitched only 5.1 innings the night before. Toronto should have the fresher bullpen in the latter stages if this game is close. In this pick ‘em price range we’ll throw our support the way of the home side.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Against the Number

New England Patriots PK +105

The Patriots are in an interesting position here as far as their quarterback situation goes. Brady may not see the filed tonight, but this play really has nothing to do with him. This play revolves around each teams main backup quarterback and what I expect the teams motivations to be in regards to them. Ryan Mallett has spent the last 3 years on the bench behind Tom Brady. I don’t believe the Patriots really see him as the heir apparent to the throne of New England so this preseason will mean a LOT to them in regards to building up his trade value. The Pats drafted another QB in the 2nd round and they’re not the kind of team to do that if they’re not planning on keeping that player around. Mallett should see significant playing time and he is more than capable under center. Mallett knows where he stands and will be looking for this to be his chance to score a payday with another team. Couple that with the fact that there will be an intense battle for carries in the running game and there should be a lot of motivation for this Pats offense. On the other side, Cousins is firmly embedded as the backup to Griffin. With Griffin’s health ALWAYS in questions, the Redskins will have to do their best to get Cousins his work early, and then retire him to the bench. Who will be seeing the majority of the snaps then?…the mighty Colt McCoy (que the wah wah sound bite). I like my chances if I get a significant portion of this game with with Mallet Vs McCoy and will take the dog money here.


Denver Broncos PK +105

Is there really such a thing as revenge motivation in the first game of the preseason? Probably not, but don’t tell the fans that. This may be one of the few games where the crowd is actually into game somewhere near the intensity of a regular season game. The Seahawks could blown out here and waive it off as “who cares we won the Super Bowl”, but the Denver fans will not let the Broncos off that easy if they don’t show up. Obviously Manning will be luck to see one series before Osweiler takes over. I do think there will be some significant playing time for the former Sundevil QB because right now he is the long term plan for the post Manning era, and has yet to see much playing time in the regular season so every live snap is important to his development. Where I think the Broncos have an advantage here is in the running game. There is no premier back in Denver, but there are a lot of solid players all fighting for carries and a final spot on the roster. I believe on the whole their depth is better than that of Seattle in the backfield and this could quickly turn into a ground game battle in the second half as the Seahawks backup QB’s aren’t exactly known for their throwing ability. The Broncos weakest link in regards to depth is their secondary and these are the kinds of QB’s that will have a hard time punishing that. Denver is still pretty pissed about their last game, and the stadium should be rocking, so i’ll take the dog money again, this time at home.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

San Diego/ Dallas Under 37.5: Both teams have top notch starting QBs and you can bet that neither will be in there very long and neither will be both OLs as both coaches do not really need to see their backup QBs in there with the 1st team OL. We also not that neither team really drafted the kind of WRs that will be big impact on their teams so they won't need an extended look from them. The really looks like a game that both coaches will look to work on their run games, especially the Cowboys, who want to run more of a ball control offense this year, to help take the pressure off their defense. Speaking of defense both teams struggled in that department last year and looked to address their needs in the draft, especially Dallas, who used 7 of their last 8 picks in the draft on defense. I would expect most of them to get extended playing time here to see what they can do. Running and defense should be the name of this game and that will keep the game from posting no more than 31 points.

Best Of The Rest

Washington/ New England Over 38.5: The Patriots are a team that really looks to win their opening week game and for them that is usually done with offense. In their last 5 Week 1 preseason games, there has been an average of 43.6 ppg being scored. Even if Brady doesn't play all that much, Ryan Mallet and Jimmy Garrapolo will be given a shot at throwing the ball plenty. Even though it looks as if DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon will be out for this one I still expect the Skins to throw plenty as a well, especially since Jay Gruden really wants to open the offense up. I also like the backups of Kirk Cousins and Colt MC Coy for the Skins. Both teams gave up allot of yards last year and did address their needs on defense, but with a bunch of new parts on both defenses it will take some time for them to gel, which helps the offenses here. Also helping the offenses will be the new rules that have been designed to limit the defenses. Add it all up and we should see at least 40 points in this game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Harry Bondi

INDIANAPOLIS (+3) over NY Jets

Disregard what Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has been saying about the importance of this game to the media this week. Ryan has never put much emphasis on the first pre-season game and his ATS record shows it. Jets are 0-5 ATS in week 1 during Ryan's tenure and we think that goes to 0-6 Thursday night against a Colts team that values winning in the pre-season. In fact, the Colts under Chuck Pagano are 5-2 ATS their last 7 pre-season games and not only have the best QB on the field in Andrew Luck, they have the second best QB on the field in his back up Matt Hasselback! Sure, the Jets have the starting QB battle going on between Geno Smith & Mike Vick but they like Luck will see little time. Ryan will be trying to decide whether Matt Simms or rookie Taj Boyd will be his third team guy. Colts will have no trouble shutting them both down and will prevail in the Meadowlands.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

OC Dooley

Royals / Diamondbacks Over 8.5

Very late this afternoon (eastern time zone) came down word that Arizona is calling up thirdbaseman Jake Lamb who will be making a huge leap from the Double-A level all the way up to the majors.  Since he is the organization’s top position player one can assume that Arizona did not bring up Lamb (.318 average with 14 homers and 79 RBI) to just sit on the bench. It has been a busy day of transactions for the Diamondbacks who also activated veteran infielder Cliff Pennington from the disabled list which further adds to their offensive depth. Regular premium clients are aware that I unloaded (5 Unit Best Bet) on OVER the total in the initial game of this series where Kansas City put TWLEVE runs on the scoreboard.  The Royals offense got a much needed break after spending the weekend in Oakland facing the top 3 American League pitchers in ERA ranking since July.  Just last night Kansas City received a FOUR RBI effort from former top prospect Mike Moustakas.  But to me the big news is Billy Butler who will be anchoring firstbase since tonight’s game is being played in a National League city.  When playing the field as a firstbaseman Butler is batting a hefty .350 with 2 homers along the way.  That is in stark contrast to his season-long role as a designated hitter where he has gone deep just three times

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