Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

LA Angels at Oakland
The Angels head to Oakland tonight to open up a big AL West series and come into the contest with an 18-4 record in their last 22 games against division opponents. LA is the pick (+140) according to Dunkel, which has the Angels favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+140)

Game 9-1-902: St. Louis at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 17.778; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 14.698
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 3; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-175); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-175); Over

Game 903-904: San Francisco at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Hudson) 14.756; Washington (Fister) 17.320
Dunkel Line: Washington by 2 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Washington (-160); 7
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-160); Over

Game 905-906: Atlanta at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Minor) 16.228; Cincinnati (Latos) 13.193
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 3; 7
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-125) 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+105); Under

Game 907-908: Pittsburgh at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Locke) 16.112; Milwaukee (Gallardo) 15.298
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; ;7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-150); 8
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+130); Under

Game 909-910: Miami at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Alvarez) 16.409; Colorado (Morales) 14.986
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Miami (-135); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-135); Under

Game 911-912: San Diego at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Despaigne) 15.456; Arizona (Collmenter) 13.465
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 2; 7
Vegas Line: Arizona (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+100); Under

Game 913-914: NY Mets at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Niese) 15.412; LA  Dodgers (Haren) 13.869
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+120); Over

Game 915-916: Houston at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Peacock) 13.212; Cleveland (Carrasco) 16.533
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 3 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-210); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-210); Over

Game 917-918: Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Danks) 14.554; NY Yankees (Greene) 16.295
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-180); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-180); Under

Game 919-920: Tampa Bay at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Smyly) 14.612; Toronto 16.998
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 2 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Toronto (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-135); Under

Game 921-922: Seattle at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Hernandez) 16.108; Boston (Kelly) 13.574
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 2 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-170); 7
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-170); Over

Game 923-924: Kansas City at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Ventura) 14.339; Texas (Lewis) 15.201
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+125); Over

Game 925-926: Detroit at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Ray) 14.879; Minnesota (Milone) 16.428
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-110); Under

Game 927-928: LA Angels at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Santiago) 15.271; Oakland (Gray) 13/962
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+140); Under

Game 929-930: Baltimore at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Gausman) 16.504; Cubs (Arrieta) 14.235
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 2 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-120); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+100); N/A

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DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Oakland at Green Bay
The Packers split their first two preseason contests on the road, losing at Tennessee (20-16) in the opener and winning at St. Louis (21-7) last week.. Tonight, Green Bay returns home to Lambeau Field to host the Oakland Raiders.  Green Bay is the pick (-7) according to Dunkel, which has the Packers favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Green Bay (-7)

Game 253-254: Jacksonville at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 119.913; Detroit 119.628
Dunkel Line: Even; 40
Vegas Line: Detroit by 3; 44 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville (+3); Under

Game 255-256: Carolina at New England (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 120.647; New England 127.834
Dunkel Line: New England by 7; 41
Vegas Line: New England by 5 1/2; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New England (-5 1/2); Under

Game 257-258: NY Giants at NY Jets (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Giants 123.112; NY Jets 120.310
Dunkel Line: NY Giants by 3; 38
Vegas Line: Pick; 42 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Giants; Under

Game 259-260: Oakland at Green Bay (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 117.593; Green Bay 127.752
Dunkel Line: Green Bay by 10; 39
Vegas Line: Green Bay by 7; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Green Bay (-7); Under

Game 261-262: Chicago at Seattle (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 123.063; Seattle 114.292
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 4; 49
Vegas Line: Seattle by 7; 45
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+7); Over

CFL

Montreal at Winnipeg
The Alouettes head to Winnipeg this week to face a Blue Bombers team that is 3-9-1 ATS in its last 13 home games. Montreal is the pick (+7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Blue Bombers favored by only 4. Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+7 1/2)

Game 291-292: Montreal at Winnipeg (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 105.318; Winnipeg 109.414
Dunkel Line: Winnipeg by 4; 46
Vegas Line: Winnipeg by 7 1/2; 50
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+7 1/2); Under

SATURDAY, AUGUST 23

Game 293-294: Toronto at Edmonton (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 110.662; Edmonton 121.882
Dunkel Line: Edmonton by 11; 53
Vegas Line: Edmonton by 8; 48 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (-8); Over

SUNDAY, AUGUST 24

Game 295-296: Calgary at Ottawa (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Calgary 120.005; Ottawa 106.237
Dunkel Line: Calgary by 14; 53
Vegas Line: Calgary by 8 1/2; 48
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-8 1/2); Over

Game 297-298: Saskatchewan at BC (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Saskatchewan 116.826; BC 117.979
Dunkel Line: BC by 1; 55
Vegas Line: BC by 3 1/2; 50 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Saskatchewan (+3 1/2); Over

WNBA

Chicago at Atlanta
The Sky head to Atlanta tonight to open up their playoff series against a Dream team that is 0-8 ATS in its last 8 games versus Eastern Conference opponents. Chicago is the pick (+3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Dream favored by only 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+3 1/2)

Game 605-606: Chicago at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 108.840; Atlanta 110.371
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 148
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 3 1/2; 155 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+3 1/2); Under

Game 607-608: Los Angeles at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 111.036; Phoenix 123.664
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 12 1/2; 150
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 10 1/2; 156 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-10 1/2); Under

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Ross Benjamin

Oakland @ Green Bay
Play: Oakland +7

You can be rest assured that a huge portion of the general public's money will go the way of the home favorite Packers in this one. After all, it's the dress rehearsal game for both teams, and the starters on each side will receive extended playing time. Surely the public knows with that in mind, the Packers are the superior team right? I would say that they most certainly are, but in my years of experience, whenever something looks this easy, it normally isn't. Think about this, without factoring any other query into the equation, preseason underdogs of 7.0 or more have gone 68-44 ATS (60.7%) since 1983.

Any preseason away underdog that's coming off of a home favorite ATS loss in which they scored 10-points or more, and they have a preseason winning percentage of .500 or better, versus an opponent coming off of an away underdog ATS win, has gone 22-4 ATS since 1984. The underdog has won 21 of those 26-games outright.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

DAVE COKIN

ATLANTA BRAVES AT CINCINNATI REDS
PLAY: ATLANTA BRAVES +105

It’s a virtual inevitability that every season around this time, at least one or two teams will simply enter into what amounts to white flag mode. It looks like we have our first full fledged towel tosser in action now. From all appearances, the Cincinnati Reds are now pretty much mailing it in on a nightly basis.

This isn’t to say the Reds won’t win some games between now and the end of September. But it sure looks like they’re going to be losing several more than they win at this point. One can get a good feel for a team by watching them regularly and when I view the Reds, I’m seeing a team that just isn’t there mentally. I won’t swear to it, but chances are I’ve made my last play on the Reds for this season. But I don’t think I’ll be having a problem trying to beat them, particularly if the price isn’t an obstacle.

Tonight, the beleaguered Reds host the Braves. Just looking at the numbers, the price is just about where it ought to be on this game. Mike Minor has done a little better lately for Atlanta, but he’s still having trouble commanding his change and he’s not shedding that nasty HR vulnerability. Minor is not what I would call a go with hurler right now, in spite of some encouraging signs of late.

As for Mat Latos, his velocity is slowly starting to creep back toward its former level. Latos is a quality starter and good righties can absolutely shut down the grip it and rip it Braves.

The Reds are capable of hammering lefties with their lineup, and under normal conditions, I’d probably avoid this altogether. But the Reds are as dead as it gets right now, and last night’s destruction at the hands of the visiting Braves was humiliating.

I haven’t been impressed with rookie manager Bryan Price at almost any point this season. His “strategy” has been iffy at best. Now you can also add in the apparent fact that he’s not putting a team that’s remotely energized on the field. Some of that is on the players to be sure, but just because a team is losing games doesn’t mean they should be pretty much going through the motions. The Cubs are going to lose more than they win and were out of playoff contention before the season started. But watch a Cubs game and you’ll be impressed with the spirit and enthusiasm that’s there almost every day. I’m not seeing that at all right now from this Reds entry.

I’m always aware of the data, but there are rare times where I just choose to ignore it, and this is one of those games. I just can’t see Atlanta getting plus money from Cincy at this point, so tonight’s free play is on the Braves.

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Rob Vinciletti

Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots
Play: Carolina Panthers +5.5

The Panthers are 5-0 ats vs the AFC and the Patriots are 0-6 to the spread the past few seasons in week 3 and have failed to cover 7 of the last 10 vs NFC Teams. The Patriots apply to a system in Preseason games that plays against home teams that are off a home win that scored 30 or more points and allowed 10 or more, if the opponent has 1 or more wins. The Patriots should have a much tougher time against a solid Carolina defense than they did last week against a Philadelphia team that could not stop them. These two played one of the more entertaining games of last season in a game that went right down to the wire with Carolina holding off the Patriots on last play in the end zone. This should be a tight game especially in the first 3 quarters as Game threes of the Preseason are the dress rehearsal for the opener. We will take the Points and Back Carolina tonight.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Ben Burns

Tigers vs. Twins
Play: Over 9

Two subpar starters make plenty of runs a distinct possibility in the series opener. Yesterday I played the Under in the Tigers game at Tampa Bay, a 1-0 final.  But that had a pitching matchup of David Price vs. Alex Cobb.  This one has Robbie Ray vs. Tom Milone.

Ray has been in and out of the Tigers' rotation all year.  His last three times as a starter have not gone well. His ERA is 9.45 and his WHIP 2.251.

The Tigers' offense has scored 14 runs the last 2 games. They should have a chance to add to that tonight vs. Milone, who has a 5.40 ERA and 1.65 WHIP his own last three starts.  The last one was the worst of all as he allowed 7 runs on 4 hits and lasted just 1.1 innings.

The Over is 5-2 the last 7 times the Tigers have been off a loss.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Scott Spreitzer

Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers    
Play: Kansas City Royals -141

The hottest team in baseball has a favorable weekend matchup as they look to stay ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.  KC enters on a 22-6 run and they're 14-3 in their last 17 against right-handed starters. Tonight, they'll face Colby Lewis.  The Texas righty is not too hot, overall, but he's been absolutely horrendous at home this season, where he's been saddled with a 7.29 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, and a .351 BAA in 12 home starts.  Texas has won just one of his last seven at home. One of the biggest differences between the current Royals and the pre-all star Royals is that they're able to bring base runners home.  KC has been in or near the top-5 in team batting average for much of the summer, but struggled at times to plate runs.  That's not as much of a problem now...and if they take a lead into the 7th, they're a tough nut to crack. The Rangers have won just 14 of their last 56 games and we'll go against them in this one. I'm backing the KC Royals on Friday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Art Aronson

Seattle Mariners vs. Boston Red Sox    
Play: Seattle Mariners -172

The visiting Mariners send Felix Hernandez (13-4, 1.99 ERA) to the hill who is looking to bounce back off a rare bad outing (for his incredibly high standards anyways). Hernandez had his streak of nine straight wins in a row snapped against the Tigers, going five innings while allowing two runs. I expect “The King” bounces back nicely in this game; note that Hernandez is 8-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 15 careers starts lifetime versus the Red Sox and earned a win in his last start against them. Boston counters with Joe Kelly (2-3, 4.67 ERA); Kelly was roughed up in his last outing allowing seven runs in a loss to the Astros. Kelly has been injured for most of the year and the ailments have clearly contributed to his inconsistent campaign. The Red Sox played just yesterday and lost to the Angels while the Mariners had the day off. Note that Seattle is 11-3 this year when playing with a day off. The M’s are coming off a disappointing series against the Phillies where they lost two of three and will be coming into this contest hungry for a win as they are a half game out of a Wild Card spot. The Red Sox meanwhile have lost five in row and have little to play for at this point. I have no problem laying the extra juice to get Hernandez and the Mariners.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Jimmy Adams

Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots    
Play: New England Patriots -5½

The 3rd preseason game is generally the “Dress rehearsal” for most teams. It’s the time we’ll see the starters playing the longest and executing their best. Generally the Patriots don’t care at all about wins and losses in these exhibition games, but they’ll be a touch more motivated today given what happened in their matchup with this team last year. Week 11 on Monday night the Panthers beat the Pat’s 24-20. On the last play of the game, Panthers LB Luke Kuechly absolutely mauled Rob Gronkowski. For some unknown reason, the refs picked up the flag and ended the game. Bill Belichick and company didn’t forget about that one, and given how well New England lit up the scoreboard last week vs. Philly, they will undoubtedly put up a big number tonight against Carolina.

The Panthers got the victory last week, but they’re in for a down year after losing some key personnel. Cam Newton is coming off of ankle surgery so the coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on him. These teams also didn’t hold joint practices this week as so many teams do prior to the season. The Pat’s have almost every advantage in this game and with a little extra motivation added to the equation, this one looks like a strong bet.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Doug Upstone

Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos    
Play: Houston Texans +7

Play On road teams like Houston, after allowing 14 points or less in last game, against opponent after leading in their previous game by 14 or more points at the half. In this case, teams like Houston are likely to have a carryover affect of their previous game, especially on defense. Conversely, the team they are playing built a big early lead playing football this time of year and might lack the intensity needed to win and cover the spread. Over the past two decades, teams like the Texans are 23-5 ATS, 82.1 percent.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Marc Lawrence

Pittsburgh vs. Milwaukee
Pick: Milwaukee

Edges - Brewers: Gallardo 13-1 last fourteen team starts during August, and 11-2 home career team starts in this series, and 26 strikeouts and 6 walks last six starts.  Pirates: Locke 0-4 last four away team starts and 0-2 last two teams starts in this series.  With Pittsburgh 3-11 the last fourteen games in this series, we recommend a 1-unit play on Milwaukee.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Bryan Power

St. Louis vs. Philadelphia
Pick: St. Louis

Winners of four straight, the Cardinals are going for broke here w/ a pitching change from Shelby Miller to Adam Wainwright.  They just swept Cincinnati at home and have won 7 of 8. That win streak has them occupying the top Wild Card spot in the National League as they get set to open a series w/ the last place Phillies...

Though he has not been as effective in August, there is no denying that Wainwright gives St. Louis a great shot at winning every time out.  He is tied for the MLB lead in wins w/ 15.  He has also been effective in the past versus Philadelphia w/ a 5-1 record and 2.32 ERA in nine starts.  He's won 3 straight against them, including back in June where he allowed just 1 ER in 8 IP. He is 2-0 all-time at Citizens Bank Park w/ a 1.64 ERA.   For the season, he ranks 3rd in the National League in both ERA and innings pitched.

I just don't buy into this Phillies organization and I have no idea why they didn't turn into sellers at the trade deadline.  At 56-71, they're not going anywhere this season and I don't see this as a team that's exactly built for the future.  Going w/ Kyle Kendrick tonight probably isn't the best answer for Wainwright as Philly's starter has a 6.80 ERA over his L8 starts.  A Cardinals lineup that's batted a collective .338 during a four-game win streak should be able to jump on Kendrick early as he has a 9.00 1st inning ERA, the highest among all qualifying starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

River City Sharps

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates +130

While the Pirates are trying to stay in touch with the NL wildcard, they find themselves travelling to an unfriendly place as they open up a series with the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. The big problem for the Pirates is that the Brewers have absolutely owned the Pirates in Milwaukee and really overall. This season, the Brewers are 5-1 at Miller Park vs. Pittsburgh and since 2007, the Brewers are 53-13 at home vs. the Pirates! Tonight the Pirates give the ball to lefty Jeff Locke, who has struggled on the road and vs. the Brewers over his career. He will be opposed by Yovani Gallardo, who was absolutely brilliant in his last win over Clayton Kershaw and the LA Dodgers. While the Pirates did get a win Wednesday over the Braves, they have been struggling mightily over the last couple of weeks. They are 1-7 in their last eight games vs. teams with a winning record and 0-4 in Locke's last four road starts. Milwaukee is playing good baseball as they lead the NL Central, going 10-4 in their last 14 games as a home favorite and a perfect 6-0 in the last six series openers. Gallardo is going to give the Brew Crew another solid effort and the Milwaukee domination of the Bucs continues tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Jeff Clement

Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
Play: Detroit Tigers +100

The Tigers are 9-4 last 13 road games against teams with losing records and 21-9 last 30 meeting s in Minnesota. The Twins are 1-4 last 5 overall games and are 5-10 last 15 games. Minnesota's pitcher Milone is coming off the DL so he probably won't last long and the Tigers need a victory to keep pace with Division leading Kansas City who have a 1.5 game lead over Detroit.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

LT Profits

Tampa Bay vs Toronto
Pick: Under 8

Drew Smyly has pitched very well for the Tampa Bay Rays since coming over in the David Price trade and that should continue vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. Smyly is 1-1 for Tampa but with a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 20 innings vs. six walks. It helps that the Toronto lineup is mainly unfamiliar with him as his career work vs. the Blue Jays consists of 2.2 scoreless relief innings. Marcus Stroman comes off of his roughest outing of the season for Toronto as he only recorded two outs while getting charged with five earned runs vs. the White Sox. He had still been terrific for the Jays before then, and while his ERA rose to 3.83, he still maintains his 1.17 WHIP and should bounce back facing Tampa Bay for the first time ever. The ‘under’ is 12-3-2 in the Rays’ last 17 games following a win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Sleepyj

NY Jets Pk

The New York Giants have been a disaster so far this Preseason as far as the starters are concerned. Eli Manning has a total of one completion this entire preseason. The Giants have played 3 game so far this preseason and failed to impress me one bit. The 2nd string and 3rd string has looked much better than the first squad all around. I really think this team has a lot of holes and the depth on this team on both sides of the ball is a major issue. I'm very low on this Giants team as i think they can finish in the bottom of the league. I honestly can see this team being the laughing stock of the NFL in a few short weeks of the regualar season. The Giants are 3-0 but the starters have contributed very little. The Giants also have some WR issues as well Odell Beckham is injured and it's a little unsure how the Giants plan to use the passing game as it relates to the slot. This may again cause some timing issues as Manning has looked rather shell shocked. On the other hand with the Jets, if Rex Ryan wants to win some games it might just have to be these games. I'm not sold on this Jets team but they look to have some pieces they can work with. Chris Johnson had a nice preseason so far. I like the fact that both Geno Smith and Mike Vick are playing for a starting job when one slips up at any moment. So we should see both players creating plays tonight against a Giants defense that looks rather lost this preseason. The Jets strength is the defense and i think in this game, a in state rivalry game they will give Eli all he can handle and more. The Jets receiving was rather down the first 2 preseason games, but i expect them to have a breakout kinda game tonight. I think this one will be close but i think Rex will get the Jets up for this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Jimmy Boyd

Arizona Diamondbacks -110

The Diamondbacks are showing great value as a small home favorite against the Padres tonight. Arizona is going to be excited to return home after a lengthy 10-game road trip that ended with a 6-game losing streak. The Padres on the other hand could be in for a letdown after a big series at Los Angeles.

San Diego is just 25-40 on the road this season and come in with zero confidence at the plate after managing just 3 hits last night against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. That's good news for Arizona starter Josh Collmenter, who has an impressive 3.18 ERA and 0.991 WHIP over 12 home starts. The Padres will counter with Odrisamer Despaigne, who is just 1-3 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.463 WHIP over 5 road starts.

San Diego is just 1-4 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series, 5-11 in their last 16 road games against a team with a losing record and 1-4 in Despaigne's last 5 starts after scoring 2 runs or less. Arizona is 4-0 in their last 4 home games as a favorite of -110 to -150, 6-1 in their last 7 home games against a team with a losing record and 5-1 in Collmenter's last 6 home starts as a favorite.

Adding to that is a solid system backing the Arizona. Home teams when the money line is +125 to -125  after a loss by 2 runs or less against opponent after scoring 1 run or less are 63-34 over the last 5 seasons. That's a 65% system in favor of the Diamondbacks.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Steve Janus

Kansas City Royals -145

This is a great spot to back the Royals, as they take their major league leading .274 road batting average to Texas to face off against Colby Lewis and the Rangers. Texas has the worst home record of any team at 23-38 and Lewis is an awful 2-7 with a 7.29 ERA over 12 home starts, which is the worst ERA of any pitcher in their home park. On the flip side of this, the Royals will send out youngster Yordano Ventura, who has a 2.81 ERA over his last 4 starts and will have an advantage with this being the first time facing the Rangers.

Key Trends -  Kansas City is 16-4 in their last 20 road games in the 2nd half against teams who are outscored by 0.5 runs or more per game and the Rangers are just 4-21 in their last 25 against a team with a winning pct between 54% to 62%.

System - Road teams (KANSAS CITY) - with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.300 to 1.400 on the season-AL, starting a pitcher who walked 4+ hitters each of his last 2 outings are 53-31 (63%) against the money line since 1997.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

Chip Chirimbes

Baltimore Orioles vs. Chicago Cubs    
Play: Chicago Cubs -105

The Orioles have won four straight and visit Chicago for this inter-league contest as they start 23-year-old Kevin Gausman (7-4, 3.70 ERA) who has never faced the Cubs. Chicago will start their most effective starter in Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.61) who once registered 10 wins with Baltimore.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, August 22

John Fisher

Royals at Rangers
Play: Royals

The Royals have been playing the best baseball in August. They are hitting .280 since August and have won 22 out of 28 games! Ventura is 9-9 but he's better than what his .500 record indicates. He has a 3.6 ERA with a WHIP of 1.3 on the Road compared to Lewis who struggles in his Home park with a 7.2 ERA and a 1.7 WHIP. LETS take the Royals. The Royals are 9-4 after a day off. Rangers are 3-10 after a day off.

Blade
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