Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, August 23

Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, August 23

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Kansas City at Texas
The Royals look to follow up last night's 6-3 win in the series opener and come into tonight's contest with a 5-0 record in Jeremy Guthrie's last 5 starts as a road favorite. Kansas City is the pick (-120) according to Dunkel, which has the Royals favored by 2 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-120)

Game 951-952: San Francisco at Washington (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Lincecum) 16.413; Washington (Zimmermann) 15.312
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Washington (-200); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+170); Over

Game 953-954: St. Louis at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Miller) 17.312; Philadelphia (Buchanan) 15.498
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 2; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-130); Over

Game 955-956: Pittsburgh at Milwaukee (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Vloquez) 16.796; Milwaukee (Peralta) 15.290
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-145); 8
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+125); Under

Game 957-958: Atlanta at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Santana) 16.124; Cincinnati (Leake) 13.296
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 3; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-125) 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-125); Under

Game 959-960: Miami at Colorado (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Koehler) 14.867; Colorado (Lyles) 16.775
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 2; 11
Vegas Line: Colorado (-110); 10
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-110); Over

Game 961-962: San Diego at Arizona (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Cashner) 15.877; Arizona (Nuno) 14.309
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: San Diego (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-125); Over

Game 963-964: NY Mets at LA Dodgers (9:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (deGrom) 15.499; LA Dodgers (Greinke) 16.976
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-160); 7
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-160); Under

Game 965-966: Tampa Bay at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 14.554; Toronto (Buehrle) 15.872
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-120); Under

Game 967-968: Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Carroll) 13.221; NY Yankees (Kuorda) 15.415
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-200); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-200); Over

Game 969-970: Detroit at Minnesota (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Farmer) 16.774; Minnesota (Pino) 15.398
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 971-972: Detroit at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Verlander) 14.997; Minnesota (May) 15.812
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 973-974: Seattle at Boston (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Young) 16.055; Boston (Workman) 13.628
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 2 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-115); Under

Game 975-976: Houston at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (McHugh) 14.657; Cleveland (Salazar) 16.332
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-160); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-160); Over

Game 977-978: Kansas City at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Guthrie) 16.595; Texas (Tepesch) 14.287
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 2 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-120); Over

Game 979-980: LA Angels at Oakland (9:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Wilson) 14.332; Oakland (Lester) 15.879
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Oakland (-165); 7
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-165); Under

Game 981-982: Baltimore at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Norris) 16.332; Cubs (Hendricks) 14.901
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-120); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-120); N/A

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DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

New Orleans at Indianapolis
The Colts have dropped their first two preseason games while the Saints come into tonight's matchup off back-to-back wins over St. Louis (26-24) and Tennessee (31-24). New Orleans is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Saints favored by 3 1/2. Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+2 1/2)

Game 263-264: Tampa Bay at Buffalo (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 117.388; Buffalo 117.265
Dunkel Line: Even; 37
Vegas Line: Buffalo by 3; 41 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+3); Under

Game 265-266: Dallas at Miami (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 116.629; Miami 122.375
Dunkel Line: Miami by 5 1/2; 42
Vegas Line: Miami by 3; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-3); Under

Game 267-268: Tennessee at Atlanta (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 117.683; Atlanta 123.237
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 5 1/2; 40
Vegas Line: Atlanta by 3; 44
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-3). Under

Game 269-270: Washington at Baltimore (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 129.374; Baltimore 128.615
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 48
Vegas Line: Baltimore by 3; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+3); Over

Game 271-272: New Orleans at Indianapolis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 124.133; Indianapolis 120.404
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 3 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: Indianapolis by 2 1/2; 47
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+2 1/2); Over

Game 273-274: Minnesota at Kansas City (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 119.372; Kansas City 123.744
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 4 1/2; 48
Vegas Line: Kansas City by 3; 45
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-3); Over

Game 275-276: St. Louis at Cleveland (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 120.388; Cleveland 119.025
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 39
Vegas Line: Cleveland by 3; 42 1/2;
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+3); Under

Game 277-278: Houston at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 122.281; Denver 133.029
Dunkel Line: Denver by 10; 50
Vegas Line: Denver by 7; 46
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-7); Over

CFL

Toronto at Edmonton
The Argonauts head to Edmonton this afternoon to face an Eskimos team that is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games in Week 9 of the season. Edmonton is the pick (-8) according to Dunkel, which has the Eskimos favored by 11. Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (-8)

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

Minnesota at San Antonio
The Stars look to stay alive in the series as they head back to the AT&T Center tonight where they are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games. San Antonio is the pick (+4) according to Dunkel, which has the Stars favored by 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (+4)

Game 609-610: Indiana at Washington (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 110.035; Washington 111.820
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 2; 148
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 4; 143
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+4); Over

Game 611-612: Minnesota at San Antonio (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 111.249; San Antonio 115.948
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 4 1/2; 160
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 4; 155 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (+4); Over

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Jesse Schule

New Orleans vs. Indianapolis
Pick: Indianapolis

The Colts looked great for three quarters of football at home against the Giants last week, but after surrendering 27 unanswered points in the final period, Indianapolis is still winless in the pre-season. They host the undefeated New Orleans Saints in Week 3, and we should see plenty of Andrew Luck and Drew Brees as normally the starters see the most action in the third week of the exhibition season.

Brees hasn't seen any action in the Saints previous two games, so it could take him a while to shake off some rust. Luck has looked solid in his limited action so far for the Colts, so we can expect him to be sharp right off the get go.

This game will mean a lot more to the Colts than it will to the Saints, who struggled on the road at the best of times. New Orleans will be up against a revamped Colts defense that should be a lot better in 2014.

"It’s going to be a great barometer to see just how far we’ve come defensively," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "We’re off to a good start defensively when you look at the numbers from the first two ball games ... From an individual standpoint, position standpoint and then collectively as a unit, those guys are all excited to play an outstanding team, an outstanding offensive unit and see exactly where we’re at."


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Will Rogers

Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo
Pick: Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills will host Tampa in Week 3 of the pre-season, and with the starters expected to see plenty of action, that should favor the home team. The Bucs are coming off losses to Miami and Jacksonville, and it doesn't get any easier in Buffalo.

Here are my keys to the game:

1: Quarterbacks - The Bucs simply don't have a lot of talent at the quarterback position, with all three options more suitable in the role of a backup. The trio combined to complete 15-of-30 attempts for 159 yards and two scores in the loss to Miami. The same could be said about Buffalo, but at least E.J. Manuel has a strong running game to fall back on.

2: Bill's Defense - Buffalo owned one of the NFL's best defenses in 2013, and so far this pre-season they've held opponents to an average of just 19 points per game.

3: X-Factor - The Bills have covered the spread in seven of their last nine home games, while Tampa is 1-4 ATS in their last five overall.

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MMA OddsBreaker

Tony Martin to win -110

Martin should be in a competitive bout against opponent Beneil Dariush, but he has several distinct advantages that should put him over the top come fight time. The biggest advantage is his overall size. Martin is a physical specimen at lightweight and will be significantly bigger and stronger than Dariush when they clash inside the Octagon. The other key component will be Martin's chin strength. He can take a punch much, much better than Dariush can, and should both men land a big shot at the same time, it'll be Martin who stands tall.

Both men have had conditioning issues in the past, so their faults should cancel each other out and while Dariush has a deservedly-hyped submission game, Martin is no slouch on the ground either and should be able to neutralize the submission game when you factor in his size. We feel Martin could win via knockout or by decision here and expect him to put on a solid performance in his second UFC appearance.

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John Ryan

Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs    
Play: Minnesota Vikings +4

The simulator shows a high probability that the Vikings will lose this game by fewer than three points and has a great shot at winning their third straight preseason game. You may be aware that Week 3 in the NFLX offers some of the best betting opportunities for the season. It is a final dress rehearsal for many teams before the real season begins in ernest. Many opinions focus on the fact that Minnesota is 2-0 and really doesn't have any great need to play their first units longer than a few possessions. yet, the following system shows otherwise.  Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 30-11 ATS mark for 73% winners since 2008. Play on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (MINNESOTA) after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins. The following game situations match the SIM projections for this matchup. KC is just  2-16 ATS (-15.6 Units) when they allow 300 to 350 total yards since 1993; 5-17 ATS (-13.7 Units) when they allow 100 to 125 rushing yards since 1993; 3-14 ATS (-12.4 Units) when they allow 5 to 5.5 total yards per play since 1993.


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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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Jeff Clement

Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
Play: Dallas Cowboys +3

Dallas has concerns at defense but cornerback Mo Claiborne is back on the field and rookie Safety Ahmad Dixon out of Baylor has led the team it tackles with his aggressive style of play. Quarterback Tony Romo will probably play at least 1st half as he looked good coming off of back surgery with a 31 yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant. Expect Demarco Murray to get a lot of playing time and rookie Devon Street has 4 catches for 43 yards so far in this pre-season. Miami will have Ryan Tannehill who has passed for 110 yards and 1 TD in this pre-season get most of the snaps. The Dolphins need to get more production out of the running game so look for them to run the ball a lot against Dallas. Dallas beat Miami last pre-season 24-20 and I expect with Romo playing more in this game that Dallas will score some points. Prediction: DALL 27 MIA 24.

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Jimmy Boyd

Chicago Cubs +101

The Cubs are showing outstanding value at basically a pick'em at home against the Orioles. Chicago took the opener last night 4-1 behind a dominant performance from starter Jake Arrieta.

I look for Baltimore's offense to remain in a funk on Saturday, as they go up against one of the more underrated pitchers in the game right now in Kyle Hendricks. Since joining the rotation, Hendricks has gone a dominant 5-1 with 1.66 ERA and 0.966 WHIP over 7 starts. He's been even more impressive at home, where he's got a 0.44 ERA over 3 outings.

Baltimore will counter with Bud Norris, who despite strong numbers overall, has a not so impressive 4.35 ERA over 12 road starts. Norris has also really struggled in interleague games, where he has 5.87 ERA and 1.500 WHIP over 3 starts.

There's also a strong system in play on the Cubs. Teams with a money line of -100 to -150 who are scoring 3.8 runs or less per game against a team with a very good bullpen (ERA<=3.33), ice cold hitting team - batting .240 or worse over their last 20 games are 71-34 over the last 5 seasons. That's a 68% system in favor of the Cubs.

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Steve Janus

Los Angeles Dodgers -158

This is a great spot to back the Dodgers at home against the Mets. Los Angeles will be sending out Zach Greinke, who will be well rested after having his turn skipped to give him a couple extra days off. Greinke has absolutely dominated the Mets over his career. He's got a 2.84 ERA and 0.947 WHIP over 3 starts.

Key Trends - LA is 15-6 in Greinke's last 21 starts vs a team with a losing record, 12-4 in his last 16 starts as a favorite of -151 to -200 and 20-6 in his last 26 starts at home.

System - All underdogs with a money line of +125 to +175 (NY METS) - below average hitting team (AVG <=.255) against a very good starting pitcher (ERA <=3.00) -NL, with a hot starting pitcher- WHIP <= 1.000 over his last 3 starts are 11-52 (17%) against the money line over the last 5 seasons.

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Jim Feist

San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks    
Play: Arizona Diamondbacks +105

Vidal Nuno goes for Arizona and he's not pitched as bad as his record, allowing 2 runs in each of his last two starts. Nuno did not record a decision Monday against the Nationals as he pitched seven innings and allowed two runs, five hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts. In fact he's allowed 2 runs or less in 3 of is last four starts. The Diamondbacks are 6-1 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing record and faces the worst offensive team in baseball. San Diego is 30th in runs, batting average, on base percentage and slugging. San Diego starter Andrew Cashner has been battling some shoulder soreness and his ERA goes from 1.39 at home to 3.77 on the road! The Padres are 1-4 in Cashner's last 5 road starts, plus 4-9 on the road games against a left-handed starter. And the Padres are 5-11 in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a losing record.

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DAVE COKIN

HOUSTON ASTROS AT CLEVELAND INDIANS
PLAY: HOUSTON ASTROS +145

You can mark me down as being bullish on Danny Salazar. The Cleveland righty has great stuff, and if he can stay healthy, there’s a real expectation here that he’s going to break out at some point. But Salazar remains a model of inconsistency at the present time. The problem seems to be an inability to maintain his command on a regular basis. Salazar has done better in this regard lately. But he’s still prone to high pitch counts and once he hits the wall, that’s pretty much curtains for Salazar. So despite his top of the rotation potential, Salazar remains very much a work in progress.

Collin McHugh, on the other hand, seems to have arrived. Throw out the subpar W/L record. McHugh has been much better than that, and as I said last Sunday when I backed McHugh against the Red Sox, I really feel as though he’s now the ace on this Houston staff. The key for McHugh has been his mastering the changeup. He’s getting a huge differential between his fastball and the change and a load of swings and misses in the process.

From a team perspective, the Indians are clearly the better entry and they can be rude to righties when playing at home. As for the Astros, they’re still a lousy team and picking the right spots to give them a roll is a challenge. But the good news on that front is that Houston is on one of its good rolls right now. They’re on a modest 5-2 run, and it’s worth noting that the Astros have been hitting very well for some time now. So the ‘Stros are not in pushover mode presently, and that means it’s not a bad time to give them a longer look than usual.

The Indians are still hanging in as far as the playoff chase goes. They’re a manageable five games out of the second wild card, which means that one hot streak could get them right into the mix. But that’s also the problem, as this team just hasn’t been good enough to put any distance between themselves and the .500 plateau.

The Tribe rates the favorite’s role this evening. They play well at home and they have the ability to do a number on right handers. But I also see them being overpriced given McHugh’s stellar form, which has actually been amazing all season on the road. This looks like solid value with the game being priced this high, and I’m going to align myself within the Astros this time.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Swansea +½ +143 over SWANSEA CITY

While Burnley may seem like an appetizing pick with a +483 wager, it may be discretionary to avert such a selection. However, many wonder if the Swansea victory against Man United was a result of Man U beating itself or if Swansea is in fact the "real-deal". Across from Swansea, is the newly promoted Burnley who has never contested Swansea in English football history. That’s an angle that can be profitable.

Swansea has had its fair share of struggles at Liberty Stadium in the previous campaign and Burnley will feel a bit of confidence after striking first against Chelsea in their opening game defeat. Another consideration should be made that Swansea concedes several shots on goal and Burnley has no difficulty taking those shots. With this consideration, this match can turn into one with several scoring opportunities and it wouldn’t surprise us to see the dog conncet on a couple of them. Burnley will most likely attack again with a tactically sound 4-4-2 formation, which has proven profitable for Burnley in all league levels. With the possible upset here, we’ll gladly take a half goal plus some vigor and cover the draw as well.


West Brom +383 over SOUTHAMPTON

A team that is full of surprises, West Bromwich Albion may surprise the Saints of Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium. West Brom is feeling delight after drawing Sunderland in their opening fixture while Southampton is caning with despair. Southampton has undergone huge changes in both their personnel and management in the offseason and this has also translated to the pitch.

By contrast, West Bromwich Albion has settled in to their second year in the English Premier League, escaping relegation in 2013 and earning the right to contend yet again in 2014. In previous meetings between these two opposing sides, each team has emerged victorious three times, drawn twice and lost three times. Even more astounding, each team has won twice at home and lost once at home. To display the mirroring sides even more, they have also drawn once at each other's pitch. With this consideration, Southampton enters the contest as -140 favorite which is rather presumptuous given the statistics and results of recent games. No question this one can go either way but all the value is in taking this sweet tag and that’s precisely how we’ll play it.

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Rob Vinciletti

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Buffalo Bills
Play: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3

Tampa has covered 3 straight in week 3 of the Preseason, while Buffalo is 0-6 in game fours which is what they are playing since they played in the Hall of Fame Game. This game also has a solid system attached to it. We are playing on road teams that are favored or dogs of less than 3 if they are 0-2, These teams have covered 18 of 22 times. The Bills have struggled with NFC Teams in the Preseason the past few years losing 11 of 12 straight up. So we are not anxious to lay points with them. We will take the points with Tampa Bay here today.


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Don Best Consensus

Angels at Athletics
Pick: Over

Head to Head the over is 6-2-1 in the last 9 meetings. The over is 25-9-4 in the last 38 meetings in Oakland. Lester has been a great pickup for Oakland but he is not throwing shutouts, he has given up 3ER in 3 of 4 A's starts. The last 10 CJ Wilson starts are 7-1-2 over 7 runs.

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Ben Burns

Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians    
Play: Cleveland Indians -157

The Indians are a team I like to bounce back Saturday.  They limited the Astros to just three hits in Friday's opener, but lost in large part because of some very poor play in the field.  Not only did the Indians commit two errors, but they also had two runners thrown out in the same inning.  I'll look for better play today.

The Tribe really dominated the Astros last year, winning six of seven games and outscoring them 41-15.  Yesterday was the first time the clubs had met in 2014.

This Indians team typically does a good job at defending their home field.  Only the A's and Angels have more victories at home among all American League teams.

Houston scored four of its runs in the ninth Friday, so it was a tie game heading into the final inning. Before that outburst, they had scored just 1 run in their last 17 innings.  They have just seven hits total the last two games.

In his last five starts, Cleveland starter Danny Salazar has allowed three earned runs or less four times.

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Art Aronson

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers    
Play: Milwaukee Brewers -134

I think the home side bounces back here after yesterday’s 8-3 setback. Milwaukee sends Wily Peralta (15-7, 3.27 ERA) to the hill; Peralta has been “lights out” of late, he’s 6-1 with a tiny 1.59 ERA over the last six weeks. Most recently Peralta would allow five hits over six scoreless innings in his team’s 7-2 win at Dodger Stadium on Sunday; note that Peralta has been especially dominant of late, he’s won four consecutive starts at home behind a minuscule 1.03 ERA (and note that he’s 2-0 with a very respectable 2.25 ERA in three lifetime starts vs. the Bucs). Milwaukee faces Edinson Volquez (10-7, 3.58 ERA) who has also been great of late, he’s 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts in August. The Brewers though have won 10 of the last 14 in this series and I think that trend gets extended here; Peralta gets the slight nod on the bump in my opinion, consider a second look at the home side in this spot.


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Jimmy Adams

Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens    
Play: Washington Redskins +3

Things are looking up in Washington with Mike Shanahan out and Jay Gruden taking over as head coach. Reports are already indicating that team chemistry is much better so far this year. Robert Griffin III seems to have a much better relationship with Gruden and that will go a long way in helping the Redskins win games.

RGIII looks healthy coming into the season. He has made positive plays, he just needs to work on not making that one big mistake. He can’t be forcing throws and throwing interceptions when the play breaks down. As long as he takes care of the ball (and himself), the ‘Skins will be just fine. I am also very high on backup QB Kirk Cousins. This guy is better than a handful of starters in the NFL, and Washington is fielding many trade inquiries as a result. Cousins is a big reason for this play, as I am very confident when he has the ball and I know that he will put his team in a good position to win the game outright. The Redskins are on a short week because they played Monday night, but short weeks don’t matter near as much in the preseason as they do when the games actually count.

The Ravens will be without their top 3 cornerbacks tonight. Jimmy Smith, Asa Jackson, and Lardarius Webb will all be sidelined. This obviously leaves Baltimore’s secondary very vulnerable to the big play form both Griffin and Cousins. The Ravens got off to a very slow start last week, and Joe Flacco didn’t look particularly sharp either. Count on the Redskins to at least cover in this one and possibly win the game outright.

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Marc Lawrence

NY Mets vs. LA Dodgers
Pick: NY Mets

Edges - Mets: DeGrom 41 strikeouts and 7 walks last six starts.  Dodgers; Haren 6-11 last seventeen team starts during August, including 0-4 last four home. With De Grom 5-2 with a 1.97 ERA his last seven team starts, and Haren 2-6 with a 7.03 ERA in his last eight-team starts, we recommend a 1-unit play on the Mets.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, August 23

Mike Lundin

Padres vs. Diamondbacks
Play: Under 8

The D-backs will host the Padres for Game 2 of a three game set at Chase Field tonight. The home team won last night's opener by a score of 4-1, and I don't think we'll see a lot of action over the plate in this game either.

Andrew Cashner (2-6, 2.36 ERA) will take the mound for the Padres, making his first start for over two months. He's posting a 3.56 ERA over six starts versus the D-backs lifetime, and is 2-4 with a 2.17 ERA over 10 starts under the lights this season.

Vidal Nuno (0-3, 3.72 ERA) will toe the rubber for the D-backs, and he's still win-less since joining from the Yankees. The southpaw has pitched OK lately though, only allowing four runs on 11 hits fanning seven over 12 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

It's well known that the Padres have the worst offense in baseball, and the D-backs have only put a total of nine runs over the plate in their last four games. The last four meetings between the two teams have gone under the total.

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