Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, August 24

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, August 24

SPORTS WAGERS

Chicago -110 over N.Y. YANKEES

For whatever reason, the New York Yankees remain grossly overvalued and that’s never been more evident than it is here. When we get Chris Sale against any Yanks pitcher not named Tanaka at this price, we’re going to play it 100% of the time. Sale is putting up Cy Young numbers. He’s struck out 48 over his last 34 innings and is averaging a sick 13 K’s/9 over his last five starts. On the year, Sale has 158 K’s and just 26 walks issued in 136 innings. He’s absolutely smothering lefties, limiting them to a ridiculous .057/.108/.057 line. However, it’s close to a moot point, since opposing managers mostly refuse to bat lefties against him. Thing is, Joe Girardi’s hands are tied because his outfield, which consists of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Ichiro Suzuki all bat left. So does Stephen Drew and Brian McCann and if McCann sits, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli is hitting .143 over his past 10 games. Sale has dominated the Yankees in his past three starts against them and that figures to continue here, as New York has averaged 2.5 RPG on a .584 OPS over its last 11 games, the worst mark in the majors.

Chris Capuano has made just five starts this season after spending the first few months of the season in the Red Sox’ pen. The Yanks have lost four of his five starts. Over his last two starts, Capuano has surrendered 14 hits and eight runs in 11.1 innings. In those two games, the Yanks are 0-2 and have been outscored 18-7. There’s a reason Capuano couldn’t start for Boston. There’s a reason that the Yankees are his fifth team since 2010. Thrice last season, the Dodgers tried to demote him to bullpen, only to reinstate as a starter out of necessity. His roller-coaster 2013 also included a June DL stint (calf) and a September groin strain. Health woes, age (36), miles on his arm and increasing struggles vs. RHB suggest pen may be good fit but he’s back in the starting role, again, out of necessity and that’s not a good fit. The South Side offers up all the value in this one.


Tampa Bay -109 over TORONTO

Chris Archer started the season with outstanding skills in April but he followed that up with three months of mediocrity from May to July. Those three months of mediocrity have been wiped away so far in August, when his skills have been even more electric than they were in April: 12.8 K’s/9, 2.4 BB/9, 44% groundball rate and a 15% swing and miss rate. In his past five starts, Archer has posted a 2.64 ERA with a BB/K split of 12/36 in 31 innings. Archer remains a premium arm and could be in store for a big finish.

Drew Hutchison looks like he might be a poor stretch-run target in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery since he struggled to gain any consistency after his electric April. Hutchison has been awful pitching with runners on with a BAA of .344. His strand rate over the past month is the lowest in the majors at 53% and while bad luck and a low strand rate go hand-in-hand, that BAA with runners on tells the story of a pitcher struggling from the stretch. Hutchison is an exciting young arm with the potential to produce plenty of strikeouts but he carries some durability risk down the stretch. He’s also been brutal at home with a 3-5 record and a 6.46 ERA. Hutchsion has been a strong fade when pitching at home this entire year and now he's up against a vastly superior starter.

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LT Profits

White Sox vs Yankees
Pick: Under 7

Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox remains the second choice behind Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young despite taking just his third loss Monday, where he still recorded a Quality Start allowing three runs in six innings with eight strikeouts vs. Baltimore. That leaves Sale at 10-3 with a spiffy 2.12 ERA and 0.92 WHIP for the season with a terrific ratio of 158 strikeouts vs. 26 walks in136 innings. The first time he faced the New York Yankees, he allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. However, Capuano has not been terrible since coming to New York despite being 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA, as he has 32 strikeouts in 30.1 innings vs. seven walks and has allowed just one home run, resulting in a 2.34 FIP and 2.99 xFIP as a Yankee. The ‘under’ is 25-9-2 in the Yankees’ last 36 games overall.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, August 24

Bob Balfe

San Diego +6

The 49ers have not looked sharp in the preseason and its time to get their starters involved in this week 3 preseason game. On Defense they have lost Dorsey for the year and a lot of the key guys up front just are not going to play until the regular season. Without the key guys in their this is not a dominate defense. The Chargers have a very good offense and I believe can win this game outright tonight. The 49ers need to give their fans a nice showing here in their new stadium where they were man handled last week. Look for the Niners Offense to show up today. Take the Chargers and the Over (no parlay)

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Line Catchers

Tampa Bay Rays – 121

Sunday sees the Rays and Blue Jays face off in game 3 of their 3 game set in Toronto having split the first two games on Friday and Saturday.

The Rays will send righty Chris Archer to the mound this afternoon to face a Toronto team which he has had success against in the past. Archer sports an 8-6 record with a 3.17 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 25 starts this season and has pitched even better on the road this campaign. He is 4-3 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.30 WHIP and has held opponents to a .243 BA. In 7 ‘Day’ trips to the hill, Archer has hurled 41 innings and has pitched to a stingy 2.43 ERA. The Rays are a perfect 5-0 in their last 5 road games with Archer toeing the rubber.

Drew Hutchinson gets the nod for the Blue Jays and comes into tonight’s game having given up 13 ER in his last 2 starts. Hutchinson is 8-11 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 25 starts this year and  has been as inconsistent as any pitcher in the AL. Hutchinson has been rocked in 8 ‘Day’ outings in 2014, he is 2-6 with a 7.02 ERA and 1.61 WHIP.  The righty has struggled to find his command at the Rogers Centre which has resulted in the Jays dropping 6 of his 9 starts at home.

In todays rubber game, I believe the Rays are showing good value as a small favourite. Its worth noting that Archer has a 3.24 ERA in 6 career starts against Toronto compared to a Drew Hutchinson who has pitched to a lofty 7.78 ERA in 4 career outings against the Rays.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, August 24

BONES BEST BETS

NATIONALS -1 -113

We were hoping for a slightly smaller line here but this is definately still a play-on for us and a play-on with the most confidence. Strasburg is simply too good at home to avoid and he has been since his rookie year. He is 8-2 at home, has a 2.30 ERA, and a 1.01 WHIP. Over 94 innings pitched he has struck out 116 batters. The Nats have won 11 of their last 12 games overall + Stras on the hill = big bet for us here today!

RAYS TEAM TOTAL – OVER 4

The Rays have scored 12 runs in their first 2 games in Toronto for this 3 game series and now face Drew Hutchison today who owns a 6.46 ERA at the Rogers Centre and a 7.02 ERA in day games. We could be cashing this ticket by the 4th inning this aft.

WHITE SOX @ YANKEES -UNDER 7

The issue lately for the White Sox has been their offense that has been held to three or less runs in 14 of their last 16 games. Offensively they have been a joke, pair that with their ace on the hill today Chris Sale and we think this under can hit. Sale is 10-3 with a 2.12 ERA and has 158 strikeouts in 136 innings. Sale is 3-0 with a 0.85 ERA in seven career games against the Yankees. The Yankees pitching staff has allowed just six runs in its last three games and three or less runs in five of their last seven. Chris Capuano takes the hill and is 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career games against the White Sox.

BRAVES @ REDS – UNDER 8

This total is half a point high. 8 has a lot of value today. These teams are a combine 110-135 o/u this year. They have went under in 4 of their last 5 meetings and the other game pushed. Also in 4 of those 5 games the total was set at less than 8. Harang hasn’t been great lately but that shouldn’t be an issue because the Reds can’t hit. They have scored a total of 2 runs in the first 3 games of the series. Simon has a solid 1.20 WHIP on the year and has been solid during day games with a 0.95 WHIP. We wouldn’t be surprised if neither team puts up 4 runs today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, August 24

Bob Balfe

San Diego Chargers +6 & Over 42

The 49ers have not looked sharp in the preseason and its time to get their starters involved in this week 3 preseason game. On Defense they have lost Dorsey for the year and a lot of the key guys up front just are not going to play until the regular season. Without the key guys in their this is not a dominate defense. The Chargers have a very good offense and I believe can win this game outright tonight. The 49ers need to give their fans a nice showing here in their new stadium where they were man handled last week. Look for the Niners Offense to show up today. Take the Chargers and the Over (no parlay)


Cardinals/Bengals Over 43

Both teams have opportunistic defenses with players capable of scoop and scores and pick 6's. I like both quarterbacks to start this game and really Carson Palmer is having a great camp. This guy could take this team far if he cuts down the turnovers. The backup QB's have also looked decent. Even the Cardinals 4th stringer has look solid. Look for a lot of scoring and maybe some defensive and special teams scores in the dome. Take the Over

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Wunderdog

Houston vs Cleveland
Pick: Cleveland -142

A brutal situational spot for Houston, the end of a 10-game road trip. They've lost two of the last three games, scoring zero and two runs in the losses. This offense is 22nd in baseball in on-base percentage and 27th in team batting average. The Astros are 26-77 on the road against a team with a winning record and have southpaw Brett Oberholtzer (4-8, 4.01 ERA) on the hill. Opponents hit .284 off him, and the Astros are 3-7 in Oberholtzer's last 10 road starts. Cleveland has a strong offense, eighth in runs scored, 11th in OBP, and 10th in slugging. The Indians are 22-5 in their last 27 home games vs. a left-handed starter. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer throws best at home (3.36 ERA), and Cleveland has owned this series, winning seven of the last eight. Plus, the Astros are 1-7 in the last eight meetings in Cleveland.

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