Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

DUNKEL INDEX

Tampa Bay at Baltimore
The Orioles open up a series at home tonight against a Tampa Bay team that is 1-6 in Jake Odorizzi's last 7 starts as an underdog. Baltimore is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Orioles favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-135)

Game 951-952: Washington at Philadelphia (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Roark) 15.144; Philadelphia (Burnett) 16.202
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+140); Under

Game 953-954: St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lackey) 15.309; Pittsburgh (Liriano) 16.443
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-140); 7
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-140); Over

Game 955-956: Milwaukee at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Lohse) 16.895; San Diego (Stults) 15.419
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-130); Over

Game 957-958: Colorado at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Matzek) 15.219; San Francisco (Peavy) 14.338
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 9
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-175); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+155); Over

Game 959-960: Tampa Bay at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Odorizzi) 15.675; Baltimore (Tillman) 17.322
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-135); Under

Game 961-962: Boston at Toronto (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Buchholz) 14.337; Toronto (Happ) 15.479
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-130); Under

Game 963-964: Oakland at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Samardzija) 14.043; Houston (Feldman) 15.603
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-175); 8
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+155); Under

Game 965-966: NY Yankees at Kansas City (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Pineda) 16.476; Kansas City (Shields) 15.557
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (+120); Over

Game 967-968: Texas at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Mikolas) 14.789; Seattle (Elias) 16.152
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Seattle (-180); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-180); Under

Game 969-970: Miami at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Cosart) 16.214; LA Angels (LeBlanc) 15.119
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+130); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Rob Vinciletti

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays    
Play: Toronto Blue Jays -124

The Jays fit a nice league wide system that has won 11 of 13 times and plays on home favorites with a total that is 8 or less and are off a home dog loss and scored 2 or less runs and are taking on an opponent like Boston that is also off a home dog loss by 2 or more runs. Boston has lost 8 straight and looks like a team that has thrown in the towel. The Jays have won 10 of the 13 in the series this year and have a pitching edge with J. Happ who has a 3.25 home era. Happ shut down the Sox going 6 scoreless here last month. Boston counters with Buchholz who has been hammered by Toronto this year. In 3 starts they have scored 17 runs in 15 innings against him. Look for Toronto to take the opener.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Jim Feist

Marlins at Angels
Pick: Over

Miami brings a good offense to Anaheim and picks up the DH, 12th in baseball in on base percentage, 15th in runs. The Over is 14-5-2 in the Marlins last 21 games vs. a left-handed starter. In a win at Colorado this weekend Miami drew a season-high nine walks, including two by Stanton, who was 3 for 4. He is batting .375 with 18 RBIs over his last 14 contests. But their pitching and defense is suspect, which hurts on the road. Starter Jarred Cosart (4.14 ERA) walks too many batters on the road, allowing 29 free passes and 61 hits in 62 road innings. He faces an LA Angels offense that is one of the best in baseball, 7th in baseball in on base percentage, third in runs, 6th in slugging. The over is 11-5-1 in the Angels last 17 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. LA goes with starter Wade LeBlanc (7.36 ERA), who used to pitch for these Marlins, so they know all about him. Last year opponents hit .309 off him with a 5.40 ERA.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Ben Burns

Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners    
Play: Seattle Mariners -180

The Mariners just swept a series at Fenway Park for the first time in franchise history. I expect them to continue to roll here at home vs. a last place Texas team that has been awful all year.

Seattle is 14-4 its last 18 games. As a result, they have a one game lead over Detroit for the final Wild Card.  Texas also won Sunday, but is 3-7 their last 10 games overall and 7-23 their last 30 on the road.  They are 29 games over .500 and clearly just waiting for next year.

The Mariners have outscored their opponents by 106 runs.  The Rangers have been outscored by 139 runs.  That's a difference of 245 runs.

Roenis Elias has given Seattle some solid starts recently, which has been consistent with the rest of the rotation. He has a 2.35 ERA his last three starts. He's allowed just one earned run in four of his last five starts.  The same can't be said for the Rangers starter Miles Mikolas, who has one win in nine starts and a 7.48 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.

I see no reason why the Mariners won't roll Monday.  I'll recommend a small wager.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Scott Spreitzer

Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies    
Play: Washington Nationals -151

The red-hot Nats have put 8 games between themselves and the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and now have a chance to cushion that lead even more with a 3-game series in Philadelphia.  Tanner Roark has held six of his last eight opponents to 1 earned run or less.  His counterpart, A.J. Burnett has not fared so well.  The veteran righty has been smacked for 22 earned runs and 47 base runners in his last five starts, spanning 26 1/3 IP.  That's a hefty 7.53 ERA & 1.79 WHIP.  He'll face a Nationals' lineup averaging 5.31 rpg over their last 13 games.  Washington enters on a 17-5 winning run, overall, and they're 7-1 the last eight times Roark has been favored.  Meanwhile, the Phils are just 1-10 in Burnett's last 11 starts.  I'm backing the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

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Art Aronson

Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners    
Play: Seattle Mariners -178

The visiting Texas Rangers will send Miles Mikolas (1-5, 7.48) to the hill to face the Mariners for the first time in his career; note that Mikolas has only recorded two quality outings out of nine starts this season, most recently he’s off a loss to the Marlins where allowed three runs over five plus innings. The Mariners counter with Roenis Elias (9-10, 4.09 ERA) who has also struggled of late with his command, but the left-hander owns a highly respectable 2.10 ERA over his last five starts though (and note that the rookie is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts versus Texas). The Mariners continue to play strong baseball after a sweep of the Red Sox over the weekend, they won for the 14th time in 18 games Sunday, scoring an 8-6 victory at Fenway. The Rangers meanwhile continue their struggles and are just 7-23 away from home since June 17th. Seattle's starting pitchers have been dominant at Safeco Field in posting a combined 1.61 ERA during an 8-1 stretch; consider paying the reasonable price to get the red hot home side.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Ray Monohan

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates -135

The Pirates made up some ground on Milwaukee over the weekend after a terrible stretch of play that really set them back. They start this week with another whopper of a series with the Cardinals coming to town. When evaluating starter Francisco Liriano you have to look past the 3-10 record.  He got shelled last time out but prior to that had gone 10 straight starts without yielding more than 3 runs. I am way more comfortable with him than the Cards John Lackey at this point.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Red Dog Sports

Rays vs. Orioles
Play: Under 8

Orioles ChrisTillman has an ERA of 2.08 in his last 3 while Odorizzi's ERA is 2.29 in that span. These two have combined for 113 overs/133 unders this year. I think we see a 4-3 game that stays under on Monday night.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Marc Lawrence

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

Edges - Rays: 10-1 last eleven games in this series. Red Sox: Buchholz 0-6 with 7.01 ERA last six team starts, and 0-6 with 7.14 ERA last six team starts during August, and 1-6 team starts vs A.L. East this season. With the BoSox just 6-14 their last twenty games versus left-handers, we recommend a 1-unit play on Toronto.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Jesse Schule

St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh
Pick: Over

The Cardinals are in Pittsburgh to play the opening game of this series between two NL Central division rivals. The Pirates are coming off a 2-1 series win at Milwaukee, pulling to within five games of the division leaders. We see a low total in tonight's game, especially when you consider the recent form of these two starting pitchers.

John Lackey will toe the slab for the visitors, and he's been pretty shaky since coming over in a trade with Boston. Lackey (12-8, 3.88 ERA) surrendered four runs on four hits over six innings in a no decision versus the Reds his last time out. He is just 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts in the month of Augusts so far.

The Pirates hand the ball to Francisco Liriano, who has been having a terrible season. Liriano (3-10, 4.18 ERA) was rocked for nine runs on 10 hits over just four innings in a home loss to Atlanta his last time out. He's now lost four straight starts, and he's 1-5 with a 5.23 ERA in a dozen starts at PNC Park this year.

Pittsburgh's home field had been considered a to be a pitcher's park, but that hasn't been the case this season, especially when Liriano is pitching. Six of his last seven home starts versus teams with a winning record have gone over the total.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Bryan Power

NY Yankees vs. Kansas City
Pick: Kansas City

I'm sorry Yankees fans, but I just don't believe in your team. Yes, the Pinstripes just pulled off a 4-game sweep of the White Sox at home over the weekend. Despite this, they still have a -34 run differential for the year. I've written about this before.   They are one of two teams in all of baseball (St. Louis) that has a winning record but a negative run differential.  That's an unsustainable combination. To put things in perspective, a team w/ a comparable run differential to the Yanks is Minnesota (-36), who is a last place team and 14 games below .500.  So generally when the Yankees lose, they lose badly.  They won by three runs Sunday, but that's misleading as it was an extra inning game.

This is an ESPN game, which is "old hat" for New York.  Not so much for Kansas City, who should be highly motivated to take this make-up game. Not to mention, the Royals are in a heated pennant race, still two games above Detroit in the American League Central.  They are off a loss Sunday at Texas, but before that had won three in a row.

This shapes up as a great pitching matchup w/ James Shields opposing Michael Pineda.  But I give the edge to the former. Shields is 3-0 w/ a 2.14 ERA and a 1.095 WHIP his L3 starts.  He's gone nine consecutive starts w/out allowing more than 3 ER.  Against the Yankees on June 8th, he went six innings and allowed just an unearned run in a 2-1 win.  The next day's game was the rain out being made up here, so that's an edge to the Royals. Pineda, like Shields, continues to pitch well. But the team is 0-2 since he returned from the DL.  Kansas City tends to always have the edge when it comes to the bullpen and they have the better team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Stephen Nover

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays    
Play: Toronto Blue Jays -125

Is there any reason or proof to trust the Red Sox and Clay Buchholz on the road in this matchup? I certainly can't find any.

Boston has lost eight in a row. Just once during this span have the Red Sox scored more than three runs. Buchholz has been brutal all season and that hasn't changed since the All-Star break.

The Red Sox have lost each of the past six times Buchholz has taken the mound. He's compiled a 7.05 ERA during this span. Buchholz has a 7.15 ERA in four outings against Toronto this season.

Boston hasn't been good against better competition going 6-18 versus opponents above .500. They have lost 10 of the past 11 times to Toronto, including the last six.

Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ is 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA during his last four home starts. He's faced Boston four times the past two seasons going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA, including winning both starts against the Red Sox this year. Boston has lost 15 of the last 21 times it has faced a southpaw.

Happ may not have to deal with David Ortiz either. Ortiz, who leads the Red Sox in homers and RBI's, left yesterday's game after fouling a ball off his foot.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

JR O'Donnell

Boston / Toronto Over 9

JRO goes with a solid Over move here Monday as the Redsox/Tor Jays power rated total here is 11 .5 runs @ the Rogers Center.... Play the Jays Over as they will get to Bucholtz with his close to 6 ERA.. on the flip side ..Happ close to 5... ERA... Tor Jays are 28-20 Over vs teams with a losing record... they feast on bottom feeders... let's call for runs in Toronto...

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Will Rogers

Milwaukee vs. San Diego
Pick: Milwaukee

The Brewers are coming to San Diego to open a three game set versus the Padres. San Diego was hot at the beginning of the month, but have since cooled off losing seven of the last 10. The Brewers snapped a three game losing streak in their last game, and are 6-3 in their last nine games.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Pitching -  Milwaukee will hand the ball to Kyle Lohse (11-7, 3.49 ERA) who's making his first start since recovering from a sore ankle. His last start on August 8 was a quality one, as he allowed only one run on six hits over six innings in a ND versus the Dodgers. He's tossed seven innings versus the Padres this season, conceding two runs, one earned, on five hits. The Padres will counter with Eric Stults (6-13, 4.53 ERA) who's been banged up all season. The 34 year old is 4-4 with a 3.98 ERA home at Petco Park, and is 1-6 with a 4.40 ERA over 17 starts under the lights.

2. Road Warriors - The Brewers are 36-27 on the road for the season, and have won all of their last four games away from home.

3. X-factor - Aramis Ramires is 5-for-9 in his last three games. He's 1-for-2 with a homer versus Stults lifetime.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Jimmy Boyd

Pittsburgh Pirates -131

The Pirates are showing great value as a small home favorite against division rival St Louis. Pittsburgh just took 2 of 3 at Milwaukee and are 3-1 in their last 4 overall. The Brewers will send out Francisco Liriano, who I expect to bounce back from an ugly outing in his last start.

Liriano gave up 7 earned runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in just 4 innings of work versus the Braves. However, in his 10 starts prior to that outing, Liriano had a 2.43 ERA. Adding to that is the fact that Liriano is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 0.960 WHIP over 8 career starts against the Cardinals.

Pittsburgh as a team is 20-8 in their last 28 home games and 13-4 in their last 17 home games against a right-handed starter and 12-4 in Liriano's last 16 starts following a team loss.  St Louis is just 3-7 in their last 10 during game 1 of a series and 2-5 in their last 7 as a road underdog. These trends combine to form a solid 77% (57-17) system in favor of the Pirates.

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Sam Martin

Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles
Prediction: Baltimore Orioles

Orioles cooled off a bit this past weekend getting swept three games in Wrigley Field by the Cubs, but we look for them to bounce back tonight at home with a strong showing against Tampa Bay. Orioles send Chris Tilman to the hill who has been one of their most consistent starters, going 10-5 with an 18-9 team start record on the season.

Tillman has been even better here at home - not that his record would indicate it - but his home ERA of 2.75 through 13 starts is certainly good enough to earn our respect and our confidence for tonight's matchup. He also hasn't allowed more than 2 earned runs in each of his last four outings. Jake Odorizzi has been solid for Tampa, but he's far better at home than on the road where his ERA soars to 4.74 - almost a full run higher than his overall season ERA. Tillman won this pitching matchup back in late June 4-1 and we expect a similar final score tonight!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Steve Janus

Toronto Blue Jays -112

This is a great spot to jump on the Blue Jays at home against the slumping Red Sox. Boston has dropped 8 straight and could be without their heart and soul in David Ortiz, who had to leave yesterday's game with bruised right foot. Even if Ortiz plays I still like Toronto to get the win. Boston has nothing to play for right now, as they are 15.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot.

The Blue Jays will send out J.A. Happ, who despite his poor overall numbers has been rock solid at home. Happ has a 3.25 ERA and 1.247 WHIP over 9 home starts and in his only start at home against the Red Sox this season he threw 6 shutout innings. Opposing Happ will be Boston's Clay Buchholtz, who has been a complete mess in 2014. Buchholz is 5-8 with a 5.94 ERA and 1.549 WHIP over 21 starts and was tagged for 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in his most recent outing.

Key Trends - Toronto is 10-3 against the Red Sox this season, 5-1 in their last 6 home games against a team with a losing road record, 11-2 in their last 13 with a total set between 9-10.5 runs and 5-1 in Happ's last 6 starts against the AL East. Boston is 4-12 in Buchholz's last 16 starts at night, 0-6 in his last 6 overall and 0-4 in his last 4 vs the AL East.

System - All teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (BOSTON) - terrible offensive team - scoring <=4.2 runs/game on the season (AL), after allowing 8 runs or more are 105-176 (37%) against the money line over the last 5 seasons.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, August 25

Sleepyj

Rockies / Giants Over 7.5

Jake Peavy will head to the mound for San Francisco tonight and has pitched very well. Peavy has recorded 2 wins in a row and has had two solid outings. That success should end here tonight. Colorado can hit the ball and has little to play for. They will look to take it to Peavy tonight who will get himself into a jam or two and he will give up a big inning. Both teams have been hitting the ball very well and i don't expect that to stop tonight. The Rockies will go ahead and send LHP Matzek to the mound. He has lost his last 4 games and has been roughed up pretty good. The Giants can't afford to let the playoffs slip away as they will look to sweep this Rockies team. Look for both teams to be swinging away tonight. This total is wrong IMO and they are showing way to much respect here for Peavy and the fact that a LHP for the Rockies will take the mound. I disagree 100% as i think this one may hit close to 10 runs.

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Nelly

St. Louis Cardinals + over Pittsburgh Pirates

After a great run of offensive production, the Cardinals were shut down by veteran Jerome Williams on Sunday in a 7-1 defeat. Despite a poor record for the season against left-handed pitching, St. Louis owns a much higher team scoring average vs. left-handers this season. St. Louis is 6-5 in the last 11 games against left-handed pitching and two of the losses came against Clayton Kershaw who hardly one ever beats. In four starts with St. Louis John Lackey has one of the worst starts of his career but that outing came against an AL team. In three starts against the NL since joining St. Louis Lackey has impressive numbers. He has allowed just six earned runs and 16 hits in 20 innings, leading to three wins for the Cardinals. Francisco Liriano has not been the same pitcher that he was last season for Pittsburgh and he enters this game off a terrible outing against the Braves in which he allowed nine runs. The Cardinals have seven runs in 13 innings against him this season and the current lineup is having much better success against left-handed pitching than the early season St. Louis offense. Pittsburgh managed to win two of three games with Milwaukee over the weekend to keep from completely sinking out of the NL Central picture but St. Louis is in a much better position to catch Milwaukee now. St. Louis pitching has allowed 48 fewer runs than Pittsburgh this season and the Pirates have allowed four or more runs in seven of the last 10 games. This is great value on a Cardinals team that has had much stronger results in the last two weeks.

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Wunderdog

Milwaukee @ San Diego
Pick: San Diego +125

The Milwaukee Brewers got off to a surprisingly good start this season when they ripped off a 20-7 record to start the season. They have not resembled that team since as they are just one game over .500 since the big start, and have been a rather pedestrian team. San Diego returns home after an unsuccessful 10 game road trip where they went just 3-7, but that has been typical of this team all season. Things have been much different for this team at home where they are seven games over .500 on the season and are in the midst of an 11 game run at home that has seen them compile a 10-1 record. Lohse has not been a stopper for Milwaukee as the Brewers are 0-4 in his last four starts following a team loss in their previous game. San Diego has also been taking it to good road teams, as they are 7-2 in their last nine here vs. a team with a winning road record.

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