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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #449080

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Free Picks for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 from some of the nations best and worst handicappers
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #449081

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Indian Cowboy

San Francisco (-2.5) over Denver

The Niners are looking to revitalize the history and pride of the franchise after a depletion of talent and a series of losses last year. With Steve Young and Jerry Rice coming to visit for practice and instilling excitement back into this franchise, and a team that comes off an exciting win at Kansas City, this is a team that will be looking to build on its success. You have to give the Niners credit as they played well in their last game and showed they can indeed put up points with Shanahan leading the way. At the end of the day, the Niners would love nothing more than to send another message here at this time at the expense of John Elway and the Broncos that they are indeed going to be a team on the rise and this game means a lot more to the Niners than it does the Broncos, who are still in complete flux. The Niners featured Barkley, who went 10/17 for 168 yards, and Beathard, who went 7/11 for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. Combine that with a Broncos team that had a questionable offense for the past few years, and this sets up for a nice spot for the Niners to do well as the Broncos will not be facing the likes of Glennon this week but against a team with more competent quarterback play from start to finish.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #449082

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Robert Ferringo

Washington (-3.5) over Green Bay

I like the Redskins in this spot on Saturday. They got smoked last week in Baltimore and did not look ready to compete. I think they are going to want to rebound from that blowout loss in their home opener. Green Bay generally only has a passing interest in the preseason. I won't be surprised if Aaron Rodgers sits again this week, and I don't expect the Packers to be into this game on the road here. Green Bay won last week despite getting outgained, thanks to a fluky four turnovers from the Eagles. A punt return for a touchdown helped their cause as well, but it is not as if this team really did much to impress. The public, by a 2-to-1 rate, is jumping on the points with the Packers. But Washington has more to prove in this game. I think they will play harder in the second half and get this win. Don't forget about my 8-Unit MLB Game of the Year on Friday. I have gone 28-14 with my last 42 plays rated 7.0 or higher in all sports and I won my only other 8-Unit MLB Play this season.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #449083

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Jason Sharpe

Detroit (-5.5) over New York Jets

This looks like a very high point spread for an NFL Preseason game, but it's actually not high enough. The Jets are a bad football team… a very, very bad one. They got a win in their preseason opener last week beating Tennessee in an ugly 7-3 game. That contest showed again just how bad this Jets team is offensively and especially so with their backups. The Detroit Lions have a well-earned reputation around the league as being a losing franchise overall with zero Super Bowl appearances. The Lions organization seems to place an extra emphasis on getting their fan base a reason to get excited in the preseason, and that's evident by their eye popping 16-2 record their last 18 home preseason home contests. Look the Lions to bring it here in this one.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #449245

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DAVE COKIN

PATRIOTS AT TEXANS
PLAY: OVER 41

I expect the quarterbacks to be the featured attractions on Saturday as New England takes on Houston.

The Patriots QB’s are a know quantity. Brady is Brady. Jimmy G is good enough to start for a significant number of NFL teams. Brissett has to be the best QB3 in the league, doesn’t he?

On the Houston side, Savage is having a very good camp as he looks to hold off rookie sensation Watson.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the Texans defense and if this game was one that counted in the standings, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be expecting a shootout. But this is August football, and I expect the two offenses to have a definite upper hand once the first unit defensive guys for each team become spectators for the majority of the game.

In other words, I see this game as a quarterback showcase and that should mean plenty of points. I’ll therefore tab the Over as the best option between the Patriots and Texans.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #449264

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Wunderdog

Los Angeles @ Oakland
Pick: Oakland -2.5

Oakland looks to correct many mistakes from its 20-10 to Arizona last week when Derek Carr was a healthy scratch and EJ Manuel played the entire first half and completed 10-of-12 passes for 109 yards. Connor Cook took over in the second half and went 10-for-21 for 82 yards. The Raiders managed 72 rushing yards from six different players and were only outgained 291-252 in total net yards. Jack Del Rio is 24-21 straight-up and 23-20-2 ATS in his preseason career. Los Angeles beat Dallas 13-10 for the Rams' first cover since 2014 in preseason action. Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott did not play for the Cowboys and Travis Coons kicked the winning field goal with 6:11 left. Jared Goff completed three-of-four passes for 34 yards in eight snaps and Sean Mannion went 18-for-25 for 144 yards. The Rams were last in the league in points scored and yards gained last season and it doesn't look any more promising after Saturday's performance. New coach Sean McVay, former offensive coordinator for the Redskins, will need time to develop some sort of rhythm with this offense.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449305

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DAVE COKIN

MARINERS AT RAYS
PLAY: RAYS -111

The Tampa Bay Rays have fallen upon hard times. The offense, or lack thereof, has been the culprit.

The problem for the Rays is way too many swing and miss power hitters. All well and good when they’re bombing shots into the seats as they were for a good portion of the season. But as is often the case with feat or famine teams, the Rays have a great deal of trouble manufacturing runs.

Bottom line is they’re poorly constructed. This team reminds of the Diamondbacks of a few seasons back. Homers galore, but a ridiculous number of strikeouts. Too many non-productve AB’s. The Rays need to make some off season moves to bring in some contact guys who can play a little small ball. That’s something they can achieve in spite of the financial issues.

Meanwhile, I’m playing the Rays tonight. They’re still in that series sweep revenge angle I’ve utilized virtually all season, and I certainly expect them to get at least one of the two remaining weekend games with Seattle.

I’m not wild about backing Jake Odorizzi. He remains a pitcher who has frequent control issues and is about as uneconomicalas it gets in terms of his pitch counts.

But I do like the idea of going against Ariel Miranda. The Mariners lefty has already eclipsed his career high in innings pitched. That includes the years the seasons where he pitching in his native Cuba. Miranda is starting to show signs of fatigue. The velocity is ticking down a bit, the command has not been sharp lately and I think he’s a decent fade at this juncture.

The downside is this Tampa Bay team is obviously stone cold right now. But this looks like a pretty good shot for them to finally get on the right side of the scoreboard. I’ll spot the short price and will back the Rays tonight. Note this play is already on my Saturday card.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449306

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Scott Rickenbach

Toronto vs. Chicago
Play: Toronto +230

Having only appeared in one game for a National League team in his career, Nick Tepesch now faces the Cubs in inter-league action. He has an edge here against Chicago as their lineup has a lack of familiarity with him. Tepesch also got a boost in terms of confidence by allowing just 1 earned run in 6 innings in his most recent start. Of course the Blue Jays are priced as a huge dog here for a reason but the value clearly lies with them in this spot. Jose Quintana gets the start for the Cubs and he is off of another shaky start in his most recent outing as he struggled with fastball command. This is nothing new as prior to that inconsistent outing versus the Reds he allowed 10 runs (9 earned) in the 11 innings spanning his two prior starts. In fact, prior to the ugly win over Cincinnati, the Cubs had lost 3 straight Quintana starts. Since Quintana was a long-time White Sox pitcher before recently moving cross town to the Cubs, the Blue Jays lineup has plenty of familiarity with the southpaw and they'll use that to their advantage here. In 12 day game starts combined with the Sox and Cubs this season Quintana has gone just 3-6 with a 5.45 ERA. He just doesn't warrant this big price range in this spot and I am recommending taking a shot with the big dog in this one. The Jays lost yesterday but have not lost back to back games this month and the Cubs, prior to yesterday's win, were an ugly 6-9 their last 15 games!
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449307

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Brandon Lee

Seattle at Tampa Bay
Play: Seattle +106

The Mariners stayed hot with a 7-1 win on Friday and have now won 4 straight overall. Nothing new for the Rays, who have now lost 7 of their last 8. A stretch where the offense has scored 3 or fewer runs 6 times. So while Mariners starter Ariel Miranda has an ugly 4.75 ERA in 24 starts, he's capable of shutting down this offense right now. In fact, Miranda already did that once this season, giving up just 1 run in 4 hit complete game.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449308

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Brad Diamond

Nationals vs. Padres
Play: Nationals -185

Last night the Nationals won 7-1 on the coast after Scherzer was put on the DL. Young RHP Grace started and threw 4-1/3 allowing just 2 hits and no earned runs. Here Washington brings back another stud hurler with Strasburg showing off 4 weeks of retooling with an elbow injury. On the road this season, the hurler is 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA. Behind the hurler, the Nats have won 6 straight against the Padres. Overall Washington is 45-12 in Strasburg starts and 5-0 vs. LHP. San Diego picked up just 4 hits last night in the loss and now use lefty Wood (2-4, 6.46). The Padres come in 0-4 vs. a hurler with less than a 1.15 WHIP and 0-4 against a club with a .600 or higher win percentage.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449309

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Stephen Nover

Yankees vs. Red Sox
Play: Red Sox -1½

I want to get behind Chris Sale and a hot Red Sox squad that has won 14 of their last 17 games. Laying 1 1/2 runs on the run line is the way to do it without laying monster juice.

Sale is the likely AL Cy Young Award winner. The southpaw has held five of his last six opponents to one or no runs. He has a 1.19 ERA in three starts versus the Yankees this season. Believe it or not, Sale's career ERA against the Yankees is even lower. It's 1.18 in 13 appearances, including 10 starts.

The Yankees don't hit lefties nearly as well as righies.

During Sale's past 16 victories, 15 of them have been by more than one run.

CC Sabathia didn't look good before going on the DL with knee trouble giving up 12 runs in his last 13 1/3 innings. I'm not expecting much from Sabathia in his first start since going on the DL following an Aug. 8 start.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449310

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Marc Lawrence

Dodgers vs. Tigers
Play:Dodgers -142

Edges - Dodgers: 16-3 on Saturdays this season; and Ryu 6-1 with 2.50 ERA last seven overall team starts this season… Tigers: Fulmer 7.91 ERA last four starts; and 0-3 last three team starts during August… With Ryu in commanding KW form with 20 Ks and 3 BBs his last three starts, we recommend a 1* play on the Dodgers.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449311

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Jimmy Boyd

Philadelphia at San Francisco
Play: San Francisco - 125

I really like the value here with San Francisco as a short home favorite against the Phillies. Anytime you can fade Philadelphia on the road at this price, it's hard to pass up. Going into Friday's contest at SF the Phillies are a miserable 19-45 on the road (currently trail 6-0 in the 3rd). So while the Giants aren't a top notch team, they have a bigger edge here than the line would indicate. They also have been playing better of late, as they own a 9-7 record in August going into Friday.

More than anything I like the pitching matchup here in favor of San Francisco. The Phillies are sending out Jerad Eickhoff, who is a big reason for their awful road record. Eickhoff has a 4.59 ERA and 1.407 WHIP in 11 road starts, which Philadelphia has gone a miserable 1-10 in. Giants counter with Ty Blach, who despite a 4.35 ERA has pitched well more often than he's been bad, especially of late. In his last 8 starts, he's allowed 2 or fewer runs in 6 of those outings. He had a clunker last time out at Miami, but has done a great job of bouncing back from a poor showing.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449312

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Jesse Schule

Arizona at Minnesota
Play: Arizona -141

Arizona lost Game 1 of this series in Minnesota by a score of 10-3, but the D'Backs are favored to bounce back in Game 2.

Zack Greinke will toe the slab for Arizona, and he's having a phenomenal season. The veteran is 14-5 with a 3.01 ERA, and he's been the epitome of consistency. He's 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA in his last six starts.

The Twins will hand the ball to Jose Berrios, who started off hot but has faded in the second half. The 23 year old was rocked for six runs on six hits and a pair of walks over just 3 1/3 innings in a loss at Detroit his last time out. He's 2-3 with a 6.18 ERA in six starts since the All Star break.

Paul Goldschmidt is a favorite to win the NL MVP, and he comes in batting .339 with seven home runs in the month of August.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449313

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Ben Burns

Dodgers vs. Tigers
Play: Over 10

Fulmer's return from the disabled list didn't go too well. He walked three batters in the first inning alone and finished with five runs allowed in five innings. Ryu, who tossed a career high (108) in pitches in his last start, can't be too happy to see the Tigers. His lone start against them came on 7/8. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings and gave up seven earned runs, a career high, on 10 hits. We could see some more fireworks on Saturday afternoon.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449314

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Mike Anthony

Chicago vs. Arizona
Play: Chicago +3

Arizona is still dealing with lack of QB pressure from their LBs - Arizona is going to have a problem sticking with Chicago, and their running game. RB Benny Cunningham looked really good and was the backbone for the running game vs Denver - and this game has surprise all over it. the Chicago offense has obviously struggled with taking full control in the games - and have fallen apart at the wrong times. This will not be a game where they struggle with closing strong. Mitchell Trubisky looked really good at QB going 18-25 and a TD pass. The LBs of Arizona haven't hit the gaps good enough in this to make this a tough blocking matchup for the Bears. Chicago is very physical at the point of attack for the Cards to battle them with great effectiveness. Arizona corners have not played that great yet - and defending the pass has been sloppy. It puts them in the lower position to win games like this. Bears are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall Chicago wins taking the points
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449315

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Bruce Marshall

Los Angeles at Oakland
Pick: Oakland

Jack Del Rio's preseason marks not too great lately but Raid-uhs are likely to use Derek Carr into the 2nd Q this week, and if EJ Manuel gets into the game he can hardly do worse than last week. Still not seeing much with Rams, that was an awful game vs. Dallas, and the offense appears worse off at moment than at the same time last August when Case Keenum was at least around to take some snaps. Mannion did not recreate his preseason magic of last season in opener, receivers could not get separation, and runners could not break tackles. The only saving grace last week was that the no-Dak and-no Zeke Dallas was worse, with Kellen Moore's slow-motion delivery easy pickin' for the Wade Phillips defense. This Ram offense can charitably be called a work in progress, and not at all moved by Goff returning to Bay Area, as it looks a long way from hitting on enough cylinders for McVay. Expect a bounce-back from Raiders, who don't have to win by much to handle this number.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449316

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Jim Feist

Nationals at Padres
Pick: Under

Washington is 16-3-2 under the total against the National League West. This is a big park, great for pitchers, and the Nations are 9-4 under on the road. Stephen Strasburg makes his first start since July with 141 Ks in 121 innings. The Under is 7-3 in Strasburg's last 10 road starts. San Diego is the worst offensive team in the league, on a 7-2 run under the total at home. San Diego starter Travis Wood is off a strong game, allowing 2 runs to Philadelphia.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449335

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SPORTS WAGERS

Seattle -106 over TAMPA BAY

The Rays have one victory over their last eight games, which occurred against Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays. The Rays own MLB’s worst offense since the All-Star break in terms of team batting average, slugging % and runs scored. Over their last eight games, the Rays have scored three runs or less seven times and they lost the opener of this series last night, 7-1. They’ll now face lefty Ariel Miranda.

Miranda’s stock is low because he’s had it rough with a 6.55 ERA over seven starts since the beginning of July. He also has an 8.22 ERA over his last three starts, which is one of the key criteria’s that this market focuses on because “Last 3 Starts” is posted everywhere. That works to our advantage because Miranda’s skills were actually intriguing over that sample with 9.8 K’s/9, 2.1 BB’s/9 a 14% swing and miss rate and an elite 15% line-drive rate. Miranda has struck out 31 batters over his past 27 frames, which also bodes well here because the Rays have struck out more than any team in the AL and more than any team in the league not named Milwaukee. Miranda’s extremely unlucky 61% strand rate and 20% hr/f since the beginning of July is the only reason his ERA is so high. With an xERA over that span of 4.22, a big time ERA correction to the good is forthcoming and this is the perfect place for Miranda to start moving the needle in his direction.

Jake Odorizzi is another prime example of why we don’t buy surface stats and why they’re so misleading. Odorizzi brings his 4.30 ERA into this start but his skills are among the worst in MLB. Odorizzi has a weak BB/K split of 40/88 over 105 frames. His 30%/23%/47% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball profile is repulsive. Over his last 10 innings over two starts since returning from the 10-day DL, Odorizzi has walked five batters and struck out six. In summarizing, Jake Odorizzi’s fly-ball % ticked up again. Jacks allowed remain persistent and damage inflicted by RHBs is on the upswing. This is a starter with an xERA of 6.18 that pitches half his games in a pitcher’s park. The Rays are favored here because the surface stats suggest they’re starting the superior pitcher but nothing could be further from the tooth. The Mariners have every edge here including power, offense, starter and current form and it’s not even close. Wrong side favored.

Chicago +189 over TEXAS

Derek Holland goes for the South Side here and there is a great chance that he’ll get his ass handed to him because he’s not very good. Holland hurled a decent game against Texas on July 1st but will have a harder time on the road this time around (6.11 away xERA). If Holland has a decent game here, we’ll be just as surprised as anyone but that’s not the issue here. We’ll live with whatever Holland comes up with because Martin Perez cannot be favored in this range against anyone because he’s just as bad as Holland and maybe worse.

Perez has crashed back to earth after a hit%/strand%-fueled mirage kept his head above water for a brief stretch. Other signs are ominous too, as he doesn't miss enough bats to reverse his K-rate slide. Perez has 18 K’s over his past 36 innings and his poor xERA has held steady all year. What Martin Perez is capable of is throwing lots and lots of bad innings. His 1.56 WHIP is weak and his year-to-date xERA of 6.50 is also weak. Pitchers like Stephen Strasburg and Chris Sale are priced in this range and while we understand that Holland is weak and that the South Side struggle to win games, Martin Perez favored in this range is absurd. The White Sox are loaded with young and enthusiastic players that are playing their hearts out because of the opportunity to play in the big leagues. What the South Side lack in talent, they make up for in effort and enthusiasm while the Rangers are a veteran team playing for nothing. Chicago has split the first two games of this series with a 9-8 loss on Thursday and a 4-3 win yesterday. They continue to compete and therefore we’ll gladly gamble with this takeback today.

Milwaukee -1½ +225 over COLORADO

We’re not going to go into a lot of details here regarding the pitchers because it matters not when playing at Coors Field. We are going to commit to playing the underdog all season long at Coors Field on the ALTERNATIVE run line. What that means is that we are playing the remainder of Colorado’s home games this season and we’ll be playing the underdog in each game, whether it’s the Rocks or the opposition and we’ll be playing it regardless of who’s pitching. We’re suggesting that this wager has nothing but big profits in store. With totals being in the 10 to 12½ range daily at this venue, far more games are decided by two runs or more than one run and the underdog wins just as much as the favorite. The pitching matchups rarely matter because even the best get rocked at this park. We’ll keep a running record on this angle all season long.

Year to date:

19-35 + 11.65 units

Cincinnati +122 over ATLANTA

Robert Stephenson is a work in progress but things are getting progressively better. Stephenson is another high risk/reward pitcher because he has filthy stuff but he loses the plate from time to time. If he’s hitting the strike zone with his pitches, he’s a tremendous bet and that’s the risk here. Stephenson has walked 28 batters in 42 frames but has also whiffed 41 over that same span. In his last start, his first-pitch strike rate was 63%, which is great progress but a small sample. Stephenson’s 15% swing and miss rate reveals his upside but with an 0-3 record in three starts (he appeared in 14 games out of the pen) to go along with his 6.64 ERA, his stock is very low. Stephenson was tabbed a top prospect in 2015. Across his 10 final starts in the minors that season, he boasted a 2.36 ERA and had limited hitters to a .288 (!) slugging percentage, all while maintaining his torrid strikeout pace (10 K’s/9). Fast forward and Stephenson will need to prove he can consistently control and command his plus-combination of mid-90s heat and wicked curve but there is no question that he posseses the stuff to dominate. His 4.67 xERA is below average only because he walks too many but that mark is still two full runs lower than is actual ERA. If Stephenson is throwing strikes, this ticket will cash and if he’s not, it still might cash.

Julio Teheran has been walking a fine line between upper-tier starter and guy you want to avoid at all costs. The question now becomes how do we know which Teheran will show up today? Well, we don’t really know but there are some indications that tip us off. Teheran’s inconsistency has been driven nearly entirely by some massive struggles against left-handed batters. He has a 5.95 ERA, 6.44 xERA and a 1.72 WHIP against them. Cincinnati will possibly send six lefties (Barnhardt, Gennett, Votto, Hamilton, Schebler and Winker) to bat against Teheran with only Zack Cosart and Eugenio Suarez batting right. If Bryan Price (Reds Manager) decides to use Adam Duvall’s right-handed bat instead of Winker or Schebler’s left-handed bat, we can live with that too. All told, Teheran has been miserable against lefties and that’s enough to prompt us to step in.

Pass CFL
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449336

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Larry Ness

Seattle vs. Tampa Bay
Pick: Tampa Bay -103

Nelson Cruz led the Mariners to a 7-1 win last night over the Rays in the opener of a three-game series. He extended his hitting steak to 11 games and launched the longest HR in Tropicana Field history with a 482-foot blast. The Mariners have now won three in a row to bring them within a half-game of the AL's final wild card spot (four teams are within a half-game of each other!). Meanwhile, the Rays continue to struggle, losing for the 11th time in 14 games to fall three games back with SIX teams ahead of them (the bigger problem!).

A couple of .500 pitchers square off on Saturday, Ariel Miranda (7-6, 4.75 ERA) of Seattle and Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.30 ERA) of Tampa Bay. Miranda is win-less in his last seven starts (he's 0-2 and Seattle 3-4) and has completed six innings just once in those seven outings. That's after accomplishing the feat eight of his first 17 starts in 2017. Miranda threw a complete-game four-hitter against Tampa Bay, striking out nine while walking only one back on June 4 (only previous start against the Rays. Odorizzi has lost both starts since returning from the DL, falling back to 6-6 on the season, although he allowed just a modest three ERs over 10 innings (2.70 ERA) in that span. He's 1-2 with a 3.20 ERA in five career starts vs Seattle (teams are 3-2).

Last night's contest was the first of a daunting 12-game road trek that Seattle is embarking on. I'm not sure Seattle has what it takes to make it through, 'alive.' We'll see. Today, I test my theory by playing on the struggling Rays. Stay tuned.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449337

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Will Rogers

Philadelphia vs. San Francisco
Pick: San Francisco -135

The set-up: The San Francisco Giants have suffered one of the franchise's worst seasons, as they currently find themselves 50-74, 38 games behind the hated Dodgers in the NL West (Oh, the humanity! The only team in the National League with a worse record than the Gaints is the Phillies, who after the Giants beat 10-2 last night, sit at 43-77. However, the Phillies are still not quite as bad as the Giants against MLB's moneyline, as at minus-$2536, they still are barely ahead of the Giants' MLB-worst mark of minus-$2785. The teams meet again on Saturday for the third contest of their four-game series.

The pitching matchup: Jerad Eickhoff (3-7 & 4.33 ERA) goes for Philly and Ty Blach (8-8 & 4.37 ERA) for San Fran. It would be true if I said that Eickhoff takes the mound looking to extend his unbeaten streak to 10 starts but it would also be true to point out that the Phillies are just 4-6 over those 10 starts. In fact, the Phils are 6-15 in Eickhoff's 2017 starts, giving him MLB's third-worst moneyline mark of minus-$1108. Eickhoff dropped his first career start against San Francisco back on June 2 after surrendering five runs on six hits and five walks over only 2 2/3 innings (13.48 ERA). Blach is coming off an 8-3 loss at Miami on Monday in which he was battered for six runs on nine hits and three walks over six innings. The setback ended a string of three straight strong outings by the rookie, who had given up a total of just six runs over 22 innings (1.37 ERA) while going 2-1 in that span. The contest in Philadelphia on June 2 also was Blach's first career start against the Phillies, which resulted in a 10-0 win as he scattered seven hits and struck out four in his first major-league shutout!

The pick: No way to ignore Eickhoff's 6-15 (minus-$1108) moneyline mark or Philly's 19-46 (minus-$1887) road record. Take the Giants.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449338

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ASA

Cardinals vs. Pirates
Play: Over 9

With yesterday's 11-10 win at Pittsburgh, the Cardinals are not only one of the hottest teams in the league, St Louis is on a 10-1 run to the over in their last 11 games! Though the Pirates are mired in a 6-game losing streak, they've scored 23 runs in their last 3 games and this should be another offensive display this afternoon. We like the fact that the Cards Michael Wacha has been much worse on the road (5.11 ERA) than at home this season. Also, the Bucs Chad Kuhl has struggled more at home (5.15 ERA) than at home. The Pirates have scored an average of 6.2 runs per game in their past 5 home games while the Cardinals lineup has been hot everywhere! St Louis has scored an average of 8.1 runs per game in its last 12 games! The icing on the cake here is the fact that both bullpens have had major struggles in recent action as well.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449339

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TJ Pemberton

Arizona at Minnesota
Play: Arizona -140

Arizona lost to the Twins last night 10-3 but will feature Greinke on the hill tonight. Greinke is 14-5 on the season with 155.2 innings pitched. Greinke carries a 3.01 ERA with 174 strikeouts and 33 walks. Greinke pitched 6.2 innings in his last start allowing no earned runs on five hits. The Arizona Diamondbacks average 4.9 runs per game which ranks 7th in the MLB. The Diamondbacks look to hold their wildcard spot and will rely on Greinke to throw another quality game.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449340

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Jack Jones

White Sox vs. Rangers
Play: Rangers -1½

The Texas Rangers are still alive in the wild card race despite their struggles this season. They are only 1.5 games out of the final wild card spot. They have gone 7-2 in their last nine games and cannot afford another loss to the Chicago White Sox, who are 46-73 on the year.

The Rangers have scored 40 runs in their last five games for an average of 8.0 runs per game. That's why I'm not concerned about backing Martin Perez, who is just an average starter. His offense will have his back. And in Perez's only career home start against the White Sox, he pitched 9 shutout innings in a 12-0 Rangers' victory.

Texas' lineup should light up Derek Holland, who is 6-12 with a 6.07 ERA and 1.675 WHIP in 23 starts, 3-5 with a 7.07 ERA in 11 road starts, and 1-2 with a 7.90 ERA in his last three starts. Holland gave up 5 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 4-10 loss to the Rangers on July 1st in his only career start against them.

The White Sox are 3-14 in Holland's last 17 starts. Chicago is 0-7 in Holland's last seven starts vs. a team with a losing record. The White Sox are 14-38 in their last 52 road games. The Rangers are 9-1 in their last 10 Saturday games.
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Free Picks: Free Service Plays for Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1 month 6 days ago #449341

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John Martin

Reds vs. Braves
Play: Over 10

The Cincinnati Reds are really swinging the bats right now. They have scored at least 5 runs in eight of their last 10 games coming into Saturday. But the problem with them all season has been pitching as they surrender 5.5 runs per game on the season, including 7.0 runs per game in their last seven. Both starters have been horrible this season. Julio Teheran is 7-10 with a 5.05 ERA in 24 starts, including 1-8 with a 7.08 ERA in 12 home starts. Robert Stephenson is 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA in three starts for Cincinnati. Teheran gave up 7 runs and 13 base runners in 5 innings of a 13-8 win at Cincinnati back on June 4th in his only start against them this season. The OVER is 11-2 in Reds last 13 games overall.
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