Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 23

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Los Angeles Dodgers -140FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We're getting the Los Angeles Dodgers at a very generous price Tuesday with 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound. I'll take advantage and look forward to adding to my 24-2 run L26 free picks.
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After going 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA in 2011, Kershaw came back with a 14-9 record and 2.53 ERA in 2012. The left-hander is off to a 2-2 start with a 1.88 ERA in 2013 as well. Hands down, he's the best starter in the National League.
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The biggest reason for backing Los Angeles tonight is its ace's numbers against his opponent. Kershaw is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 1.169 WHIP in six career starts against New York. The Dodgers are a perfect 6-0 in those six starts having never lost. Bet Los Angeles Tuesday.

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Tampa Bay Rays -170FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa defeated the Bronx Bombers last night, roughing up C.C. Sabathia for four runs in the first inning. They went on to win 5-1 at Tropicana Park.
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The Rays will send their ace to the mound tonight, as David Price looks to bounce back from a rough start to 2013. He might fancy his chances against the Yankees, who he went 3-1 (3.06 ERA) against last season.
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Price looked good his last time out, as he was in line for the win, but surrendered a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh, and the bullpen failed to stop the bleeding in a 10-6 loss to the Orioles.
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Prior to that he went six innings allowing just one run on four hits in a 2-1 loss to Boston at Fenway. He looks good to bounce back at home tonight, going up against a team that he has owned over the years.
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The Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound, and he's still looking for his first victory of the season. Hughes is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA, and he continues to be plagued by the long ball. He's allowed five home runs over his last 10 innings.
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Matt Joyce has taken Hughes deep twice, while hitting .455 in just 11 career at bats. He lost his only start against the Rays last year, and he's likely looking at another tough outing here tonight.

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Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco Giants -135FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The defending World Series champs are 8-2 at home, and I expect their success at AT&T Park to continue this evening. The Giants are 9-0 in their last 9 home games versus a team with a winning record and 5-0 in their last 5 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150. Matt Cain has struggled, but it's only a matter of time before the staff ace gets it going. I believe he gets it going tonight against a team he has enjoyed a great deal of success against. He's 13-6 with a 3.34 ERA in 27 starts against Arizona. The Giants are 10-3 in Cain's last 13 starts versus the Diamondbacks and 8-1 in his last 9 home starts versus them. Pat Corbin has pitched well for Arizona, but the D-backs have dropped 2 of his last 3 starts versus the Giants and he has a 5.09 ERA in 4 career starts against them. The Diamondbacks are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings and 31-64 in the last 95 meetings in San Francisco. Take the Giants.

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Cleveland +110 over CHICAGOFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The White Sox continue to struggle at the plate and with that comes added pressure on both the defense and the starters. Over their past four games the South Side has scored seven times. Overall, Chicago is batting .229 and its 63 runs scored ranks them last in the AL. Lefty Jose Quintana followed up a poor season debut with two quality starts but there is no single hallmark skill in his profile. Quintana does have 17’s in 18 frames but with just 98 K’s in 154 career innings, we’re going to have to see a larger sample this year before trusting that Quintana will be able to maintain that strikeout pace. Quintana is just 24-years old and he has growth potential but his batted ball profile of 40%/20%/40% (GB/LD/FB) says he’s walking a tight rope.
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The Indians have seen plenty of southpaws this year. Cleveland’s 286 AB’s against lefties is tops in the league by a wide margin (Cincinnati is second with 237 AB’s). The Indians have hit a solid .267 against lefties with a just as solid .342 OBP, .469 SLG % and .810 OPS. Zach McAllister went 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA with 110 Ks in 125 IP last season. There is a foundation here for something interesting. McAllister’s rising strikeout rate and solid control is promising. He has 16 K’s and just three walks in 17 frames. Additionally, McAllister dominated righties in the second half of last season and he’s carried that over to this season with a .206 BAA versus right-handed batters. The White Sox are loaded on the right side with seven of the nine starters batting right including the entire infield. McAllister is a pitcher on our radar and we’ll gladly step in on him here.
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SAN FRANCISCO -1 +118 over ArizonaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The D-Backs are a feisty team but they are also one of those teams that play so much better at home than on the road. Arizona opened its third straight series on the road last night in San Fran and lost 5-4 for its fifth loss in in its past seven games. Playing at New York against the Yanks and at Colorado, the D-Backs scored more than four runs just twice in those six games and they’re hitting a combined .229 over that span. Patrick Corbin has only made 20 career starts, of which four have come against the Giants. He is 2-1 in those four starts but was hit especially hard in his two starts at AT&T park, where he has allowed 10 ER on 14 H in just eight IP. Road troubles have been a problem for the young Corbin, as he has a career 5.32 ERA and 1.43 WHIP on the road. His fast start to 2013 looks good on the surface but has really been luck driven with a 23% hit rate and unsustainable 89% strand rate. A correction to Corbin’s 1.42 ERA is forthcoming.
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The Giants have won four straight while holding the opposition to just six runs over those four games. In five of their past six games, Giants starters have gone at least six full innings, rendering the bullpen locked and loaded. Matt Cain is 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA and that combined with Corbin’s strong start has created this underlay. Is there a reason to worry about Cain? No way. Blame a 34% hit rate and 57% strand rate for his struggles. His base skills are not only fine, they are elite. In 32 starts last year, Cain had no disasters. He was in the top 10 in IP again and had a career-low in walks and a career high in Ks. He hasn’t slowed down this year. This is the profile of an ace in his prime. This year he has five walks and 20 K’s in 23 innings and it’s only a matter of time before he shuts down the opposition and Cain will welcome the Snakes. Cain has made 11 home starts versus Arizona in his career, where he has gone 5-2 with a 2.39 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 79 IP. Expect another pure quality start here.

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Golden State +8 over DENVERFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Nuggets were fortunate to escape Game 1. They may not be as fortunate in Game 2 and even if they are, chances are it won’t be by the margin being offered here. Denver’s injuries problems were evident in the opener and with Danilo Gallinari (knee) done for the season and Kenneth Faried, Ty Lawson and Timofey Mozgov battling various twists, bumps and bruises. The loss of Gallinari is especially damaging to a Nuggets team that needs as many half-court options as it can get. Don’t get us wrong. Denver can run with anyone and they create many easy baskets with one of the best transition games in the playoffs. However, that first game instilled some confidence in the Warriors. They are convinced they can come in here and take the second game and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they did. 
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Warriors Coach Mark Jackson has evolved into a skilled tactician. Give him the films of Game 1 and he’ll find flaws he can exploit. Golden State was the most efficient three-point shooting team in the league during the regular season with three players (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Sixth Man candidate Jarrett Jack) shooting better than 40 percent. The Nuggets three-point defense is average at best and if the Warriors get hot from beyond the arc, it’ll be lights out. The real kicker here is Andrew Bogut in the middle. Bogut keeps the Nuggets from easy points in the paint and he’s a potential rebounding machine when he’s on his game. The most interesting thing about this game, however, is the point spread. Denver closed as an eight-point favorite in Game One. David Lee was hurt in Game One. David Lee is a valuable player so why is the line the same as when Lee was in? Oddsmakers want you to lay the points. Expect the Warriors to compete and possibly win outright.

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Boston -½ +123 over PHILADELPHIAFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Regulation only. Not only are the Bruins vastly superior to this enemy in every way, the B’s are highly motivated to represent a city that was rocked by last week’s bombings. Despite losing two of three games since that incident, Boston has been dominating in all three games, especially against Pittsburgh this past Saturday when they deserved better than a 3-2 loss. Fighting for first place in the Northeast and a #2 seed in the playoffs, the Bruins begin a four-games in six days stretch beginning here. The Bruins have defeated the Flyers in five of the past six games with only loss over that span occurring in an earlier game this season that the Bruins dominated play in again.
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Philly is finished. They’re coming off a 5-3 home loss to the Hurricanes and that was Carolina’s second win in its past 19 games. The Flyers have three games left beginning here and the season can’t end soon enough for them. Philadelphia is weak in net, they’re weak on defense, they’re slow and they have more casualties than any team in the NHL not named Florida. Motivated to play hockey, the Flyers are not. Motivated to play golf and clean out their lockers is more like it. Can this one end any other way? We think not
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Calgary +130 over NASHVILLEFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. Has anyone noticed how good the Flames have been playing recently? Since cleaning house and playing against some very motivated teams, Calgary has gone out and won three in a row and five of its past six games. Among their victims were the Red Wings, Wild, Anaheim and Phoenix. The Flames have also scored three goals or more in six straight. Calgary’s recent string of victories is no fluke. They are playing hard and they’re playing to win. They are also getting great goaltending from Joey MacDonald and Miikka Kiprusoff.
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None of the above applies to the Predators. A perennial playoff team, Nashville was eliminated from post-season a few games ago and still nothing has changed. The Preds can’t score, (12 goals in their past eight games), they can’t win (eight straight losses) and to make matters worse, they are getting average goaltending from previously reliable Pekka Rinne, suggesting the goaltender’s heart is not in this thing this season. Also, Nashville has shut down many of its key players for the remainder of the year. On the rack is Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, Gabriel Bourque, Paul Gaustad and Brandon Yip. Shea Weber leads the team with 24 points. Play the Predators if you trust that David Legwand will score four times tonight. Nashville is playing out the string, rendering them unplayable right now while the Flames are playing like a playoff spot is up for grabs. Definite overlay here.

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Jeff Scott SportsFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LA Angels/ Texas Over 8.5: I have a feeling this is going to be a high scoring series all season long. Last night these teams pounded out 20+ hits and scored 12 plus runs and the same should happen tonight. The Rangers have missed Hamilton this year, but their offense is starting to pick up as they have scored 6 rpg in their last 6 games and that should continue here vs a weak Angels staff that is 29th in the league in ERA (4.58) and 28th in WHIP (1.58). Jason Vargas gets the ball for the Halos and he has struggled in the early going, with a 6.75 ERA.  Jason has a 4.48 in 16 appearances (14 starts) vs the Rangers, while in his last 7 starts vs them his ERA is 4.74. On the Other Side the Rangers do have the 2nd ranked staff, but Alexi Ogando has not helped them out of late, posting a 4.97 ERA in his last 3 starts. Alexi has 3 career starts vs the Halos and he has a 2.18 ERA in those starts, but they were all in 2011 and he will be facing an Angels offense that is starting to come together. After struggling to score in the early part of the year the Halo's have come on to average 5.65 rpg in their last 8 games, including 6.8 rpg in their last 5 games. Both offenses are rolling right now and the pitching that's on the mound is struggling. I expect DD with ease in this one.   
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PHILADELPHIA -149 over Pittsburgh: Cole Hamels has struggled mightily for the Phils this year, but I have a feeling he won't be carrying a 6+ ERA for much longer. Tonight is the perfect spot for him to get back on track, because the Pirates can't hit a lick vs lefties this year. The Pirates come in hitting just .167 vs lefties this year, while scoring just 2.14 rp/9 off of them. On the road it's even worse as they have put up just 1.46 rp/9 and have hit just 1.34 vs southpaws away from home. Not a good spot for the Pittsburgh offense here. The Phils offense is playing better and are starting to get some clutch hits. The Phils have averaged 4.91 rpg at home and will be tacking on Jeff Lock, who is just 1-2 with a 5.72 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP on the year so far. The Phils get the call here behind what should be Cole Hamels best start of the year. 
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Toronto -113 over BALTIMORE: Gonna go with the Jays in this one, cause I feel that Dickey is starting to figure things out. After a couple of rough starts to open the year R.A. Dickey is getting back his form of last year. In his last 2 starts he has allowed just 1 ER on 7 hits in 12.1 innings of work. In his last start he allowed just 2 hits with 7 K's in 6 innings of work vs the ChiSox and he did it with just 64 pitches, so he should really be fresh for this one. Miguel Gonzalez comes in with a 1-1 mark and 4.00 ERA. In his last 2 starts he threw 101 and 102 pitches and he carries a 4.47 career ERA in this park (7 Starts, 1 Relief). Miguel is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA in 2 career starts vs the Jays, while Dickey is 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 4 career starts vs the O's. The Jays are a better team than they have displayed this far and I feel that behind another strong outing from Dickey they will win a close one here.
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Minnesota/ Miami Under 7.5: Game 1 Gonna just use my writeup from yesterday. This Miami offense is pathetic as they have hit just .212 and have scored a TOTAL of 43 runs in the early going so far. Miami has scored more than 3 run in a game just 3 times this year and they average just 2.5 rpg on the road. Getting the ball for Minnesota will be Kevin Correia, who has struggled with Miami in the past, posting a 6.84 ERA in his last 5 starts vs them. Now let's note that he wasn't facing a AA offense in those games like he will today and let's also note that Kevin has pitched very well at home, allowing just 2 runs in each game vs good offensive teams in Detroit and the Angels. If he can shut those teams down he can surely shut down Miami here.Minnesota does average 5.14 rpg at home, but they have never seen Ricky Nolasco and Ricky has pitched well this year with a 3.86 ERA, through 4 starts. Ricky has been given just 1.2 rpg of support so far and his games have averaged just 5.7 rpg, while Kevin's games have averaged just 6.3 rpg. I look for a low scoring game in Minnesota tonight and would not be surprised at all if Miami gets shut out.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 23

Joe Gavazzi

Colorado -120

After a 12-1 start in which Atlanta averaged 5.2 RPG, the Braves enter this double header on a slide of 1-4 in which they totaled 9 runs with a .195 BA. The Braves have owned this series to begin the day with records of 12-3, 7-1 and 4-0 at this site where they have scored 38 runs and batted .327. But regardless of the outcome of the first game in this DH, I side with Colorado in the night cap with this pitching matchup. Teheran has a 7.31 ERA and has allowed 4 runs or more in all 3 of his starts. Teheran has allowed 5 home runs in 16 IP. That is a bad omen when you are pitching at Coors Field. The Rockies enter the day on a recent run of 8-1 and are a likewise 8-1 on this field. Following an injury/surgery season, Garland has been a pleasant surprise. He is keeping the ball on the ground and limiting his free passes. Garland is 2-0 in 3 quality starts with a 3.32 ERA. Garland is off an outing in which he allowed just 2 runs in 7 IP of an 11-3 victory over the Mets. Rockies the right side in the nightcap regardless of the Game #1 outcome.

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Jeff Alexander

Houston Astros +120

Seattle won yesterday but had ace Felix Hernandez on the hill. Look for Houston to bounce back today against a club it has defeated 7 times in the last 9 meetings. The Mariners are 0-6 in their last 6 games following a win and 1-5 in their last 6 road games. The Astros are 5-0 in Norris' last 5 home starts versus a team with a losing record. Take the Stros.

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Alex Smart

Seattle Mariners -129

Houston has lost eight of nine games in their own park and are in a nasty funk, and look like a good team to bet against, even with a home value line attached to them. It must be noted that the Mariners are lowest scoring team in the league at 3.2 runs per game.Mariners are 5-0 in Iwakumas last 5 starts vs. American League West. Astros are 1-9 in Norris' last 10 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, April 23

NHLPredictions

Montreal Canadiens -118

The Montreal Canadiens enter tonight's game in 4th place in the Eastern Conference, but tied with Boston with 59 points as they fight for the Northeast Division title and 2nd place in the East. To win the division and be guaranteed home ice until the Conference finals would be huge for Montreal and we know they are motivated to give it a run, especially given their fall off lately. The Habs lost 5-1 at home vs Washington on Saturday and have lost 4 of their last 5 games. Goaltending has been a problem with the Canadiens allowing 5+ goals in all 4 of those losses. I expect Carey Price to get the start and return to his solid form tonight. The Devils are out of a playoff spot and have won just 7 of their last 28 games overall. They did recently beat two non-playoff teams in Philadelphia and Florida recently, but their latest game was a 4-1 loss in New York on Sunday vs the Rangers. They have scored 2 or fewer goals in 8 of their last 11 games and sit 28th in the NHL averaging just 2.31 goals per game (Montreal is at 3.02). Take a look at the Habs road record as they are a solid 13-6-2 on the road this year. The Devils are 11-9-2 at home. These two teams have met twice this season with the Habs winning both, 4-3 in Montreal and then 2-1 in New Jersey. The Canadiens are playing for a lot more right now and although the Devils will still come out to play they don't match up with the Habs. Take Montreal to win.

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Harry Bondi

DENVER (-8) over Golden State

The Nuggets did not play well in Game 1 but still escaped with a two-point victory. In that game they went a dismal 3-for-16 from 3-point land and were badly outrebounded (64-51). Don't expect those numbers to be repeated in Game 2 tonight, especially since Golden State will be without its best rebounder, David Lee. Denver still has one of the best home court advantages in the NBA and tonight it rebounds with a much better effort, leading to a blowout win.

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Sammy P

Los Angeles at Minnesota
Play: Los Angeles

Rarely do you get one of the hottest and best teams in the NHL playing at this short of a price, but that’s what we get tonight when the Kings travel to Minnesota to face a reeling Wild club.  Minnesota has lost eight of its last 11 games and they have been unable to consistently find the back of the net during this time (1.7 goals per game).  Scoring has always been a major problem for the Wild and facing a tough Kings defense tonight is not what the doctor ordered to break them out of their slump.  This is a Kings team starting to get healthier at the right time with the addition of Matt Greene off of the IR.  Don't let the "must win" talk for Minnesota tonight fool you as Los Angeles is just as focused to lock up home ice advantage for the playoffs.  Los Angeles has been winning games of late (4-0-1) with timely scoring, stellar defense, and depth.  They've scored at least one PP goal in eight straight games.  Look for the Kings to continue this push into the playoffs and wear down the Wild tonight at the short price.

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LEGIT PICKS

Tuesday 4/23/13 Plays...

3* A'S/RED SOX (UNDER 9 / -115) (3:35PM PST)

---LEGIT PICK'S WARNING: Practicing Money Management & Shopping Lines Can Lead to Long Term Success--

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Hollywood Sports

Milwaukee Brewers at San Diego Padres
Prediction: San Diego Padres

San Diego (5-14) has lost four games in a row after their 7-1 loss in Game One of this series. The Padres are dangerous in spots like this as they have won 11 of their last 15 home games as an underdog in the +110 to +150 price range. They send out Richard who is 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP this season. The left-hander was much better at home in Petco Park last season where he sported a 3.02 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and .245 opponent's batting average as opposed to his 4.74 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and .284 opponent's batting average when on the road. San Diego has won 4 straight home games when Richard was pitching as an underdog in the +110 to +150 price range. He should fare well against this Brewers team that has lost 5 of their last 7 games against left-handed starting pitchers. Milwaukee (10-8) has won eight straight games after last night. They counter with Gallardo who is 1-1 with a 5.24 ERA and 1.57 WHIP so far this season. Gallardo was not quite as effective on the road last season where he owned a 1.38 WHIP and .258 opponent's batting average as opposed to his 1.24 WHIP and .231 opponent's batting average when at home. And while the Padres are 1-6 at home, the Brewers have lost 7 of their last 8 home games against teams with a winning percentage below 40%. Take the Padres with the money line while listing both starting pitchers.

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