GAME: (955) WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs (956) MIAMI MARLINS
PICKS: (955) WASHINGTON NATIONALS
REASON FOR PICK: Play - Washington Nationals w/Roark vs Hand.
Edges - Nationals: Roark 7-2 with 2.32 ERA last nine overall team starts, including 4-1 last five away. Marlins: Hand 0-4 versus N.L. East this season, and 0-4 with 11.57 ERA last four teams starts in this series. With Roark in solid KW form with 17 strikeouts and 2 walks his last three starts, we recommend a 1-unit play on Washington. Thank you and good luck as always.
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GAME: (927) OAKLAND ATHLETICS vs (928) HOUSTON ASTROS
REASON FOR PICK: After a rare stumble last night, expect some order to be restored by Oakland against Houston tonight at Minute Maid. The A's were victimized by the Astros' long drives last night as Houston popped four homers in the 7-3 win. But the 'Stros had lost 8 of 9 at home previously and had dropped to a season-worst 21 games below .500, so don't expect a repeat tonight. Oakland starter Jeff Samardzija (2.70 ERA) is getting a lot more run support than he did earlier this season with the Cubs, and had plenty of cushion in last Thursday's 13-1 win over Houston. Meanwhile, Astros starter Scott Feldman has lost three consecutive outings with an 8.15 ERA, .370 opponent average and 11 walks, and he was on the losing end of last week's 13-1 decision at the Coliseum. The A's do enough damage themselves to get this one "over" tonight at Minute Maid. Play A's-Astros "over" 8 runs
GAME: (957) PITTSBURGH PIRATES vs (958) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
PICKS: (957) PITTSBURGH PIRATES
REASON FOR PICK: Your free pick for Wednesday, July 30, 2014, comes in the National League as Pittsburgh and the Giants meet in San Francisco. Pittsburgh has vastly upgraded the offense since last year, 13th in baseball in runs scored, third in on base percentage. Charlie Morton (3.40 ERA) has excellent stuff with opponents hitting .234 off him, with the team 2-1 his last three starts, plus the team has a winning record his last 10 starts. Pittsburgh is 15-6 in their last 21 vs. the National League West. Morton had his best start of the year against the Giants, 8 shutout innings. The Pirates are 14-6 in their last 20 games vs. a right-handed starter and face Tim Lincecum (9-7). Lincecum had a rough night facing the Dodgers on Friday as he gave up six runs on nine hits over 4.1 innings while taking the loss. He is 0-1 against the Pirates this season with a 9.00 ERA giving up 8 hits in 4 innings. San Fran has plenty of offensive trouble, 19th in runs scored and slugging, 25th in on base percentage. The Giants are 7-19 in their last 26 home games, plus 5-16 in their last 21 vs. a team with a winning record. Play the Pirates.
GAME: (923) NEW YORK YANKEES vs (924) TEXAS RANGERS
PICKS: (924) TEXAS RANGERS
REASON FOR PICK:
Texas took the opener of this series last night behind a strong pitching performance from Yu Darvish which snapped a two-game losing streak. The Rangers still have the worst record in baseball and they will be underdogs the majority of the time when Darvish is not on the hill and they are in that spot tonight. They have arguably been the biggest disappointment in baseball this season so picking them in spots has been the safe way and a contrarian spot tonight leads us to backing them again. The Yankees have lost three straight games and have fallen to four and a half games behind Baltimore in the American League East. New York is one of only two teams in all of baseball that has a winning record but has a negative run differential so when it loses, there is not much sweating it out. The Yankees have dropped four of their last five games on the road. While the contrarian angle is based on the teams, it is also based on the pitching matchup. Brandon McCarthy has been a great addition to the Yankees rotation since they acquired him from Arizona. He has made three starts with all three being quality outings as McCarthy has allowed just one run in each of those games and New York is a perfect 3-0 in those contests. Only one of those was on the road however and his road struggles have been well documented with his teams going 1-13 on the road with a moneyline of -100 to -150. Texas send Nick Martinez to the hill and he makes up a big part of the contrarian angle. The Rangers have lost his last seven starts and while he is to blame for three of those, he has pitched good in the other four including allowing no runs in 5.1 innings against the Yankees last week. Play (924) Texas Rangers
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GAME: (927) OAKLAND ATHLETICS vs (928) HOUSTON ASTROS
PICKS: (927) OAKLAND ATHLETICS
REASON FOR PICK: This is a Free #MLB play on the Oakland #A's -1.5.
Oakland lost Game 1 of this series in Houston, but I like their chances of responding with a convincing victory here in Game 2.
Jeff Samardzija will toe to slab for the visitors, and he's certainly making the most of his time in Oakland so far. Samardzija (4-8, 2.80 ERA) allowed one run on five hits over eight innings in a 13-1 win over the Astros his last time out. Jose Altuve leads the AL, batting .343, but he's just 3-for-15 with five strikeouts versus Samarzdzija. Jeff owned Houston in the last meeting, and I think it's doubtful that a change of venue will yield any better result for the Astros.
Houston will hand the ball to Scott Feldman, who was rocked by Oakland last week. Feldman (4-8, 4.60 ERA) allowed six runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings in the loss opposite Samardzija last Thursday. He's 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA in July, and his numbers at home are not very impressive, with an ERA of 5.37 in nine starts.
Derek Norris is 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs versus Feldman, while Jed Lowrie is 6-for-12 with two doubles versus the right-hander.
Take OAK -1.5
GAME: (911) ATLANTA BRAVES vs (912) LOS ANGELES DODGERS
PICKS: (912) LOS ANGELES DODGERS
REASON FOR PICK: This is a 1* Free Play on the LA Dodgers.
I like the home side to keep the momentum rolling tonight and believe it is well worth the price of admission in this spot. The visiting Braves will start Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.31 ERA); the right-hander is having a career year but has been merely average against the Dodgers with a 4-6 record to go with a 4.26 ERA in 11 lifetime starts. LA counters with Josh Beckett (6-5, 2.52 ERA) who is looking to bounce back off one of his shorter outings of the season, allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings in Tuesdays 12-7 loss to the Pirates. While he hasnt faced them in a few years, its still significant to note that Beckett is 6-0 with a 0.38 ERA in his last seven starts against the Braves. The Dodgers just swept a very good Giants team on the road thanks in large part to slugger Hanley Ramirez, who was 6 for 13 with three RBIs; also note that Adrian Gonzalez was 5 for 13 with three RBIs, while Yasiel Puig was 5 for 14 with three triples, the Dodgers would ultimately outscore the Giants 17-4. We saw in the playoffs last year that the Dodgers were a tough matchup for the Braves and should once again prove to be just as difficult here as the team is red hot; conversely, the Braves come into this series a little banged up. Keep in mind the Dodgers are 7-4 in games after a day off. Consider LA.
GAME: (915) LOS ANGELES ANGELS vs (916) BALTIMORE ORIOLES
PICKS: (915) LOS ANGELES ANGELS
REASON FOR PICK: Play - L.A. Angels w/Weaver vs Tillman.
Edges - Angels: Weaver 7-0 with 2,68 ERA last seven team starts, and 4-1 versus A.L. East team starts this season, and 30 strikeouts and 6 walks last six starts. Orioles: Tillman 0-3 last three team starts. With Weaver an eye-popping 20-3 his last twenty-three team starts during July, we recommend a 1-unit play on the L.A. Angels. Thank you and good luck as always.
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GAME: (909) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS vs (910) SAN DIEGO PADRES
PICKS: (909) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
REASON FOR PICK:
Series Opener Data Play
San Diego are 2-3 opening a series under this criteria, Nothing special. However they are flying cross country after a road game in Atlanta. St Louis are 6-3 on the road in July, San Diego 5-3 at Home.
Play Full Game CARDINALS ML
GAME: (903) WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs (904) MIAMI MARLINS
PICKS: (904) MIAMI MARLINS
REASON FOR PICK: Your FREE Play for Tuesday, July 29, 2014 is in the NL contest between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins. The Nats are holding onto first place in the AL East, one game ahead of Atlanta and seven games ahead of Miami. Both these clubs have won seven of their last 10 games, though Miami has a +75 run differential compared to Miami's minus-21 run differential. Stephen Strasburg will go to the hill for the Nats with his 7-8 record and 3.67 ERA. Stasburg has struggled of late, losing two straight games. Henderson Alvarez will toe the rubber for the fish here. Alvarez is arguable the best starter for Miami with his 2.62 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, though he has only a 7-5 record to show for those good numbers. Alvarez has done well against Washington this season with 10 2/3 innings of work and one earned run. If we look at Alvarez's last 10 starts we see only one that wasn't quality. The other nine he's allowed two runs or less in each contest. Compare that to Strasburg who has struggled of late and it's difficult to understand why Miami with Alvarez is such a big home dog (+130). Good value here with the home club, your FREE play is on Miami.