Don Best Today's Free Picks

GAME: (331) NORTH CAROLINA vs (332) EAST CAROLINA
SPORT: NCAAF
PICKS: (331) NORTH CAROLINA
REASON FOR PICK: East Carolina came through for us last week as it was in a great scheduling situation. The Pirates were coming off a loss against South Carolina the previous week. They outgained the Gamecocks in that game but two interceptions by Shane Carden led to the 10 points that South Carolina scored in the third quarter. Take those away and the Pirates could have been in contention for the outright win. Coming into Blacksburg, the Pirates were 10-0 ATS in their last 10 games following a defeat and they added to that once again. Virginia Tech meanwhile defeated Ohio St. the previous week and it was obviously still feeling the hangover. Now East Carolina takes on another big brother and it is actually favored, more than likely based on the win last week. North Carolina is 2-0 with unimpressive wins over Liberty and San Diego St. but the Tar Heels will be a motivated bunch this week as they will be out for revenge after losing to the Pirates at home last season by 24 points. It was the first loss against East Carolina since 2007 and first non-cover since 2001 in this series. The Tar Heels are no joke this season as they have 15 starters back from a team that finished 6-1 over their last seven games following a dismal 1-5 start. North Carolina had a bye week last week so the extra time will be an added benefit. The Pirates are 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games against teams with a winning record while going 3-13 ATS in its last 16 home games following consecutive non-conference games. Play (331) North Carolina Tar Heels

Matt rolls into Saturday as he looks to add to his AWESOME start to the season! He is already a SOLID 15-11 in CFB YTD and he extends it Saturday with SEVEN Big Winners! He follows up his PROFITABLE +$6,082 CFB season from 2013 while adding to his INSANE +$38,795 football run! How about a PERFECT 7-0 CFB Saturday SWEEP!

GAME: (959) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs (960) SAN DIEGO PADRES
SPORT: MLB
PICKS: (959) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
REASON FOR PICK: This is a Free #MLB play on the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies will wrap up their series in San Diego tonight, and after winning Game 3, they can salvage a split in the finale. With San Diego sending a shaky young pitcher to the mound, the visitors look good as a dog. Robbie Erlin will come out of the bullpen to make the start, and he hasn't impressed in recent appearances. Erlin (3-4, 4.89 ERA) was rocked for seven runs on 14 hits over just seven innings in his last two outings. He has one win in four starts at PETCO this season, posting a 2.91 ERA in those games. The Phillies hand the ball to Kyle Kendrick, who has been very solid lately. Kendrick (9-12, 4.72 ERA) allowed one run on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings in a home win over Miami his last time out. He's 4-1 over his last five starts, and the Phillies have won seven of his last 10 appearances. He defeated the Padres earlier this season, allowing a pair of runs on seven hits over six innings in that game. San Diego ranks last in the major league's in all offensive categories, so you have to like Kendrick's chances of picking up a "W" tonight. Take PHI. GL, Jesse Schule
GAME: (959) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs (960) SAN DIEGO PADRES
SPORT: MLB
PICKS: (959) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
REASON FOR PICK: My free play is on the Phi Phillies at 9:10 ET.

Philadelphia had put up four runs or less in 11 straight games before snapping a three-game losing streak Wednesday in a 5-2 win at San Diego (Padres’ Eric Stults now is tied with Philly’s Burnett for eth most losses among starters with 17). The Phillies won’t get to face Stults again tonight (too bad) but instead draw Robbie Erlin (3-4, 4.89 ERA), who has struggled with elbow soreness but gets the spot start in place of the injured Tyson Ross. Erlin hasn't started since May 17 and hasn't appeared in a game since allowing three runs in two innings of a 6-0 loss at Colorado on September 7. In eight starts in 2014 (all from April 9 thru May 17), he was 3-4 and the team 3-5. A sliver of hope reveals that he’s 3-2 with a 2.53 ERA in his nine starts at Petco Park in parts of two seasons with San Diego (Padres are 5-4).

"This is an opportunity for Robbie to show what he can do against a major league lineup," manager Bud Black said. However, I’m not ‘biting’ and would rather go with Kyle Kendrick (9-12, 4.72 ERA). He has built some strong ties in Philadelphia during his eight seasons with the club that selected him in the seventh round of the 2003 draft. He may be nearing the end of that tenure though, with his contract set to expire at the end of the year. "I came up in this organization," he told MLB's official website. "A lot of teammates are still around (from) when I came up. I don't know. It's tough. I'm a pretty loyal guy. My kids were born here. Met my wife here, you know. I have a lot of things here."

Kendrick may be giving the Phillies something to think about. He's gone 4-1 in his last eight starts (team is 6-2) and has pitched particularly well in two of his last three. After allowing three hits over seven innings in a 4-0 win at Atlanta on September 2, he struggled in a home loss to Pittsburgh before bouncing back Saturday by allowing one run over 6.1 innings in a 2-1 victory over the Marlins that may have been his last home start with the Phillies. Kendrick has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings in his last two starts against the Padres (in his only meeting this season, he gave up two runs, one earned, over six innings in a 7-3 home victory June 12), giving him a 3-1 career mark in five starts (team is 4-1).

Good luck...Larry

GAME: (969) BOSTON RED SOX vs (970) PITTSBURGH PIRATES
SPORT: MLB
PICKS: (970) PITTSBURGH PIRATES
REASON FOR PICK:

1 unit on (970) Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5 (Run-Line)

The Red Sox have been beaten up lately, they are currently 66-86 and last night's thumping by the Bucs dropped their run differential to -93. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia won't be there for them, so the weak offense got weaker. Note that Boston have lost 34 games in second half, and only six of those decided by one run, so we can bet on the Run-Line to get better odds. Besides, there are huge pitching mismatch on the mound, the Pirates are 10-3 in Cole's last 13 starts, while the Red Sox have lost 12 straight games in Workman's last 12 outings. We expect the young ace Cole gets big win as Pittsburgh continues to push for the last wildcard spot. Take (970) Pittsburgh on the Run-Line.
GAME: (959) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs (960) SAN DIEGO PADRES
SPORT: MLB
PICKS: (960) SAN DIEGO PADRES
REASON FOR PICK: Your free pick for Thursday, September 18th comes in the National League as Philadelphia and the Padres battle in Petco Park in San Diego. San Diego is a huge park and Philadelphia is 3,000 miles from home, a tough situational spot. The Phillies are 17-36 in their last 53 road games vs. a team with a losing record. This Phillies offense is terrible and starter Kyle Kendrick (9-12, 4.72 ERA) has not been sharp on the road with a 3-6 record and a 5.11 ERA. The Phillies are 6-13 in Kendrick's last 19 road starts. The Padres are 23-8 in their last 31 home games. Starter Robbie Erlin has a 2.92 ERA at home and the Phillies have not faced him. The Padres are 19-7 in their last 26 home games vs. a right-handed starter and 9-2 at home against a team with a losing record. Play the Padres!
 
 
 
 
 
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Jim Feist

Jim Feist

Your free pick for Thursday, September 18th comes in the  Today's Free Picks By Jim Feist