Today’s free play comes in the Philadelphia Phillies vs Washington Nationals. For the Phillies it’s Cliff Lee that heads to the mound and for the Naitonals it’s Gio Gonzalez. The Nationals got the majority of their runs in a three game series against the Marlins in two innings, while the Phillies had their usual erratic series against the Mets.
Lee’s first two starts back from the DL have not fared well. He gave up twelve hits to the Giants in a loss and nine in his last start and loss to the Diamondbacks. To doubt Cliff Lee now would be a foolish bet.
The Nationals are struggling to hit the ball right now and have been relying on their aces and bullpen to protect small leads.
Money is on the over in this game, but I’ll take the under. Look for Lee to scatter his hits better in this one and for this game to sail two runs under the total of 7.
Tuesday’s free play comes in the NL East. Under today’s picks is also today’s premium play of the Mets vs Phillies.
For the Phillies the slight bit of an upswing they showcased a few weeks ago has waned. They’ve been back to batting poorly and having erratic starts from their pitchers. One of the pitchers that has been consistent has been Cole Hamels.
Momentum though is on the Mets side. Their young pitching staff has been a bit of a secret in baseball because of their teams poor run support. Lately though the Mets have been able to combine hitting to runs.
Take the slight plus payout as the name in Cole Hamels attracts sports bettors eyes. On the field though Dillon Gee and the Mets will grab another win at home.
Under today’s picks I have two premium plays available. For a free play selection we are going to look at the total in Diamondbacks and Cubs. Both of these teams are not offensive juggernauts, therefore the total lies at 7.5 runs. On the mound are two pitchers that have far exceeded pitching expectations.
Josh Collmenter came out of the bullpen to be a saving grace for the Diamondbacks. At stretches in May and early June he was there only reliable pitcher. Collmenter though does not have overpowering pitches or durability. He typically can pitch a maximum of six innings.
For the Cubs, Jake Arrieta has been pitching out of his mind. He has come close to a no hitter and had a fantastic June. He has been almost non hittable. Even though he gave up three runs in his last start it was off of just four hits.
Post All-Star breaks you’ll usually see pitching wane considerably. Mark Buerhle saw his digression before the break. I think you’ll start to see that with both Arrieta and Collmenter. Arrieta has assumed the role of Cubs dominant pitcher with the departure of Hammel and Samardzija. The mess in Arizona has been well-documented and needs no further elaboration.
Though you may have a hard time watching both the Cubs and Diamondbacks offense, sit back and wait for that half inning outbreak. This total will surpass 7.5.
It’s back to the diamond on Friday. Teams are rested and ready to go. Which will have the strong impact post All-Star break? Bats or pitching? Based on the lines set for today, the books are counting on the bats. There’s a lot of high totals floating around today. Most are in the 7.5 to 8.5 range.
Focus for tonight’s free play comes in the Seattle Mariners vs LA Angels. Weaver heads to the mound for LA while Iwakuma does for Seattle. I’m focusing on the total tonight, which is 7.5. The over is +100 while the under is -120.
It’s a tale of two teams playing the opposite. Seattle has been winning when their pitching is solid because they are failing to produce runs. At home scoring runs has been even more of a struggle for the Mariners than on the road. LA on the other hand has had poor pitching that has been offset by high amounts of runs being produced.
I’ll put the momentum on the home town Mariners tonight. Iwakuma shook off mid June woes to finish the latter part of June and start to July strong. Weaver should be able to get out of any jams as Seattle has a hard time getting RISP. Take the under at -120 tonight.
Over the last month and a half the Marlins and Mets have been involved in three series. Even for division teams that is abnormal for a short stretch. Today, Tom Koehler heads to the mound for the Marlins while Dice-K does for the Mets.
Miami still ranks as one of the better teams in baseball for scoring but is slowly beginning to drop. Their bats have been cold for the last four weeks. Wins they have been able to get as a team have come via a flurry of runs in one inning. They’re just not getting the inning after inning offensive production you’d expect.
Conversely the Mets have hit a bit of a stride thanks to their pitching staff. All five starters have had decent outings as of late, including Dice-K. Many have been waiting for Dice-K to have a major slump and be sent back to the bullpen. Thus far though he has managed each outing fairly well.
With how poor the Marlins are hitting the ball, Dice-K just needs to sustain control with his walks. For Koehler, look for him to command this game after an atrocious outing in Arizona in his last start.
This total is sitting at 7.5 runs -110. Play the first five under as well to offset any possible late inning runs giving up by the Marlins staff.
The Yankees are struggling to produce runs as of late. Pitching has been erratic for them. By swapping Nuno for Brandon McCarthy the Yankees hope to find the veteran ace that CC Sabathia was supposed to be.
At this stage of the season the Yankees look like a tired old baseball team. The usual reliability of Tanaka came to another blow yesterday. Cleveland jumped on top of several of his pitches for two home runs.
Cleveland is one of those teams that gets hot and cold unlike any other team in baseball. They’ve had a couple of different winning and losing streaks to showcase this.
Josh Tomlin heads to the mound today for the Indians and should find success against the struggling Yankees. In his last three starts he has had two poor performances and one outstanding against the Mariners. Due to his erratic play there is value on the Indians today. They opened around -114 and are now at -120.
Though Tomlin may give up a few runs, I think the Indians bats are confident after success against Tanaka. Tanaka had been 10-0 against teams he was facing for the first time. Breaking that streak has to be a boost of confidence to the Indians.
Take Cleveland to win again against the Yankees.