1 Replies | 503 ViewsOn 09/06/2011 08:45 AM in MLB
HOT TEAM: Los Angeles Dodgers
THIS SEASON: 68-71
LAST WEEK: 6-1
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE: At the Nationals for four, at the Giants for three.
THE SKINNY: Much has been made of the race between the Diamondbacks and Giants in the NL West. Now, that Arizona truly has the upper hand now, perhaps people will start to notice the left-for-dead Dodgers.
Is Los Angeles going to mount an autumn rally? Absolutely not. But Matt Kemp and Co. are salvaging a little pride here in September, and that’s good news for bettors.
Heading into Monday’s matinee vs. Washington, the Dodgers had won 11 of the last 13 games, and Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Braves snapped a six-game winning streak. Kemp, with a home run and three RBIs on Sunday, took terrific totals of 32 and 105 into this week’s action.
The Dodgers, 11.5 games behind Arizona through Sunday, are still playing with some fire for Don Mattingly. And at this point, it’s clear they’re shooting for an over-.500 seasons. Might want to jump on board.
COLD TEAM: Pittsburgh Pirates
THIS SEASON: 64-76
LAST WEEK: 2-5
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE: Home to the Astros for three, home to the Marlins for three.
THE SKINNY: A month ago, after the additions of Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick, it seemed clear the Pirates were going to snap that awful 18-year-long streak of losing seasons. Heck, they were still even challenging in the NL Central at that point. But you can forget the latter now, and the former is about to head that way, too.
At 12 games under .500 through Sunday, and 19.5 games behind the first-place Brewers, it's all over but the crying for the Pirates. The morale is gone, the fans are, too, and when you get swept by Houston of all teams, like they did last week, there’s not much left to go on.
OVER TEAM: Baltimore Orioles
O/U THIS SEASON: 75-58-5
O/U LAST WEEK: 4-2-1
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE: At the Yankees for four, at the Blue Jays for three.
THE SKINNY: Who says bad teams don’t make any money for bettors? Not only are the Orioles one of the best fade teams out there -- if you can stomach the price, of course -- Buck Showalter’s crew is still clicking in the over category, even in September, when rosters expand and offense often disappears.
Not when you play the Orioles, who allowed 24 runs in the first four games this month, and also gave up 24 in just three games vs. Toronto last week. Starter Jeremy Guthrie, the best they have to offer right now, has a 4.45 ERA and lost his 17th game on Sunday. Keep Baltimore on your over radar.
UNDER TEAM: Oakland Athletics
O/U THIS SEASON: 69-59-12
O/U LAST WEEK: 2-5
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE: Home to the Royals for three, at the Rangers for three.
THE SKINNY: The Athletics were on an over run for the ages earlier this summer, and if you knew when to jump off that train, kudos to you. It wasn’t going to last forever, right? There are a lot of bad offensive teams in the American League and the Athletics play in a pitchers park, after all.
So, Oakland has cooled off, to say the least, in over-land. A four-game winning streak through Sunday has coincided with some pitching and defense. Oakland rolled up a five-game under streak along the way, and headed into Monday’s series opener vs. Kansas City, having registered two shutouts in the last four games.
The offense has been quiet at times, as Josh Willingham (79) is the only Athletic with a realistic shot at 100 RBIs, and Sunday’s lineup vs. Seattle, featured only one hitter with a .280 average or better (Jemile Weeks, .292). Oakland -- thanks to the summer surge that’s now long gone -- should still finish above .500 with overs. But if you’re an under player, you might want to ride this wave through the rest of the month.