1: Pittsburgh Pirates (51-30, +$2,730) (LW: 1): If you didn't believe that the Pirates were for real before, did this nine-game winning streak prove it to you? Many are convinced that this team is going to drop by the wayside after the All-Star Break, but we just don't see it happening. Not only is Pittsburgh going to get to 82 wins if it keeps playing like this, but it might really be able to win the World Series this year as well.
2: Oakland Athletics (48-35, +$1,170) (LW: 3): A good week for the A's for sure. They still haven't quite run down the Rangers atop the division, but they started off their eight-game home stand against NL Central teams by taking four out of five combined against the Reds and the Cards. In that run, they scored at least five runs four times and have quietly raised their scoring average up to 4.67 runs per game, seventh best in the bigs.
3: Cleveland Indians (44-38, +$1,135) (LW: 7): No starting pitchers? No problem! Manager Terry Francona literally didn't have a good option going into play on Thursday against the White Sox on the road, and he was able to pull not just one, but two starters out of his backside for the doubleheader. Not only did Cleveland win those two games, but it swept this series as well, and it is now only percentage points behind the Tigers for the top spot in the AL Central. Dealing without both Scott Kazmir and Zach McAllister, both of which are injured, could be problematic in the short run, though.
4: Baltimore Orioles (47-36, +$1,098) (LW: 2): Busting out the brooms on the Yankees was crucial for the Orioles, who are now all by themselves with some room to spare in the AL East. 1B Chris Davis now has 31 homers on the season, and he has had himself a month to remember. Just over the course of his last 18 games, Davis has 11 home runs and 28 RBIs, and he now has those 31 bombs and 80 RBIs for the season. If this man isn't the starting first baseman in the All-Star Game, something is seriously wrong with the process.
5: Boston Red Sox (50-34, +$866) (LW: 9): Herein lies the problem for the Orioles, though. The Red Sox just keep winning. The boys from Beantown are up to averaging 5.13 runs per game this season after they smashed the Blue Jays for 21 runs in four games. Boston has won five out of six after losing three out of four on the road to the Tigers a week and a half ago, and matters should only get better with the slumping Padres and Angels coming up on the slate this week. The Sox could very well go into the All-Star break with 60 wins.
6: Atlanta Braves (48-34, +$607) (LW: 13): The Braves have won five out of six games to open their lead up even more in the NL East to 6.5 games. 1B Freddie Freeman had two awesome games against the Diamondbacks, going 3-of-8 with four runs, two runs, and five RBIs. Atlanta doesn't need much in the way of offense with its rotation. None of the five are likely to be All-Stars this year, but four of the five have ERAs of 3.69 or better, and the fifth guy is Tim Hudson, who will inevitably turn this around.
7: St. Louis Cardinals (49-32, +$565) (LW: 4): The Cardinals have quietly dropped $641 for their bettors over the course of the last week and a half, and that isn't going to cut it. This is a dangerous week ahead with games against the Angels and the Marlins, and anything less than 4-2 in those six games is going to create an even bigger void in profits. Adam Wainwright has 11 wins on the season now, and he is clearly streaking to a third season in the last five years with at least 19 victories.
8: Texas Rangers (48-34, +$528) (LW: 12): It was a great week for Texas pitching. Not only did Derek Holland throw a complete game shutout, but Martin Perez threw 6.1 scoreless innings, and Yu Darvish tossed 6.2 scoreless frames on Sunday. You're not going to find many trips through the rotation like that, and when you're the Rangers and can put runs on the board in gobs, that type of pitching is going to lead to some big time wins.
9: San Diego Padres (40-42, +$423) (LW: 5): We very well might look back at this last week or so of the season and declare that this was the week that officially buried the Padres. They're not nearly out of it yet, but they had a glorious chance to get solidly above .500 when they faced the Dodgers, Phillies, and Marlins. Alas, in these last eight games, San Diego only has a 2-6 record, and once it's done with Miami on Monday, it has to head to Boston. The fork could be in the Padres at this point.
10: Minnesota Twins (36-42, +$320) (LW: 8): It was a frustrating week for the Minnesota bullpen. The team had a terrible series against the Royals, and the end result was nine runs allowed both on Friday and on Sunday. What's scary is that this bullpen has been the only thing holding the Twinkies up from a pitching standpoint this year. This unit has a 2.96 ERA. The starters for the Twins have an ERA of over 5.00.
11: Arizona Diamondbacks (42-39, +$247) (LW: 6): It's really tough to blame the Diamondbacks for losing six of their last seven games. They were underdogs in all seven outings. They'll at least get a bit of a reprieve this week in the final road series before the All-Star Break against the Mets, but if that series is lost, the series against the Rockies this weekend could be for the lead in the NL West. There's a chance that all five teams in this division could be below .500 at the break.
12: Cincinnati Reds (46-36, +$77) (LW: 10): Interleague play has been killing National League teams this year, and it was brutal to the Reds this week. The Rangers and the A's combined to take five out of six against Cincy, and the offense, in spite of the fact that it had a designated hitter to use in all of those games, was terrible. The Reds were shut out both on Wednesday and on Friday, and they managed just eight total runs over the course of their last four games of the week.
13: Toronto Blue Jays (40-41, +$48) (LW: 14): The long winning streak is history for the Blue Jays, but the damage to the rest of the AL East has already been done. Toronto is still in last place in the division, but it has at least clawed back to within just two games of the fourth place Yankees and 2.5 games of the Rays, who are only just on the outside of the playoffs if they were to start today. These next four at home against the Tigers are crucial for the boys from the Great White North.
14: New York Yankees (42-39, -$74) (LW: 11): We warned last week that the Yankees might be in a bit of trouble, especially with this series in Baltimore, and that's exactly what happened. Now, the Bronx Bombers have been swept by the O's, and they have Baltimore coming to town again to end this week. If that series is lost in such traumatic fashion once again, GM Brian Cashman is going to have to be inclined to try to blow this team up and start over as best as he can. It just isn't working in New York this year.
15: Tampa Bay Rays (43-39, -$311) (LW: 19): Those pesky Rays just aren't going away. Jeremy Hellickson quietly won five games in the month of June, and that's part of what has gotten this team back above .500 comfortably and firmly entrenched in the race in the AL East. With David Price coming back from the DL, the opportunity is there to really put the foot on the gas pedal, and if Tampa Bay does that, the rest of the American League should really watch out.
16: Houston Astros (30-52, -$361) (LW: 16): And those are the Astros that we remember… Houston was swept by the Halos in a series in which it scored just five total runs. The team which was hitting the ball at least reasonably well at the start of the year is down to averaging just 3.78 runs per game, and when you've got a pitching staff that looks like it has come straight out of a AAA roster, one that has an ERA of 4.70 and a WHIP of 1.49, the losses are going to continue to pile up.
17: Colorado Rockies (41-42, -$379) (LW: 15): Is Carlos Gonzalez on the trading block? It's entirely possible that Car-Go could be moved by the end of the month, especially if the Rockies don't get some offense generated at some point. The team has to feel like it is falling out of the NL West race in spite of the fact that it is still right there, but it's tough to ignore that, without Troy Tulowitzki, this offense is putrid. The Rocks have more games with two runs or fewer than five runs or more since Tulo has left the lineup injured.
18: Kansas City Royals (38-41, -$381) (LW: 17): The Royals literally broke dead even this week, but they took some more steps towards proving that they really should be a lot better than they really are. This is a team that is hitting .259 as a club, ninth best in the league, and it has a 3.57 team ERA. The staff has produced 48 quality starts, sixth in baseball. Yet even in the weak AL Central, KC only has a 38-41 record. Something doesn't seem kosher about that. Perhaps the Royals will get on their high horses against the Indians and A's this week in two very big series at home.
19: Washington Nationals (41-40, -$473) (LW: 21): Bryce Harper is expected to be back in the fold on Monday for the Nats, and now that he's back, there are no more excuses. This offense is as healthy as it is going to be and as healthy as it was expected to be at the start of the year. There's no way that this team can average 3.64 runs per game and bat .236 in the second half. Washington has to average over four runs per game in these last 81 games if it is going to make the playoffs.
20: Chicago Cubs (35-45, -$610) (LW: 23): The North Siders quietly had a really good week, taking two out of three from the Brewers and two out of three from the Mariners. The best news, though? Matt Garza has allowed just two total runs in his last three starts, which have covered a total of 22 innings pitched. Chicago is going to get a nice haul in exchange for Garza when it trades him, something that is going to come at some point in the next 31 days in all likelihood.
21: San Francisco Giants (39-42, -$866) (LW: 18): The Giants haven't won more than two straight games since May 10-12, and they really have been horrendous since that point. This is a long stretch of baseball that we're talking about, and it stretches a lot farther than a six-game losing streak suggests. San Fran is just 16-27 in its last 43 games, and that's the type of string in the bigs that keeps you out of the playoffs. Think about that for a second. The Giants would have to go 74-45 for the rest of the season to win 90 games… That's .621 baseball… probably not going to happen.
22: Philadelphia Phillies (39-44, -$979) (LW: 24): Every week seems to be the same deal for the Phillies. They take another step or two away from the .500 mark, yet Cliff Lee puts up a good outing. Lee now has 11 straight quality starts dating back to April 25th, and it's going to be really hard to not trade him when push comes to shove at the deadline if the haul that comes back on the other side of this deal is big enough. Lee also has at least 110 pitches in three straight starts, and it just doesn't seem to bother him one bit.
23: Miami Marlins (29-51, -$993) (LW: 27): The Fish are playing well right now, and they are on the verge of winning their third series in a row. They certainly won't ultimately lose this series against San Diego after walking off with a grand slam on Sunday against the Pads, and that's a heck of an accomplishment all on its own. Now, Miami is a -130 favorite against a 9-3 pitcher on Monday. Break up the Marlins! (Oh wait, Jeffrey Loria will surely do that the second he has the chance to!)
24: Seattle Mariners (35-47, -$1,106) (LW: 22): The Mariners have lost four out of five games, and they are just continuing to fall out of the discussion in the AL West. These last two weeks before the All-Star Break are likely to be brutal. There are three against Texas, three against Cincinnati, four against Boston, and three against the Angels. Seattle is lucky to go 6-7 in those 13, and it's likely to go 4-9 or worse.
25: Detroit Tigers (43-37, -$1,152) (LW: 20): The Tigers had a bad week, but we want to take this time to mention the ridiculous display that Miguel Cabrera put on. Miggy blasted a home run, his 25th of the season, and it went all the way into the Ray Tank out in center field at Tropicana Field, something that very few hitters have ever managed to do. It's not quite like hitting the ball into McCovey Cove in San Fran, but it's almost as cool to see the splash when it happens. This week? The Tigers have to deal with the Jays and the Indians, and going anything less than 4-3 could see them in second place in the division going into the All-Star break.
26: New York Mets (33-45, -$1,222) (LW: 26): Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, and Ruben Tejada are all out of the lineup at this point, and with Ike Davis still in the minors, it's no wonder why New York has the worst batting average in the league at .229. Of course, the team had it rough this past week, having to fly all the way out to Denver from Chicago for just one game before flying back home for a date with the Nats.
27: Los Angeles Dodgers (38-43, -$1,408) (LW: 29): The Dodgers are still in last place in the NL West, but they have won eight out of nine games and are just four games back of the division lead going into July. It's amazing to think that LA has gotten all the way back here, and if it can win road series against the Rockies and Giants this week, there is no doubt that this is a team that will all of a sudden become the favorites once again in the NL West in spite of all of the early season troubles.
28: Chicago White Sox (32-47, -$1,674) (LW: 25): Are the White Sox the worst team in baseball? We already talked about some of the woeful tricks that they pulled off last week, but this week was even worse… Losing four games in three days against a Cleveland team that is completely void of starting pitching outside of the top of its rotation is completely inexcusable. Remember that the Sox were 24-25 before going on a stretch of losing 22 out of 30 games to bring us into the month of July.
29: Los Angeles Angels (39-43, -$1,691) (LW: 30): The Halos are out of the gutter in the money department in baseball, and they are back in the thick of the fight in the AL West after their second big time surge of the season. They went on a tear of eight straight games in the middle of May, and they have now won six straight, including three huge wins in Detroit. There's still a ways to go, but LA is just four-games below .500, and it is back within striking distance of the Wild Card slots in the American League.
30: Milwaukee Brewers (32-48, -$1,846) (LW: 28): The Brewers had to know that they were running into a buzz saw this weekend. They were going into Pittsburgh to take on a Pirates team that had just won six straight games on the road. Not surprisingly, they were swept in the series, getting outscored 14-5 in the process. Milwaukee has now gone 0-5 in its last five games, scoring just 11 total runs in those outings.