Bang the Book takes yet another look at the hottest and coldest teams in the majors for baseball betting fanatics through Monday's clashes.
Money Power Poll
1: San Diego Padres (37-27, +$1,385): The distance between the Padres and the rest of the field in terms of money production has really taken off. San Diego is still holding on for dear life to the lead in the NL West, but it is just at a half game starting off play on Tuesday. Things could get shaky, but as long as the pitching staff continues dealing, the Pads will be contending.
2: Toronto Blue Jays (35-30, +$953): Reality may be starting to set in for the Blue Jays. They're seven games back in the loss column to both the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees, and their playoff hopes are already as good as dead. This is when the swoon usually happens in the Great White North, and we wouldn't be shocked to see a similar move happen this year.
3: Washington Nationals (31-33, +$887): As soon as RHP Stephen Strasburg starts losing, the Nats will start dropping money very quickly as well. Strasburg has already laid -200 and -187 chalk in his first two contests, and we can only imagine, now that he is 2-0, what the oddsmakers are drawing up for him on a regular basis now that the aura around his initial starts is gone.
Money Power Outage
30: Baltimore Orioles (17-47, -$2,418): The Orioles should be proud of themselves. They're still on a pace to win just 43 games this year, which would leave them with the second worst winning percentage in MLB history and the worst since 1899. They're also already out over 24 units on the season, when only the Nats (-$2,570) and Indians (-$3,143) did worse last season for the entire year.
29: Seattle Mariners (24-40, -$1,818): This team is going to be so much worse when LHP Cliff Lee gets traded that it isn't even funny. The Mariners are the crying jokes of baseball, as this was yet again supposed to be a team that really competed for the World Series this year. Guess not.
28: Chicago Cubs (28-35, -$1,618): It's not often that you're just seven games under .500 and in the can for over 16 units worth of bets. Once again, this is proof that the Cubs are the most overrated team in baseball next to the Yankees in the eyes of the oddsmakers year in and year out. Blind squirrels find nuts every now and again, but at -150 seemingly every single night, they don't find them often enough.
The Good: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals: How could we pick anyone aside from Strasburg as our good player to highlight this week? The righty went 2-0 and fanned 22 batters in 12.1 innings of work! Just imagine how that would translate over a 33 starts... Don't worry, we did the math for you. It's 374 strikeouts.
The Bad: The Collapse of the Philadelphia Phillies: This isn't to the point yet where it is just downright ugly, but the Phillies are in a boat load of trouble. The pitching hasn't been consistent, but the offense has... It's been consistently terrible for what it is capable of. Averaging 4.39 runs per game when you have names like Rollins, Howard, Utley, Werth, and Victorino in your lineup is simply inexcusable.
The Ugly: The hitting in the Cubs/White Sox Game on Sunday night: When both pitchers are tossing no-no's into the seventh inning, something is wrong with your hitters. Neither LHP Gavin Floyd nor LHP Ted Lilly was truly issuing stuff that was unhittable. Lilly only struck out three in his 8.0+ innings of work, while Floyd K'd nine. By the way, these pitchers were a combined 3-11 on the season coming in, and the batters hit a grand total of .077 in the game.
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