Bang the Book takes yet another look at the hottest and coldest teams in the majors for baseball betting fanatics through Sunday's clashes.
Money Power Poll
1: San Diego Padres (33-23, +$1,272): The more we see out of the Padres, the more we like. This is a team that continues pitching far beyond what many felt was capable, and especially in Petco Park, the wins may just keep on rolling. Today is another great example of how underrated this team is, getting +170 on the road against a Philly team that has been nothing to write home about this year.
2: Toronto Blue Jays (33-25, +$1,225): The swoon hasn't started yet for Toronto, that's for sure! The Jays are still hanging tough with the Rays, Yanks, and Sox, and continue to lead baseball in home runs on the season. If this keeps up over 162 games, Toronto will have blasted 271 bombs!
3: Cincinnati Reds (33-24, +$866): This really could be the year that the Reds get back to the playoffs. Cincinnati is holding its own against the Cardinals in the NL Central chase, and it has done so by playing a schedule that has been brutal at times. If manager Dusty Baker can keep this type of offense up (5.09 runs per game), the "Big Red Machine" may be one that is impossible to stop.
Money Power Outage
30: Baltimore Orioles (16-41, -$1,982): If everyone on the team is considered on the trade block and no one wants any of the players, can we really classify it as a fire sale? The bottom line: There is no hope in Baltimore to salvage this season, and being on a pace for just 45 wins is incredibly unacceptable.
29: Chicago Cubs (25-31, -$1,432): Imagine where the Cubs would be without RHP Carlos Silva right now? Silva has seven wins and is +$895 for MLB betting fans this year. The rest of the team has accounted for a 14-30 record and is -$2,327 to show for it.
28: Seattle Mariners (22-34, -$1,393): The Mariners are probably happy that they don't have to face the Angels again for awhile. The Halos have taken five straight games from them, including three at home over this past weekend. With RHP Doug Fister sitting on the DL and neither RHP Felix Hernandez nor LHP Cliff Lee playing up to their potential, the Seattle pitching staff is a mess. That's bad news for a team that is averaging just 3.62 runs per game and has a team batting average of just .245.
The Good: Manager Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Lesser teams would've given up on the season. The Halos were well under the .500 mark and weren't anywhere really near the Rangers for first place in an AL West division that will certainly only field one playoff team this year. 1B Kendry Morales had just busted up his leg in a postgame celebration and was lost for the season. There was every reason to just fold up shop and go home. But in spite of the fact that Anaheim just started a 14 game road trip, it has won five straight and seven out of eight overall to get back within just a half game of those Rangers.
The Bad: LHP Raul Valdes, New York Mets: If you're Valdes right now, you have to wonder what you're still doing in the majors after these two outings you had this week. The southpaw allowed eight earned runs and got exactly one out to show for his work. That's right: His ERA was 216.00. It's not often that you see a stat like that in baseball over the course of the week, and we feel obligated to point this one out.
The Ugly: The bats of the Arizona Diamondbacks: When you play back-to-back extra inning games, you had better figure out how to get some hits and some runs, especially when you're a team that really has had no success pitching this year. However, in two 1-0 games with the Dodgers last week, the D'Backs successfully managed to muster just 12 hits, two of which came from starting pitchers. The other batters in the lineup combined to bat just .139 without a single run crossing the plate.
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