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: Tampa Bay Rays (32-13, +$1,274): The Rays are feeling the heat right now, as they are 19 games over .500 and have already nearly outscored their opponents by as many runs as they did in the entire 2008 season when they went to the World Series. Until the oddsmakers start treating this squad as if it was the best in the league, the money making opportunities are going to continue to be there.
2: Toronto Blue Jays (27-20, +$1,062): When a team leads the majors in home runs offensively and has the most strikeouts for a pitching staff in baseball, good things are bound to happen. That's where the Jays find themselves at 47 games into the season. They have 76 home runs to lead the bigs and have struck out 361 batters. Things won't keep up at this pace, but the oddsmakers haven't really adjusted all that much yet. Toronto could be a moneymaker for awhile.
3: San Diego Padres (26-18, +$1,022): The Padres aren't exactly slipping, but they're starting to get caught from behind by the red hot Dodgers. We still think that San Diego is ultimately going to run out of offensive options to help carry the team to victory on a consistent basis, but for now, riding the SD train seems to be the best thing that an MLB betting fan can do.
Money Power Outage
30: Seattle Mariners (16-28, -$1,371): For the second time in three years, all sorts of hype has surrounded Seattle, and for the second time in three years, the team is on pace to be the worst money draining team in the bigs. The M's just can't get anything right at this point, and a lot of it is thanks to the games in which RHP Felix Hernandez is on the bump. Hernandez hasn't guided the Mariners to victory since April 21st and has been favored in every single one of those appearances.
29: Baltimore Orioles (14-31, -$1,229): The O's have the worst record in baseball, and it only seems as though it is a matter of time before the team fires everyone in the front office and in the managerial/coaching positions and just starts over. Save a ridiculous three game sweep of the Red Sox at home, Baltimore hasn't won a series all season long.
28: Milwaukee Brewers (17-27, -$1,142): Really soon, you're going to hear this voicemail when you call up the Brewers' manager: "You've reached the voicemail of Ken Macha. I'll be out of the office today and for the remainder of the season, as Milwaukee has fired me and replaced me with a manager that can guide our pitching staff to a better ERA than the 5.46 that I've managed over my first 44 games of the season. Feel free to leave me a message, but I'm out on the golf links working on my game with my former closer, RHP Trevor Hoffman."
The Good: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston Red Sox: For a guy that was ready to be thrown to the wolves in Beantown, Dice-K came up with one of the best starts of his career over the weekend in Philadelphia when he threw 7.2 no hit innings before losing the no-no. Still, there's no shame in throwing eight scoreless frames. Four walks is probably a little higher than manager Terry Francona would want from his former 18 game winner, but Matsuzaka's revival comes just in time for a team that badly needs a spark to get back in the playoff race.
The Bad: The Front Office of the Houston Astros: Hey Houston, you're 15-29 and you're not going anywhere any time in the near future. You've got a pitcher that has given you everything he's had for the better part of a decade, and he hasn't been on a team that has had a legitimate chance of winning the World Series for a few years. He wants to go to a different team. Trade him already! RHP Roy Oswalt has had nine quality starts and is just 2-6 to show for it. The 'Stros owe it to him to send him to a contender ASAP.
The Ugly: The Offense of the San Francisco Giants: Let's take a stroll back to May 17th, shall we? The G-Men lost that day 3-1 in San Diego. Since that point, they went on a seven game road trip with stops in San Diego, Arizona, and Oakland. Yes, San Fran plated seven runs in a 7-6 win at Petco Park and in an 8-7 loss to the D'Backs. However, in those other five games? Three runs combined. That's right. Two shutouts. Three games with one run scored. No wonder why the Giants went 1-6 on that roadie and are now 3.5 games out in the NL West...