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: Washington Nationals (20-18, +$1,162): It might've only been a 3-4 week for the Nats, but they still netted us some more money in MLB betting action this week! Washington is still getting great play out of its bullpen, even though RHP Tyler Clippard dropped to 7-2 on the season by picking up the loss on Sunday in Colorado.
2: Toronto Blue Jays (23-16, +$1,052): It's not the 26-11 Rays that are tops in the AL in money (though we'll talk about them in a second). Not the 24-13 Yankees either. Yep, it is the 23-16 Blue Jays, who have suddenly surged up the standings with a four game winning streak to get back within four games of the Rays for first place in the AL East. We feel that swoon coming soon though, so Jays bettors had better watch out.
3: Tampa Bay Rays (26-11, +$913): Perfect game? No big deal. The Rays have rebounded nicely and are using the right combination of solid pitching and great bullpen work to shut the door on their foes. Closer Rafael Soriano is perfect in save chances and has two wins to boot on the season, while the starters have accounted for 27 qualify starts in 37 games. If that combination continues, Tampa Bay will have another banner to put in the rafters early next season.
Money Power Outage
30: Chicago Cubs (16-22, -$1,448): The Cubbies aren't getting out of this hole any time in the near future. The North Siders just narrowly escaped what would've been an embarrassing sweep at home against the Pirates over the weekend. Still, they haven't gotten into the meat and potatoes of their schedule quite yet, as they are six games under .500 without having played a single game against the Cardinals yet.
29: Seattle Mariners (14-23, -$1,015): So here's how we're going to bet on the Mariners from now on. In seasons where they are trendy picks to win the World Series as they were in 2008, we're going to fade them. When no one is expecting them to do well, as was the case in 2009, we're going to back them. The M's dropped two out of three at Tropicana Field over the weekend and are really starting to fall so far back in the AL West standings that it might be time to consider themselves sellers and not buyers at the trade deadline.
28: Baltimore Orioles (12-26, -$975): The Orioles are sellers every single year nowadays, and having the worst record in baseball isn't going to help matters any. Of course, Baltimore is just in baseball's version of purgatory for bad teams, as playing the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays 19 times apiece isn't going to help your winning percentage. A 6-15 record in division so far this year proves that point.
The Good: The grit of the Los Angeles Dodgers: Give the Dodgers some credit for rolling off seven straight wins to get back into the NL West standings. They were as many as seven games back of the Padres once upon a time, and now they have started to kick it into gear. The scary thing is that RF Andre Ethier could miss quite a lot of time with his broken pinkie, but if the pitching can do as well as it did against the Padres this weekend, LA will be back in the mix in no time.
The Bad: The Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park: How on earth can you go just 4-14 at home in your first 18 games? Somehow, the Brew Crew have figured out how to pull that stunt off, as they lost all six of their home games this week to the Phillies and Braves and allowed at least eight runs in five of those six.
The Ugly: The St. Louis Cardinals getting swept at home by the Houston Astros: It doesn't get much uglier than that. The Cards were -330 favorites in the finale of that three game set at Busch Stadium and got their bankrolls clocked in a horrifying way for it. St. Louis has to pick up the pieces in a hurry, because losing two out of three games at the Great American Ballpark over the weekend has dropped it into second place in the NL Central.
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