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 (17-14, +$1,077): The Nats are going to continue to make money for MLB betting fans for as long as the oddsmakers fail to realize that this is a middle of the road team and not just another typical 90-95 loss Washington club. Don't kid yourself. The Nationals can ball this year, and as long as you remember that, you'll continue cashing in with this team all season long.
2: New York Yankees (21-9, +$904): A sweep at Fenway Park would've been great for the Yanks, but taking two out of three there and knowing that they're already 4-2 on the season against the Red Sox, all on enemy soil, must be just as fulfilling. Look out for 1B Mark Teixeira, as he is really starting to tear the cover off of the baseball. He blasted three homers on Saturday and went 4/6 with five RBIs for the game.
3: Toronto Blue Jays (19-14, +$842): The Jays went on the road and took six out of seven this week in Chicago and Cleveland to improve to five games over .500. This is just about the time of year that the swoon down the standings begins on an annual basis for the boys from the Great White North, so we'll have to see whether they can withstand the pressure from the Sox, Yanks, and Rays in the AL East this year or not. Our guess is not.
Money Power Outage
30: Houston Astros (10-21, -$1,003): Is there any doubt that the Astros are going to finish the year with four digits worth of losses for their loyal baseball wagering warriors? This team can't find a way to get out of its own way right now, averaging well under three runs per game. No end is in sight either, because it's not like we can attribute this to cold hitting. This team really is just pitiful.
29: Chicago Cubs (14-18, -$963): What's scary about the Cubs is that they have one of the top ten money earning pitchers in baseball (Carlos Silva) and still have the second worst money mark for the year. Let's take a moment to look at the bullpen numbers, shall we? If you add up the ERAs of the five worst pen guys, you have 42.69. That's not bad for an entire staff, 1-11. For just the middle of the bullpen though... not so hot.
28: Baltimore Orioles (9-23, -$959): The O's went on a two game winning streak this week, the second longest of their season. If not for the Astros, this would be the most pathetic offensive team in baseball, as 3.24 runs per game and just nine stolen basis isn't going to cut it, especially when you play in the AL East and have to play roughly 55 games against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays.
The Good: LHP Dallas Braden, Oakland Athletics: With all due respect to others who might've put up better statistics this week, there's no way that we can ignore just how well Braden pitched against the Rays over the weekend. Normally, there are a few defensive plays in a no-hitter, or in this case, a perfect game, that really stand out, but on Mother's Day, there was no such luck needed. Braden struck out six and never really had a gasping moment, as he ultimately threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history.
The Bad: 1B Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies: Helton had arguably one of the worst series of his career over the weekend when he went 1/12 with seven strikeouts against Dodgers pitching. His batting average dropped 24 points to .260 as his Rockies lost two of the three games, including getting shut out on Sunday afternoon.
The Ugly: RHP Brian Stokes, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: If you're Stokes, you're probably not getting too comfortable in your spot as an MLB relief pitcher. The righty had about as woeful of a week as you could draw up, allowing eight earned runs and three unearned runs in just 3.2 innings of work, walking six, giving up a gopher ball, conceding 11 hits, and throwing 92 pitches to complete that work. It doesn't get much uglier than that.
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