The Dogs days of summer are fast approaching as divisional races take form and the trade deadline looms, as we scour the various angles and trends to get that edge in the final two plus months of baseball, we come across an often unexplored series angle. The Rubber game, which for those who don't know is the final game of a 3 game series in which the first two games were split. We will provide records for all 30 teams in this vital category through the all star break first and even share a long term 100% Road rubber series angle that goes back to the inception of Inter league play.

In our road rubber series break down we will examine the records of the Divisions in this category and then give the records for each team. Both Leagues check in under .500 on the road in series deciding games with the National League seven games under and the American League 3 games under. The Most interesting Division this season is the American League Central where we see a Chicago team that despite all the unexpected success is 1-5 on the road in rubber games. The Surprise team is definitely the K.C. Royals who are 7-2 in this category despite being several games under .500 this season. Cleveland has done well winning 3 of 4, while Detroit is 2-3 and Minnesota 3-5. The Division is 16-16 in games through the all star break. Moving on to the American League East we note that all team in this division are 13-9 the best combined record in baseball for all divisions in this category. Boston has the best record going 4-1 with Baltimore at 3-1, The Yankees at 2-1 and Tampa Bay at 4-3. Toronto is the only team with a losing record going 0-3 as they are the only team in the majors to be winless in this category.

The American league West checks in with the second worst divisional record in road rubber games at 10-17. The main culprits are the L.A. Angels at 3-6 and the Seattle Mariners at 2-5. Oakland is even at 3-3 with Texas just 2-3 in this tell tale category. In the National league we start things off in the N.L. East and the combined record is 16-13 the best in their league. Atlanta has a 4-2 record. followed by Washington at 2-1 and the last place Phillies at 5-4. The Mets are an even 2-2 and Miami is the only team with a record under .500 at 3-4. Moving along to the National League Central we see the Pirates with the best road rubber series record at 4-1. They are followed by the Cincinnati Reds at 4-2 and the St. Louis Cardinals at 3-2. The Chicago Cubs only have 2 occurrences and are 1-1 mainly because they have lost the first 2 road games of series more often than not. Finally the Brewers at 2-4 and the down trodden Houston Astros round out the division at 1-4. As we head out West we move to the Division with the worst overall record at 10-21. Amazingly every team in the West is under .500. Arizona and San Francisco are both 3-4, while the 2 Bottom dwellers, the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres are both 3 games under .500 in this category at 2-5 and 1-4. The biggest surprise though is an LA. Dodgers team that was several games in front before hitting the skids with the injuries to Kemp and Ethier checking in at just 1-4. I look for one of these teams, most probably the Giants to get above the .500 mark as the season progresses.

Looking back we note the Big surprises in this angle to be the K.C. Royals at 7-2 and the Pittsburgh Pirates at 4-1. Two teams who have not had a winning season in two decades. The Big losers are the Dodgers and Chicago Whitesox as they have a combined 2-9 record, not good for a pair of Potential division winning teams. We will continue to chart this angle throughout and have decided to once again do this piece stemming from the Popularity from last years version. Now for the Road rubber series Perfect Angle. Since the inception of Inter league play in 1998, the New York Mets are 0-10 in the rubber game of a road series vs the Yankees.

In closing this angle is one to keep an eye on and incorporate into other aspects of your Baseball handicapping agenda. Those of us who have a Yearn to earn will see how these road rubber teams do when coming off either a loss or win and with a home or away game up next and really tighten up the team angles. I hope you all enjoy this piece once again this season. Use it well and reap the rewards. Good luck on all your future wagers and endeavors.  RV

Rob Vinciletti is the Founder of Golden Contender Sports. He is tearing up bases once again this season and ranked at or near the top of all the leader boards with his exclusive Diamond cutter systems. In football Rob Is documented at 28 games over .500 the NFL and 34 games over .500 in college football the last 3 years combined. You can check back daily to receive free picks from Rob and get an additional free play on Monday nights on The Bandbox Sports talk show, with Show Host Anthony Pierno at 7:05 eastern. Listen online at 88.9 Best of luck to all we move closer to another big MLB Post season and the arrival of football. RV