Warmer weather is right around the corner as the 2012 MLB regular season heads into the third week of May which marks the beginning of Interleague play. Here’s a look at what some of the hottest and coldest teams did on the diamond this past week.
Kansas City Royals (4-2, $312): Slowly but surely, the Royals are starting to win some games and play like the up and coming team many expected them to be at the outset of the 2012 season. Though Eric Hosmer and his mates dropped each series opener against both the Red and White Sox last week, they went on to win each of the next two games to head into the upcoming week 2-0-1 in their last three series played. Unfortunately, manager Ned Yost must deal with injuries within his starting rotation with lefty Jonathan Sanchez having already been placed on the 15-day DL and Danny Duffy most likely to join him after getting an MRI on his throwing elbow on Monday.
On The Docket: The schedule starts off very unkind with a pair of mini-series set to go in Arlington against the red-hot Texas Rangers before returning home to host the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles. They might get a reprieve through the weekend at home in interleague action against the struggling Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles Dodgers (5-1, $299): The Dodgers took advantage of the Rockies putrid pitching and the Giants pathetic excuse for an offense this past week winning five of the team’s six divisional match-ups. Manager Don Mattingly’s outfit is now the lone team within the NL West that sports a record above .500 they’re currently six-games ahead of the Giants atop the standings. Not all is good in La La Land however with potential NL MVP Matt Kemp’s hamstring giving him problems. He’s scheduled for an MRI on Monday, and considering he’s done most of the offensive damage for LA on the young season, his departure from the starting line-up could be crippling.
On The Docket: The Dodgers continue with divisional play to start the week with two games scheduled against both Arizona and San Diego before welcoming in St. Louis for three in the only non-interleague match-up of the weekend.
Atlanta Braves (4-2, $278): The Braves started off last week by dropping two of three against a resurgent Cubs outfit at Wrigley, but manager Fredi Gonzalez’s squad bounced back in a big way by handing the St. Louis Cardinals three straight home defeats as nice sized underdogs. In doing so, Atlanta became the fourth best bet in baseball with a seasonal return just under $690! The offense is starting to take on the persona of a “Murderers Row” with Michael Bourn (.399 OBP) and Martin Prado (.363 OBP) setting the table routinely for Freddie Freeman and the rest of the Braves sluggers to knock them in. If only the starting staff would shape up!
On The Docket: The Braves will play two with both the Cincinnati Reds and division rival Miami Marlins before heading to Tropicana Field to battle the Tampa Bay Rays in Interleague play. Atlanta’s 8-2 its L/10 versus AL East opposition.
Cleveland Indians (3-5, -$208): It was a brutal week for the Tribe who started it off by sweeping a double-header from the division rival White Sox on Monday before dropping the next two to fall to 8-10 (-$230) as a host on the year. After taking the opener at Fenway, they proceeded to lose each of the next three against a Red Sox outfit that was scuffling mightily themselves entering the series. Though they’re the current leaders atop the AL Central and the only team in that division that’s turned a profit on the year, the pitching staff (4.39 ERA) needs to establish itself so as to take some pressure off the offense.
On The Docket: If ever the pitching was going to turn it around it would be this week with four-games set to go against the weak hitting Twins and Mariners before hosting Miami in Interleague play.
Colorado Rockies (2-4, -$273): You know it’s bad when you can’t even win a series against a Padres squad that possessed just one series win heading into the team’s first showdown at Petco Park last Monday night. After dropping two of three there, the Rockies were swept in Chavez Ravine and got outscored by the aggregate score of 20-9. Manager Jim Tracy has gotten just 12 quality starts from his staff, and the unit’s 5.10 ERA is the worst mark in the NL and would be the worst mark in the league if not for the Minnesota Twins. When you seemingly can’t prohibit the opposition from getting on base, you don’t stand a chance in this league!
On The Docket: Luckily for the Rox pitching staff, it’ll run up against the offensively challenged Giants to start the week and follow that two-game mini-series up with a pair at home against the D’Backs before hosting Seattle in Interleague play.
Arizona Diamondbacks (1-5, -$430): Speaking of Arizona, what the heck is going down in the desert? Manager Kirk Gibson’s club looks to be a shell of its former self. Justin Upton’s batting .225 and has only gone yard three times? Ian Kennedy’s allowed more hits than innings pitched? With this slow start, last season looks to have been an enormous overachievement for this franchise. Injuries have played a major role, so look to continue fading this club until the likes of Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Daniel Hudson return to the everyday roster.
On The Docket: It only gets worse for the Snakes this week with all seven games against the Dodgers, Rockies and Royals coming on the road. That said; the team has managed a profit splitting its 16 games as a visitor to date ($170), so a departure from the desert just might be what the doctor ordered.