The first round of 2012 Interleague match-ups are now in the books, and some teams really came out ahead for their betting backers through the weekend. It’s back to regular league play this week, and here’s a look at some of the hottest and coldest teams heading into it.
Chicago White Sox (5-2, $398): By sweeping the Crosstown Classic against the hated rival Cubs at Wrigley Field over the weekend, rookie Manager Robin Ventura’s Palehose have evened up their 2012 ledger at 21 games up and 21 games down; good for a $24 return on the year. The key to Chicago’s modest success at this point of the season has largely been due to the club’s pitching both from the starters and bullpen along with the ability to play sound defense. Adam Dunn is in the midst of a bounce back campaign already leaving the yard 14 times, while Jake Peavy has resurrected his starting career by posting five wins to go along with one loss in his nine overall starts.
On The Docket: The White Sox gave up a total of just seven runs in their last four games and now get to throw at the weak hitting Minnesota Twins before turning their attention to the Cleveland Indians in what could amount to be a battle for first place within the AL Central.
Baltimore Orioles (5-2, $382): The novice baseball bettor will look at the Orioles sitting atop the AL East and start making excuses as to why this phenomenon has actually occurred. However, diehard baseball fans that dig deep into the numbers know manager Buck Showalter’s Birds possess a staying force that if kept intact can see this team competing come the end of September. From Adam Jones being in the midst of a breakout season, to the O’s trotting out one of the league’s top ranked bullpens, Baltimore is not to be looked upon as a joke within the AL East anymore! With positive money returns both at home ($405) and especially on the road ($1,371), the Orioles are to be backed more often than not until oddsmakers start posting some outrageous lines; which will happen soon enough.
On The Docket: The Orioles return home from a successful five-game road trip that saw them go 4-1 to face the surging Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals before hitting the road for nine straight within the division.
Los Angeles Dodgers (5-2, $322): After splitting their four games with the division rival Diamondbacks and Padres and Matt Kemp landing on the DL, the prospects hardly looked great for manager Don Mattingly’s squad heading into their weekend series with the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals. Be that as it may, the Dodgers moved to an NL best 19-4 ($1,426) at home by sweeping all three contests. Included was a masterful performance by Clayton Kershaw who tossed a complete game shut-out against one of the league’s most potent offensive attacks.
On The Docket: The Dodgers will head to the desert to face the Arizona Diamondbacks looking to improve upon their road marks (9-9, -$83) before returning home to face the Houston Astros where they’ll likely go off the board as gargantuan chalk in every game.
Chicago Cubs (1-6, -$570): The week was highlighted with the tear jerking moment at Wrigley on Friday afternoon when Kerry Wood got a standing ovation after striking out the last batter of his 12-year career, but it was the only thing that went right for the loveable losers who went on to drop six in a row and got swept by the hated White Sox. This club currently ranks amongst the worst in every statistical category from hitting to the bullpen. Jeff Samardzija was the only starter to log a quality effort last week, and that’s just not going to cut it for a team that’s averaging just 3.63 RPG (#27) with a pen that possesses a 4.50 ERA (#25).
On The Docket: Chicago will hit the road to battle the division rival Astros and Pirates this week, and if they fail to make any hay at either of those venues, Cubs’ fans might just turn the page and start looking forward to Bears season.
Milwaukee Brewers (2-5, -$485): The Brew Crew once again finds themselves on this list after managing just two wins in seven tries last week which includes dropping two of three at home to the woeful Minnesota Twins. Manager Ron Roenicke has been forced to deal with a multitude of injuries up and down his line-up, but that still makes no excuse for getting swept at Houston and dropping the series to the Twinkies. Milwaukee has now cost its betting supporters $1,260 to date which makes them the not so proud title holder of “the worst bet in the National League.”
On The Docket: Their hit or miss offense must now deal with the revitalized San Francisco Giants pitching staff at home for three before invading the desert where they dropped four of six last season.
Colorado Rockies (2-5, -$415): What the heck is going on in the thin air of the Mile High City? Colorado came out on top in just two of its seven games played this past week which followed up a horrendous 1-5 tally the previous week. Manager Jim Tracy isn’t getting enough out of his roster which is loaded with some stellar young hitting talent. On top of that, his pitching staff continues to be a flat out joke as it just allowed the weak hitting Mariners to plate 20 runs over the course of their weekend Interleague set. The Rox now sit in the basement of the NL West standings tied with San Diego a whopping 12 ½ games out! A changing of the guard might be in order as this team has grossly underachieved each of the last 2-plus seasons.
On The Docket: It doesn’t get any easier this week for Troy Tulowitzki and his mates who must travel to Miami to face the Marlins and Cincinnati to battle the Reds; Colorado’s just 7-20 its L/27 away from Coors versus +.500 opposition.