With the final week of interleague play set to go, it means the All Star break is just around the corner! Division leaders managed to build upon their leads over the past week, so it will be interesting to see what transpires over the course of the next seven days. The following is a list of the hottest and coldest teams entering the eleventh week of the season.
New York Yankees (6-0, $603): Slowly but surely, Manager Joe Girardi has seen a majority of his squad get nursed back to full health, and with that the case, the team with the highest payroll in all of baseball has played like the team with the highest payroll in all of baseball. After rattling off a 6-0 week, the Yanks will head into Monday night's series opener with the Atlanta Braves the proud owners of a nine-game winning streak ($903). They've won 13 of their 15 June tussles ($1110) and now possess a 1.5-game lead atop the AL East standings. No point in getting in front of this runaway train!
On The Docket: The Yankees will close out their 2012 interleague schedule versus the NL East with three vs. the Braves at home before heading to Flushing to close out the "Subway Series" with the Mets; the Bronx Bombers are 10-2 ($680) vs. the NL this season.
Cincinnati Reds (6-0, $610): After dropping two of three to the Detroit Tigers, Manager Dusty Baker's squad let it be known that they are one of the top tiered teams in the National League after taking it to the in-state rival Indians at home before going to New York and sweeping a Mets outfit that just went into Tropicana Field and swept the Rays. If the starting pitching staff continues to rattle off quality efforts, and the offense continues to mash, the Reds just might find themselves back in the postseason after a year hiatus.
On The Docket: Cincy will finish off its regular season rivalry with the Tribe at Progressive Field before turning its attention to the Minnesota Twins back at home to close out interleague play; the Reds have won six of their nine games vs. the AL ($380) and possess +$$$ returns both home (20-13) and away (18-14).
Baltimore Orioles (5-1, $598): We admit, after the O's dropped seven of eight through early June, we started to lose faith that Manager Buck Showalter's squad had the intestinal fortitude to compete with the rest of the AL East for the season's entirety - boy were we wrong! Since that point, Baltimore has won each of its next four series played, and just closed out a week that saw them sweep what was a red hot Pittsburgh Pirates squad at home before taking two of three from the Braves at Turner Field. This club just might possess some staying power after all!
On The Docket: It doesn't get any easier for Adam Jones and his mates this week as they must travel to New York to battle a Mets squad that was just swept, and follow it up with a Nationals team at home that just got humbled by the Yankees; Baltimore took two of three from Washington in the rivals first go round. Lock us in as season-long believers if a +.500 record is achieved during this stretch!
Honorable Mentions: Kansas City Royals (5-1, $571), Oakland A's (5-1, $363), Texas Rangers (5-1, $356), Boston Red Sox (4-2, $174), Detroit Tigers (4-2, $113)
Atlanta Braves (1-5, -$479): The month of June has been truly unkind to the Braves who've split their seven overall games ($20), but in doing so, have fallen four-games in back of the Washington Nationals for the top spot in the NL East. Injuries have plagued Manager Fredi Gonzalez's squad. Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, and Freddie Freeman were all expected to shoulder the major scoring load for this offense, but unfortunately, the trio hasn't been able to get going due to a myriad of injuries ranging from blurred vision to the flu.
On The Docket: Making matters worse for this snake-bitten outfit is a six-game road trip that will take them to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park for their next six games; Atlanta's 20-14 on the road ($727) but just 5-7 vs. the American League (-$230).
Cleveland Indians (1-5, -$474): We're now two and a half months into the regular season, and still, we never know what to expect from the Tribe every time they step onto a baseball diamond. They can go out and win road series against Detroit and St. Louis one week, and then go out and get swept by their in-state rivals before returning home and dropping two of three to the Buccos. Consistent is a term that will never be brought up with the 2012 version of the Indians, and until Manager Manny Acta's roster figures it out, consider them a pretender moving forward.
On The Docket: The Indians will look to pay the Reds back for the sweep they were handed in the rivals first go round before closing their interleague schedule out at Houston; Cleveland's dropped four of its 12 overall games versus NL opposition (-$490).
Colorado Rockies (1-5, -$371): Since finding themselves on the "$$$-Makers" list a couple weeks back, Manager Jim Tracy's Rockies reside on the "$$$-Burners" list for the second consecutive week after losing all but one of their interleague match-ups over the last seven days. A couple more losses paired with Cubs wins, and the Rockies will be the not so proud owners of the worst money mark in the league!
On The Docket: The Rockies get a day off to reevaluate their situation before traveling to Philadelphia to battle the also struggling Phillies. Unfortunately, they have to close out their interleague schedule in Arlington against the Texas Rangers through the weekend; the Rox check in 1-11 versus the AL to date (-$1130).
Dishonorable Mentions: Houston Astros (1-5, -$390), Miami Marlins (2-4, -$196), Minnesota Twins (2-4, -$213), Chicago Cubs (2-4, -$158), Chicago White Sox (2-4, -$127)