Hot and Not
July 30, 2012
By Mike Rose
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With the trade deadline 48 hours away, numerous teams will be making final pushes towards improving their rosters for a playoff run. Here's a look at who some of the hot buyers and cold sellers might be heading into the 18th week of the regular season.
Cincinnati Reds (6-0, $600): The absence of Joey Votto has hardly played a role for Manager Dusty Baker's squad who've now won 11 of their 13 games played without his services ($846). In sweeping the Rockies at Coors Field over the weekend, Cincy is now the proud owner of a 10-game win streak - a feat last pulled off by this franchise back in 1999. Brandon Phillips and company now hold a three-game lead over Pittsburgh atop the NL Central and are tied with the Nationals for the best record in the entire league! The secret to this team's success in 2012 has been a combination of solid defense and stellar pitching from both the starting rotation and bullpen.
On The Docket: Each of the club's next seven games will come at home where they'll hope to flex their muscles against San Diego before welcoming in the Buccos for a crucial series; the Redlegs have won 31 of 49 at home to date ($732).
Washington Nationals (6-1, $540): You can't help but come away impressed with the staying power the Nats have exhibited in only the second season of the Davey Johnson regime. Ryan Zimmerman and his mates are now one of the favorites to win the NL pennant and one of only two NL teams offering less than a 10:1 return on investment to win the World Series. Value is quickly eroding with this team, so if you want to back them on the futures market, now is the time to do it! Washington has held onto the top spot of the NL East for nearly three months, and they now get to return home off a successful seven-game road trip that saw them win both series against the Mets and Brewers.
On The Docket: The Nationals will look to take advantage of cellar dwelling Philadelphia and Miami over the course of the next week at Nationals Park where they check in 28-19 overall which has been good for a $325 return on investment; the Nats are 25-14 vs. division opponents this season.
Chicago White Sox (5-1, $504): Though it failed to win as much coin for its baseball betting backers as the two teams listed above, Chicago's run over the course of the last week might have been the most impressive! The White Sox returned home off a daunting 10-game road trip to sweep a Minnesota team that always gives them fits, then hit the road again and almost swept the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Though Texas' bats are struggling of late, giving up a total of nine runs in three games in that ballpark is awfully impressive!
On The Docket: Chicago will close out its road trip at vengeful Minnesota before returning home to face the Los Angeles Angels. Manager Robin Ventura's squad stands 28-24 on the road and 30-27 versus +.500 opposition on the year.
Honorable Mentions: Atlanta Braves (5-1, $407), Seattle Mariners (5-2, $300), Oakland A's (4-2, $228), Los Angeles Dodgers (4-3, $207)
Milwaukee Brewers (1-6, -$546): The cupboard is now wide open in Milwaukee for any team offering up an enticing package! Zach Greinke was just shipped off to Anaheim for a number of prospects, and more moves look to be on the horizon for General Manager Doug Melvin in the coming days. Save for Ryan Braun, everyone else on the roster looks to be up for grabs. Bullpen help should be top priority with the duo of Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford combining for an absurd 13 blown saves!
On The Docket: Milwaukee will close out its current seven-game homestand with three against the Triple-A Astros before hitting the road to take on the division rival St. Louis Cardinals at Busch; the Brew Crew's 20-22 (-$580) versus division opposition.
Kansas City Royals (1-6, -$431): So much for the Royals being a player within the AL Central in 2012. KC's roster is loaded with young talent, but after exploding in the second half of last season, both Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon have failed to live up to their hefty preseason expectations; especially for fantasy players! Kansas City now brings up the rear of the division a hefty 14-games in back of Chicago and now possesses the worst overall record in the American League after dropping six of seven to both the Angels and Mariners over the course of last week.
On The Docket: Manager Ned Yost's underachieving outfit will now return home to battle the likes of the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers who are both fighting for playoff spots. The Royals are 2-10 their L/12 AL Central skirmishes as well as 6-21 their L/27 overall!
San Francisco Giants (2-4, -$364): What a difference a week makes! After winning both series played at Atlanta and Philadelphia last week to build its lead atop the NL West standings, the Giants returned home and laid an enormous egg in front of its rabid fans. They did win their series with the Padres 2-1, but then went out and scored a grand total of three runs en route to getting swept by Los Angeles Dodgers. In doing so, they once again find themselves tied with LA atop the division standings and are said to be on the hunt in looking to add some hitting thump to their rather pedestrian everyday line-up before the trade deadline.
On The Docket: The Giants will be out to put an end to their four-game losing streak and improve their 31-20 ($671) home record Monday night when they host the Mets in the first of a four-game set. They'll then hit the road to battle the last place Rockies at Coors Field in hopes of bettering their 24-26 ($41) record as visitors.
Dishonorable Mentions: Houston Astros (1-6, -$474), Colorado Rockies (1-5, -$315), New York Mets (2-5, -$239), Cleveland Indians (3-4, -$61)