Hot and Not
August 27, 2012
By Mike Rose
The final week of August is upon us, which means teams with playoff aspirations will continue leaving it all on the field over the next month in hopes of qualifying for the second season. Here's a look at the results over the course of the last week from both a winning and losing perspective while keeping an eye on the week ahead.
San Diego Padres (6-0, $837): The Padres were at it again this past week winning all six of their games against the playoff hopeful Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks. It certainly looks as if Manager Bud Black's squad is relishing playing the role of spoiler as they've gone a money-making 15-9 ($1010) and won five of their eight series played in the month of August. Now eight-games out of last place in the NL West, San Diego will hope to continue its upward ascension and build for next season while at the same time prevent all their opponents from enjoying the thrill of the second season.
On The Docket: Chase Headley and his teammates will look to throw a wrench in the Atlanta Braves postseason plans for three at Petco before traveling to Coors Field to put even more distance between themselves and the Rockies - San Diego's won each of its L/7 games versus +.500 opponents but is just 4-9 its L/13 versus NL East representatives.
Chicago White Sox (6-0, $601): The Palehose bounced back in style from that nightmarish series sweep at Kansas City by busting out the brooms on both the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners last week. In doing so, Paul Konerko and his mates now hold a 2.5-game lead over the underachieving Detroit Tigers, but don't look for them to rest on their laurels as they've been in this position a number of times this season only to see the Tigers overtake them in the standings. Their race with Detroit for AL Central supremacy certainly looks as if it will go down to the wire!
On The Docket: Robin Ventura's troops have got a season shaping road trip ahead of them with four set to go at Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles before heading to Comerica Park to battle the Tigers in the division rivals second to last series of the regular season. Chicago is 32-24 ($1120) against winning teams but just 3-8 the L/11 times it was dogged by oddsmakers on the road.
St. Louis Cardinals (5-1, $407): Don't look now, but the defending World Series champs are making another one of their patented late season runs after winning all but one of their match-ups last week which included handing the Reds a home series loss for the first time in over two months. Now the rightful owners of the play-in wild card, the Redbirds have surpassed Pittsburgh in the NL Central standings and only sit six-games in back of the Reds and get to host the final meeting between the division rivals to close out the regular season.
On The Docket: The Cardinals get a chance to solidify themselves as a serious playoff contender this upcoming week with three in Pittsburgh followed by four in Washington against the Nationals. That said, Manager Mike Matheny's squad checks in a bankroll bursting 17-26 (-$1680) against +.500 opposition and sits a game under .500 themselves as visitors (-$318) overall.
Honorable Mentions: Milwaukee Brewers (5-1, $432), Detroit Tigers (5-1, $400), Oakland A's (4-2, $255), Philadelphia Phillies (5-2, $249), Texas Rangers (5-2, $95)
New York Mets (2-5, -$728): If not for getting the benefit of running up against a Houston squad marching a Triple-A line-up to the plate over the weekend, the Mets might still find themselves marred in an eight-game losing streak. David Wright's cooled off considerably at the plate, and because of it, New York has struggled mightily to put runs on the board. The team tallied three runs or less in every one of their games last week, and will hit the road averaging a paltry 1.9 runs per game over their L/10. With their limited starting pitching staff backed by a waffling bullpen, that's hardly a recipe for success.
On The Docket: A nine-game road trip kicks off in Philadelphia on Tuesday night followed with three in Miami; the Mets have lost six of their L/9 as visitors and have played .458 ball within the division on the year.
Arizona Diamondbacks (2-5, -$616): The Snakes went into last week's docket winners of four in a row and looked to have once again thrown their hat in the ring along with the Giants and Dodgers for division supremacy. Then they went out and split a four-game home series with the Marlins and then inconceivably got swept by the Padres even though they averaged being near -170 favorites in all three games! Because of the poor showing, the D'Backs are now seven-games out in the NL West and 6.5-games out of the play-in wild card slot.
On The Docket: We'll get a clearer picture as to if Arizona is to continue being a possible playoff contender with them set to battle the Reds, Dodgers, and Giants in their next three series; the latter two on the road. The Diamondbacks have however won 12 of their 21 ($230) overall tussles against winning teams in the second half of the season.
Pittsburgh Pirates (1-5, -$526): Now eight-games out in the NL Central and two-games out of a wild card spot, Manager Clint Hurdle's squad faces an extremely uphill battle if the franchise is to put an end to its playoff drought. Ever since the Buccos dropped a gut-wrenching 9-8 decision to the Padres at home back on August 10th, they've won just five of their L/15 overall played games. Pittsburgh jumped the shark last season after a bitter extra innings loss to the Braves, and with them following that same "MO" after a tough loss this season, you really have to question the mental make-up of both the coaching staff and roster. Pittsburgh looks to be a team that can keep it close, but still won't get a chance to smoke that victory cigar.
On The Docket: The Pirates will enter a crucial stretch to the remainder of their regular season schedule with a three-game home set with the streaking Cardinals. However, they won't have to face a +.500 team until they travel to Cincinnati to battle the Reds on September 10th; it's high time the Buccos made some hay!
Dishonorable Mentions: Toronto Blue Jays (0-5, -$506), Los Angeles Dodgers (2-4, -$338), Cleveland Indians (1-5, -$337), Tampa Bay Rays (3-3, -$302), Houston Astros (1-5,-$290), New York Yankees (2-4, -$284), Washington Nationals (2-4, -$222), Chicago Cubs (2-4, -$209 ), Boston Red Sox (2-4, -$203), Minnesota Twins (2-5, -$126)
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