Hot & Not
September 3, 2012
By Mike Rose
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The 2012 baseball season has entered the month of September which means teams across the league have expanded their rosters as they look to make one final push towards the postseason. The following is a look back at the teams that excelled and stunk it up for their wagering supporters with a look ahead to the upcoming week.
Oakland A's (7-0, $700): After rattling off a perfect 7-0 record last week, the upstart A's are now the best bet in all of baseball ($2,881) and are the leaders in the American League Wild Card race with only a month remaining in the regular season. That said, manager Bob Melvin's squad has taken advantage of a very weak schedule of late with the Tampa Bay Rays being the only plus-500 team faced in their last six series played. The month of September will hardly be as kind with just two of their final nine series set to go against losing ball clubs.
On The Docket: Oakland's grueling schedule opens up this week with a crucial series set to go against the Angels at home, and then Josh Reddick and his teammates will have to travel to Safeco Field to battle a Mariners outfit that's won 16 of their L/19 in front of the hometown faithful; the A's check in 19-18 ($660) versus the AL West to date.
Baltimore Orioles (5-2, $421): Hot on the trail of the Wild Card leading A's are manager Buck Showalter's Orioles, who've proven to have staying power in the race for the postseason. The O's enter this week off a fantastic showing that saw them take three of four at home from the then AL Central leading Chicago White Sox, and then follow it up with a series win in the Bronx. In doing so, they clawed to within two-games of the Yankees in the AL East standings and are now the rightful owners of the play-in Wild Card slot.
On The Docket: Baltimore will be tested this week starting in Toronto where it will look to improve upon the 3-7 record they've churned out in their L/10 visits to the Rogers Centre. If they pass that test, they could possibly overtake the Yankees in the AL East with the current division leaders paying Camden Yards a four-game visit; the Orioles have played .571 ball versus divisional opposition on the year ($1610).
Cincinnati Reds (5-1, $353): Owners of the best record in all of baseball, Dusty Baker's Redlegs continue to mow down their opposition. After dropping their first home series since the beginning of June to the Cardinals, the current NL Central leaders went into the desert and busted out the brooms on the Diamondbacks, and then closed the six-game road trip out with a series win in Houston. Each of Cincy's next nine games will come in the friendly confines of the Great American Ballpark, and it's highly possible that All-Star first baseman Joey Votto will return to the everyday line-up this week!
On The Docket: The Reds will look to build upon the NL's best home record (42-24, $1036) against the Phillies and Astros starting Labor Day Monday. Philly's been a thorn in the Reds side in recent years, but they've taken nine of 12 from the Astros in the 2012 season.
Honorable Mentions: New York Mets (5-1, $502), Milwaukee Brewers (6-1, $452), Toronto Blue Jays (4-3, $413), San Francisco Giants (5-1, $318), Los Angeles Angels (5-1, $316), Washington Nationals (4-2, $118), Texas Rangers (4-2, $110)
New York Yankees (2-4, -$636): The Yankees have been able to skate by for a bulk of the regular season even though the roster has simply been decimated by the injury bug. A tip of the cap must go out to Joe Girardi and his staff for getting the most out of their daily makeshift line-ups, but their once healthy lead atop the division is now in jeopardy of getting completely wiped out! In dropping four of six at home last week, New York now finds itself in a dire situation with each of its next 10 games to be played away from Yankee Stadium where it's won 35 of 64 road games ($232).
On The Docket: The club would do itself a major solid if it could go into Tampa Bay and hand the Rays back-to-back home series defeats, but it will get real interesting after that with a trip to Camden Yards where they'll battle an Orioles squad currently just two-games back; the Bronx Bombers have played to a 26-23 record against divisional opposition to date (-$730).
Chicago White Sox (1-6, $522): Just last week, the White Sox were feeling great about themselves having just swept the Yankees and Mariners at home. However, that euphoric felling was quickly forgotten after manager Robin Ventura's squad dropped three of four in Baltimore, and then got the brooms busted out on them in Motown for the second time this season; Chicago's now won just four of its 14 overall clashes with the Tigers. Because of the lackluster effort, the Palehose now sit tied atop the AL Central with Detroit but far from hold the tiebreaker should it come into play at the end of the year.
On The Docket: The club will return home and look to get healthy against the AL Central rival Twins and Royals before once again squaring off against the Detroit Tigers in what could turn out to be the most crucial series of their 2012 campaign; Chicago's 38-26 ($504) at U.S. Cellular Field, but has only played to an even 25-25 (-$410) versus divisional opponents.
Boston Red Sox (1-6, -$500): With the BoSox more or less waving the white flag two weeks ago after shipping Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers, it came as no surprise to see this team completely fall on its face over the course of the last week. Dustin Pedroia and his mates tallied just one win through seven tries which moved the squad to a bankroll bursting 9-22 their L/31 overall match-ups (-$1,583). Now the absolute worst bet in the American League (-$2487), one has to wonder if the Bobby Valentine experiment will make it into year two.
On The Docket: The Red Sox will invade Seattle having dropped each of the first six games of their current nine-game road trip which dropped them to 30-35 (-$612) overall away from Fenway Park. Boston hasn't won a series on the road since late July!
Dishonorable Mentions: Cleveland Indians (1-6, -$457), Houston Astros (1-5,-$355), St. Louis Cardinals (2-5, -$330), Miami Marlins (1-4, -$321), Atlanta Braves (2-4, -$269), Arizona Diamondbacks (2-5, -$226), Chicago Cubs (2-5, -$190), Pittsburgh Pirates (2-4, -$180), Tampa Bay Rays (3-4, -$132), Minnesota Twins (3-4, -$129)