Hot & Not
September 24, 2012
By Mike Rose
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While the National League division winners are all wrapped up, there's still plenty of work to be done in both the American League and both league's Wild Card races. Here's a look at what some of the hottest and coldest teams did over the course of the last week with the postseason right around the corner.
San Francisco Giants (6-1, $500): Now amongst the Top 5 in baseball betting profit for the year, the Giants are one of only two teams that have clinched their division's 2012 pennant. That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment considering the franchise missed out on postseason festivities a year after winning it all in 2010, and had their batting champion stripped from the line-up. Though the club is allergic to the long ball, it hits for average and throws one of the nastiest starting-fives at its opponent every passing game.
On The Docket: Though just three-games off the pace for the NL's top overall record, leapfrogging both the Reds and Nationals in the standings looks to be a stretch. They'll take their best shot at doing so this week against Arizona at home before closing their regular season campaign out on the road at San Diego and Los Angeles; the Giants check in 40-23 versus division opposition to date.
Milwaukee Brewers (5-1, $429): The Brewers once again find themselves on this list for the third straight week as their blistering month of September continues. Manager Ron Roenicke's troops had won 17 of their previous 22 games before getting destroyed in their series finale with the Nationals Monday afternoon. Still, with nine-games remaining on the 2012 docket, the Brew Crew only sits three-games back for the play-in Wild Card along with the Dodgers.
On The Docket: Milwaukee will attempt to take advantage of what it hopes will be a disinterested Reds outfit of whom their 5-7 against to date before returning home to host the Astros and Padres in their final two series of the regular season; the Brew Crew sits a hefty 17-games over .500 as a host ($1032).
Arizona Diamondbacks (5-1, $389): Hanging on for dear life are last year's surprising NL West winners. Manager Kirk Gibson's squad has had every opportunity to fold up shop, but they haven't, and that speaks volumes about the winning mentality this franchise now possesses. The Snakes currently have the largest deficit to make up of the still contending teams for the play-in Wild Card (4.5 games), but the remainder of their slate looks very promising.
On The Docket: Zona will attempt to pull off the four-game sweep of the Rockies in Coors on Monday night before traveling to San Francisco where they hope many of the Giants regulars will be resting. From there, they return home to host the Cubs and Rockies; two teams that sit a combined 71-games under .500. The D'Backs have won 11 of their L/12 versus teams playing sub .400 ball.
Honorable Mentions: Baltimore Orioles (5-1, $409), New York Yankees (5-1, $345), St. Louis Cardinals (5-1, $327), Kansas City Royals (4-2, $207), Atlanta Braves (4-2, $196), Tampa Bay Rays (5-2, $149), Los Angeles Angels (4-2, $139)
Colorado Rockies (0-7, -$700): The Rockies continue to burn their betting backers every chance they get, as Manager Jim Tracy's squad managed to come out on the short end of each and every one of their game's played last week. This club's won just five of its 22 played games in September (-$1030), and if not for the Houston Astros, it would be the biggest money-burner the National League has to offer (-$2378).
On The Docket: The Rox will continue playing the role of everyone else's piñata only 10 more times. They actually might even be able to win a couple games in their Coors Field finale against the woeful Chicago Cubs. That said, the Cargo-less Rockies have dropped five of their L/6 as hosts.
Toronto Blue Jays (0-6, -$600): At one point this season, you couldn't name a single starter in the Blue Jays starting rotation. Well, there was Ricky Romero, but the lefty has turned into nothing short of an afterthought as poor a 2012 campaign as he's had. Though Toronto brings up the rear of the AL East, the team possesses a ton of talent on its roster. Unfortunately, the injury bug was none to kind to them this season. That should however have them amped up and ready to go for 2013 since injuries very rarely plague a team in consecutive seasons.
On The Docket: Not surprisingly, the Blue Jays were dogged in each and every one of their games played last week, and that trend should continue moving forward with them set to take on both the Orioles and Yankees before putting the finishing touches on a disappointing season back at home against the Twins.
Chicago Cubs (1-6, -$449): Last but not least are the "Loveable Losers" from the North Side of Chicago. Manager Dale Sveum had to of known he was up against it before taking the gig, but now that he's 153 games into the rebuilding project, do you think he's suffering from managing remorse. Plenty more defeats are sure to be in store for this franchise as Theo and Jed look to retool the roster, but if Chicago is to continue being as bad as it's been for a couple more seasons, they might have to actually start giving tickets away at the corner of Sheffield and Addison.
On The Docket: Thankfully, the 2012 campaign will be over in just nine short games. Trips to Coors and Chase Field are up first before the Cubbies fittingly close out their season against the Houston Astros - the worst bet in all of baseball - whom they'll be taking on in NL Central play for the last time ever.
Dishonorable Mentions: Miami Marlins (1-5, -$351), Chicago White Sox (2-5, -$334), Pittsburgh Pirates (2-5, -$333)