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Hot & Not - NL Edition
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on Mike Rose's winning baseball selections this season on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!

It's July, and that means the wheeling and dealing is about to start happening. Before the All-Star break and the trade deadline sneak up on us though, we're going to take a look at some of the hottest and coldest teams that MLB betting action has to offer in the National League over the course of the last two weeks.
 
Money-Makers
 
Pittsburgh Pirates (9-0, +$1,146 in L/9) – Believe the Pirates now? They've won nine games in a row, and they've done it with pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Pittsburgh is setup to win a heck of a lot more than just 82 games this season, and the team is playing with its hair on fire.
 
On Deck: About the only thing that will slow the Bucs down is the All-Star break. Three with the Phils and three with the Cubs shouldn't be a problem. We expect to see the Pirates with at least 60 wins by the time the break comes around.
 
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Los Angeles Dodgers (8-1, +$699 in L/9)
– The Dodgers are still in last place in the NL West, but they have won eight out of nine games. The spark that OF Yasiel Puig has brought to this team is out of this world. Not only should Puig be an All-Star, but he darn well might be the MVP of the first half of the year as well.
 
On Deck: These next two series on the road against Colorado and San Francisco are crucial. Take four out of six, and all of a sudden, the team is going to be right on the verge of .500 and perhaps just a game or two back of first place in the NL West.
 
Miami Marlins (5-1, +$477 in L/6) – Break up the Marlins! In actuality, the Fish are playing well at the moment, as they are going to go three consecutive series either winning or at least splitting after they're done with the Padres. Monday is the first time all season long that this team has been favored by more than a -122 margin, and ironically, it comes against Jason Marquis, a pitcher who is 9-3 on the campaign.
 
On Deck: After this series is finished with the Pads, the Marlins are hitting the road, where they will inevitably come back to earth. There's no way they’re winning series against the Braves and Cards in Atlanta and St. Louis respectively; dog bettors will likely beg to differ.
 
Money-Burners
 
St. Louis Cardinals (2-6, -$641 in L/8) – Many think the reason the Cardinals have been caught in the NL Central is because the Pirates have been playing so well. Most don't realize that they have been beaten in six out of eight. We aren't overly worried though, as we know that this starting rotation is still amongst the best in the bigs.
 
On Deck: The visit from the Marlins will be a welcome one at the end of this week, but prior to that, the Cards have a very tough series against the Angels, another one of the hottest teams in the game.
 
Cincinnati Reds (2-7, -$613 in L/9) – It hasn't helped matters any for the rest of the NL Central that the Reds have been in bad shape as well. They aren't pitching well at the moment, and their bullpen is blowing far too many opportunities to close out games. What was really surprising was how poorly this team played in two series on the West Coast against AL teams, as even with the DH, the offense only generated 11 runs through five games.
 
On Deck: It's definitely going to be good for the Reds to get back home, and they’re welcoming in a pair of teams from the West Coast, as the Giants and Mariners are headed to the Queen City over the holiday week.
 
San Francisco Giants (1-6, -$605 in L/12) – If you will, the Giants are 16-27 and down $1,508 in their last 43 games. When you really think about that stretch of baseball, it's tough to imagine San Fran being able to defend its World Series crown. However, this is a team that knows how to play once the months start to end in –er on the calendar, and as long as the rest of the NL West is down, there is no counting the G-Men out.
 
On Deck: These next two weeks are crucial for the Giants. The Reds are slumping, the Dodgers are beatable, and after that, the Mets and Padres are at hand. There is no reason not to win at least eight of these next 14 games.

  
HEADLINES
Akins: Diamond Trends - Sunday
Red Sox outlast Braves, 'over' hits
Indians reliever Miller back on DL
Marlins' Prado to DL; Riddle recalled
Mengden tosses 2-hitter; A's top D'Backs
Flaherty shines as Cards top Pirates
Pirates activate OF Marte off DL
Reynolds HR helps Nats beat Miami
Nola-led Phils top Jays and lead NL East
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