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Hot & Not - AL Edition

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The American League has a tremendous spread of its teams thus far this year and there is a huge difference between the haves and the have nots as we head towards the trade deadline. This week, we take a look at the American League teams that are rolling and the AL teams that are falling quickly.
 
Money-Makers
 
Tampa Bay Rays (21-4, +$1,425 in L/25) – Simply put, there is no team in the AL that is playing better ball right now than the Rays. All of the starting pitchers are doing their part, and on this streak, both Chris Archer and Matt Moore earned their first ever shutout victories.
 
On Deck: It almost seems like it doesn't matter who is on tap for Tampa Bay. The Rays are probably going to continue to roll. They have a makeup game in Boston on Monday before flying back home for visits from Arizona and San Francisco in Interleague play.
 
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Kansas City Royals (6-0, +$674 in L/6)
– The Royals are one of these teams that go back and forth between "in it" and "not really in it." With six straight wins, they're back at .500, they are just four back of the Wild Card slots, and they are, we suppose back "in it" once again. A trade at the deadline to bolster the back of the rotation would prove that this team is indeed going for "it" in '13.
 
On Deck: It's a perfect time to have nine straight games against teams that are absolutely atrocious! The Twins, Mets, and Twins again are on tap. KC very well could be a few games over .500 when they head to Detroit on Aug. 15, and that could make that four-game set very, very interesting indeed.
 
Detroit Tigers (8-1, +$656 in L/9) – The Tigers had to go on a roll at some point if they were going to fend off the Indians (and maybe the Royals?) in the AL Central. They got what they needed by taking eight out of nine out of the break.
 
On Deck: There are five more home games against the Nats and White Sox on deck. Detroit had better do some winning in there, because after that comes a wicked 10-game road trip in 10 days against the Indians, Yankees, and White Sox.
 
Money-Burners
 
Houston Astros (6-22, -$950 in L/28) – The Astros are back to being the Astros. They have lost 22 of their last 28 games, but at least it isn't costing them anything. They're destined to be the worst team in baseball, and 100 losses seems like a given at this point.
 
On Deck: What's on deck are clearly more losses. Expect to start seeing some of those wild +300 games for the Astros, especially knowing that over the course of the next four weeks, there are series set to go against Baltimore, Boston, Texas, Oakland, LA, and Texas again.
 
Texas Rangers (2-9, -$930 in L/11) – The rest of the Lone Star State is checking in here in the AL duds of the week, as the Rangers have lost nine out of 11 since the last game before the break. They have fallen six-games back in the division, and they are on the wrong side of the Wild Card picture as well. Matt Garza is 1-0 since he came to town. The rest of the team is 1-9 in that stretch.
 
On Deck: There's a whole bunch of AL West teams coming up on tap. The Halos are on the schedule for six of the next 10 games for Texas, and a crucial series at the O.co Coliseum against the A's is smashed in the middle of it all.
 
Chicago White Sox (1-6, -$536 in L/7) – The White Sox knew when they left US Cellular Field on Sunday that a lot of the players in that locker room were never getting the chance to come back. Jake Peavy expects to be traded, and he probably won't be the only one before Wednesday's trade deadline.
 
On Deck: Whatever is left of the White Sox will be hitting the road this week, visiting Cleveland and Detroit in what almost seems to be a guaranteed 2-5 week.

  
HEADLINES
Braves, Grilli agree to 2-year deal
Peavy and Giants finalize 2-year contract
MLB average salary exceeds $3.8 million
Walden, Cardinals agree to $6.6M deal
Marlins claim righty Claiborne off waivers
Hughes, Twins agree to $58M contract
Pirates win rights to negotiate with SS
IRS to auction Strawberry's compensation
3B McGehee eager to play for Giants
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