Our MLB power poll is back, as we analyze all of the best and worst money teams in the bigs that MLB betting action has to offer through 5/27/13.
1: Pittsburgh Pirates (31-19, +$1,482) (LW: 2): We warned a few weeks ago that the schedule was getting easier for the Pirates, and they have taken advantage of playing against lesser teams. Now, they’re a dozen games above .500, and they only have to play .455 ball the rest of the year if they are finally going to break the streak of consecutive seasons without a winning record. Keep this up though, and the Bucs might be the best team in the bigs.
2: St. Louis Cardinals (32-17, +$1,076) (LW: 5): C Yadier Molina has had a few days to remember for sure. Now only has he caught a shutout, but he also has batted a whopping .571 in his last four games with a pair of extra base hits and three RBIs. Molina is now leading the team in batting at .339, and though the rest of his numbers aren’t all that impressive, it isn’t taking anything away from the fact that he has been the hero of the club offensively at times.
3: New York Yankees (30-19, +$1,046) (LW: 4): It wasn’t a fantastic week for the Yanks, but this season, there is no shame in going on the road to Tampa Bay and Baltimore and splitting six games. The next four are all against the Mets in the Subway Series, and it should be a heck of a four days of baseball in the Bronx and in Flushing.
4: Texas Rangers (32-18, +$928) (LW: 3): Texas took a bit of a step backwards this week when it was beaten as a -205 favorite on the MLB odds by the A’s, but they still are rolling right along and have a 4.5-game lead in the AL West. OF Nelson Cruz has had himself an interesting few days. He has five hits, a double, a homer, two RBIs, two walks, four runs scored… and seven strikeouts… in his last three games.
5: Cleveland Indians (27-22, +$888) (LW: 1): We knew that Cleveland was going to take a step backwards at some point, and this was a logical point in the season for it to happen. The Red Sox were eager to take a bit out of the Tribe with Manager Terry Francona returning to his old stomping grounds for the first time since the epic collapse in the 2011 season. Another odd quirk? The Indians are the only team in the Top 12 in profits this year to have a losing record on the run-line. Worse? They’re 22-27 and -$886 on the run-line this year.
6: Atlanta Braves (30-19, +$808) (LW: 9): Atlanta was a big mover in the right direction this week, as it managed to go on an eight-game winning streak before losing on Sunday to the Mets. Still, the damage has been done to the rest of the NL East, and the lead in the division is back up to 4.5 games. 1B Freddie Freeman has hit safely at least twice in five of his last 11 games, and he has a total of 11 RBIs in his last 10 outings.
7: Cincinnati Reds (31-19, +$703) (LW: 10): It’s not every day that you see a 31-19 team be in third place in a division, but that’s what’s happening right now to the Reds. They’re the forgotten team of the bunch, but they had won five games in a row before losing to the Cubs on Sunday as a huge favorite. Still, Cincinnati has the best WHIP in the game at 1.18, and it is one of the five teams in the league with at least 400 strikeouts in total for its pitchers thus far this year.
8: Colorado Rockies (27-23, +$590) (LW: 6): The Rockies were topped in two out of three this weekend at AT&T Park, and we are growing concerned over how this team is playing on the road right now. This series defeat marked the third straight series that the team was beaten in two of three, and you have to go all the way back to May 1st to find the last time that Colorado won a series on the road. There are a ton of road trips still to go on, and the club is going to need to do better than this as the guests to hang in this race in the NL West.
9: Oakland Athletics (28-23, +$524) (LW: 15): With over five units of profits this week, the A’s did a nice job of getting back in the thick of the fight in the AL West. Had they not managed to take two out of three from the Rangers, things could have been really ugly in a hurry. Of course, going on the road to Houston for three straight games may as well be a de facto bye weekend going into Memorial Day.
10: Boston Red Sox (31-20, +$511) (LW: 7): The Red Sox rudely welcomed former Manager Terry Francona back to Beantown, as they won three of the four games and won two of the three by at least three runs. That being said, the team still has some real pitching problems, as it allowed 22 runs in this four-game series. That’s not going to cut it for a team that now has an average 3.85 ERA in spite of the fact that RHP Clay Buchholz is lighting the world on fire.
11: Arizona Diamondbacks (28-22, +$480) (LW: 8): The Diamondbacks took a bit of a step backwards over the course of this week, and their offense remains a concern. They have averaged just 3.38 runs per game in their last eight, and in that stretch, they haven’t scored more than six runs in a single game. With four games coming up against the Rangers, this offense had better be a heck of a lot better than it has been.
12: Baltimore Orioles (27-23, +$373) (LW: 11): Last week, we talked about RHP Jim Johnson’s struggles against the Rays. Now, he has another blown save to his credit, as he allowed four runs in what should have been a very easy save opportunity against Toronto on Sunday. This is one man that definitely is not going to have a happy holiday, as Johnson is probably set to be taken out of the closer’s role after four blown saves in a span of just 12 days.
13: San Francisco Giants (28-22, +$205) (LW: 14): The starting pitchers had a flat out awesome week for the Giants, as the unit allowed just a total of 13 runs in six games between the men that were sent to the bump. It was a welcome change for a team that just hadn’t pitched all that well this year when push came to shove, and now, the hope is to continue that against San Fran’s crosstown rivals from Oakland this week.
14: Chicago White Sox (24-24, +$47) (LW: 20): The White Sox had a massive week thanks to the fact that they won three games against the Marlins over the weekend and took two out of three from the Red Sox to start the week. Of course, the schedule isn’t going to be this easy each and every week, but just the fact that Manager Robin Ventura has his team back to .500 48 games into the season is impressive in and of itself.
15: San Diego Padres (22-27, -$32) (LW: 13): The walks that the Padres pitchers are allowing is starting to get out of hand. Just between RHP Jason Marquis and RHP Edinson Volquez, these two have offered up 57 free passes this year. That would be all fine and dandy if the strikeouts were coming with it, but Marquis only has 34 strikeouts, and though Volquez has 36 whiffs, he also has a tremendously bad six wild pitches to boot.
16: Washington Nationals (26-24, -$236) (LW: 18): Don’t look now, but Stephen Strasburg is dealing again. The right has allowed just three earned runs in his last four starts, and in that stretch, his ERA is a svelte 0.96. He also has 27 strikeouts against eight walks in that time, and he is coming off of arguably his best start of the season on Sunday against the Phils. Strasburg allowed just one run on five hits in eight frames for his third win of the season.
17: Minnesota Twins (19-28, -$238) (LW: 12): The good news for the Twins is that their losing streak is at least said and done with. The bad news is that they haven’t won two straight games since May 8th and 9th, and since May 14th, they are just 1-11. The team also almost got no-hit against RHP Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers on Friday night, which only made things worse for a team that has really struggled offensively.
18: Detroit Tigers (28-20, -$329) (LW: 22): It’s tough to imagine the Tigers being as bad in terms of profits as they have been. The team is averaging 5.40 runs per game, RHP Max Scherzer has seven victories and is one of the four starts that has at least five wins on the campaign, four men are hitting at least .311 this year, and 3B Miguel Cabrera is on a pace to hit 47 home runs with 190 RBIs.
19: Tampa Bay Rays (25-24, -$429) (LW: 17): Tampa Bay had a brutal three games this past week in which it was beaten by Toronto and New York, and unfortunately for it in those games, the bullpen really imploded. No team in the American League outside of Houston has a more embarrassing bullpen than this, and it’s high time that RHP Fernando Rodney gets sat down and taken out of the closer’s role.
20: Philadelphia Phillies (24-26, -$646) (LW: 23): Without 2B Chase Utley in the lineup, the Phils are still struggling to make headway offensively. They averaged just 2.75 runs per game in their last four games of the week, and if not for some great pitching performances, including a glorious shutout by LHP Cliff Lee, they probably would have lost a ton of ground in the NL East.
21: Kansas City Royals (21-26, -$696) (LW: 16): The Royals dropped almost seven full units of profits this week, and the real damage was done with a pair of losses in Houston. Worse was coming home and losing all four to the Angels. All of a sudden with four games against the Cards and three against the Rangers coming up, it looks like this KC squad could be 10-games under .500 very shortly.
22: Seattle Mariners (21-29, -$737) (LW: 19): The L’s were starting to mound for the Mariners before they were able to get a win on Sunday. They had dropped eight games in a row and looked to be dead in the water in the AL West prior before the win. About the only thing to look forward to is the fact that the schedule loosens up dramatically over the course of the next week and a half.
23: Chicago Cubs (19-30, -$853) (LW: 21): The Cubs were clearly overmatched by their NL Central brethren this week, losing five of the six games. They snapped their six-game slide on Sunday with a 5-4 win over the Reds, but that was little consolation. Matters feel like they are going to get worse this week against the White Sox with four games starting at the Cell on Memorial Day.
24: Toronto Blue Jays (21-29, -$954) (LW: 26): Call them the Cardiac Jays. Toronto would have had a disaster of a week if they weren’t able to improbably come back against both the Rays and the Orioles in a span of just a few days. At least the games at Rogers Centre have been exciting. The last four games have all featured at least 11 runs, at least five of which have been scored by the hosts.
25: Los Angeles Angels (23-27, -$966) (LW: 30): Manager Mike Scioscia is safe for the time being thanks to an eight-game winning streak that has the team back in third place in the AL West. There are still four games to go to get back to .500, but the truth of the matter is that there’s a good chance to get there this week with four against the struggling Dodgers and three against the Astros on tap. Don’t look now, but the Halos are flying high.
26: Milwaukee Brewers (19-29, -$1,130) (LW: 25): For whatever reason, the Brewers were favored in most of the games that they played this week. We don’t care that those games were played at Miller Park. Milwaukee has now gone just 5-18 in its last 23 games since the start of May, and there is no doubt that this team is just praying that this month is going to be over with ASAP.
27: New York Mets (18-29, -$1,182) (LW: 24): There were a total of six teams that ended losing streaks of at least five games on Sunday, and the Mets were one of the five. The bad news, of course, is that the offense still hasn’t figured out how to get anything going. The last time this team scored more than five runs in a game was back on May 3rd, a string of 20 straight games. Since that point, New York has averaged just 2.85 runs per game.
28: Houston Astros (14-36, -$1,288) (LW: 27): It’s unbelievable that the ERA for the Astros continues to go up, but after allowing at least six runs in all three games against Oakland over the weekend, that’s exactly how this is all playing out. It’s almost a miracle, in fact, that Houston held the Royals down to just one runs in a 3-1 win on Wednesday as +190 underdogs, and that was the victory that saved the week for the team’s bettors.
29: Los Angeles Dodgers (20-28, -$1,497) (LW: 29): Manager Don Mattingly is trying everything that he can to try to make this all work in LA. He benched OF Andre Ethier and got a win as a result, and now, the buzzards are swarming that perhaps the time could be here for the team to make a potentially drastic trade. If Mattingly isn’t going to be fired, that seems to be the next thing that might shake the team up when push comes to shove.
30: Miami Marlins (13-37, -$1,773) (LW: 28): The run production is down to 2.64 runs per game for the Fish after scoring just seven runs in three games against the White Sox. The most ironic part of the weekend is that Miami struggled so badly to score runs against the team that holds the record for the fewest runs ever scored in a 162-game season. The Marlins are on a pace to shatter that mark by over 30 runs.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.