1: Pittsburgh Pirates (73-51, +$2,407) (LW: 1): The Pirates are only 3-7 in their last 10 games, and there has to be a mounting concern after losing two out of three to the Diamondbacks and allowing 21 runs in those three games. Still, there’s plenty of safety at this point, knowing that Pittsburgh is 8.5 up on Arizona, the first team on the wrong side of the playoffs at the moment in the National League. That one-game lead on the Cards in the NL Central is starting to look awfully shady, though.
2: Atlanta Braves (76-48, +$1,432) (LW: 2): The Braves are now 19-3 in their last 22 games, and though they aren’t quite as hot as they were when they had won 14 games in a row, they have only been beaten by more than one run in one of those last 22, and that’s definitely saying something. This is the one team that has nothing to sweat about right now, as Atlanta is 16 games up with just 38 games to play. Even 6-32 is good enough to win the NL East at that point in all likelihood.
3: Cleveland Indians (67-58, +$1,380) (LW: 4): The time is here to accept the fact that the Indians aren’t going anywhere. Manager Terry Francona has been flat out awesome this season, and his team is just about set to embark on a huge set of games. After coming back from the West Coast and taking on Minnesota for three, the next nine games are against Atlanta, Detroit, and Baltimore. That’s the make or break stretch of the season for sure, as the Indians are 6.5 back in the AL Central and 4.5 back of the last Wild Card spot. The time is now to make a big time move.
4: Los Angeles Dodgers (72-52, +$1,030) (LW: 8): The Dodgers have lost back to back games, but they are still an absolutely insane 42-10 over the course of their last 52 games. They are up $3,137 over the course of those 52 games as well, swinging rom down over $2,000 to up over $1,000 on the season in that stretch. It has been insane to say the least, and there is no way that we see it changing any time in the near future. LA is the best in the league at the moment, and it would be shocking to us if it isn’t in the World Series this year.
5: Boston Red Sox (74-53, +$1,019) (LW: 3): Boston just can’t figure out how to shake the rest of the AL East, and there is a chance that it still could be in some trouble. The offense has blasted a total of 19 runs over the course of the last three days, which has brought the team back up to averaging 5.00 runs per game this year, but the problem remains in the pitching staff, where the team has a 1.34 WHIP and a 3.84 ERA, numbers which aren’t going to cut it come the postseason for sure.
6: Oakland Athletics (71-53, +$974) (LW: 5): Losing two out of three against Houston at home was inexcusable last week for the A’s, but they have since rebounded by winning four out of five. They are going to have to go on the road to the East Coast after this week’s games against Seattle are said and done with, and that’s likely when we are going to find out whether this team is really going to be able to put away a team like Baltimore to be able to get some breathing room when it comes down to the thick of the playoffs.
7: Tampa Bay Rays (71-52, +$538) (LW: 11): Tampa Bay just needed to get out of the West Coast and back to Tropicana Field to get back in the challenge for the AL East title. The team actually has fewer losses than the Red Sox do at this point, but it is still a game back of the lead in the division. We still love the Rays’ chances of holding serve at home and ultimately winning the AL East and perhaps the top overall record in the game, though there has to be a concern that the team has five more road games left this year than home games.
8: Baltimore Orioles (67-57, +$484) (LW: 6): A bad 2-5 week for the O’s puts them back where they were a few weeks ago before making a little bit of a charge, and they are running out of time for sure. This weekend’s series against Oakland is one of the biggest of the year. Getting swept in that one, and it could be lights out once and for all for a team that had a whole heck of a lot of promise. It’s going to take snaring at least two out of three to feel good going into next week that this team is really still reasonably in the thick of the fight.
9: Kansas City Royals (64-59, +$472) (LW: 7): Time is once again running short for the Royals. We knew that they were ultimately going to end up losing out on some games after their massive 17-3 run, but dropping five out of eight has been devastating over the course of the last eight days. The division title is 8.5 games away and the second Wild Card slot is still four teams and six games away. Sixteen of the next 17 are against teams which are below .500 though, so the opportunity is clearly still there for the taking.
10: Arizona Diamondbacks (64-59, +$345) (LW: 13): Paul Goldschmidt has been all over the place this year, and he is really rounding into the MVP of a team that has the best money pitcher in baseball on it as well. There is a legitimate chance for 40 homers, 130 RBIs, 100 runs scored, a .300 batting average, and perhaps even a 1.000 OPS when push comes to shove for Goldschmidt, and though all of that would be a bit of a reach, the way that he is playing right now, anything is possible.
11: St. Louis Cardinals (72-52, +$311) (LW: 12): St. Louis has righted the ship just a bit, and right in the nick of time. After finishing up with Milwaukee, the big guns are coming out. The Cards take on the Braves, Reds, Pirates, Reds again, and Pirates again over the course of the next 18 days, and there is only one day off in that bunch. That’s the portion of the season that will not only make or break St. Louis’ chances in the NL Central, but perhaps decide whether this team can hang around with the best in the National League as well.
12: Texas Rangers (72-53, +$236) (LW: 9): In Texas’ last two wins, the team has scored 16 and 15 runs. Over the course of its previous three losses, the team has a grand total of five runs. Yikes. 3B Adrian Beltre might be batting .326 to lead the team, and the club might be averaging 4.50 runs per game, but there is something to be said about the average run production having a small standard deviation. This is about as big as it gets, and Texas isn’t going to win the AL West if its median game is featuring just three runs as is the case in this sample.
13: Cincinnati Reds (71-54, +$215) (LW: 15): It consistently feels like the Reds are the third best team in the NL Central, but they are still hanging in there and could win the division when push comes to shove. This pitching staff continues to be flat out awesome and is picking up an offense which is still batting just .247 for the season. Cincy had better pick it up on the road, because 33-33 through 66 games isn’t going to cut it. The good news? There are seven more home games left to the season than road games.
14: New York Yankees (64-59, +$200) (LW: 16): The Yankees are sticking in there at this point, and they might have had a moment of team brilliance on Sunday when they defended 3B Alex Rodriguez after he was plunked by Ryan Dempster. Give the Bronx Bombers credit for standing behind their teammate when no one else will, and that might be the game that really pulls New York back into the thick of the fight. However, there is still no doubt that it is going to take playing at least .600 ball the rest of the way to get into the postseason in all likelihood, and that’s a tall, tall task.
15: Minnesota Twins (54-69, -$68) (LW: 10): Remember last week when we warned that Minnesota might be set to fall off the face of the earth? The face of the earth it has fallen off of. The Twins just aren’t that good and they are in the midst of a stretch of 15 out of 20 games against teams that are in the playoff hunt. This slide is inevitably going to continue when push comes to shove for a team that just has no starting pitching whatsoever.
16: Detroit Tigers (73-51, -$297) (LW: 14): The Tigers have gone 4-4 over the course of the last eight days, but in typical Detroit fashion, that has cost the team over $300 in profits. The numbers here on Detroit are just insane. The club is batting .280 as a team and averaging 5.05 runs per game. There isn’t a team in the bigs with more quality starts (85) or strikeouts (1,072) than the Tigers either. Yet there’s still that thought lurking in the back of heads that the AL Central isn’t quite said and done with yet, though it clearly should be.
17: San Diego Padres (56-69, -$427) (LW: 17): Maybe picking up RHP Ian Kennedy wasn’t such a good idea. He is still just 1-1 thus far since coming over to Petco Park, and his 4.42 ERA definitely leaves a lot to be desired. This is a team that still doesn’t have a 10-game winner yet, though in all likelihood, at some point, Eric Stults, Andrew Cashner, and Edinson Volquez all will by default. Volquez is 9-10 in spite of his horrendous 5.72 ERA, and that’s part of the reason that this team is having major problems.
18: Chicago Cubs (54-70, -$545) (LW: 18): The Cubs continue to lose, and they continue to not be able to hit the baseball. They have been shut out three times over the course of the last seven games, and they are just 2-6 in their last eight. ESPN recently ran a story on how the veteran leadership of this team is gone, and we have to agree. The Cubbies just don’t have it right now, though they’ll get it back at some point down the line when these kids grow up and become better players.
19: New York Mets (57-66, -$556) (LW: 19): The Mets are already a bit of a mess of a home team right now, and bringing in the Braves and the Tigers over the course of the next five days probably isn’t going to help that case out any. The latest news out of New York’s camp is that 3B David Wright very well could miss the rest of the season, and if that turns out to be a case, it will only be a bigger bummer to the rest of a team that badly needs as much in the way of hitting as it can get at the moment.
20: Seattle Mariners (57-67, -$701) (LW: 20): It was a losing SU week for the Mariners, but as we have seen them do time and time again, there were some big time wins which helped make it a winning week for bettors. There probably isn’t a team in the game that has had more shocking upsets in both directions than Seattle this year, and road upsets of +163 against Tampa Bay and +161 and +228 against Texas definitely qualify as shockers, especially considering the fact that the games in the middle of all of that were 7-1 and 15-3 losses.
21: Miami Marlins (48-75, -$734) (LW: 22): Mad props go out to 20-year old RHP Jose Fernandez, who found a way to beat the unbeatable Dodgers last night. The team has now scored a whopping 31 runs over the course of its last five games, and that’s a whole two weeks of runs at times this season. There still isn’t anyone qualified with better than a .232 batting average this season, but darn it, at least the Fish have Fernandez to smile about.
22: Toronto Blue Jays (57-67, -$918) (LW: 21): The Blue Jays had to think by this point in the season, they were going to have 70 wins, not nearly 70 losses. It’s time to play out the string for the rest of the year and hope that things go well enough to get this team to eke back towards the .500 mark. It’s not likely in spite of the fact that the team is averaging 4.53 runs per game for the season behind OF Edwin Encarnacion and his 31 homers and .906 OPS.
23: Houston Astros (41-83, -$1,155) (LW: 26): The Astros had a winning week, but they ensured themselves that they were going to have a losing season when they dropped game #82. Nothing like being the worst team in baseball by a solid eight games. Houston isn’t making that ground up over the course of the rest of the year no matter how hard the Marlins, the White Sox, and the rest try their best to become the worst team in the league.
24: Colorado Rockies (58-68, -$1,193) (LW: 23): Colorado interestingly has the same exact 58-68 record this year against the run-line as they do against the SU line. However, the team has been beaten a heck of a lot worse on the run-line, as the difference is nearly $700. That’s not going to make Rockies fans and bettors feel any better after falling 10 games below .500 and nearly 12 units in the toilet this season with yet another losing week.
25: Milwaukee Brewers (54-71, -$1,441) (LW: 24): Sometimes you just have to laugh. The Brewers allowed 10 singles on Sunday afternoon, and they ended up giving up nine runs in that time. The team hasn’t been helped by its ineptness in the field either, as the club has 93 errors already this season. Any time you reach triple digits of errors in a year, you know that you are in a heck of a lot of trouble as a team, and the ’13 Brewers are no exception.
26: Washington Nationals (60-64, -$1,706) (LW: 25): The Nats picked up OF David Dejesus Monday from the Cubs, and we aren’t quite sure why they bothered. They think that they are still potentially in the running for a playoff spot, but with the Reds, the last Wild Card holders right now 10.5 games up on the Nats with just 38 games to play, we aren’t sure just how delusional all of that is. Whatever the brass in DC is on, we want some of it.
27: Philadelphia Phillies (55-69, -$1,898) (LW: 27): The Phillies had a chance to trade LHP Cliff Lee on a number of occasions since June 29th. However, since that start, he has allowed at least three runs in seven straight outings, and the team is just 1-6 in those games. If you want to know why Philadelphia is fighting in the basement in the NL East, that’s a good starting point. This team has been one of the biggest disasters in baseball over the course of the last two months. That’s why Charlie Manuel is now looking for a job and when Ryne Sandberg is probably going to be looking for another one too once this season is said and done with.
28: Chicago White Sox (49-74, -$2,508) (LW: 30): The White Sox have won the race out of the gutter for the worst money team in baseball, and they aren’t going to run down the Astros as the worst team in the American League either. They just took the last three games from the Twins at Target Field, and now they are back to their regularly scheduled butt-whooping coming at the hands of the Royals and the Rangers this week.
29: San Francisco Giants (55-69, -$2,565) (LW: 28): For a few days, the Giants were relevant once again, as they had beaten the Nationals and the Marlins in three straight. They’re back to their losing ways though, and they are amazingly nearly 25 games worse off now than they were two months ago when the Dodgers started their tear of terror in the NL West. This would be considered the biggest disappointment in baseball if not for the…
30: Los Angeles Angels (55-69, -$3,118) (LW: 29): Oh, the Halos… They are on the verge of their 70th loss, and they are the only team in baseball guaranteed not to reach their season win total already on the season. 1B Albert Pujols was formally shut down for the rest of the season, and why not? LA is 14 games below .500 and 16.5 games back in the AL West. Manager Mike Scioscia should be the second manager fired this season.
Aaron 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.