Rounding the bases: The best bets in the big leagues
Every week we take a look at the hottest and coldest teams as well as the best over and under bets in Major League Baseball.
Hot Team: Oakland Athletics
Last week: 5-1
Season record: 51-44
Upcoming schedule: at Toronto, at Baltimore
Skinny: The A’s are fresh off a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees and are now 9-1 in their last 10 games and 14-2 in the 16 overall. And they’re doing that with lowest scoring offense in the American League and the worst batting average (.228) in the majors.
So how are they winning all these games? Well the eight one-run games during their hot streak, including two walk-off wins in the sweep of the Yanks.
Cold Team: New York Mets
Last week: 1-5
Season record: 47-48
Upcoming schedule: vs. Washington, at Arizona
Skinny: The Mets pitching staff is letting the team down in a big way. The club carries a bloated 5.68 ERA in July – the third worst in baseball – and opponents are batting .291 off them. To make matters worse, the bullpen has blown three of the four save opportunities the club’s had for month.
Outfielder Daniel Murphy has nine hits in his last 11 at-bats but until the pitching improves the Mets will continue to drop in the NL East standings.
Over team: Arizona Diamondbacks
Last week: 4-1-1
Season O/U record: 45-47-3
Upcoming schedule: vs. Colorado, vs. Mets
Skinny: Think the Twins miss Jason Kubel’s bat? We know for sure the Diamondbacks are thankful to have the hefty outfielder in their lineup. Kubel has cracked four homers in his last two games and has six big flies in his last 22 at-bats. Arizona scored 33 runs in three games against the Astros. We’ll see this week if that’s just a Houston sucking thing or if the D’backs have caught fire.
Under team: Milwaukee Brewers
Last week: 5-0-1
Season O/U record: 50-40-4
Upcoming schedule: at Philadelphia, vs. Washington
Skinny: The starting pitching staff is really coming through for the Brewers. Milwaukee has received quality starts in five of its last seven games. Its bullpen – which has really been a sore spot this campaign – is holding up. The relief staff has surrendered just three runs in 12 innings pitched since manager Ron Roenicke took John Axford out of the closer role. The under is now 6-0-1 in the team’s last seven games.