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Baseball's Bottom Money Teams
by Matt Fargo - 05/04/2007
The season is still very early but teams are starting to get into runs of what we might expect throughout the rest of the season. Itâ€™s never too early to see which teams are off to disappointing starts at the ticket window and why that is the case. Five teams are in the red of over five units so far this season and here is a closer look at those clubs.
New York Yankees 12-14 -9.4 Units
While the record might be a surprise, the number of units dropped is not as the Yankees are always an overpriced team. New York has been a slow starter the last couple years, going 13-11 through May 1st last season and 10-15 through May 1st in 2005. This year, their pitching has been the root of the problems as their ERA of 4.67 is 5th to last in all of baseball. The offense has carried them but not enough to avoid a losing record and if it wasnâ€™t for Alex Rodriguezâ€™ red-hot April, who knows where they would be. New York did go 18-10 last May and a repeat is likely.
Texas Rangers 10-18 -8.8 Units
Texas has lost five straight and has gone just 5-13 since starting the season at 5-5. The Rangers offense has been in a slump all season, hitting just .231 after finishing 6th in the Majors in hitting last season. Even worse is the pitching, always a problem for Texas, as its ERA is at 5.38, 2nd to last in baseball. The Rangers are just 4-13 as underdogs after getting swept by the Yankees and they have lost nine games this season by more than four runs. Their next 10 games donâ€™t bode well as they face Toronto, the Yankees again and then the Angels.
St. Louis Cardinals 10-16 -8.4 Units
St. Louis has had a very tough start in their World Series defense. The Cardinals lost ace Chris Carpenter after one game and then the death of relief pitcher Josh Hancock devastated the team as they were swept in Milwaukee by a combined score of 23-3. St. Louis is a disappointing 3-9 at home after winning 99 games combined at Busch Stadium the last two seasons. St. Louis is ahead of only Washington in slugging percentage as everyone, even Albert Pujols, is struggling. 11 of their 16 losses have been by four or more runs.
Chicago Cubs 12-14 -6.1 Units
The added payroll has not paid off thus far for the Cubs although things are looking brighter. Chicago has won five of its last six games after going through a brutal 4-11 stretch. It has played much better on the road as it is just 4-9 at Wrigley Field but the next six games are at home against Washington and Pittsburgh so things could turn around quickly, especially with the current it is on. The Cubs are 6th in the Majors in ERA and 5th in batting average so the record is even that much more surprising. The problem is they are 0-6 in one-run games.
Kansas City Royals 10-19 -5.8 Units
This is about where many expected the young Royals to be at this stage of the season. However, Kansas City is playing a lot better as it has gone 7-8 in its last 15 games after a dreadful 3-11 start. Scoring runs is the Achilles Heel as the Royals have scored four runs or less in 19 of their 29 games. They are near the middle of the league in hitting, on-base percentage and slugging but clutch hitting is a real issue. Kansas City is 4-10 on the road but the next six games are at home so continued success is a possibility.