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Hot and Cold Baseball Teams
by Matt Fargo - 06/26/2009
The baseball season is in full swing and Matt Fargo will be examining teams that are hot and teams that are not and how they can make us some money. This week he takes a look at some hot teams that may be providing some good value to play on in the upcoming schedule.
Detroit Tigers 41-31 +7.9 Units
Detroit has been atop the American League Central for most of the season but it is still not running away with anything. The Tigers have a five-game lead over the Twins and a six-game lead over the White Sox which is only a two-game increase from exactly a month ago. Heading into the weekend, Detroit has won seven straight games and for June, it is 13-10 no thanks to two separate four-game losing streaks. Detroit is definitely in good shape and can stretch its lead with a good July as it has 14 division games in the month.
The Tigers are third in the American League with a 4.11 ERA thanks to a starting staff that has posted a 4.08 ERA. Three starters, Edwin Jackson, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, all have ERAâ€™s of 3.55 or better and they are a combined 22-11. The bullpen has an ERA of 4.52 which is 22nd in baseball and that is a concern. The offense is hitting .263 which is only 8th in the American League but it has been better of late with a .289 average over its last 10 games.
Following a weekend series at Houston, the Tigers travel to Oakland and then to Minnesota to conclude its nine-game roadtrip. Detroit is 18-20 on the road this season but these are the spots we like to play in the right situations due to the fact we do not have to lay big numbers and in a lot of cases, we can catch them as underdogs. Take away the Tigers 4-10 record against the American League East and they are 37-21 +14 Units against all other teams.
New York Mets 37-34 -0.3 Units
The Mets are anything but hot right now however, we could see a turnaround. New York is just 9-13 in June heading into its weekend series with the Yankees but it is coming off a big series win against the Cardinals and that could provide some much needed momentum going forward. The Mets are hanging close to the Phillies in the National League East and they have been fortunate that Philadelphia is in the midst of a major slump right now. The upcoming schedule is tough but help is on the way.
New York has a 4.11 ERA which is seventh in the National League and it is the bullpen that is leading the way with a 3.44 ERA which is fifth best in all of baseball. The starting pitching has been an issue with a 4.46 ERA and with the exception of Johan Santana and the limited starts from Fernando Nieve, no other starters have an ERA below 4.05. The help on the way mentioned earlier is that John Maine and Oliver Perez are both expected back very shortly. Neither has performed well in their 16 combined starts but a new healthy start for both could do wonders.
The schedule is rough coming up but with that comes good value. After playing the Yankees, the Mets travel to Milwaukee and Philadelphia for back-to-back series with a makeup game against Pittsburgh sandwiched in-between. After that comes a home series with the Dodgers. That is four straight series against playoff contending teams but that means a fair number of underdog and small favorite spots that we can look into to back New York as it looks to turn its season around.