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Friday, July 7
by Larry Ness - 07/07/2006
Mark Redman, KC's lone All Star selection for Tuesday's game, silenced all his critics last night by posting his sixth straight win. Redman has gone 6-0 over his last seven starts (Royals are 7-0) with a 4.05 ERA. Now that doesn't remind anyone of Sandy Koufax but for a guy who had gone 16 starts without a win prior to this current streak, it ain't bad!
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The Royals are also quite a story. Kansas City owned MLB's worst record last year at 56-106 and for that matter, lost 104 games in 2004 as well. The Royals lost 11 straight games from April 9 through April 21, to open the season at 2-13 through their first 15 games. They began a 13-game losing streak on May 12 and by May 25, stood at 11-35. That .239 winning percentage had them on pace to challenge the 1962 Mets, who went 40-120 (.250).
However, the Royals are winning these days and not only when Redman is on the mound. Last night's 6-2 win over the Blue Jays was KC's 14th win in its last 21 games and at 30-54, the Royals are 2 1/2 games clear of the slumping Pirates, who at 29-58, reside in MLB's cellar. Even more remarkable (and more important!), is KC's climb up the "moneyline ladder." The Royals are now just minus-$155 for the year, at $100/game.
Compare KC's profit/loss to that of Pittsburgh's and you'll see quite a disparity. While the Pirates are just 2 1/2 games behind the Royals in the standings, at $100/game, the Pirates stand at minus-$2,491 for the season. Putting the Royals' moneyline prowess into even more perspective, look at how it compares to that of the Yankees.
While the Yankees are 18 1/2 games better than the Royals in the standings (at 48-35), New York actually trails the Royals in the moneyline standings. Playing $100/game on the Yankees this year, finds a bettor at minus-$335 heading into this weekend's action. Kansas City's three-game winning streak ties them with the Mets and White Sox for MLB's second-longest active streak. The Brewers, who have won four straight, modestly lead the way.
Heading into this weekend's games, it's still the Tigers (57-28) and White Sox (56-29) leading the way with MLB's best records. Detroit has won 19 of 24, the White Sox 20 of 26 and fellow AL Central contender Minnesota, has won 21 of 25. While the White Sox trail the Tigers by just one game in the Central, they are $913 behind in the moneyline standings, as Detroit is plus-$2,630 compared to Chicago's plus-$1,717 mark.
The Mets own the NL's best overall mark at 51-34 and MLB's largest division lead. New York enters the weekend 12 1/2 games in front of the second-place Phillies in the NL East and the second-largest division lead is Boston's three-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East. The Mets also lead the NL moneyline standings at plus-$932.
The Reds own MLB's longest active losing streak, entering the weekend with six consecutive losses. The Reds trailed the Braves 7-2 entering the ninth inning on Thursday and while they managed to tie the game with a five-run 9th, they eventually lost in 11 innings, 8-7. However, the Reds have nothing on the Pirates, Cubs or Phillies. Pittsburgh has lost 18 of 21, the Cubs 18 of 23 and the Phillies 18 of 24.
The Pirates are in the basement of the moneyline standings as well, at minus-$2,491. The Cubs are second-worst at minus-$2,245 and the Phillies are fourth-worst at minus-$1,554. The 38-48 Braves sneak in at the third spot, at minus-$1,801. The lone AL team in the bottom-five is Cleveland, whose 39-45 record has them at minus-$1,304 on the year.
The Angels rank sixth-worst in the moneyline standings, at minus-$1,090. However, unlike the five teams ranked below them, the Angels still have a chance in their division. Consider this. The five worst teams in the moneyline standings are the Pirates, the Cubs, the Braves, the Phillies and the Indians. Those teams are a combined 75 1/2 games out of first place, an average of a little over 15 games per team.
As for the 40-45 Angels, they only trail the first-place Oakland A's by five games in the AL West. As the saying goes, "location, location,location!"
Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday by 1:00 ET. Please note: There will be no Ness Notes during the All Star break (will return on Thursday, July 13). However, check back Tuesday, for a special mid-season update.