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MLB Hot & Cold
by ASA - 07/21/2010
Every season a few teams come out of the All Star break with guns a blazin’ and start the second half on a hot streak. For some, this hot run can catapult them into playoff contention when they weren’t considered a post-season contender leading into the break. On the other hand, some are basically already out of the race yet find confidence and have strong a strong second half regardless of their playoff aspirations. At times you can pick up some nice value with these teams.
Conversely, some teams flounder in the 2nd half of the season. Some that were in the playoff hunt free-fall out of the standings. Some begin cleaning house at the trade deadline and simply don’t have the talent to compete on a nightly basis.
We are simply pointing out the teams that have gotten off to a strong start, and some that have sputtered post 2010 All-Star break. These are teams to keep a close eye on and may provide you with the upper-hand when wagering coming out of the 2010 break.
Certain teams on this list may surprise you.
Cleveland Indians – 6-0
Despite the worst record in the American League Central, the Indians are MLB’s hottest team. They had a four game sweep of the Tigers and have beaten the Twins in the first two games of their current series. They Tribe were underdogs in ALL SIX games giving bettors a great return on investment. Their pitching has been a lot stronger during this stretch than it had been all season long. Cleveland pitchers have struck out 40 batters in six games while only allowing 1 HR. They’ve allowed no more than four runs in their first six games (just 2.5 runs per game allowed). They’ve also averaged 5.8 runs per game on 11 hits per game.
St. Louis Cardinals – 6-0
The Cardinals are battling with Cincinnati for supremacy in the NL Central. They are currently a half game ahead of the Reds and the fact that they’ve started the 2nd half with a 6-0 record is a testament to that. The St. Louis offense has averaged 10.1 hits per game coming out of the break. Starting pitchers Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter have had three combined starts in this six game stretch. Those two have combined to throw 22 innings allowing just 14 hits, 2 ER, and only 2 BB.
Texas Rangers – 5-1
The AL West leading Rangers acquired starting pitcher, Cliff Lee, to be their ace down the stretch. So it’s somewhat surprising that Lee was the starting pitcher in the Rangers only loss after the break. Rangers pitchers have struck out 50 batters in six games (8.3 K’s per game) while allowing just 2.8 runs per game. The offense seemingly will always be there – with Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, and company producing among the best in the Majors (3rd in MLB with 5.2 runs per game and 2nd in MLB with a 280 team average).
Detroit Tigers – 0-6
This may be the most surprising team on the list. Detroit entered the All-star break just a half game behind the White Sox, and three games ahead of the Twins. Due to their poor start, they are already 3.5 behind the Sox and are just percentage points ahead of the Twins. The pitching staff has allowed 11.8 hits per game and 5.8 runs per game (7 runs or more in 4 of the 6 games). MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera is hitting just .208 in that stretch, but don’t put all the blame on his shoulders. They’ve scored just 2.3 runs per game and their powerful offense has just 3 home runs in that same stretch.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 0-6
The reigning NL West champion finds themselves currently in 4th place in their division, just 4 games over .500. Their offense has produced just 2.6 runs per game and 3 home runs while striking out 40 times in the past six games. The pitching hasn’t been terrible, but their offense is really sputtering. Manny Ramirez is injured while Matt Kemp, Casey Blake, and Russell Martin are all batting .261 or below for the season.
Seattle Mariners – 1-5
Despite high aspirations heading into this year, Seattle has been a mess all season long. They’ve already sold their big off-season acquisition Cliff Lee while other big name acquisitions Chone Figgins (.226 avg) and Milton Bradley (.211) have been less than impressive to say the least. They’ve scored just 2.3 runs per game with just 3 home runs while striking out 47 times in the last six games. The pitching hasn’t been there either, allowing 10.8 hits per game.