June ’08 MLB Betting Report
Who’s Hot, Who’s not?
It’s amazing how much can change in a month. After April, some of the teams/players on my cold list lit on fire, while others plummeted in the other direction. So after the so called “merry month of May” who in major league baseball is now hot, and which are not?
1) Tampa Bay Rays. They were the early preseason favorite to strike it big, and started off sluggish, staying below .500. Since then they’ve played on fire and this small payroll team is not only trumping the Yankees and Red Sox, but fighting for the best record in all of major league baseball. Having a streak of winning 16 out of 17 home games definitely helps. Go Rays!
2) Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves. There hasn’t been a serious run at .400 since George Brett, but Chipper Jones is on fire, still batting .420 and the scariest part is that he doesn’t look like a player who is playing through a hot streak, he looks like a player who is very comfortable and just getting started!
3) Lance Berkman (Astros) & Josh Hamilton (Texas). These two players are placed together because they are BOTH threatening to take the triple crown. Berkman’s stats are far more impressive, though it may be hard to grab the batting average title from a guy hitting .420. Hamilton is 4th in average, 1st in RBI, and 2nd in HR while Berkman is 2nd in average, 1st in RBI, and 1st in HR. Both are having monster seasons, and it’s a rarity to see two going for it in the same season.
4) Florida Marlins. This team has the smallest pay roll in the majors, yet leads their division with a 30-22 record. All this for a payroll that costs less than A-Rod’s contract alone, making the Marlins one of the best return on investment in the majors so far.
5) Joe Torre. Think about it. After years of crap, they couldn’t get Torre out of New York fast enough, and now under manager Joe Girardi the Yanks have a losing record and are dead last in the division. Torre doesn’t look so bad, now, does he?
1) Kansas City Royals. Any team that loses 11 games in a row is going to top this list. The Royals were right around .500, but now they’ve dug themselves a huge hole while their fans’ hearts break.
2) New York Baseball. New York City has two of the highest paid teams in all of major league baseball. Both were supposed to be competing for the pennant this year, and both are hovering around .500 near the bottom of their divisions. This certainly isn’t what fans were expecting in preseason.
3) Detroit Tigers. After several seasons of great success and strong play off showings, the one thing Tigers fans did not expect was a team utterly void of pitching near the bottom of their division, 9 games under .500.
4) Ryan Howard. Howard is definitely in a slump, only batting .206, with nearly twice as many strikeouts as hits. In a city like Philadelphia, that’s not going to fly, even with his history of carrying the team. He needs to hit his groove soon.
5) Milwaukee Brewers. Many thought this young team would mature and compete after a strong 2007 showing. They haven’t, Gagne has been a disaster at pitcher, and people are wondering if manager Ned Yost is holding this team back. The Brew Crew needs to get going quickly if they’re going to salvage this season.
Shane Dayton (Senior Writer for BetVega.com)