July ’08 MLB Betting Report
Who’s Hot & Who’s not going into July?
Another month of an exciting major league baseball season has passed, and while Cubs fans still have to be on Cloud 9, others don’t have so much reason to be optimistic. This has been a strong MLB season so far, and since another month has passed, it’s time to check back in to see who’s now hot, and who is not.
Francisco Rodriguez, Relief Pitcher, Anaheim Angels. Although it’s still a long way off, technically Rodriguez is on pace to end the season with 58 saves, which would break Bobby Thigpen’s old single season record by one. In 37 appearances Rodriguez has managed 31 saves, and the Angels are a very low scoring defensive team, which means it’s likely that Francisco will get every opportunity to put his name in the record books.
Chicago Cubs, 49-31, best record in baseball. Props also go to the Angels and Rays, who are right behind the Cubs record wise, but the “loveable losers” are on fire with the best record in baseball, and with a rejuvenated Kerry Wood making it nearly impossible for any team to catch up once the Cubs get a lead. Lou Pinella is one of the best managers in the game, and this might be the year the Cubs finally break the curse.
Minnesota Twins, 44-36, 2nd in division, won 10 straight games. I picked the Twins as a surprise team, and considering what they lost going into this season, 8 games above .500 is dang impressive. The Twins are hot not only for staying competitive, but they have also won ten games in a row for the best streak in all of baseball.
Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves. Chipper Jones currently has a .394 batting average. It’s not above .400, but it’s right there on the border and anything above .360 is never to be sneered at. At the age of 36, Jones is having the best season of his career and is still in a very realistic position to hit .400, which would make him the first player to do so since Ted Williams in 1941, over 65 years ago.
Edinson Volquez, Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds. Volquez leads the National League in strikeouts and ERA, and is only one win short of leading for the NL pitcher’s triple crown (wins, strikeouts, ERA). Edinson has had a fantastic season, one that has him on pace for the best season of his career. Now if only the rest of the team could do their part to get out of last place.
Dontrelle Willis, Pitcher, Detroit Tigers (kind of). It wasn’t that long ago when Willis was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball and looked like the kind of player who could eventually even make a run at a hall of fame career. Now he can’t find the strike zone if his life depended on it, has an unbelievable ERA over 10.00, and is not only going to the minor leagues, but is bumped all the way down to single A. That is an incredible fall from grace, and it’s hard to believe Willis will ever recover. Even Barry Zito has looked better than Willis this season.
Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers. There are a lot of reasons the Brewers started out rough, and Weeks playing terribly is one of them. He is far too talented a player to be hitting .217 with a pathetic on base percentage. If the Brewers are going to make a serious charge at a wild card spot, Weeks is going to have to catch fire and play to his potential.
Seattle Mariners, 29-50, worst record in MLB. The Mariners have the worst record in baseball by four games, even worse than the Nationals who have the worst run scored/runs allowed ratio in baseball. No one was expecting a World Series this year, but this is beyond ridiculous and this team is definitely playing well below talent. Manager Bill Bavasi was fired part way through the season, but there’s still no sign of rallying this season.
Barry Zito, Pitcher, San Francisco Giants. Is it too soon to declare him the Ryan Leaf of Major League Baseball? Enough said.
San Diego Padres, 32-48, last place. Not only are the Padres tied for last in the division, but they have lost 9 of their last 10 games. Not that they were looking all that hot before then, but this is a team that simply does not look good at all.
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Shane Dayton (Senior Writer for BetVega.com)