MLB Handicapping: Betting on Bad Teams
by Dave Busk - 8/18/2009
We're in mid-August and with attention turning to the small group of teams in the chase for their division or a Wild Card ticket to the postseason the money lines are always increasing for these teams. There is still a flip side for teams that have no pressure left - it's already certain that when the last day of the regular season arrives on the schedule that their season will be over. Lets take a look at some of those teams and the different directions they are going.
Washington Nationals - For a team that is 43-75 and sits at the bottom of the National League East, this squad is now playing the best ball they have this year, winning 11 of 15 in August so far. The Nationals have a potent lineup and they average more than five runs per game in this month. They have received good outings all year from John Lannan and just recently Garrett Mock. The bullpen has improved and their closer Mike MacDougal is hitting 97-98 on the gun with his fastball. Picking your spots and playing this team will show you a profit over the last six weeks
Cleveland Indians - This team has traded away two stars with Cliff Lee going to Philadelphia and Victor Martinez going to Boston. This team has been hitting and seems to be playing for their manger Eric Wedge. While their bullpen is nothing special and will have to improve to compete in 2010, their starting rotation is a open competition with newly acquired and talented Justin Masterson going to make some starts over the next six weeks. This rotation also has Aaron Laffey pitching well and Fausto Carmona trying to get himself back to the level he was at. This team will hold value over the course of these next six weeks.
New York Mets - What a disappointing season for the Mets and their backers. This team was supposed to compete for the National League East and here in mid-August find themselves 12 games out of the top spot. To their credit they have dealt with a ton of injuries but with the high expectations for this season and with the makeshift lineup in place now, this isn't the kind of team that is in a good mental place and the Mets could be just walking through the rest of the season.
Oakland Athletics - The A's were struggling big time in the beginning of the year, but all the sudden after losing Jason Giambi to injury and dealing Matt Holiday to the Cardinals the youngsters are stepping up and producing. In the month of August, the A's offense has averaged close to five runs a game and in 10 of the 16 games they have scored four runs or more and averaged six and a half runs during that span. The A's are running out young starter after young starter, but these guys have talent. This is another team that will play hard the rest of the year.
San Diego Padres - This team has been a joke all year and I wouldn't expect that to end here. The team fields pretty much a minor league roster, they have traded away Jake Peavy twice to the White Sox and they lost Chris Young to injury. They can't hit lefties, their rotation is bleak and a lot of times when I have see them they have looked disinterested. Terrible ball club.
For more information on Dave Busk's MLB picks or picks for the upcoming football season, check out his Insider's Page HERE.
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