It was a good week for MLB underdog bettors. Sub-.500 teams such as the Brewers, Rays and Reds each turned tidy profits while going a combined 19-6. But by far the best bet in baseball was the Tigers, who went 6-0 and posted +8.1 units in profits. That's the highest one-week total of any club this season.
With the good comes the bad, of course, and the dead money last week included such public teams as the Red Sox, Royals and Giants. You can also add the Pirates added to that mix. The quartet went a combined 7-19 with losses totaling 18.5 units.
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Here is a closer look at the trending clubs in MLB:
Hottest bets in MLB (7/25 thru 7/31)
Detroit Tigers (6-0, +8.1 Units)
The Tigers (57-48) big week elevated them to the second-best bet in baseball for the season at +14.5 units, trailing only the Rangers at +23.5 units. Last week, Detroit swept three from the Red Sox at Fenway and then won all three at home against the Astros. Five of the six victories came as an underdog.
Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is back to being a force in the middle of the lineup for the Tigers, as he's pushed his batting average back up to .303 while clubbing a team-high 23 HR's. This hot streak has also put the Tigers back in the playoff chase. They are 4.5 games back of the Indians in the A.L Central and just a game back of the second wild-card spot.
Detroit will be home for six games this week: three against the White Sox and three versus the Mets.
Milwaukee Brewers (6-1, +5.7 Units)
Lost in the hubbub of All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy vetoing a trade to the contending Indians is the fact the Brewers (47-56) just had their best week of the season on the field. Milwaukee took three of four from Arizona and then swept three from Pittsburgh, which was a potentially crippling blow to the Pirates playoff chances. Milwaukee was an underdog in all three games in Pittsburgh.
This is a nice little run by the Brewers, who last week had the league's third-lowest ERA (2.25) and were fifth in scoring (40 runs). They hit the road this week but get off somewhat easy as they play three in San Diego followed by three in Arizona.
Colorado Rockies (5-2, +5.5 Units)
Colorado's 12-5 mark since the All-Star break has it hovering around .500 and on the periphery of the wild-card race. The key for the hard-hitting Rockies has been its vastly improved pitching. After having the second-worst ERA (5.08) prior to the All-Star break, Colorado's staff has since posted a 3.25 ERA. Spearheading the improvement is Tyler Chatwood (10-6, 3.50 ERA), who has emerged as a quality arm at the top of the Rockies rotation.
If the pitching holds up--and that's always a big if in Colorado--it could be a huge second half for the Rockies. This week Colorado is home for three against the Dodgers and then the Marlins for three.
Other hot MLB bets: Tampa Bay Rays (4-1, +3.6 Units), Cincinnati Reds (4-2, +3.1 Units)
Coldest bets in MLB (7/25 thru 7/31)
Boston Red Sox (2-5, -5.7 Units)
The Red Sox salvaged some of what was a lost week by scoring five runs in the top of the 9th to rally past the Angels on Sunday. But certainly more than this is expected in Boston. The Red Sox were swept three by Detroit before managing a four-game split in Anaheim.
The Red Sox (57-46) are still just 1.5 games back in the A.L. East, and perhaps Sunday's rally will provide some momentum into this week. This is too good a club for these results to continue. With that said, however, things won't be easy this week. The Red Sox play a four-game series in Seattle followed by three games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Kansas City Royals (1-6, -5.2 Units)
A 4-12 mark since the All-Star break has left the defending World Series champs all but eliminated from the playoff chase. Last week's struggles included losing two of three at home to the Angels and then being swept three games in Texas by the Rangers.
With ace closer Wade Davis heading to the DL over the weekend as well, things appear to be bottoming out in Kansas City. The Royals rank 27th in scoring and are near the bottom in team ERA (4.38).
This week Kansas City plays four on the road against the Rays before returning home for a three-game set against the Blue Jays.
Pittsburgh Pirates (1-4, -4.7 Units)
The Pirates (52-51) poor week has put them four games out of the second wild-card spot while needing to leapfrog three clubs to make the postseason. That seems a highly unlikely proposition.
After splitting a quick two-game set with the Mariners last week, the Pirates were swept three games by the Brewers all as a road favorite. Also during that time Pittsburgh traded Mark Melancon, who has been one of the most effective closers in the game the past three years. That would seem to signify it's rebuilding time in Pittsburgh.
This week the Pirates play three in Atlanta and then host the Reds for a three-game set.
Other cold MLB bets: San Francisco Giants (3-4, -2.9 Units)
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