Don't write off the defending World Series champs just yet. After being seemingly left for dead earlier this month, the Kansas City Royals have won 11 of 12 games and eight straight heading into Monday's action. Three times last week the Royals won as an underdog, resulting in total profits of 7.3 units, which is the highest one-week total of any club this season.
While the Royals have climbed back into the AL playoff chase, the Baltimore Orioles are losing their grip on a potential postseason spot. The O's 1-5 mark last week resulted in losses of 4.4 units and left them just a game ahead of the Mariners for the final wild-card spot.
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Here is this week's look at the hottest and coldest bets in MLB
Hottest MLB Bets (8/15 through 8/21)
Kansas City Royals (7-0, +7.3 Units)
The Royals last week won three games in Detroit and then swept a four-game set at home against the Twins. Kansas City is now just four games back in the AL wild-card race.
The Royals resurgence has largely been spurred by its starting rotation, specifically Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.46 ERA). The veteran lefty has won his last 10 decisions while shaving nearly a half-run off his ERA.
How good has the Royals pitching been of late? K.C. gave up one run or fewer in six of its seven wins last week.
The Royals will be tested to the hilt this week as they embark on a six-game road trip with three games in Miami followed by a weekend set at Boston.
Cincinnati Reds (5-1, +4.6 Units)
The Reds at 21-13 since the All-Star break have quietly been among the better clubs in MLB in the second half. Last week, Cincinnati took three of four from the Marlins and then two of three from the Dodgers all at Great America Ballpark.
High-priced first baseman Joey Votto has been virtually unstoppable in the second half. Since the All-Star break, Votto has hit .447 with 6 HR, 26 RBI and a monstrous 1.241 OPS.
With the pressure removed, the Reds have played the role of spoiler to a tee. Look for Cincinnati to continue to be a thorn in the side of playoff contenders.
This week the Reds finish a four-game set with the Dodgers on Monday then host the Rangers for two followed by three games in Arizona.
Other hot MLB bets: St. Louis Cardinals (4-1, +3.1 Units), Boston Red Sox (5-2, +3.0 Units)
Coldest MLB Bets (8/15 through 8/21)
Baltimore Orioles (1-5, -4.4 Units)
Concern is growing in Baltimore, as another poor week has dropped the O's to third in the AL East and just one game up in the wild-card chase. Last week, the Orioles lost twice to Boston and dropped three of four to the Astros, all at Camden Yards.
The hard-hitting Orioles are largely continuing to produce at the plate, but the pitching staff--which had exceeded expectations for four-plus months--is starting to falter. Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.76 ERA) was/is in the Cy Young hunt, but he's recently missed time with shoulder discomfort and is just 2-3 with a 6.66 ERA in his previous five starts.
The Orioles will need to turn things around in a hurry to hold on to their fading postseason chances. It won't be easy this week as they play a home-and-home with the Nationals for four games followed by three games against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Milwaukee Brewers (1-6, -4.3 Units)
The Brewers only win last week came on Sunday when they erased a three-run ninth-inning deficit to beat the Mariners at Safeco Field in what was a devastating loss for the contending home team.
While things have been mostly dreadful in Milwaukee this season, the exception has been young center fielder Keon Broxton. He had two HR's in Sunday's win, and since being called up on July 25 Broxton has batted .426 with 5 HRs and 13 RBIs.
This week the Brewers are home for three games against the Rockies followed by a four-game set versus the Pirates.
Other cold MLB bets: Oakland A's (1-5, -4.0 Units), San Francisco Giants (2-5, -3.8 Units)
Atlanta Braves (1-6, -3.4 Units), Detroit Tigers (2-5, -2.4 Units)
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