From Sports Watch Monitor
OK, we already know the Los Angeles Dodgers have slipped into otherworldly places with their 37-8 record since June 22 (+32.5 units), but there are other teams to consider also if you are betting baseball.
For example, similar to the Dodgers in early June, Kansas City was thought to be finished back at the All-Star break with five consecutive losses. All the young talent the Royals had marched through the farm system was supposed to produce and instead, collectively they were floundering with a 43-49. Who knows what happened at the break or maybe winning a home series against Detroit coming out of the second half helped the Royals confidence, whatever it was it has worked and K.C. is 18-5 (+13.65) since July 19. There are those complainers saying Kansas City has not played quality competition, however, that is foolish talk since this organization has not had a winning season in nine years, making beating ANYBODY an achievement.
This weekend was crucial for the confidence of K.C. defeating a team like Boston three out of four. While the Royals might trail Cleveland in the standings right now, they actually have one less loss than the Indians, placing them ahead of them once the number of games equal out and they are four back in the wild card race.
If you are looking for further positives, Kansas City’s starting pitchers have the fourth-best ERA in the American League and this group goes deep into games, saving the bullpen for specialized roles. Led by closer Greg Holland, Royals relievers have the fewest amount of innings pitched in baseball.
The resurgence of Eric Hosmer has also been a boost to the offense. Manager Ned Yost and his club still have work to do, but it is good to see the Royals relevant again.
Atlanta continues to pull away in the NL East and will have to use the other division contenders as motivation to maintain the best record in the National League with their 15-1 sprint. The Braves are the best home team in baseball at 40-16 (+14.7).
Detroit and Texas continue to churn, with the Tigers 17-3 since July 21st and the Rangers winners of 12 of 13. In both cases, stellar starting pitching to go along with a potent offense has made the difference.