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MLB News: Oakland Athletics deserve an A

Yoenis Cespedes3DW View: It was June 1; Oakland had just lost 2-0 at Kansas City for their ninth straight loss and another forgettable season seemed at hand. With Texas and the Angels having superior on the field talent, most A’s fans probably figured beating Seattle was about as good as it was going to get.

But Oakland did not throw in the towel, instead they won four of their next six games, the starting pitching improved and the return Yoenis Cespedes added power to line up that was seeing outfielder Josh Reddick develop.

Since June 2, the Green and Gold is 24-13, up +14.40 units for those betting on baseball, which includes winning nine of the last 10. With teams winning over 90 percent of the time if they score five runs first in a game, Oakland pitchers have only allowed opponents to score more than four runs three times in their last 17 contests.

With exceptional starting pitching, a lights out bullpen and an offense gaining confidence, the A’s are a half-game behind Baltimore for the last wild card spot.

MLB News: Cubs Fever – Catch It

Anthony Rizzo3DW View: If ever a team looked destined for 100 or more losses, it was the 2012 Chicago Cubs. Mel Gibson had a better chance to land a lead role than Carlos Marmol and the rest of the Chicago relievers did than holding a lead. The offense could not score and each road game essentially was an exercise in futility. Even passionate Cubs fans were not talking about their team on Windy City sports talk radio, because compared to the past, this was supposed to be a bad Cubs club and they were meeting all expectations.

Cubs President, Theo Epstein, had downplayed the importance of rushing first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the big club, especially after how he performed in San Diego last season. But with mounting losses, the Chicago front office brought up the big first-sacker and the Cubs have been a different team since.

Sure, the North-Siders still scuffle to score runs, but they are learning how to win. The Cubs are 12-4 since June 25, picking up over 12 units of profit in the interim. Rizzo has provided a natural-looking hitter in the three slot of the betting order and he’s delivered four hits already that have put the Cubs ahead for good since his arrival.

The starting pitching was already strength, but the emergence of Shawn Camp, James Russell and Manny Corpas has stabilized the bullpen for manager Dale Svuem. Marmol can still be an adventure as a closer, but he’s improved significantly from April.

It is expected the Chicago front office will deal starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza this month, which will set the team back, but at least for now hope has been restored and – Wait till next year!

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