Red Hot and Blue: Baseball's Hot and Cold Teams in Mid-August

Baseball Aug 18, 2020

There's money to be made betting baseball.  Trick is, it's vital to know which teams to bet on and which teams to avoid.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season continues to barrel along, despite COVID-19 postponements affecting nearly half of the league’s teams at some point thus far.

Surprising starts and strange struggles have dotted the landscape this season, making it difficult to pin down a safe bet.  Such high-variance will make any interested party uncomfortable.

Despite the uncertainty, here’s a look at three teams to watch – particularly this week – and three teams to avoid:

Team to Watch: LA Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers sport a 16-7 record and average the third most runs per game in MLB (5.57). They’ve outscored opponents 36-14 of late and are riding a five-game winning streak. Mookie Betts has been on a tear, hitting six homers and 13 RBI over his last 10 games. And the Dodgers are doing all this with Cody Bellinger slumping (.187 batting average, .341 slugging)

This week they welcome the struggling Mariners (7-16) to LA for two games, then head to Seattle for two more.

Team to Watch: Chicago Cubs

The Cubbies entered the weekend with MLB’s best record, but they were bested by a bipolar Brewers squad who took three of four. Chicago’s series loss was the first sign of struggle this season. They’ve lost four of seven to the Brew Crew but are 10-2 versus everyone else.

Over the next three days, the Cubs have five games against the St. Louis Cardinals (4-4). Then they’ll face cross-town rival White Sox (11-11) over the weekend. Chicago’s success has come despite struggles from Kris Bryant, who’s slashing just .182/.286/.345 in 2020.

Team to Watch: Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore has been one of MLB’s big surprises this year. Against anyone other than the Miami Marlins, the Orioles are 12-5. The O’s ran rank top-three in batting average (.265), slugging percentage (.467) and OPS (.798).

Baltimore is doing this with little production from Chris Davis, who’s currently 6-for-45 with no homers and just one RBI. The O’s host Toronto (7-11) and Boston (6-16) this week.

Team to Avoid: Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox weren’t supposed to be this bad, but, here we are. Boston’s pitching staff sports MLB’s highest team-ERA (6.03) and allows 1.6 home-runs-per-nine-innings. They’ve lost seven in a row and have been outscored 67-32 over that span. The Sox have one more versus New York, then play Philadelphia (8-9) and Baltimore.

Team to Avoid: Seattle Mariners

Seattle’s anemic offense scores a league-worst 3.74 runs-per-game and they’re hitting just .218 in 2020. The Mariners (7-16) are getting nothing from Evan White, who they extended before he played an MLB game. In 84 PAs, White has struck out 37 times. They face the Dodgers four times this week.

Team to Avoid: Pittsburgh Pirates

The worst team in baseball is Pittsburgh (4-14). The Pirates are hitting just .211 and they’re getting nothing from Josh Bell, who’s hitting .203 and striking out 32.4 percent of the time. Their 5.55 team ERA is fourth worst in MLB. They face Cleveland (13-9) and Milwaukee (10-10) this week.

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