CHICAGO, August 13, 2013 — Who is the hottest team in baseball? It seems like a simple question, but that the answer changes almost daily and there are a variety of ways to look at the question.
The Texas Rangers have won 13 of 14. The Rangers now have a one game lead over Oakland in the division and lead the second AL Wild Card by three games. The team seems to be firing on all cylinders for the first time this year, putting up 6.1 runs/game and with the rotation and bullpen becoming settled they have only allowed 3 runs/game during the same stretch.
Over their last 20 games, the Royals have gone 17-3. They have scored 4.96 runs/game while allowing only 2.55 runs/game. This has pulled Kansas City to within four games of Tampa Bay for the final AL Wild Card spot. This has brought a level of excitement to Kansas City, which is not typical at the ballpark this late in the year. Usually for Kansas City, at this point in the season, the focus has typically shifted to how their prospects are doing.
The Detroit Tigers during their last 20 games have gone 16-4, including a 12-game win streak. This has held off the recent charge by the Royals allowing them to gain only one game on the Tigers’ division lead, which is still at six and a half games. The Tigers have scored 5.6 runs/game over this stretch while the staff has allowed 2.6 runs/game.
The Braves, like the Tigers, have won 16 of their previous 20 games, including a 14-game winning streak. This has expanded the Braves NL East lead to an enormous 14 games. During their recent hot streak, the Braves have averaged 5.35 runs/game and allowed 2.75 runs/game.
Finally, the Dodgers won 38 of their last 46 games and have gone from last to first place in the NL West. They now have a seven and a half game lead over Arizona. During this stretch, the Dodgers have scored 4.91 runs/game and given up 2.91 runs/game. The Dodgers have saved a lot of jobs during their hot streak, as the team has admitted that firing manager Don Mattingly was very close to being a reality. Had this team, with the highest payroll in baseball, slogged along like it did earlier in the year it is possible that GM Ned Colletti may have been under pressure as well.
Who is the hottest team in baseball? Today it looks like the Rangers, but check back tomorrow because the answer is fluid.
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