So who is ready to win the World Series? Well, relax , folks, it is only June and baseball is a marathon. Patience and consistency are keys to being the best in baseball, the same two qualities that are necessary in the world of sports wagering.
After all, it is not the hot teams in May and June that win the World Series, it is the team hottest in October. The 2002 and 2003 Angels and Marlins were great examples, along with the 2004 Red Sox and 2006 Cardinals. One year ago this week the San Francisco Giants were riding a six-game losing streak trying to hang on for first place. Cracks in the armor? No, just a short losing streak in the grind of a 162-game season. Or in the case of the 2014 Giants, more games than that as they rolled to another title in October.
Go back to 2010, the start of their title run, the San Francisco Giants (19 to 1 to win the World Series) were in third place in the NL West in mid-June, five games over .500 with a losing road mark. All those teams were less than stellar in the first half of the season before catching fire down the stretch and winning the World Series.
That 2010 Giants team really made their move in July, starting 15-4 after the All Star break. At the end of the first month of the 2002 season, the Angels were 11-14 and no one was talking about them as challengers in October. A year later, on June 1, 2003, the Florida Marlins were 26-32, looking up at the Braves, Phillies and Expos in the NL East. They were just one-game out of last place in the division and 100-to-1 shots to win the World Series. In October, they did.
Many times a roster a team currently has will not be the one they will be using in October, or even July. Managers are still tinkering with lineups, or practicing patience with slumping players hoping they will bust out of it. General Managers are reviewing team needs and plotting trades to upgrade positions and even minor leaguers can come up to help out.
This season, many talented teams have been waiting for key players to return from injuries or trying some new talent. The Reds have ace Johnny Cueto dealing with injuries, while the Detroit Tigers are hoping to get a boost from Justin Verlander and Victor Martinez.
The Miami Marlins probably won’t be repeating their incredible 2003 campaign from worst to first in a few months, but they have a lot of pitching talent banged up in Mat Latos and Jose Fernandez. A pair of hot, healthy arms in the second half of the season can change a pitching staff immensely. And while Ryan Braun’s thump ever get healthy to provide some offense to the punchless Brewers? The Mets would love to help their offense with a trade – or to simply get David Wright healthy.
Maybe we shouldn’t count out the defending champion Giants just yet, either, as former ace Matt Cain is making rehab starts. The Nationals are already a strong team but could get much better soon if Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister return to action.
Another factor is the minor leagues, with teams sometimes able to bring up rookie talent to plug into holes. Sometimes they can be key contributors in the second half, and other times it will be done to showcase the young talent because they want to use the kids as trade bait for an established player. Minor league surprised and getting injured players back can be as important as a trade.
Written by Jim Feist for VegasTopDogs.com