The 2010 World Cup betting is reaching its climax, and the MLB season rolls on to the All-Star break. By now, many betting people had the Philadelphia Phillies sitting atop the NL East with the young Atlanta Braves developing their way through the bottom of the division. As we sit about 80 games into the 2010 season, the MLB betting world is a little confused at why the Phillies are in third place chasing the first place Braves.
The fact is that the Braves are hitting and pitching better than almost anyone in the majors right now. But that team is still young, and there is half of a baseball season yet to go. Whether or not the Braves can continue to hold off the Phillies depends on how fast the Braves mature, and how much longer the Phillies continue to misfire in almost every aspect of the game.
When you put the Phillies' stats up against almost any other major league team, they are not horrible. But for the defending NL champions that did a little re-tooling to make another run at the World Series this year, the stats for the Phillies are extremely disappointing.
A roster that is supposed to be anchored by Ryan Howard has only a team batting average of .259, is at the bottom of the NL with 659 hits and is middle of the NL pack with 137 doubles. With the standards set by the Phillies in the pre-season, these numbers are not going to cut it.
Roy Halladay is having another great season, but the rest of the Phillies pitching staff has contributed to ballooning the team ERA to 4.01. One of the disappointments for this season on the mound for the Phillies is the starting pitcher for this game, Cole Hamels. Hamels has a 6-6 record and a 4.08 ERA. His last start was shaky as he has gave up six earned runs in five innings to the Blue Jays.
There are teams you expect to be involved in World Cup final betting as the tournament draws to a close. Portugal, Spain and Brazil are usually part of the picture when the World Cup gets down to its final four. Then there teams like Japan and Greece that never seem to be a factor. The Pittsburgh Pirates share the same fate as those later teams. No matter what seems to be going on in baseball, it is a lock that the Pirates are out of the playoffs by June. This season is no different.
The Phillies are struggling as they have only won six of their last 10 games. They need to start putting together a string of wins now to have some momentum before the All-Star break. They also need to get pitchers like Cole Hamels turned around if they are going to make any kind of run to the 2010 playoffs and make it back to the World Series. Unfortunately for the fans in Pittsburgh, the Pirates may be just what the Phillies need right now.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies 8-2