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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM

A year ago at this time, one of eventual divisional winners in Major League Baseball had a very poor 26-35 record. They were in last place in their division, and it was assumed they would have no chance to reach the postseason.

At the same exact time, ANOTHER eventual divisional champ was off to a slow 28-32 start. They weren’t in last place. But, it’s hard to make a run at a playoff spot if you’re below the .500 mark 60 games into a season. You have to lift your game significantly over the last 100 games to have any shot at al.

Yet, both the Oakland A’s (26-35, on their way to 94-68 and an AL West pennant) and the Detroit Tigers (28-32, on their way to 88-74, the AL Central Pennant, and ultimately the American League pennant before losing to San Francisco in the World Series) were able to turn their seasons around in dramatic fashion.

Most importantly for sports bettors, they made a lot of money while doing so because there’s just no way for Vegas oddsmakers to properly price a red hot team.

That means somebody who hasn’t impressed you so far in the 2013 season might very well be the next team to catch fire and make a dramatic run into the postseason. Advanced Sports Bettors and Handicappers need to be on the lookout for this possibility because it’s our job to stay ahead of the oddsmakers. We have to ANTICIPATE possibilities in addition to our “read and react” requirements as a season unfolds.

Here in my view are the teams who currently have losing records who are best situated to make strong runs going forward. I’m not saying that ALL of these teams are about to get hot, or even expressing certainty that at least one of them will. I’m telling you that conditions favor at least one of these teams putting the pieces together moving forward in a fashion similar to what Oakland and Detroit pulled off last year.

 

FROM RAGS TO RICHES?

Washington Nationals 31-31 in the NL East

Los Angeles Dodgers 27-36 in the NL West

Los Angeles Angels 27-37 in the AL West

Kansas City Royals 29-32 or Chicago White Sox 28-34 in the AL Central

*Washington was expected to be a playoff contender, and still can be very easily because they play in a very weak division. They’re likely to have better health from this point forward in the season…and will have a lot of games against the likes of the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins. The Nats have been a disappointment so far…but there’s plenty of time to fix that.

*The Los Angeles Dodgers have had some bad injury luck in the first half of the season, but are starting to look like the team experts expected to see out of the gate. They have a Cy Young candidate in Clayton Kershaw…and may soon have a man pitching like a second one in Zack Grienke. It’s true they’re stuck in what looks to be a very competitive division. They could still rally in time to make a run at a Wildcard.

*The Los Angeles Angels are just another version of the Dodgers. Both teams are writing similar stories so far this year…massive payrolls, but even bigger disappointment. If Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver alone find their past form…this team because a threat very quickly. Additional weaponry makes the team even more lethal. The 2013 Angels could be the 2012 A’s.

*Both the Royals and White Sox are in a weak division…and both have enough in the starting rotation to at least get some results going forward. I like that Kansas City is bringing a sense of urgency to the season with recent personnel decisions. Chicago’s been playing with more intensity in recent days too. I don’t expect both of those teams to surge home…but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if one of those became a second-half Cinderella story in the AL Central. Cleveland doesn’t have the pitching. These teams just might.

If you’re having trouble staying ahead of the curve with your own picks, you can purchase my top plays daily at this very website with your major credit card.

I’m currently scheduling a Thursday return for more classwork, as we’ll evaluate the first three games of the NBA Finals in an effort to anticipate what’s going to happen in Thursday’s fourth game and beyond. I look forward to seeing you again at that time.

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