The following is a look at what some of the best and worst teams did over the course of the last week to improve their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.Money-MakersTampa Bay Rays (6-0, $600): The Rays began laying the groundwork in getting back into the playoff picture once the calendar year turned to August, as manager Joe Maddon's squad will enter its series opener in Seattle Monday night having proved triumphant in eight of their 10 played games since ($430). Evan Longoria's reinsertion into the line-up has sparked the offense with Tampa tallying an average of 6.2 runs per game over the course of the last week. Now just five-games out in the AL East and owners of the overall wild card, this club now looks poised for a return trip to the postseason.On The Docket: The Rays will close out their 10-game road trip with three in Seattle before heading to Anaheim for a four-game series filled with playoff ramifications; Tampa Bay checks in 30-25 ($875) away from "The Trop" and 15-7 vs. AL West opposition on the year.Washington Nationals (6-1, $514): This is really starting to get old and play out like a broken record, but the Nationals are by far one of the best teams in the National league and maybe in the entire league for that matter! While the latter remains to be seen, you can't find much wrong with manager Davey Johnson's ball club who went down fighting but ultimately had their eight-game win streak snapped in the desert on Sunday. Still, the series win was the team's third in a row since shockingly dropping two of three to the Phillies at home at the beginning of the month.On The Docket: Ryan Zimmerman and his mates will close out their 10-game roady by the Bay in San Francisco where they'll deal with the NL West leading Giants. They'll then return home for a weekend set with the struggling Mets before hosting the Braves for an intriguing series. Washington's 31-22 vs. +.500 opponents ($800) to date!San Diego Padres (5-1, $482): If not for letting a 5-0 lead get away from them in Sunday's series finale in Pittsburgh, the Padres would enter this week's action the proud owners of a seven-game win streak. Be that as it may, Chase Headley and his teammates have banked some serious coin for their investing backers having secured a $596 return on investment through their L/9 games played. In doing so, San Diego now finds itself two or three more underdog wins away from getting back into the black for the season!On The Docket: The squad's tough stretch of games continues this week with four set to go at Turner Field - a venue they've split their L/10 visits to - before returning home to battle the division rival Giants - a team they're just 3-6 (-$229) against in 2012.Honorable Mentions: Atlanta Braves (4-2, $191), Baltimore Orioles (5-2, $189), Texas Rangers (4-2, $161), San Francisco Giants (4-3, $89), New York Yankees (4-3, $29)Money-BurnersLos Angeles Angels (2-4, -$562): What a crippling week it was for the Angels who dropped back-to-back series to divisional opponents to fall eight-games out in the AL West race. On top of that, they lost their positioning atop the wild card standings and now trail both the Rays, Orioles, and Athletics. With Mike Trout and more so Mark Trumbo's overall output coming back down to earth, the Halos are once again struggling to score runs having scored four or less in four of their six games played last week.On The Docket: Los Angeles will attempt to turn it around in its three games with also struggling Cleveland before setting its sights on a crucial four-game home series with the streaking Rays through the weekend. LA checks in a combined 30-32 vs. the AL Central and AL East this season.Chicago Cubs (1-6, -$464): With Jed and Theo shipping off a bulk of their veteran talent at the trade deadline, the Cubs every day roster is littered with a who's who of inexperienced talent. Since the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, Chicago has mustered just one win through 11 tries (-$860), and things don't look to be getting better anytime soon. While it most likely won't challenge the Houston Astros for the worst overall $$$-mark at season's end, Chicago should come awfully close!On The Docket: The Cubbies will get to prove me wrong right out of this week's chute with three games scheduled to go versus the Astros before hitting the road to once again go up against the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds at the GAB; Chicago's dropped each of its L/7 games played away from Wrigley Field and stands 16-42 as a visitor overall (-$1798).Toronto Blue Jays (1-5, -$339): Unfortunately, 2012 will always go down in history as the season the injury bug had a score to settle with the Toronto Blue Jays. At first, it only preyed upon the Blue Jays pitching staff having taken bites out of Sergio Santos, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchinson, and Brandon Morrow, but now, he's honed in on the Jays' bats having recently sent Jose Bautista, Adam Lind, J.P Arencibia, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus to the pine. Still, Toronto has won 54 games on the year which is more than 11 other teams can say that haven't nearly felt the wrath of all those injuries.On The Docket: Another rough week is in store for this walking wounded ball club with a pair of first place teams paying the Rogers Centre a visit in the forms of the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers; the BJs are 32-42 (-901) versus +.500 opposition on the year.Dishonorable Mentions: Houston Astros (2-5, -$236), Minnesota Twins (2-4, -$186), Detroit Tigers (3-4, -$126), Cleveland Indians (3-4, -$75)
Wednesday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
STREAKING Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (6-6, 3.80 ERA) Halladay turned in an impressive outing Friday night, allowing just one run while striking out eight over eight innings of a 3-1 win over the Cardinals. The Doctor has picked up back-to-back wins for the first time since April and looks poised to finish strong. He toes the rubber in Miami next. Miguel Gonzalez, Baltimore Orioles (4-2, 3.42 ERA) Gonzalez has come a long way since going winless in the minors last year. The righty has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles since making his first start on July 6, posting a 4-2 record. Gonzalez surrendered just one run and struck out five over eight quality innings to pick up the win over Kansas City in his last outing. The converted reliever has allowed just one earned run over his last 15 innings pitched. SLUMPING Mark Buehrle, Miami Marlins (9-11, 3.80 ERA) Buehrle allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings of a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday. The southpaw has gone winless in his last five outings after previously winning four consecutive starts. He takes the mound at home against the Phillies next time out. Edinson Volquez, San Diego Padres (7-8, 4.03 ERA) Volquez was touched up for six runs over 3 1/3 innings against Pittsburgh last time out. The righty has a 13.50 ERA over his last three starts, giving up 15 runs in 10 innings after going 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his previous six appearances. He makes a tough road start in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Luck is for the unprepared
-- Halladay won his last two starts, allowing one run in 15 IP.
-- Strasburg is 4-1, 3.15 in his last six starts. Lincecum is 2-1, 2.25 in his last three starts.
-- Kershaw is 3-0, 1.23 in his last three starts.
-- Dickey is 2-1, 1.80 in his last three starts.
-- Wainwright is 3-0, 1.84 in his last four starts.
-- FHernandez is 4-0, 1.80 in his last seven starts. Hellickson is 3-1, 3.38 in his last four starts.
-- MGonzalez is 2-0, 2.08 in his last three starts.
-- Romero has a 2.57 RA in his last couple starts.
-- Feldman is 3-1, 2.22 in his last four starts. FGarcia is 2-0, 3.27 in his last couple starts.
-- McCarthy is 3-0, 2.08 in his last four starts.
-- Buehrle is 0-3, 7.18 in his last five starts.
-- Norris is 0-1, 3.81 in his last four starts. Germano is 1-1, 5.63 in three starts for the Cubs.
-- Rogers is 0-1, 4.08 in three starts for the Brewers. Moscoso is 0-1, 11.58 in two starts, last of which was May 4.
-- WRodriguez is 0-2, 4.74 in three starts for Pittsburgh.
-- Volquez is 1-1, 13.50 in his last three starts.
-- Leake is 1-1, 6.67 in his last five starts.
-- Saunders is 2-4, 3.97 in his last seven starts.
-- Scherzer is 1-1, 5.71 in his last three starts. DeVries is 0-1, 10.13 in his last three outings.
-- Cook is 1-3, 7.36 in his last four starts.
-- Floyd is 0-1, 4.74 in his last three starts.
-- Smith is 3-4, 5.48 in eight starts this season.
-- ESantana is 1-2, 9.77 in his lat even starts. RHernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) is making his first '12 start; he's made 53-66, 4.59 in 150 career starts (7-15, 5.25 in 32 starts LY).
-- Dodgers won 11 of their last 15 road games.
-- Phillies won four of their last five games.
-- Reds won ten of their last twelve home games.
-- Padres won seven of their last nine games. Braves won 15 of 20.
-- Cardinals won 14 of their last 17 home games.
-- Washington won 20 of its last 25 games. Giants won eight of 12.
-- Orioles won eight of their last ten games.
-- Bronx both won six of its last seven games.
-- White Sox won six of their last eight road games.
-- Royals are 9-5 in their last fourteen games.
-- Indians won four of their last six games.
-- Tampa Bay won 12 of its last 16 games.
-- Pirates lost six of their last eight games.
-- Miami lost 19 of its last 27 games.
-- Mets lost six of their last eight games.
-- Astros lost 36 of their last 42 games. Cubs lost 11 of their last 14.
-- Arizona lost seven of its last ten games.
-- Brewers lost 13 of their last 14 road games. Colorado lost 14 of its last 21 games overall.
-- Red Sox lost nine of their last thirteen games.
-- Rangers are 5-7 in their last twelve road games.
-- Blue Jays lost 13 of their last 16 games.
-- Tigers lost four of their last seven games. Minnesota lost six of its last seven home games.
-- Oakland is 5-8 in its last thirteen games.
-- Angels lost nine of their last thirteen games.
-- Mariners lost six of their last nine games.
-- Over is 10-4-1 in last fifteen Dodger road games.
-- Seven of last ten San Diego road games went over the total.
-- Four of last six Met games went over the total.
-- Under is 13-5-2 in Miami's last twenty home games.
-- Under is 14-6-1 in last twenty-one games at Wrigley Field.
-- Five of last six Arizona road games went over total.
-- Over is 6-1-1 in last eight games at Coors Field.
-- Over is 9-3-1 in last thirteen San Francisco games.
-- Under is 20-7 in Boston's last 27 road games.
-- Six of last nine Bronx games went over the total.
-- 10 of White Sox' last 12 road games stayed under.
-- Eight of last eleven Kansas City games stayed under.
-- Under is 12-7-2 in Detroit's last twenty-one road games.
-- Five of last six Cleveland road games went over the total.
-- 18 of last 24 Tampa Bay games stayed under total.
-- LA-Pitt-- Five of last seven BWelke games over total.
-- Phil-Mia-- Four of last five Fairchild games went over.
-- SD-Atl-- All eight Baker games stayed under the total.
-- NY-Cin-- Nine of last twelve Hoye games went over total.
-- Az-StL-- Eight of last ten Meals games stayed under total.
-- Hst-Chi-- Under is 7-2-2 in last eleven Muchlinski games.
-- Mil-Col-- Under is 7-0-1 in last eight Blaser games.
-- Wsh-SF-- Underdogs are 5-4 in last nine Estabrook games.
-- Tex-NY-- Underdogs won six of last ten Carapazza games.
-- Chi-Tor-- Last four Wegner games went over the total.
-- Bos-Balt-- Favorites won eight of last ten Everitt games.
-- Det-Min-- Six of last seven Wolf games stayed under.
-- A's-KC-- Favorites won Demuth's last 14 games behind plate.
-- Clev-LA-- Four of last five Gibson games stayed under total.
-- TB-Sea-- Under is 5-2-1 in Drake's last eight games.