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Paul Ulane

MLB Fiery Five


July may be the summer’s hottest month, but it’s got nothing on these five major league teams who are melting the competition. Did your favorite team make the cut this week? Keep reading to find out.
 
1. Tampa Bay Rays
Joe Maddon’s boys are finally back to playing Rays baseball - lots of hustle and lockdown late-inning pitching. The Rays have been toying with their opponents lately, racking up a league high 11 steals in the last week. You also don’t want to fall behind Tampa Bay - the bullpen has only allowed one run in its last six games.  
 
2. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are back in first place in the AL West…because they dominated the NL West. The Halos offense came out on fire after five straight series against their NL counterparts, tallying the most runs in the majors during interleague play (118). Pitching has never been a problem for the Angels, but it’s the rejuvinated offense that’s once again made them the team to beat in the AL West.  
 
3. New York Yankees
It was a week of momentous occasions for the Bronx Bombers. Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera notched his 500th career save, the team delivered a Subway Series sweep, and Chien-Ming Wang actually won a game! What’s next, free first-row tickets at the new Yankee Stadium!?
 
4. San Francisco Giants
I have a sneaking suspicion that Tim Lincecum’s arm is actually made of rubber. The righty with the over-the-top delivery has thrown three complete games in his last four starts, including two shutouts! It’s great to have Lincecum throwing every fifth game…it’s even better that the Giants also have Matt Cain (9-2, 2.57 ERA) to help anchor the rotation.
 
5. The City of St. Louis
The Cardinals will be representing the home team big-time when the All-Star game comes to town next week. Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina are in line to be starters, while pitcher Chris Carpenter also has a shot of making the roster. Top it all with the trade for super utility man Mark DeRosa and St. Louis is sitting pretty right now within a game of first in the NL Central.
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