Lengthy winning and losing streaks seem less likely in Major League Baseball because day to day matchups are so different and give less talented teams more opportunities to break through on a daily basis. The pitcher controls so much of the pace in any given start, and the season is such a grind that daily lineup and defensive choices can be affected by injury or the simple need for rest. But hot MLB teams can be identified over ten and twenty day stretches as the cream rises to the top of current standings.
The once-hot Atlanta Braves continue a long road trip, leaving one suddenly hot team (the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates) for another (the NL West leading Colorado Rockies). After hosting Atlanta, the Rockies head off for four games against division rival Arizona. Pittsburgh just finished a 7-2 homestand, but now they must test their new-found offensive swagger and consistent pitching against the annual NL East power Philadelphia Phillies and NL Central rivals St. Louis and streaking Milwaukee. In the American League, two familiar names who were expected to be down are riding strong performances to the top of the AL East – the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Boston is home for a series against once-hot Oakland, while the Yankees are finishing a road trip against their divisional foe, the Tampa Bay Rays. As May approaches, look for some prospects to be called up into Major League Baseball and affecting these races in the coming weeks.