HOT: L.A.'S FINEST
Preseason hype focused on the Angels, but the Dodgers (9--1 through Monday with a +17 run differential) are ruling SoCal. Can we just name Matt Kemp MVP already? The slugger is hitting .487/.523/1.026 with six HRs, all league highs.
NOT: NOT FEELING MINNESOTA
The T-Wolves had a shot at the playoffs before a nine-game skid, much of it without Michael Beasley (toe). And the Twins have been almost identically awful: They're 2--7, and Baseball Prospectus gives them a 1.7% chance of making the postseason.
HOT: BOFFO BIFFLE
Points leader Greg Biffle won at Texas Motor Speedway last Saturday, passing Jimmie Johnson with 30 laps to go. Said Biffle of chasing down the five-time champ, "I knew [my] team would forgive me if I wrecked trying to beat him."
NOT: ROYAL MESS
The Kings have dropped seven of eight and saw their arena deal collapse. A Sacramento city official compared negotiating with team owners Gavin (below) and Joe Maloof to "dealing with the North Koreans—except they are less competent."
HOT: ANDES DANDIES
Want a World Cup 2014 favorite? Try Argentina. Last weekend Man City's Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez combined for five goals; Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain had one; and Lionel Messi (below) had his 41st of the year, tying the La Liga record.
ALBERT GEA/REUTERS (MESSI)
KYLE TERADA/US PRESSWIRE (MALOOF)
DAN WOZNIAK/ZUMAPRESS.COM (BIFFLE)
TOM OLMSCHEID/AP (BEASLEY)
GARY A. VASQUEZ/US PRESSWIRE (KEMP)