The trade deadline has finally passed, and now we know exactly what teams have to work with down the stretch run and into the postseason. This deadline was relatively quiet, but that doesn’t mean the odds didn’t move a lot following the July 31 deadline.
The Houston Astros were the big winner of the trade deadline with their move to trade for Zack Greinke. Although I question the long-term moves that made this trade happen, I do think that this trade massively benefits the Astros right now.
The Astros also added Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez in a trade with the Blue Jays. I do not think these two will end up being key additions, but they did help combine for a no-hitter in their first appearance with the team.
The Astros made the biggest move in the trade market, and this also caused them to make the biggest move in the futures market. This jump was just way too much in my opinion, compared to other teams in the American League.
The Yankees are +600, the Red Sox are +3000, and the Indians are +2000. The Astros are +200, and I think that the other three are all CLEAR values over the Astros in the AL.
In a five-game series, a rotation of Kluber, Carrasco, Clevinger, and Beiber would be able to match the Astros rotation and should not be significant underdogs. The same could be said of the Red Sox. The Astros have a clear rotation advantage over the Red Sox, but in all honesty, neither team has changed drastically, and the Red Sox won that series last season.
If either the Red Sox or Indians get the Astros in the ALDS, I think they are in much more trouble than the odds lead us to believe. The same could be said about the Yankees.
Both the Yankees and the Astros are virtual locks to get to the postseason. Both should see each other in the ALCS if they take care of business. Why are the Astros THREE times more likely to beat the Yankees?
Severino, Paxton, Tanaka, German vs. Verlander, Cole, Greinke, and Miley isn’t a massive mismatch. Both offenses are elite, but the Yankees have more depth. Bullpens are similar as well.
I like shots on all three of these AL teams over the Astros here.
The Dodgers were another team to stay put at the deadline, even with their lack of elite bullpen arms. I understand the odds of the Dodgers at +300 because of the likelihood they get out of the NL.
The NL doesn’t have any team in the league that has the raw talent to compete with the Dodgers, but that does not mean no one can beat them. The biggest edge you have when betting these futures is attempting to identify the other NL team that can advance to the NLCS or the team that can beat the Dodgers after getting out of the Wild Card game.
The Braves have the best odds to get to the NLCS to play the Dodgers, but I don’t love that investment. I want to identify a team or two that can get hot and be a PROBLEM in the playoffs, and I don’t think the Braves have the starting pitching to do this, especially with the +900 odds.
My favorite way to attack this situation is to pick two or three of the Cardinals (+1800), Phillies (+3000), Nationals (+3000), and Brewers (+4000). All of these teams have clear flaws, but I think that all have the upset potential to capture a pennant if everything breaks their way.
I prefer the Nationals, Cardinals, Phillies, then the Brewers if I had to rank them in order from best value to worst. The Nationals have all of the pieces to win a five-game series besides an elite bullpen. The good news is that Max Scherzer and Strasburg are both capable of being so elite that they can eliminate bullpen problems. Their offense is really solid at the top end, and I think it can be a scary team come October.