The 2017 trade deadline has passed, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be deals that will affect the MLB Postseason. Guys just have to pass through waivers first. For example, Oakland this weekend traded All-Star first baseman Yonder Alonso to division rival Seattle for a minor-league outfielder. Alonso, 30, is having a breakthrough power season while playing on a one-year contract, batting .266 with a career-high 22 home runs and 49 RBIs.
His previous career high for homers in a single season was nine in 2012 with the San Diego Padres. Seattle has the longest playoff drought in the league and obviously is going all-in to end that. Not sure they have enough, though. Here are some other post-deadline thoughts, along with the latest MLB odds to win the World Series.
Updated 2017 MLB Postseason Predictions After Trade Deadline
— MLB (@MLB) August 7, 2017
Dodgers Are Team To Beat
Los Angeles already had the best record in baseball and could break the league record of 116 wins after trading for Texas ace pitcher Yu Darvish at the deadline. This club truly has no holes now. With another win on Sunday, the Dodgers are now 43-7 in their past 50 contests. That’s something no team has done in 105 years, since John McGraw’s Giants, a team that featured guys named Tillie, Heinie, Rube and Hooks.
It is a remarkable stretch of dominance in a sport where few teams can win 60 percent of their games over nearly a third of the season, let alone 86 percent. The Dodgers are 6-0 against the Mets, 78-32 overall, on pace for 115 wins, and now have a big, fat bull’s-eye on their backs as the best team in baseball — and maybe one of the best ever. The timing of the Dodgers’ streak is not a coincidence, either: The first of those 51 games came on June 6, when L.A. beat the Nationals in the finale of a three- game set in Tinseltown. The following day, Justin Turner — who’s killing the ball — returned after missing three weeks with a hammy strain.
The Dodger have 55 more games in the regular season — only 22 against teams with winning records. Then again, just because Dave Roberts’ club is on pace for 115 regular-season wins doesn’t guarantee anything in the postseason. Just ask the 2001 Mariners, who set an MLB record by going 116-46, then lost in the American League Championship Series.
Verlander Still On Move?
One top contender that didn’t add starting pitching at the deadline might now be trying to: the Houston Astros. They have been in touch this month regarding a possible Justin Verlander trade with Detroit, which is in full rebuildmod. The 34-year-old Verlander has already cleared revocable waivers this month, so the Tigers are free to negotiate with all 29 teams. Trading him remains difficult, as he’s owed $60 million through 2019. It’s unclear if the Tigers are willing to cover any of his remaining salary. Verlander owns a mediocre 4.20 ERA over 21 starts this season, though he has pitched much better in his recent outings.
The Astros didn’t believe they needed another starter before July 31, in large part due to the imminent return of Dallas Keuchel to the rotation meaning they felt they had enough starters around. However, in the week since then, Lance McCullers has not made progress with his back injury, and his return from the DL is unknown.
Houston leads the AL West by a mile but anything less than a World Series appearance could be seen as a failure after such an overwhelming start to the season. The Astros have never won a World Series.
Helps To Lead Your Division After Deadline
On Aug. 1, the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers lead their respective divisions. Since 1996, the first full season with at least one Wild Card, 91 of 126 division champions (72 percent) held at least a share of that division lead entering August.
The Dodgers (.705), Arizona Diamondbacks (.571) and Colorado Rockies (.566) were all at or above .560 in the NL West entering August. This is the fourth time since 2000 that three teams in the same division have been at or above .560 entering August.
In the AL, all of the division leaders entering August went on to win their respective divisions last season: the Red Sox, Indians and Rangers. It’s happened six times since 1996 in the AL.
In the NL, the division leaders entering August haven’t all gone on to win their divisions since 2012, when the Nationals, Reds and Giants did so. It’s happened 11 times since 1996 in the NL.
Latest 2017 World Series Odds
- Arizona Diamondbacks: +1800
- Atlanta Braves: +20000
- Baltimore Orioles: +5500
- Boston Red Sox: +600
- Chicago Cubs: +600
- Cleveland Indians: +625
- Colorado Rockies: +2100
- Detroit Tigers: +12500
- Houston Astros: +400
- Kansas City Royals: +2500
- LA Angels: +6000
- LA Dodgers: +250
- Miami Marlins: +35000
- Milwaukee Brewers: +3000
- Minnesota Twins: +6600
- NY Mets: +25000
- NY Yankees: +800
- Pittsburgh Pirates: +6000
- Seattle Mariners: +4000
- St. Louis Cardinals: +5500
- Tampa Bay Rays: +3500
- Texas Rangers: +10000
- Toronto Blue Jays: +8000
- Washington Nationals: +600
Expert 2017 MLB Postseason Predictions
Red Sox, Indians and Astros win their divisions in the AL, while Nats, Cubs and Dodgers all repeat in the NL. Wild cards: New York and Kansas City in the AL and Colorado and Arizona in the NL.