The MLB trade deadline is one of the most exciting days every year. The seemingly quiet deadline usually erupts in a flurry of moves that have players changing teams at a frenetic pace with World Series odds and franchise’s futures forever re-shaped.
This year was no different as Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Frankie Montas, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and more found themselves in new places. In fact, every team within the top eight of the World Series odds made a move that could help to get them over the hump.
Even though odds will continue to change in the coming days, I think it was prudent to look at the World Series odds (this widget, courtesy of Tallysight will update automatically, so it may not reflect the odds listed below).
As of now, the New York Yankees (+330) are still the favorite to win the World Series. If you’re new to gambling, that +330 odds means that, if you bet $100 and the Yankees win the World Series, they will return a $330 profit. Obviously, that’s pretty nice, but we need to explore if that’s the best bet based on the odds of the other teams.
The Yankees being the current favorite makes sense because they have the best record in baseball at 70-34. The Yankees also filled a massive need given Luis Severino’s injury by adding Frankie Montas to their starting rotation. Their offense ranks 2nd in baseball with a .777 OPS and tied for first with a 121 wRC+ (runs created plus), so they certainly didn’t need any help there. However, when other teams are trading for Juan Soto, you have to feel a bit anxious about an offense still starting Matt Carpenter.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (+350) are another team that didn’t really do much at the deadline but didn’t need to. They’re one game behind the Yankees for the best record in baseball and lead the league in OPS, wRC+, and team ERA. There really isn’t a flaw here, and if they wind up getting pinch hit or platoon value out of Joey Gallo would that shock anybody? With Andrew Heaney back and Dustin May on his way back, this may still be the best overall team in baseball.
The Houston Astros (+475) made two under-the-radar but crucial pick-ups by adding catcher Christian Vazquez and 1B/OF Trey Mancini. The Astros had gotten league-worst production from the catcher spot, so getting Vazquez, who is hitting .282 with eight home runs, 42 RBI, and 33 runs in 84 games for the Red Sox is a nice addition. The versatile Mancini figures to slot in as the starting first baseman to give the Astros a deeper lineup to go along with a strong rotation that is getting back Lance McCullers.
It has to be said that the New York Mets (+650) may no longer feel like one of the best bets of this group. The return of a healthy Jacob deGrom is obviously huge, but the team also had a major hole at DH at will finish the season with a Daniel Vogelbach/Darin Ruf platoon. They also had a need for bullpen help but seem content with the return of Trevor May and the addition of Tylor Megill to the pen.
The favorability of the Mets’ odds also is directly impacted by the moves that the San Diego Padres (+1100) made. Anytime you can acquire Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Josh Hader at the deadline, you are going to join the World Series conversation. With a rotation of Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, and Sean Manaea, it does seem like the Padres are a pretty complete team. Vegas is likely still hedging their bets on Fernando Tatis Jr. returning healthy, but you’d have to think that when he does, these odds will change considerably.
As it stands, placing a small bet on the Padres to win the World Series while their odds are this high does make some sense. However, I think the BEST BET remains the Dodgers. This is a really deep and talented team that had been the World Series favorite as of two weeks ago. You’re getting better odds than the +250 they were listed at then, and I just have a little bit more faith in this lineup than I do either of the two that could come out of the American League.