To say the MLB trade deadline was amazing still isn’t enough. Superstars are now with new teams and the race for October is going to be even better. So with all of this movement before the deadline begs an important question. Who are the favorites to win it all? Are there new teams in the running? Same old teams as before? Let’s check it out.
Fair warning, this list might seem a little obvious but when teams are good, it is unavoidable.
Los Angeles Dodgers
An already loaded roster should not be allowed to bulk up even further. However, LA made huge splashes before the deadline. The Dodgers added superstar pitcher Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner from the Nationals. Then to boot, LA went and grabbed veterans Danny Duffy and Cole Hamels to bulk up their bullpen even more.
While they sacrificed some high-level minor league talent, the reward of landing Scherzer, Turner, Hamels, and Duffy, will be worth it.
The Dodgers have eliminated the narrative that a World Series Favorite can become what I think is a guaranteed winner. The LA Dodgers have become the new powerhouse team of California. It would not be a wild take to have the Dodgers repeating as champions in October. They should be the overall favorite for sure.
They do however trail the Giants for the division lead by around 3.5 games so they have some ground to make up. However, this new lineup should make up lost time rather quickly.
San Francisco Giants
Yet another team that is high on any list to be competing for a World Series. While the Giants did not land two superstars at the deadline, they did knab star third basemen, Kris Bryant. When the deadline approached, the MLB world knew the Cubs would be shopping out someone. Chicago shopped out all three of their star players and Bryant landed in San Francisco.
Bryant brings a solid batting line to an already electric lineup for the Giants. Bryant will easily assist this Giants team in trying to win the NL West against the juggernaut Dodgers. San Francisco currently leads the division by about 3.5 games and with the addition of Bryant, should be clear favorites.
The Giants have reemerged into an elite company after five seasons of missing the playoffs. This year’s team has the right formula to be back in the World Series yet again.
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa I believe is the clear American League favorite after taking the division lead from Boston. The Rays made their splash at the deadline by acquiring power hitter Nelson Cruz from the Twins. The acquisition of Cruz boosts a Tampa lineup that struggles to hit the ball sometimes. If the idea of getting Cruz wasn’t enough proof, Tampa swept Boston and now leads the AL East.
For most of the season, Boston has controlled the division but it should be evident that if Tampa and Nelson Cruz can win games, it is Tampas division to lose.
Chicago White Sox
While their crosstown rivals were busy shipping out star players, the White Sox were busy bringing in helpful pieces. With the addition of Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera, the White Sox bullpen is going to be scary in October. While they had to give up big pieces in Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer, again, the final reward could be well worth it.
The White Sox have a healthy 8.5 game lead over the Indians and could easily be a heavy favorite come October. The White Sox also managed to pick up Indians’ second basemen Cesar Hernandez to make up for the loss of Madrigal. Chicago is another team that has all of the right pieces to make a deep run in October and with their bullpen, it is very possible.
- Houston Astros– 4.5 game lead in the division, added Kendall Graveman to bulk up their bullpen that has been hit or miss this season.
- Milwaukee Brewers– 7.5 game lead in the division, added Daniel Norris and John Curtiss to bulk up their bullpen and also added Eduardo Escobar to beef up their batting lineup.
- Boston Red Sox– 1.0 game behind Tampa Bay in the division, picked up power bat in Kyle Shwarber but no other activity at the deadline but still in the division race.
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