Coming out of spring training every year, all 30 MLB teams think that they can win the World Series. But, as the dog days of summer come to an end, it seems only a handful of those teams can actually win the Commissioner's Trophy. Some of those teams are able to make key acquisitions at the MLB Trade Deadline, like the 2017 Houston Astros who traded for future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander. Some teams have not made moves at the deadline, like the 2018 Atlanta Braves, and inadvertently shot themselves in the foot. With the trade deadline past us, some teams are ready for a postseason push, while some stayed stagnant throughout the day.
1. Houston Astros (Winner)
In 2017, the Houston Astros stunned the baseball world with a last-second trade for pitcher Justin Verlander, while the Astros were the favorites going into the season to win it all, adding one of the greatest pitchers of our generation was all they needed to kick-start their postseason push. This year the Astros made a trade for all-star pitcher Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and have quite possibly put together one of the strongest pitching rotations in recent memory. Not to mention one of their "under the radar" acquisitions, Aaron Sanchez, was part of a combined no-hitter in his Astros debut. As of right now, the Houston Astros are the clear favorite not just in the American League West, not the American League, but the favorite to win the 2019 World Series.
2. New York Yankees (Losers)
Maybe in New York Yankees' GM Brian Chasman's mind, he thought there were 32 days in July and he still had one more day to make a blockbuster trade. Rumors throughout the baseball world were that Yankees wanted San Francisco Giants star Madison Bumgarner, but as the Giants got hot, those rumors faded. Then, it was cross-town rival New York Mets star pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who was rumored to be heading across the city. The Yankee faithful wait to see how Luis Severino returns from a season-long stint on the injured list and if he can still be the number one ace he was before his injury. If not, then Yankee fans will look at this day, July 31st, as the day that ended the Yankees push for ring number 28.
3. Atlanta Braves (Winners)
The one thing EVERY team wanted at the trade deadline was bullpen pitching. Not every team has the minor league system capable of making moves to help their bullpen, but for the Atlanta Braves, they were able to find two pitchers who can help build up their bullpen and make them a force in the National League. With the addition of Shane Greene and Mark Melancon, the Braves were one of the few teams that were able to help their bullpen at the trade deadline. Now, as of today August 6th, 2019, Shane Greene's debut for the Braves didn't go as planned as he blew a save against the Cincinnati Reds. If the relief pitching can get its act together before the playoffs, this could very easily be the move the kick-starts the Braves' World Series push.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (Losers)
Much like the New York Yankees, the Cardinals must have thought the trade deadline was on July 32nd. It was shocking to most analysts of the game that the Cardinals, who are the midst of a fierce divisional battle Chicago Cubs, and there were no moves made at the deadline. After making the move Paul Goldschmidt did in the offseason, it was clear to think that the Cardinals were in a win-now mentality and would move heaven and earth at the deadline to prepare themselves for a postseason push. After this result of the trade deadline, is it safe to think everyone in the National League thinks that it is the Dodgers' division to lose?
After the trade deadline comes and goes, there are always winners and losers come August 1st, but those winners and losers aren't always the favorites to make the World Series. In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still the odds on favorite to represent the National League in the World Series. Now, in the American League, on July 30th, it was New York Yankees. But, following these deadline deals, it is clear that the Houston Astros are the favorites to represent the American League in the World Series.