With the trade deadline upon us let's look at the value on a few of the key moves so far and how it might affect the future playoff race. The value on the three teams we are going to look at has already changed quite dramatically, and for good reason.
The key question for most fans is, does one player really make a difference? For us though it is all about the value and which teams to back now considering these trades. Let's take a look at some trades and new MLB odds for these teams to win the World Series.
Johnny Cueto/Royals: The first big trade of the season took place in Kansas City, as the Royals as they picked up Johnny Cueto. Recently, they also picked up Ben Zobrist, who could add some depth to their offense. These were both great additions for the Royals and right now their odds to win the World Series are at +700 (+300 AL pennant). The issue for me on Cueto though is whether the National League pitcher can come over to the American League and be as efficient as he has been. There have been cases in the past several years of pitchers having struggles when they switched leagues, like Roy Oswalt, Mark Melancon (who left and came back to the NL with a ton of success with the Pirates), Anibal Sanchez and Ryan Dempster, just to name a few. There have also been some cases in which the switch was fine, like Hiroki Kuroda, and Max Scherzer (D-Backs for just one season to Tigers and now back with the Nationals). So where does Cueto stand? Well, he is a good strikeout pitcher with 120 K's in 130 innings and in his last three interleague starts he was decent against the Tigers, Twins, and Indians, allowing six earned runs over 17 innings. His first start for the Royals against the Blue Jays could tell us a lot.
Alex Wood/Mat Latos/Dodgers: This is probably the most underrated of all the trades but I look for Wood to have an immediate impact to the starting rotation of the Dodgers. Oddsmakers have them now at +750 to win the World Series at 5Dimes (+350 NL pennant) and this pickup of another quality starter makes them a very dangerous team coming down the stretch. Brett Anderson seems to be a viable third pitcher as well, along with Wood, and Latos has not been himself in Miami, so look for him to perhaps get back to his old numbers with this new lease on life. I like this move that Los Angeles made and they might still do something before the final deadline, because what they got on the mound now is arguably the best staff in the major leagues, if it wasn't already.
David Price/Blue Jays: With Troy Tulowitzki solidifying them at shortstop, Toronto made arguably the biggest splash as far as trades go in the major leagues this year. What they get in Price is a guy who's already acclimated to the American League and will instantly become their number one pitcher. The numbers are there and he knows what it is to be in the playoffs. As far as odds go, they are still quite the underdog so there is a ton of value if you want to take a shot on them at +2500 to win the World Series and +1400 to win the AL pennant. Just like with Cueto and the Royals, this next four-game series could possibly set the tone for the rest of the season. Overall, Tulowitzki will probably have more of an impact than Price, but now the Blue Jays have that one guy they know they will start when the season is on the line.