MLB: 2014 Trade Deadline Impact
With the 2014 MLB non-waiver Trade deadline passed, plenty of impact was felt throughout Major League Baseball. GMs all over the league made tough decisions: Go all in and try to win now or rebuild for the future.
National League Impact & Predictions
So far the biggest news has been coming from the Cardinals, who traded for Justin Masterson (Cleveland) and John Lackey (Boston). In the absence of Michael Wacha the Cardinals needed starting pitching depth. After a solid 2013 season Masterson has been struggling this year so it remains to be seen whether he can find the form of 2013 and help the Cardinals in the playoff race. Lackey should make the Cardinals starting rotation better, at least marginally. Although being six games over .500 and just one game behind in the wild card race the Redbirds have not been performing at expected level this season. Especially their batting has not been good enough and as a result they are next to last in runs scored / game.
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National League Central is going to be a very close race with three teams with more than a 50 % probability of making the playoffs. In NL East and West it’s looking more like duels between Nationals and Braves (East) and Dodgers and Giants (West). When we last time reviewed the playoff probabilities here at the Accuscore website on June 13th the Giants looked like an almost certain team to make the playoff with a probability of 96.6 %. Since then they have been playing losing baseball (15-25) and their chances of reaching the postseason have almost been halved. For the Rockies the situation is even worse. Back on June 13th they had a slim chance (21.6 %) of making the playoffs but behind league-worst starting pitching and without Troy Tulowitzki the probability is now pretty much non-existing.
American League Impact & Predictions
Oakland A’s keeps on doing things they are not predicted (supposed) to do. Without expensive (so called) star-players they keep on producing at a very high level. Right now they look as top contenders for the American League Title. Both Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez have produced better than expected numbers for them and youngster Sonny Gray has lived up to expectations. Together the trio has given the A’s 400 innings of solid starting pitching and with a league best offense they look very strong at the moment. With the addition of Boston ace Jon Lester, their starting pitching looks really good. They had to give up on back-to-back home run derby winner Yoenis Cespedes, but the trade still feels as an upgrade, at least at the short term.
Detroit should have no problems with making the playoffs in the AL Central, especially after getting David Price in a trade with Tampa. Price is one of the best left handed starters in the game and makes the Tigers rotation look ridiculously good. With Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello and Price it is almost like they have an ace on the mound every night.
The AL East looks to be a race between Baltimore and Toronto. Tampa Bay has been playing much better lately, but their resurge might have started a bit too late. After June 13th they are 27-13 and still have a small chance of making the playoffs. After David Price got traded to Detroit it feels though as they gave up on their chances for October baseball. Neither Orioles nor Blue Jays didn’t add anything significant before the trade deadline and both Red Sox and Rays were definitely short term losers ability vice. Yankees got Martin Prado (D-backs) and Stephen Drew (Red Sox) but the trades feels more like marginal additions than real game changers.