It was a wild week in the MLB as the trade deadline came and went, with some surprise names moving teams. The Chicago Cubs in particular cleared house, sending Kris Bryant to the Giants, Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees, and Javier Baez to the Mets. Cubs fans saw the core of their team that won the 2016 World Series, shipped out of town, as a new era begins in Chicago. The Blue Jays made a couple of big splashes, landing pitcher Jose Berrios and former Nationals closer Brad Hand. But the biggest splash of the day came when the Nationals parted ways with ace Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner, who were scooped up by the defending World Series Champions from Los Angeles. The pair were rumored to be heading to San Diego leading up to the deadline, but the Dodgers swooped in with a better prospect package in the end.
MLB Betting: What You Need To Know
Speaking of the Dodgers, they surprisingly remain three games back of the San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West. The bitter in-state rivals had a key series this past week, with the Giants taking two of three at their home park. San Francisco was boosted by the return of shortstop Brandon Crawford in the series finale, who picked up exactly where he left off before hitting the IL with an oblique injury. The veteran shortstop doubled home two runs in the bottom of the first, giving the Giants all the offense they needed for the day as they shut the Dodgers out. The Giants continued their winning ways taking two of three from the AL West-leading Astros, including a Kris Bryant solo shot in his first game as a Giant.
Looking ahead to this week, the inter-league series between the Astros and Dodgers (who are favorites at almost every game they play) is one to keep an eye on. It’s only a quick two-game matchup, but the first game will feature a stellar pitching matchup between Lance McCullers and Walker Buehler, while the second game will be Scherzer’s first with the Dodgers. The pitching matchups in both should favor the home team, although betting against either team doesn’t feel great.
A Closer Look at MLB This Week
On the weekend, a matchup of surprising division leaders sees the Giants visit the Brewers in Milwaukee. Both teams need all of the wins they can get to fend off the teams on their heels, particularly the Giants who are holding off what amounts to an all-star roster from Los Angeles. The Brewers have been hot lately, although the team surprisingly stood pat at the trade deadline aside from adding some depth pieces to its bullpen. However, with odds of -286 to win the game, it’s clear that bookmakers have great confidence in the Brewers.
Consider looking at the Giants as underdogs here in a good spot. San Francisco has been road warriors this year with a 31-22 record away from the Bay area. The Brewers have been a mediocre 29-24 at home, but may still be without former MVP Christian Yelich, who is on the IL with COVID-19. The San Francisco Giants are favorites once again to come out on top, with odds set at -200 to win against the Diamondbacks.
Finally, we end off with a critical series in the NL East as the division-leading Mets head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Phillies. Philadelphia currently sits 3.5 games back of the Mets and a half-game up on the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies and Mets split a four-game series in June with two games apiece.
The Phillies added some insurance arms from Texas and also reunited with shortstop Freddy Galvis, who began his career in Philadelphia back in 2012. The Mets made the big splash with Javier Baez at the deadline, but are still without star shortstop Francisco Lindor who is sidelined with an oblique injury. The Phillies have been much better at home than the Mets have been on the road. While that’s not always a trend worth following, these divisional matchups will be played much tighter in the last few weeks of the season.
The Mets have a clear pitching advantage over the Phillies, even with Philadelphia’s new acquisitions. The Phillies should be home favorites against the Mets, but targeting the Mets on the road as underdogs is a proposition worth exploring at our betting partners.