MLB Odds: Three Bets To Make Before Baseball’s Trade Deadline Arrives

Cream tends to rise in the second half


July 26, 2022

Major League Baseball’s Aug. 2 trade deadline is seven days away and a few teams are a maneuver or two away from becoming even better bets to win their respective divisions.

Nobody will catch the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees, but three divisions remain wide-open as we head towards the final two months of the regular season. If you’re not sold on the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets or Minnesota Twins, there’s money to be made.

And with three wild card teams per league this year, there’s opportunity on teams like the Cleveland Guardians (+250 at SugarHouse) and Baltimore Orioles (+1100) to make the playoffs if you’re feeling froggy.

Here are three bets to place before next Tuesday’s MLB deadline:

Atlanta Braves +145 to win NL East (DraftKings)
It’s looking more like the Mets will not trade for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras because of a salary commitment to James McCann and youngster Francisco Alvarez is knocking on the door in Triple-A. New York is also counting on the valiant return of unreliable Jacob deGrom from an injury to his throwing shoulder and hopefully, save the day. We’ll see. Meanwhile, the Braves are a white-hot 35-13 since June 1, Ozzie Albies returns in a few weeks and general manager Alex Anthopolous will be aggressive in the trade market. This is a solid bet on the reigning World Series champs to win the division at plus money.

Chicago White Sox +155 to win AL Central (FanDuel)
I have so much invested in this damn White Sox team, it makes me ill. After betting them to win the division before the season, I’ve been way too eager to add more positions at plus-money prices over the last two months. Chicago is only four games behind Minnesota and has the easiest remaining schedule in baseball. The Pale Hose were destroyed by injuries in the first half and are getting closer to full strength. If Tony La Russa’s optimal lineup can stay on the field, look out. And don’t be surprised if the front office acquires José Quintana to bolster the rotation.

Justin Verlander +275 to win Cy Young (DraftKings)
This bet has obviously nothing to do with a trade, but I love Verlander’s path to hardware and the narrative speaks for itself. Baseball writers love a good storyline and how can you not fall for a 39-year-old ace who missed the entire 2021 season because of Tommy John surgery? Verlander’s best numbers (1.86 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 13 wins) are every bit as good as betting favorite Shane McClanahan’s and if the latter struggles against a tough AL East down the stretch, Verlander can definitely win it.

RECORD: (118-123, +22.7)

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