Tread very lightly today and tomorrow. That’s about the best advice I can give you when it comes to the Trade Deadline. The big, splashy players available at the Deadline usually cost young, Major League talent, so teams may be losing some pieces from their everyday lineup to make a huge move. In other cases, teams are going to have their lineups altered by selling off some of their better bats and arms.
As I talked about last night on The Run Line (HOUR 1 | HOUR 2), I wish the Trade Deadline was a league-wide day off. It isn’t until tomorrow, but the day before can be a very tough, very emotional day for players, coaches and friends and family. These two days are very uncomfortable and, while a lot of people write this off as a business and feel like the players are making enough money to deal with it, they’re just human beings when it comes to the Trade Deadline.
There are 10 games today, so 20 teams are in action, including the Nationals, who have three hitters firmly on the trade block. Other teams in action like the Giants and Red Sox have no idea if they’ll be buyers, sellers or neither. Players will say the right things, but they’re all thinking about it. It’s a tough betting day.
July was a tough betting month as the first one in the red this season. Hopefully August brings better fortunes. The last day for the MLB article will be August 25, as football then takes hold.
Lastly, in lieu of the best bets article tomorrow, I'll be doing a running blog for the Trade Deadline that will start right after this goes up. There are way too many things happening and too many players impacted, so I'll write about the transactions and the betting impact as they break on Monday and Tuesday as opposed to a picks piece tomorrow.
Diamondbacks/Braves: Merrill Kelly would have had an uncomfortable week if not for the two-year extension he signed right before the season started. He was outstanding against a really good Braves lineup yesterday over seven innings, but Atlanta walked it off on Austin Riley’s double with a 1-0 win. Kelly had 15 whiffs and eight strikeouts. I’m not sure if the Braves will make any lineup moves, but a bat-to-ball contact dude might not be a bad idea.
Arizona only scored four runs over 21 innings in this series after a nice sweep of the Giants at home.
Cardinals/Nationals: What a find Andre Pallante has been for the Cardinals. He fired eight shutout frames with eight strikeouts against a Nationals bunch sitting on pins and needles. The Cardinals could use another starter, but Pallante has given them some impressive length in the rotation after starting the season as a reliever. In 54.1 innings as a starter, he has a 3.98 ERA, though he is a bit of a regression candidate with a .289/.342/.417 slash against and a 77.6% LOB%.
Phillies/Pirates: The Pirates had a little surge in June and early July where they looked like a competent baseball team, but they’re now 1-8 since the All-Star Break after getting swept in a four-game series by the Phillies. To be fair, they had lost six straight games by one or two runs prior to Sunday’s blowout loss in which JT Brubaker gave up seven runs on 12 hits.
Pittsburgh is off today, but the only non-contenders they’ll face the rest of the way are the Diamondbacks on the road and then division opponents Cincinnati and Chicago. Brutal schedule the rest of the way for a bad team with limited prospect upside.
Mets/Marlins: The most surprising result yesterday was this one, not because the Mets won, but because Pablo Lopez was rocked. Lopez only had five whiffs and just one strikeout in his 2.2 innings with six runs allowed on 12 hits. I’ve mentioned how Lopez simply hasn’t been all that sharp for a while now and he now has a 4.76 ERA with a 4.43 FIP in his last 14 starts covering 75.2 innings. He’s not the same guy he was.
The Mets swept this series 19-7 and have won six in a row with Jacob deGrom coming back on Tuesday and Max Scherzer going tonight. Miami has scored 35 runs in 11 games since the All-Star Break and scored just 83 runs in 28 July games.