The acquisition of one of the best hitters in baseball has created a serious power shift in Major League Baseball.
The Los Angeles Dodgers landed Orioles shortstop Manny Machado this week in return for five minor leaguers, including one of their top prospects, Cuban outfielder Yusniel Diaz.
A pending unrestricted free agent after the season, Machado was the most coveted trade chip in baseball and was hotly pursued by a number of teams ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
In the end, it was the Los Angeles winning the Machado sweepstakes. His addition gives the first-place Dodgers even more pop to an already powerful lineup.
“We’re in first place by the slimmest of margins, and four teams are within a few games,” Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi told Dodgers radio, AM 570. “We felt improving the team in this period was imperative, and we think Manny Machado is the best target out there.”
Judging by the significant swings in betting odds, oddsmakers clearly agree with his assessment that Machado alters the power balance in the National League (NL).
New Favorites Emerge
There are few players who can single handedly swing the outlook of an entire league, but the All Pro 26-year old is one of them.
With Machado now donning the Dodger blue, LA has become the new favorite to win the NL pennant.
That distinction previously belonged to the Chicago Cubs, but after this week’s trade, their odds of winning the NL dropped from 10/3 to 7/2 at most books. The Dodgers, meanwhile, moved from 4/1 odds to 3/1 after the trade was made official.
The biggest change came to the Dodgers’ odds of winning the NL West Division. Those moved from slightly more than even money at 5/4 to overwhelming favorites at 2/5. The Dodgers currently lead their division by just a half game over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
However the Dodgers, and every other NL team, remain behind the three American League powerhouses when it comes to the odds of winning the World Series.
Houston Astros – 7/2
Boston Red Sox – 4/1
New York Yankees – 17/4
Los Angeles Dodgers – 13/2
Chicago Cubs – 8/1
The Machado deal was the second huge trade in the world of sports in as many days, as the NBA witnessed its own blockbuster when DeMar DeRozan was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs.
Getting Over the Hump
Dodgers’ fans are hoping that Machado is the player that can finally lead them to the promised land.
The team has made the playoffs every year since 2013 but has no World Series titles, and only one World Series appearance, to show for it. They made it to the big show last year, before ultimately falling to the Houston Astros in seven games.
The trade for the Machado reinforces the notion that Dodgers feel their championship window may be closing. At 30-years old, their ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw isn’t getting any younger. He’s also slated to be a free agent after this season, and there are no guarantees he’ll stick around in the City of Angels.
With their new All-Star slugger now in place, the Dodgers have never been in a better position to win their first World Series since 1988.