Changing MLB Futures: Betting On Chicago Is A Tale Of Two Cities

Posted By Russ Mitchell on August 9, 2021

The White Sox are on their way to the Field of Dreams game next week, so fans will get to see plenty of Chicago players.

They just didn’t realize a few of them would be former Chicago Cubs from earlier in the season. That’s the reality of MLB’s trade deadline.

The White Sox and New York Yankees both found WrigleyMart deals.

PlayIA takes a look at how each Midwest team handled baseball’s July 30 trade deadline. The Cubs were the region’s most active team. The rival Cardinals were mostly quiet, as they just picked up a pair of serviceable arms to help a shorthanded rotation.

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Chicago Cubs odds

World Series odds at DraftKings

  • July 8: +7500
  • One month later: +50000

To win the NL Central at Caesars and FanDuel

  • July 8: +1500 (Caesars) or +1200 (FanDuel)
  • One month later: +25000 (Caesars) or +50000 (FanDuel)

What happened?

The Cubs felt they couldn’t resign a lot of the team’s stars on expiring contracts so they used the trade deadline to stockpile their minor league system. Lucky Field of Dreams ticket lottery winners and a Fox audience will see these former Cubs in the cornfield on Aug. 12:

  • 1B Anthony Rizzo (pictured above) — went to the Yankees for RHP Alexander Vizcaino, CF Kevin Alcantara and cash on July 29.
  • RHP Ryan Tepera — went to the Chicago White Sox for LHP Bailey Horn on July 29.
  • RHP Craig Kimbrel — went to the Chicago White Sox for RHP Codi Heuer and 2B Nick Madrigal on July 30.

The in-season sell-off actually began July 15 when the Cubs traded LF Joc Pederson to Atlanta Braves for 1B Bryce Ball. The team jettisoned eight players overall.

  • LHP Andrew Chafin — went to the Oakland Athletics for RHP Daniel Palencia and RF Greg Deichmann on July 26.
  • LF Kris Bryant — went to the San Francisco Giants for CF Alexander Canario and RHP Caleb Kilian on July 30.
  • CF Jake Marisnick — went to San Diego Padres for RHP Anderson Espinoza on July 30.
  • SS Javier Baez and RHP Trevor Williams — plus cash went to New York Mets for CF Pete Crow-Armstrong on July 30.

Chicago White Sox odds

World Series championship at DraftKings

  • July 8: +800
  • One month later: +700

To win the AL Central at FanDuel and Caesars

  • July 8: -1000 (Caesars) or -1100 (FanDuel)
  • One month later: -10000 (Caesars) or No Line (FanDuel)

What happened?

The White Sox picked up righty relievers Kimbrel and Tepera (see above) from the Cubs in the last two days of the trading deadline. The White Sox also added:

  • 2B Cesar Hernandez — from the Cleveland Indians for LHP Konnor Pilkington on July 29.
  • C Deivy Grullon — from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations on July 15.

Based on moneylines, the White Sox tightened their stranglehold on the AL Central, but their World Series odds are a little longer because of what other AL teams did.

Kansas City Royals odds

DraftKings World Series odds

  • July 8: +60000
  • One month later: +100000

Caesars and FanDuel AL Central odds

  • July 8: +10000 (Caesars) or +15000 (FanDuel)
  • One month later: +50000 (Caesars) or No Line (FanDuel)

What happened?

The Royals had two major trading chips at the deadline and decided to cash in only one for prospects. The team seems content to build around 2B/OF Whit Merrifield, so he stayed put. A lefty rotation fixture is headed for the West Coast, however.

  • LHP Danny Duffy — went to the L.A. Dodgers for cash and a player to be named later on July 29.
  • RF Jorge Soler — went to the Atlanta Braves for  RHP Kasey Kalich on July 30.

Milwaukee Brewers odds

World Series champion odds at DraftKings

  • July 8: +1400
  • One month later: +1100

To win the NL Central odds at Caesars and FanDuel

  • July 8: -800 (Caesars) or -700 (FanDuel)
  • One month later: -1000 (Caesars) or -900 (FanDuel)

What happened?

Like the White Sox, the Brewers are on solid footing to win their division. But, other teams did more so they lost some ground in World Series odds. The team made a splash by acquiring an all-star infielder. They picked up a pair of relievers at the deadline as well.

  • 2B Eduardo Escobar — from the Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Cooper Hummel and 2B Alberto Ciprian on July 28.
  • RHP John Curtiss — from the Miami Marlins for  C Payton Henry on July 30.
  • LHP Daniel Norris — from the Detroit Tigers for  RHP Reese Olson on July 30.

Minnesota Twins odds

World Series odds at DraftKings

  • July 8: +30000
  • One month later: +100000

AL Central odds at Caesars and FanDuel

  • July 8: +8000 (Caesars) or +6000 (FanDuel)
  • One month later: +50000 (Caesars) and No Line (FanDuel)

What happened?

The Twins were expected to challenge the White Sox in the AL Central, but they’ve been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments in 2021. As sellers, they unloaded a top-of-the-rotation starter and a power hitter in the middle of their order. That only lengthened their odds.

  • DH Nelson Cruz and minor league RHP Calvin Faucher — went to the Tampa Bay Rays for RHPs Drew Strotman and Joe Ryan on July 22.
  • RHP Jose Berrios — went to the Toronto Blue Jays for CF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods Richardson on July 30.
  • RHP Hansel Robles — went to the Boston Red Sox for RHP Alex Scherff on July 30.
  • LHP J.A. Happ — went to the St. Louis Cardinals for LHP Evan Sisk and RHP John Gant on July 30.

St. Louis Cardinals odds

World Series champions at DraftKings

  • July 8: +8000
  • One month later: +30000

To win the NL Central at Caesars and FanDuel

  • July 8: +1500 (Caesars) or +1400 (FanDuel)
  • One month later: +5000 (Caesars) or +5500 (FanDuel)

What happened?

St. Louis joined the Royals as a Missouri team that stayed relatively quiet at the deadline. In addition to the J.A. Happ trade (see above) the Cardinals received

  • LHP Jon Lester — from the Washington Nationals for CF Lane Thomas.

Last year, MLB expanded the playoff field from 10 to 16 to offset the shortened regular season due to the pandemic. This year, baseball is back to its typical playoff format. The three AL division champions and NL division champions will be joined in the divisional round by a one-game wild card winner in each league.

 

Photo by Lynne Sladky / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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