With the 2019 Major League Baseball trade deadline behind us, we can now look ahead with a clearer focus on the postseason race. Unlike in past years, there will not be a waiver-wire trade period in August. So Wednesday's deadline carried much more significance than it used to, when teams could fill out their rosters up until the season's final month.
After the trades of Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman, deadline day brought us the biggest blockbuster of 2019: the Diamondbacks sending Zack Greinke to the Astros. You can catch up on all the moves made with our trade tracker.
As usual, the trade deadline saw teams selling, buying, holding or going for something in between (looking at you, Mets and Giants). CBS Sports has the full report cards for the buyers and sellers of this year's only deadline.
Sportsline's Stephen Oh ran projections on which teams got better at the deadline, which ones got worse and which team's World Series chances increased the most.
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The Astros, of course, took a step forward by getting Greinke. The Cubs' World Series hopes look a little bit better on Aug. 1 than July 31, too. However, the Yankees, Dodgers and Indians all saw their projected chances at winning it all go down. Here's a look at the trade deadline's impact on World Series projections from Sportsline:
|TEAM||PRE-DEADLINE CHANCES||POST-DEADLINE CHANCES||DIFFERENCE|
Here's a look at the teams that saw the biggest improvement in their projected win totals:
|TEAM||PRE-DEADLINE WIN TOTAL||POST-DEADLINE WIN TOTAL||PROJECTED INCREASE|
Meanwhile, there were a batch of teams -- some of which contenders -- that barely saw an increase in their projected win totals. The Braves, Rangers, Athletics, Royals, Padres, Red Sox, Orioles, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays, Brewers and Mets all moved up just 0.1 in their win projections.
More than half of the teams that saw their season's win projections decrease are in full-rebuild mode, so it makes sense. Contenders like the Indians and Dodgers saw a minuscule drop in their win projections, with Cleveland going from 94.9 to 94.8 wins and Los Angeles dropping from 103.9 to 103.7 wins.
Entering game action on Thursday, there are eight teams in the National League within 4 1/2 games of a wild card spot. The Cubs, Cardinals and Nationals are hanging at the top of the standings, while the Phillies and Brewers are trying to move up. Then, you have the Giants (two games out), Diamondbacks (3 1/2 out) and Mets (4 1/2 out) who all could quickly fall out of the race or surge during August.
In the American League, you have the Indians, Rays, Athletics and Red Sox in a tight battle for the wild card spots. Just 2 1/2 games separates those four teams. The Indians, Rays and Athletics each made minor improvements at the deadline, while the Red Sox failed to address their unreliable bullpen.