The MLB trade deadline is a few hours away, but we can already safely say no team will improve their current roster more than the San Diego Padres have over the past few days. On Monday, the Padres acquired closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers. On Tuesday, they acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals in exchange for a boat load of prospects.
The Padres currently sit at 58-46. They almost certainly won't catch the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a 12-game lead in the NL West. However, they're comfortably in a wild-card spot. Manny Machado and a strong pitching staff have carried the Padres to this point. Now, they've added one of the game's biggest stars in Soto. They've also added a solid bat in Josh Bell and of the sport's best relief pitchers in Josh Hader. On top of all of that, Fernando Tatis Jr. is on his way back from an injury that has held him out for the entire season. The arrow is certainly pointing up for the Padres, and the recent shift in the futures market reflects that.
Padres odds on the move
On Monday morning, the San Diego Padres were 18-to-1 to win the World Series.
Then, the Padres acquired Josh Hader from Milwaukee in exchange for Taylor Rogers, Dinelson Lamet and two prospects. Hader currently leads all of baseball with 29 saves. He's struck out 59 batters over 34 innings. Hader opened the season with 19 consecutive scoreless innings. He did not give up a run until June 7th. Hader remained solid throughout the end of June, ending the month with 1.09 ERA. However, July was a different story as Hader gave up 13 earned runs over 9.1 innings. Based on his track record, the Padres are assuming and certainly hoping it's a random blip on the radar for Hader.
While Hader is a huge acquisition to bolster the end of the bullpen, the major move came on Tuesday. San Diego acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell from Washington in exchange for a package of five players and prospects currently 23 years old or younger.
Just 23 years old, Soto is already one of the biggest stars in baseball and has been for a few years now. With Washington this season, Soto is batting .246 with an .894 OPS and 21 home runs. He leads baseball in walks with 91. He started the season relatively slowly, but his 1.111 OPS in July highlights the level of talent that San Diego acquired. Bell is not just a random throw-in either, as the first baseman is batting .301 with 14 home runs.
After acquiring Soto, Hader and Bell, the Padres' World Series odds have moved to 10-to-1. Those odds are tied with the Atlanta Braves for the fifth best World Series odds.
New playoff system might negatively impact Padres
As a result of the most recent labor negotiations, MLB expanded their playoffs. The new playoff system might not be a good thing for the Padres.
As mentioned earlier, the Padres are likely not catching the Dodgers for the division lead. As a result, they'll be a wild-card team. The top wild-card team will play the 2nd best wild-card team in a three game series in the first round of the playoffs. San Diego is likely to occupy one of those top two spots.
If the standings hold, the Padres' reward will be a first round series with the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves. If Atlanta catches the Mets for the NL East title, then the Padres will go up against Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in the first round. If San Diego gets past the opening round, their reward would be a series with the Dodgers in the NLDS.
If these moves make you want to place a bet on the Padres, just realize they'll likely be facing top-level competition in the first few rounds of the postseason. It should be a fascinating playoff bracket for baseball fans, but maybe less exciting for Padres bettors. Then again, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.
Current World Series favorites
Here's the current World Series odds at BetMGM a few hours ahead of the trade deadline:
Los Angeles Dodgers (+350)
New York Yankees (+350)
Houston Astros (+425)
New York Mets (+600)
San Diego Padres (10-to-1)
Toronto Blue Jays (14-to-1)
Milwaukee Brewers (30-to-1)
Seattle Mariners (30-to-1)
Chicago White Sox (40-to-1)
St. Louis Cardinals (40-to-1)
All other teams have odds of 50-to-1 or higher.