The MLB trade deadline is weeks away and teams are already making a splash in the trading market. With certain teams being sellers and others loading up for a potential playoff push, the trade deadline could change the 2021 season.
One team looking to make an impact this season are the Atlanta Braves. Currently 4 games back of first place in the NL East, the Cubs are looking to add pieces to make a playoff push down the stretch.
A trip to the postseason through the division may be a better chance for Atlanta, but they are still within contention in the NL Wild Card as well. The Braves are currently 7 games back of the final wild-card spot. There is work to be done, that’s a given, but you need to credit Atlanta for attempting to improve.
With that being said, the Braves are certainly trying to reach the playoffs this season. Thursday evening, the Braves made the biggest splash, adding outfield Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs.
Chicago is expected to be one of the biggest sellers at the deadline and the Braves acquired one of Chicago’s top pieces. In exchange for Pederson, the Braves will be sending minor-league first baseman Bryce Ball.
The Braves were in desperate need of a left-fielder after Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered a season-ending injury right before the All-Star break. Pederson can play all three outfield positions, as well as first base. The left-handed hitter also provides pop to accommodate Freddie Freeman.
Pederson is currently hitting .230 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs this season. Pederson signed a one-year contract with the Cubs this past off-season, after playing seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
MLB.com rated Bryce Ball as Atlanta’s number 12 prospect. In High-A Rome, Ball slashed a .207/.354/.396 with six home runs and 30 RBIs.
How does the addition of Pederson impact MLB betting odds? The Braves own the second-best odds to win the NL East, listed at +550 (Betway). The New York Mets, who currently have a 4-game lead on the Braves, are listed at -275 (Betway) to win the division.
As for World Series odds, the Braves are still considered pretenders when it comes to winning it all. The Braves are listed at +4000 (Betway) to win the World Series in 2021. Atlanta last won the World Series in 1995.
Later in the season, Atlanta can help their cause as they have 8 games remaining against the Mets this season. Head-to-head, the Braves are 5-6 against New York in the regular season.
Atlanta has made the first big move ahead of deadline day but certainly won’t be the last. Teams are attempting to load up for the playoffs and other stars have the potential to be on the move.
While Acuna Jr’s absence hurts the ballclub, Pederson is a decent alternative. We will need to see how impactful he will be to Atlanta’s starting lineup.