After a failed attempt on Wednesday, the Astros succeeded in making a big splash in a very quiet MLB offseason on Saturday by acquiring pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 13, 2018
Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, has had five years of big league experience, posting a career ERA of 3.50 over nearly 800 innings pitched. This past year was his worst, however, when it comes to ERA and FIP. There had been reports of the Pirates shopping Cole for the past couple of months, with rumors of him possibly going to the Yankees, but the Astros decided to part ways with promising young pitcher Joe Musgrove, along with three other pieces, to bolster an already potent rotation. Cole will likely slide in as the third or fourth starter, behind Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, and maybe Lance McCullers Jr.
So how much does the deal help the Astros’ chances of becoming the first team to repeat as World Champs since the Yankees three-peated from 1998-2000?
At the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, the Astros moved from 6/1 to 5/1 to win the World Series, tying them atop the odds list with the Dodgers. It also established them as the favorite in the American League according to the Westgate oddsmakers, as their AL Pennant odds ticked down from a 3/1 tie with the Yankees to 5/2.
At the offshore book BetOnline, their World Series odds increased even more. Before the trade, they could be had at 7/1, but they’ve since moved to 5/1 there, as well. This corresponds with more than a 4 percent increase in implied probability, from 12.5 percent to 16.67 percent.
With plenty of key free agents still on the market, World Series odds are sure to change a bit more before the season begins. Keep track of every major odds change by following @ActionNetworkHQ.
Photo via Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports