Astros Odds, Picks | Future Bet to Make After Justin Verlander Trade at Deadline

Astros Odds, Picks | Future Bet to Make After Justin Verlander Trade at Deadline article feature image

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Verlander

The MLB trade deadline passed yesterday after a flurry of moves. Every single team in the league made at least one trade between July 1 and the deadline, with some more impactful than others.

The biggest chip to fall on Tuesday afternoon was the defending World Series champion Houston Astros re-acquiring reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander from the New York Mets for a pair of prospects. That trade moved Houston's future odds considerably, but not enough to eliminate value, as I'll lay out below.

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Houston Astros to Win AL West (-110, Caesars)

Although I am down on Justin Verlander's overall profile this season (3.29 xERA or expected ERA vs. 2.66 in 2022), there's no questioning that Houston's re-acquisition of the 2022 AL Cy Young winner — alongside reliever Kendall Graveman — helps solidify the pitching staff of a roster that recently saw two of its top three hitters (Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez) return to action.

The return of Altuve and Alvarez coincided with injuries to two All-Stars and key contributors for their chief rival, the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are without Corey Seager and Jonah Heim for a considerable spell. Both players are currently on the injured list — Seager with a sprained thumb and Heim with a left wrist injury.

Per FanGraphs' projections, the trades helped the Astros' divisional chances as much as 10% and increased their World Series odds by 3%. Their divisional odds moved from 48.3% on Tuesday morning to 61.2% by Wednesday morning, while their World Series odds increased from 7.8% to 11.2%.

Additionally, PECOTA increased the Astros' divisional odds from roughly 60% on Tuesday to 71.4% on Wednesday.

Combined, the two projections think the Astros will win the AL West 66.3% of the time (-197 implied odds), a substantial edge compared to current numbers in the betting market (-110 at Caesars). Even if you used a 10% edge cut-off, you could still place that bet up to -128 (56.3% implied), which is a reasonable price target.

However, I don't see value in their World Series odds, with both projections putting them at around 11% (+800 implied odds) compared to the best available odds of +700 in the betting market.

The Bet: Astros to Win AL West (-110, Caesars)

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