MLB Odds: How Do Luis Castillo, Benintendi Trades Affect World Series Odds?

by Edward Agros
Fox Sports MLB Betting Analyst

The professor has a stern warning for today’s class:

Before we start generating our own trading hype, it is important to take a deep breath before looking at the betting price on the trade time frame.

Take last season: The Dodgers acquired Max Schaezer and Tree Turner, but didn’t win the pennant, even though both played exceptionally well. The Giants picked up Kris Bryant, and even though the ball club won 107 games, they failed to advance past the National League Division Series.

However, there were also successes. The Braves needed their mid-season takeover in George Soler to win it all (.300/.391/.800 in the World Series). The Astros made less spectacular moves for their bullpen, but in September and October, were still ninth in strikeouts in nine innings (9.38) in MLB and eighth in xFIP (4.23). My main point is to always take propaganda with a grain of salt.

So now that you’ve completed your breathing exercises, let’s break down the latest trades, their impact on betting odds and if it’s worth investing in for that squad’s championship chances.

P Luis Castillo for mariners

As we’ve discussed in this space, there is no team that is more interested in studying trade deadlines than the Mariners.

Sure enough, they’re the first to make an earth-shattering move, getting starting pitcher Luis Castillo from Cincinnati for some of the brightest prospects.

From a speculative perspective, the move squeezed a lot of value out of Seattle in the futures markets. For winning the American League, M’s odds were reduced from +2000 to +1400, and they went from +4000 to +3000 for winning the World Series.

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Castillo throws fireballs, as his fastball average is about 97 mph. There might not be much movement, but with an opposing batting average of .124 and a strike rate of 45.5%, it doesn’t need to be. Oddly, he has had more successful seasons, such as in 2020 with an FIP of 2.65 and more than 11 strikes per nine innings. Either way, he’s a stud that will help Mariners massively down the stretch.

There aren’t many starting weapons available on the market, and Seattle needs one, so it feels like a win for both teams. And given that the Mariners’ playoff drought has lasted longer than any North American team in the men’s four major games, it’s a move they had to make with a high probability of success.

LF Andrew Benintendi to Yankees

The Bronx Bombers have eloped with the AL East and are now the big favorites to win the pennant. But the move has improved the Yankees’ odds of winning the World Series, from second-best to the Dodgers at +400 with the lowest at +350.

Above average wins by baseball reference chart position groups, and the Yankees rank 10th in left field, their second-worst ranking before shortstop. Now, New York goes from Joy Gallo, who is second in strike rate (38.1%) with at least 250 plate appearances, to Andrew Benintendi with the 20th lowest rate (13.3%). He doesn’t have a lot of power, but does know how to get base with a .387 OBP. In short, the Yankees got massively better with this trade.

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Edward Agros is a sports analytics broadcaster/writer, a sports betting analyst, a data scientist, and an assistant professor of statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions led him to become a cold brew lover. Edward previously worked in local television, notably covering Rangers, Cowboys and high school football at the Fox affiliate in Dallas. follow him TeaVitter @EdWithSports.

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