The trade deadline for the MLB is nearing, and the competition across the league is heating up. In the National Lague East, the Mets are battling to keep first place away from the surging Atlanta Braves.
In the NL West, the Dodgers are far out ahead of the second-place Padres, while things are much more competitive in the Central division between the Brewers and the Cardinals.
The American League’s central division is similarly close: the Twins only lead the Guardians by a handful of games. However, the AL’s East and West division leaders are only widening their gaps, with the Yankees and Astros over ten games ahead of their respective rival teams.
With roughly a month left in the regular season, there’s still plenty of time for the first- and second-place standings to shake up – especially with the trade deadline closing in.
The Braves won the World Series last year thanks, in part, to a dramatic restructuring of their outfield right around the trade deadline. This year, they’re doing just fine – they’re within a few games of the first-place Mets, and they might just need a right-handed pitching reliever to get back into a competitive stance. The Mets, meanwhile, will likely only look to trade to deepen their bullpen or give themselves more flexibility in the playoffs.
The Guardians have a tough task getting back ahead of the Twins unless they make some catching trades. Their catchers have averaged terrible results at the plate this season, so they need to make some changes to get in the lead. The Twins, on the other hand, need to shore up their bullpen and bring in a veteran closer.
The Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros are all looming large in their respective divisions. The Mariners have a tall order unseating the Astros from first place, but they might be in the running to pick up superstar slugger Juan Soto. The Blue Jays haven’t had a bad season, but the Yankees have had a record-breaking season – it’ll be tough for them to do much aside from shoring up their bullpen with some ice-cold relief pitchers.
The Padres, on the other hand, are facing down a red-hot Dodgers team in first place in their division. They might add William Contreras, the rising-star catcher who made a name for himself on the Braves World Series team.
In any case, there’s sure to be plenty of movement in the league as teams jockey for position to get ready for the pennant races next month. Get ready for some fireworks!