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Marty’s musings: a look at the active trade deadline

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The Astros got much better, while the Red Sox look much worse.

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

This week we review the trade deadline, taking a look at some teams that are trending in the right direction, and others that are on the ropes to fall out of the playoff hunt.

All this news and more in this week’s Musings.

News and Notes

77 - Players traded in 30 deadline deals last week. Without the overly complicated second tier of waiver-deadline deals, teams had to make their choices and moves in July this year. The Astros added the prize of the deadline, landing Zack Grienke, among other players, while the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers uncharacteristically did little to improve their teams.

20-2 - Houston’s inter-divisional record heading into this week. They are coming off a three-game sweep of the Astros, including a combined no-hitter in 9-0. Newcomer Aaron Sanchez tossed six no hit innings in which he walked two batters. Will Harris, Joe Biagini, and Chris Devinski each tossed no hit innings in the combined effort.

8 - Game losing streak for the Red Sox, who were swept by the Rays and then the Yankees last week. Boston had a 14 game stretch against only Tampa Bay and New York, and got off to a great start, winning two-of-three against the Rays and then three-of-four against the Yankees. They haven’t won a game in more than a week, the pitching has been terrible, and they keep falling further and further behind in the AL wild card race.

5 - Earned runs allowed by Shane Greene in two innings since the Braves acquired him from the Tigers in a deadline deal. Greene had been lights-out for Detroit, giving up only five earned runs all season in 38 innings. Atlanta remains well-positioned in the NL East, with a seven game lead over Washington.

9 - Game winning streak for the Mets, who saw their playoff odds (per FanGraphs) climb to 28.6. They have overtaken the Phillies in playoff odds, even though they remain under .500.

6 23 - Total 2019 innings pitched by Phillies reliever David Robertson, who will undergo season-ending surgery. The inking was expected to bolster their bullpen but instead has become a lost 2019 for Robertson (and possibly the Phillies, who can’t gain any traction in the playoff race).

2397 - Strikeouts for Clayton Kershaw, which launched him ahead of Sandy Koufax, and into third place on the Dodgers all-time Ks list. Kershaw accumulated his strikeouts in about 100 fewer innings than Sandy, and sits behind only Don Sutton and Don Drysdale.

.389 - The Cubs’ winning percentage on the road this season. The Cubs’ 21-33 road record is the worst in baseball, and has been their Achilles Heel all season. Despite the lousy record, they are 1 12 games ahead of St. Louis and four games ahead of the Brewers. With 27 road games left, there’s still a long way to go.

Matchups to Watch

Monday, August 5

Mike Soroka (ATL) v. Jake Odorizzi (MIN), 8:10 ET

The Twins are feeling the pressure from the Indians, since Minesota had a double-digit divisional lead that has been cut to just three games in the Central. Minnesota did not make much noise at the deadline, while the Indians recently dealt Trevor Bauer and ended up receiving Yasiel Puig, to help an outfield that has struggled this season. The Braves bolstered their bullpen and are cruising in the NL East. This matchup is one where the Twins can show how they can hang with a Braves team that is likely the Dodgers’ best NL-competition.

Tuesday, August 6

Miles Mikolas (STL) v. Clayton Kershaw (LAD), 10:10 ET

The Cardinal’s have been the sneakiest competitive team in baseball, and very well may overtake the Cubs for the division. They take on the clear NL favorites, led by Kershaw who looks healthy and excellent heading into August.

Thursday, August 8

Dillon Peters (LAA) v. Chris Sale (BOS), 7:10 ET

Sale again got rocked by the Yankees over the weekend, giving up eight earned runs in 3 23 innings. The Red Sox pitching has been a train-wreck the last week, and they get no reprive welcoming Mike Trout this week.

Aaron Nola (PHI) v. Madison Bumgarner (SF), 9:45 ET

A strong pitching match-up against two teams that are very likely not going to be playing in October. The Giants decided to keep MadBum despite swirling rumors.

Friday, August 9

Yu Darvish (CHC) v. Trevor Bauer (CIN), 7:10 ET

Darvish has been inconsistent all year, yet anohter reason the Cubs are struggling to gain any decent first-place lead in the Central. Trevor Bauer will make his second start in a Reds’ uniform after getting the loss against Atlanta over the weekend. niform after gettin

Saturday, August 10

Aaron Sanchez (HOU) v. TBD (BAL), 7:05 ET

Sanchez had quite the welcome start, tossing six no-hit innings in his Houston debut. Baltimore is going nowhere, so it will be interesting to see how Sanchez does considering he pitched terribly in the AL East all season.

*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano