Justin Verlander was traded to the Astros

MLB Trade Deadline Impact: Verlander Makes Astros A Repeat Threat

This year's MLB trade deadline wasn't mind-blowing by any stretch, but there were consequential enough deals to alter a few teams' 2023 trajectories, as well as MLB futures betting markets. 

Shohei Ohtani and Cody Bellinger didn't go anywhere, but other notable players like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, David Robertson and Aaron Civale all switched jerseys.

Here are a few markets baseball bettors can take advantage of after the trade deadline fallout:

San Diego Padres to Make Playoffs (+190)

I thought the Padres would sell at the deadline. As it turns out, Friars' general manager A.J. Preller doesn't care what I think. Instead of dealing Josh Hader or Blake Snell, San Diego turned to the buyers' market, adding auxiliary pieces such as Rich Hill, Scott Barlow, Garrett Cooper and Ji-Man Choi. It was a perfect strategy for a club badly in need of pieces to complement its star-studded roster.

In the end, the burden falls on San Diego's best players to get it done, but that tide is turning. The Padres recently swept the AL-West-leading Rangers and have a relatively easy remaining schedule.

Who knows? The good vibes of a trigger-happy deadline combined with some positive regression from Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts might make a playoff run possible. All told, I love a value bet on San Diego to make the playoffs at +190. One big win streak will zap all that value, so get on it quick.

Blake Snell To Win NL Cy Young (+275)

I thought Snell was guaranteed to get traded, which is why I recommended bettors go with Zac Gallen for the NL Cy Young award. One day later, and I'm back on the Snell train. All aboard!

In his last 11 starts, Snell owns a 0.71 ERA with opponents a meager .481 OPS off him. That is a very, very dominant stretch. Spencer Strider represents the left-hander's biggest competition (and our biggest obstacle to a juicy futures cash), but I'm low on the Braves fireballer. He's an electric pitcher, no doubt, but his propensity for home runs tanks his overall numbers and the Braves will likely manage his workload ahead of a World Series push.

Snell and the good-vibes Padres have a lot to play for. With a playoff hunt on the horizon and another 12-start sample size to work with, Snell's value will likely only decrease from here on. +275 could wind up being as good as it gets. 

Houston Astros to win the AL Pennant (+350)

Water always finds its level. There was always reason to be bullish on the Astros, even as they began the year out of the playoff picture and then clinging to a wild-card spot. But, even as Houston surged for a 15-10 July record, a big move was always looming. That happened Tuesday, when the club traded for Verlander in a season-altering move.

The 40-year-old had the best years of his career in Houston, including an AL Cy Young award just a season ago, and he'll immediately pair with Framber Valdez to form one of the best one-two punches in baseball. 

The only obstacle to our best bet? The Rangers also traded for a future Hall-of-Famer when they added Scherzer. Here's where I see the edge in Houston's favor, though: Verlander looks much better this year than Scherzer, who's having his worst campaign since 2011.

Verlander must have some blackmail on Father Time, and for that reason, I'm leaning toward the Astros to win the AL pennant at +350.