Deadline Day Sets Up an Epic AL East Pennant Race

Today, the Red Sox and Yankees both made trades for impact pitchers, shoring up their staffs for the stretch run.

Dave Dombrowski struck first acquiring Addison Reed from the Mets for three minor league right handed pitchers: Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, and Stephen Nogosek.  The move turns the back end of the Red Sox bull-pen from very good to elite.  Reed has already racked up 1.8 WAR with an outstanding 2.57 ERA and 19 saves this season.  An Addison Reed/Craig Kimbrel one-two punch in the 8th and 9th will be deadly for the Sox.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 6.48.31 PM

Not to be outdone, the Yankees made arguably the biggest splash of the day by getting A’s star Sonny Gray.  New York shipped three minor leaguers (Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian) to Oakland.  Coupled with their moves for Jaime Garcia, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, and David Robertson in recent days, the Yankees sent the league a clear message: they’re all in.  Gray has posted a 3.43 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 1.175 WHIP in 16 starts thus far in 2017, removing any doubt that his lackluster 2016 was anything but a blip on the radar.

Currently the Yankees sit 0.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the standings (2 games up in the loss column).  Looking at the schedule, the division could very well be won or lost between August 11th and September 3rd, as the clubs face off 10 times in that stretch. Also to be noted, the Yankees 35 games left vs. teams under .500, the Red Sox only have 27.  The Yankees also get 7 of those ten head to head match-ups at home.  I also want to note that the Rays are not completely out of this discussion, sitting 3.5 back, but their path to the postseason will almost surely have to be through the wildcard.

Fangraphs latest projection still likes the Red Sox to win the division, but the Yankees did increase their odds from 29% to 36% with the Gray trade.  Here’s how the odds have shifted throughout the year:

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 6.41.12 PM

 

So who do you think will win the division? Vote in our poll:

 

-Micah Schaffer @ultramicbeam

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