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29.12.2018 07:40
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The mad dash for MLB contenders to improve their respective rosters is on.Manny Machado's trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Brad Hand's move to the Cleveland Indians set the wheels in motion on the trade market [url=][/url] , and now the teams that missed out on the two players will look elsewhere to improve ahead of the July 31 deadline.Most of the franchises at, or near, the top of each division are in the hunt for roster improvements, with relief pitchers and infielders the most coveted targets.Below is a look at a trio of teams searching for upgrades in order to be in contention for a playoff position in September.Philadelphia PhilliesThe Philadelphia Phillies are in quite the conundrum after failing to secure the services of Machado.Machado was the ideal fit for the Phillies because he would've erased their top weakness at shortstop.Although there are a handful of quality infielders available, some of them don't fit into the Phillies lineup as perfectly as Machado would have.A potential deal for Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas doesn't make sense because the Phillies have Maikel Franco at the hot corner, and going after a second baseman isn't ideal either with Cesar Hernandez locked into that spot on the diamond.If you eliminate second and third basemen from the Phillies' potential trade prospects, that leaves a thin shortstop crop to choose from. Minnesota's Eduardo Escobar could be an option, as Fancred's Jon Heyman noted:Jon Heyman JonHeymanAssuming phillies don鈥檛 land manny now, they鈥檒l still be targeting a SS, preferably one who鈥檚 a threat with bat. Eduardo Escobar could make sense. Most SS potentially on market r glove guys: Iglesias, alcides, Rojas, old friend galvis, hechavarriaThe Phillies have more hope in the relief market. There are a handful of quality arms left, and the Baltimore Orioles'Zach Brittonis of interest, per Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan:Jeff Passan JeffPassanThe relief market is picking up, and while nothing is imminent, the A鈥檚 and Phillies are among the teams shopping, sources tell Yahoo Sports. Oakland is one of at least five teams in on Jeurys Familia, per sources. And the Phillies are taking a long look at closer Zach Britton.Britton would likely come at a steeper price than other relievers because he's the best available player at his position, but the 30-year-old would boost a young bullpen.The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are right on the Phillies' heels in the National League East, but they will likely be reluctant to give up a ton of minor league value at the deadline.Milwaukee BrewersCurrently three games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central and in the mix for the NL wild card, the Milwaukee Brewers figure to be in the playoff race at the season's end.Milwaukee must improve in order to push Chicago in the division and stave off a collection of teams in the wild-card race, including Arizona, San Francisco, Colorado, St. Louis [url=]Ozzie Albies Jersey[/url] , Pittsburgh and Washington.Just like the Phillies, the Brewers need to upgrade the middle of their infield, but they possess a little more positional flexibility and seem to be looking at second base and shortstop as areas to upgrade.One of the potential targets for the Brewers could be New York Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, per's Mark Feinsand:Mark Feinsand FeinsandFamilia not the only Mets player drawing interest; source says multiple teams have inquired about Asdrubal Cabrera, though no deal is imminent. Brewers and D-backs believed to be among potential suitors.The Brewers have been linked with Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier as well, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal:Ken Rosenthal Ken_RosenthalAmong the players the #Brewers are expected to target now that they have lost Machado: #Twins 2B Brian Dozier. Team also will explore pitching upgrades as well.Although Cabrera and Dozier don't possess Machado's firepower at the plate, they might turn out to be better options in the long run.Cabrera and Dozier come at cheaper costs, and they would still be able to provide a similar impact in a lineup headlined by Jesus Aguilar and Christian Yelich.Cabrera is having the better season of two. He is hitting .282 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI, while Dozier has a .227 average to go with 16 home runs and 49 RBI.While Cabrera might be harder to pry away because of the Mets' high demands for their trade targets, he would be the ideal option given his better season at the plate and postseason experience from his time with the Indians, Nationals and Mets. New York YankeesThe New York Yankees have the bats to contend in the American League East and wild-card race, as seven players on their roster eclipsed the double-digit home run mark by the All-Star Game.However, the Yankees are in need of pitching help in order to compete with the Boston Red Sox for the division title and stay in front of the wild-card competition.The Yankees' starting rotation is led by AL Cy Young candidate Luis Severino, but they need to bolster the back part of the group.Bullpen reinforcements are also necessary, and if it wasn't for the high prices set by selling teams, the Yankees might have brought in a reliever already.SNY's Andy Martino reportedthat talks between the Yankees and Padres over Hand stalled after San Diego asked for third baseman Miguel Andujar in return.The same issues could hurt the Yankees in the chase for rotation arms as well, as potential deals for J.A. Happ or Cole Hamels could cost them a top prospect, as Martino noted.The Yankees are also in the hunt for Britton, along with many other contenders, per Heyman:Jon Heyman JonHeymanthere are many teams looking at Zach Britton. wouldnt surprise anyone if went right up until the deadline. cubs, Phillies, yankees, Red Sox, possibly Astros, dodgers, giants, others.The second-place team in the AL East has to improve its pitching staff [url=][/url] , but at least for now, it sounds like it won't mortgage stars of the future to get a deal done.While the price tag for the best available players might be high at the moment, the demands from teams could go down as the deadline approaches as they look to offload assets before they decrease in value. Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are both sending their ace left-handed pitchers to the mound in Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night, and that could give the National League champions a strong opportunity to set the tone in the Fall Classic.The Red Sox won 108 games during the regular season while the Dodgers won 92, but if Los Angeles wins the opener on the road, it is likely to create confidence in the winners' locker room.The first pitch is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. ET and the game will be televised by Fox. Partly cloudy skies and high 40s to low 50s temperatures are expected at game time, although showers are a possibility during the game, per the Weather Channel. World Series ScheduleTuesday, October 23 (Game 1): Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ETWednesday, October 24 (Game 2):Los Angeles DodgersatBoston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ETFriday, October 26 (Game 3):Boston Red SoxatLos Angeles Dodgers, 8:09 p.m. ETSaturday, October 27 (Game 4):Boston Red SoxatLos Angeles Dodgers, 8:09 p.m. ETSunday, October 28 (Game 5, if necessary):Boston Red SoxatLos Angeles Dodgers, 8:15 p.m. ETTuesday, October 30 (Game 6, if necessary):Los Angeles DodgersatBoston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ETWednesday, October 31 (Game 7, if necessary):Los Angeles DodgersatBoston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ETAll World Series games will be televised by Fox. The matchup between Clayton Kershaw facing and Chris Sale has a chance to be a classic. If the Dodgers ace has his good fastball and dynamic curveball working, the Red Sox batting order is going to have a difficult time stringing hits together. The same holds for the Dodgers lineup if Sale is throwing his fastball in the 95-96 miles per hour range and has command of his slider.However [url=]Danny Santana Jersey[/url] , both star pitchers have issues. Kershaw has been one of the dominant pitchers of his generation in the regular season, but his postseason performances have been mostly ordinary throughout his career. Kershaw takes a 9-8 career postseason record onto the Fenway Park mound, and he has had his biggest issues away from home.The Dodgers are 5-6 in Kershaw's 11 road postseason starts, and one of those was Game 5 of last year's World Series against the Houston Astros. Kershaw gave up six earned runs in that game, and the Astros prevailed by a 13-12 margin.Sale suffered from shoulder difficulties throughout the second half of the season. He was on the disabled list twice, and while he performed well against the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, he was off of his game when he started against Houston in Game 1 of the ALCS. Sale has not pitched since October 13, and the Red Sox are hoping he will be near his best form in this game.The Red Sox are -160 favorites in Game 1 (bet $160 to win $100), while the Dodgers are +135 underdogs, per OddsShark.The Red Sox led the major leagues in scoring and have strength throughout their lineup. Jackie Bradley Jr., who often bats ninth for Boston, won the ALCS MVP after driving in nine runs with a bases-loaded double, a grand slam and a two-run homer.Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are Boston's best hitters, while Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and the first base combination of Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce are capable of big hits.The Dodgers are a powerful team that had seven hitters with 21 or more home runs. Max Muncy led the Dodgers with 35 long balls, and Los Angeles also depends on Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Manny Machado and Yasiel Puig. World Series PropsProp bets also come into play during the World Series, and while they don't have the same kind of popularity as those offered in the NFL postseason or before the Super Bowl, it gives fans a chance to show off their knowledge and perhaps win some cash.Vegas Insider reports key prop bets on the World Series MVP and the number of games needed for each team to win the series.Kershaw is the slight favorite to win the series MVP award at 7-1, followed by Betts at 15-2 and Sale and Martinez at 8-1. Machado follows at 10-1, while Benintendi is listed at 15-1, along with Turner, Puig and Chris Taylor.The Red Sox winning the World Series in six games is the most popular choice in potential outcomes at +350, followed by Boston winning in seven at +400. The Dodgers winning in six games is next at +500.A Red Sox sweep will pay off at +1000 while a victory by the Dodgers in four games would pay off at a whopping +1400.

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