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Braves NL Pennant Odds Go From +440 to +340 after Shoring-up Bullpen at Trade Deadline

The National League pennant odds of the Atlanat Braves dripped from +440 to +340 after adding closer Shane Greene and two other relievers to their bullpen at the MLB trade deadline. Photo from @Cut4 (Twitter).
  • The average NL Pennant odds of the Atlanta Braves went from +440 to +340 following the passing of the MLB trade deadline
  • The Braves were among the more successful teams on deadine day, shoring up their weak bullpen with three additions
  • Among the acquisitions was Detroit Tigers closer Shane Greene, who has an 88 percent success rate in save situations this season

There’s a Braves new world in the National League pennant race.

In desperate need of help for their ailing bullpen, the Atlanta Braves found it by the July 31 Major League Baseball trade deadine. The Braves acquired three relievers – closer Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers, and veterans Mark Melancon from the San Francisco Giants and Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers.

In doing so, their average National League pennant odds dipped from +440 to +340 across an array of leading sportsbooks.

2019 National League Pennant Odds

Team NL Pennant Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers EVEN
Atlanta Braves +375
Chicago Cubs +800
St. Louis Cardinals +900
Washington Nationals +1200
Milwaukee Brewers +1400
Philadelphia Phillies +1400
San Francisco Giants +3000
New York Mets +4000
Arizona Diamondbacks +5000

*Odds taken on 08/03/19.

The Braves are defending NL East Division champions but they haven’t appeared in the NL Championship Series since 2001.

Addressing an Area of Need

The closer on baseball’s most dreadful team, Greene, 30, saved 22 of Detroit’s 32 victories this season. His earned run average is an astonishing 1.18. That’s second among all MLB relief pitchers this season.

He’s converted 88 percent of his save situations. Greene was an American League All-Star Game selection this season.

Melancon was employed mainly as a set-up man by the Giants this season but he was a three-time all-star as a closer with the Pittsburgh Pirates and shows 183 saves on his big-league resume.

Martin is also a late-inning specialist. He finished the game in 15 of his 38 appearance for the Rangers this season and converted four saves.

Late Inning Letdowns

The changes were necessary. FanGraphs rates Atlanta’s bullpen 30th in the majors with a WAR of -0.8. They’ve surrendered an MLB-worst 4.38 walks per nine innings.

The Braves have blown 18 of 66 save opportunities this season. That leaves them with a 62.50 success rate, 18th in the majors.

Interestingly, even without the additions to their relief corps, Atlanta still owned a better save conversation rate than three of the other four current NL playoff teams.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (61.22), Washington Nationals (58.33) and Chicago Cubs (56.52) all trail the Braves in this department and only the Nats made a major trade-deadline effort to shore up their bullpen.

In a short playoff series, the teams that win are the ones that can count on their bullpen to lock down a game. Atlanta just gave itself a much better opportunity to do so on a nightly basis and that could be a difference maker in October.

Volatile Odds

The Braves have been all over the spectrum in terms of their NL pennant odds this season. Twice – on April 1 and May 6 – they sat as high as +1200.

By early June they were down to +850. Going 20-8 in June, by the beginning of July they’d dropped all the way to +380. But a scuffling 4-8 stretch at the end of the month pushed Atlanta’s odds back up to +430.

None But The Braves

The Dodgers will stay the clear favorites in the NL pennant race but there’s no sense in betting LA at even money. The Braves offer the best chance to bump off the Dodgers.

Hopefully, you got action on Atlanta before the odds dipped. If their reamped bullpen pays dividends, the Braves could win the NL.

They’re worth a small investment at this price.

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