MLB fans watched last season as the Houston Astros won their first World Series title, and several teams looked to improve before the non waiver trade deadline to make a run at the pennant.
The Astros obviously have to be considered a favorite for the sole reason that they are the defending champions. The Astros, who seem to have a stranglehold on the American League West, with a 73-42 record, didn't make big moves at the deadline because they weren't necessary for a team with as much talent as they have.
They did, however, add some help in their bullpen by adding Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna. They also added catcher Martin Maldonado. If the Astros can get healthy, they certainly have the talent to defend and make a run back at the world series.
In the American League East, the Boston Red Sox have been red hot, enjoying a 80-34 record and winning their last five games. Like many teams at the top, the Red Sox did not need an overhaul and made minor changes, adding Ian Kinsler and Nathan Eovaldi.
The Red Sox, led by J.D. Martinez, face a similar situation that the Astros face, where they have some injuries that could potentially hurt them, but they've done well to continue winning even through the injuries.
Also in the American League East, nine games behind the Red Sox are the New York Yankees. The Yankees are unlikely going to catch up to the Red Sox, but they are looking like a favorite to land a wildcard spot.
You could repeat the same things mentioned for the Astros and the Red Sox for the Yankees, who have been dealing with injuries to both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
They bolstered their pitching staff before the non-waiver deadline, adding Zach Britton, J.A. Happ and Lace Lynn. The additions will give the Yankees a very deep bullpen.
Perhaps the team that made the biggest splash before the trade deadline was the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had a hole to fill with Cory Seager out for the season and filled that void with 26-year-old shortstop Manny Machado. And just when you though reeling in that big fish was enough, the Dodgers also acquired second baseman Brian Dozier.
The Dodgers made a deep run last season, and while they are a bit behind the eight ball with a close battle in the National League West and a record of 63-51, these moves could propel them after things looked gloom and doom with Seager out. Clayton Kershaw seems to be healthy now, so the Dodgers will be one to watch as the regular season comes to a close.
Other teams to keep an eye out for are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies.