With the All-Star Week behind us, it's now only a hop, skip and a jump from the trade deadline, which kicks off the homestretch of the baseball season. By this point in the year, the Cinderellas and premature pumpkins are more or less determined. While there probably will be some upsets, we know who the great teams are and who the lousy ones are with a lot more certainty than we did in March.
That doesn't mean that teams can't still improve themselves, so the week before the trade deadline is always a good opportunity to revisit baseball's playoff odds, both for if teams stand pat and if teams are able to add two wins to their team roster strength. The Dodgers already managed that feat when they acquired Manny Machado in last week's trade with the Orioles. Unfortunately for all of the other contending teams, Machado was the easiest way to add two wins; with him off the table, it probably will take some creativity and/or more than one transaction to beat what the Dodgers just managed to do.