The month of July has concluded for baseball season, so with two months left in the season, who is the team to beat? After a busy trade deadline, some teams are going to be separating themselves from the pack. The regular season could have some surprises, but these teams have made their squad a force to reckon with.

Dodgers are favorites to win it all

Think about having to face Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, or Alex Wood in a playoff series. Kershaw is healing from back pain, but when he comes back, the Dodgers will have one of the deepest rotations in the playoffs.

The Chicago Cubs showed last year that starting pitching wins games. The team had the best starting rotation in terms of Earned Run Average last year, including the National League earned run average leader in Kyle Hendricks.

The team also made other trades to acquire Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani. The team only had ten innings pitched from their left handed pitchers in the bullpen, but now they have two reliable left handed relievers. Watson can be used to set up stud closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers were already a super team with 74 wins. Now, winning 110 games this year doesn’t seem so far fetched.

Chicago Cubs might start to run away

The Milwaukee Brewers elected to keep their future in tact instead of parting with top prospects to go all in. The Cubs unloaded their farm system to acquire Jose Quintana, Alex Avila, and Justin Wilson. The Cubs have the second best bullpen earned run average in the majors. Wilson, who will go from closer to setup man, gets outs on both sides of the plate. Avila brings postseason experience, while Quintana has been pitching very well.

With Jon Lester turning his season around, Jake Arrieta pitching consistently, and Kyle Hendricks returning, the Cubs are looking like the team that won the World Series last year.

The Cubs still have a dangerous lineup that can score five to six runs a night. If the starting rotation keeps pitching the way they are, the bullpen should be even better to set up Wade Davis, who is 22 for 22 in saves.

New York Yankees look like Yankees of old

The Yankees put their name in the headlines once they acquired Sonny Gray. They didn’t need to get Yonder Alonso since Chase Headley has been playing solid ball at first base. With Todd Frazier at third, Headley is likely to stay at first.

The team didn’t part with Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres either. The Yankees are 0.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the division and could play even better ball.

Now, the team can slide Gray into the rotation with All Star Luis Severino. The team also traded for Jaime Garcia CC Sabathia has pitched well all year. If Masahiro Tanaka can provide just two months of consistent pitching, the Yankees could break away. The timing is perfect as the Red Sox have lost David Price for some time. After selling a year ago, the Yankees are back.

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