Here is where the Astros' playoff odds stand immediately after the trade deadline

The Houston Astros made a big splash at the trade deadline. Was it enough to move the needle for their playoff chances?
Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The Houston Astros made arguably the biggest move of the trade deadline when they brought back Justin Verlander in a blockbuster trade with the Mets. Dana Brown and the front office clearly recognized that the AL West could slip away from them and their chances for yet another deep playoff run hinged on making a big move to upgrade their roster and they did just that.

So here the Astros are with Justin Verlander back in the fold, but also surrounded by other AL teams that were aggressive at the trade deadline as well. To get a better sense of whether or not the Astros did enough, a dive into the numbers is required.

Did the Astros improve their playoff odds after the trade deadline?

For this analysis, we are going to be looking at Fangraphs' playoff odds as well as those generated by Baseball-Reference. You won't be finding any over/unders here. Both engines have their pros and cons and as we will see, there doesn't appear to be a clear consensus as to where the Astros stand right now.

Going into the trade deadline at the end of July, Fangraphs had the Astros with a 50% chance of winning the division and a 78.1% chance of making the playoffs. Houston's chief competition in the division, the Texas Rangers, had a 39.8% chance of winning the AL West and a 75% chance of getting into the playoffs.

After the trade deadline and as of 8/5, Fangraphs shows a boost to the Astros' chances of winning the division to 55.5% and a big jump in their playoff chances to 88.3%. Meanwhile, the Rangers' chances of winning the division stayed relatively flat while their playoff chances saw a jump as well to 84.6%. It certainly hasn't hurt either team that the Angels (who were also going for it at the deadline) haven't played well since upgrading their roster.

Baseball-Reference, on the other hand, tells a different tale. Before the deadline, B-Ref was much more bullish on the Rangers winning the division and currently has the Rangers with a very high 96.4% chance of making the playoffs and that is with only a modest +3.1% bump over the last week. The Astros are still seen has having excellent postseason chances, though, with a 79% chances of making the playoffs. Importantly, the Astros have gotten a big bump in their playoff odds over the last week with an 18% jump.

In short, both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference have the Astros making big strides towards solidifying their chances at a playoff berth. As to which one is right about how the AL West shakes out, only time will tell there.

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