The trade deadline in some years is a real snoozer, with few players of note moving cities and even fewer last-minute swaps. This was not one of those years, as David Price, Jon Lester, Yoenis Cespedes and Austin Jackson were all fitted for new uniforms. While there are still trades to be made in August after the non-waiver deadline, and while the potential to make a long-term impact still remains -- the John Smoltz and Jeff Bagwell trades were both made well after the deadline -- most of this year's big moves have already been made.
With rosters mostly settled, the start of baseball's homestretch is a good time to review updated playoff odds. As usual, projections are made using a Monte Carlo simulation and the ZiPS projection system. Projections are based on probabilities, not destiny -- which is a good thing, as baseball would be a lot less fun without teams like the 2011 Tampa Bay Rays defying the odds.
For each division, I'm including a number which I'm dubbing the "playoff target," which is the number of wins needed to have at least a 75 percent chance, in simulations, of taking the division title outright (no one-game playoffs).