Over the years, the MLB trade deadline has historically created winners and losers from both a fantasy and reality perspective. Who can forget CC Sabathia finishing the season 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA after he got traded to the Brewers in 2008? On the other end of the spectrum, those same Brewers traded for Jonathan Schoop last season and he posted a miserable .202/.246/.331 triple slash over his last 124 ABs. If you are a true baseball fan you have to love the anticipation and excitement that builds up in the days and hours leading up to the 4 pm July 31st deadline. There may be even more activity at the deadline this season since baseball has eliminated trade waiver deals. In the past, if a player cleared waivers after the official July 31st trade deadline, he could be traded to another team. That is no longer the case. There is absolutely no trading after July 31st this season.

With several days remaining before the trade deadline, it’s very hard to predict which players will end up where, but we do know that the Yankees, Phillies, Astros, and Padres are just some of the teams in the market for a starting pitcher. As this article is being written there is speculation that Mets SP Noah Syndergaard and Indians SP Trevor Bauer may be available for the right price. Giants SP Madison Bumgarner and Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman , the subject of many trade rumors, maybe staying put…for now. There are plenty of other starting pitchers who’ve been mentioned as potential trade targets like Tigers starter Matthew Boyd , Rangers starter Mike Minor , and even Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray . The teams trading for starting pitching have playoff aspirations and are good enough where they can provide the pitchers that they add to their rosters the opportunity to maintain or even exceed their present fantasy value. Unfortunately, the fantasy value of some of the closers who might end up getting traded might not fare as well.

The Dodgers, Brewers, Braves, A’s, Nationals, and Twins are just some of the teams who’ll be looking for bullpen help at the deadline. Closers like Edwin Díaz , Ken Giles , Shane Greene , Greg Holland , Wade Davis , Raisel Iglesias , Sergio Romo , and Ian Kennedy have all been mentioned as potential trade targets. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that all of them would be the closer on the new team they’re traded to. Perhaps it might be wise to make small investments on your favorite closers in waiting. Pitchers like Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen , Toronto Blue Jay Daniel Hudson , Tigers reliever Joe Jiménez , Diamondbacks reliever Yoan López or New York Met Seth Lugo all may have the opportunity to take over the closer’s role for their team depending on how the trade winds blow. 

Let’s switch gears and take a look at some of the unsung heroes who’ve been swinging a hot bat of late. 

Entering Thursday night’s action, Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman was batting .500 with a 1.443 OPS over his last 11 games. With Brett Gardner on the IL and Giancarlo Stanton M.I.A., the Yanks are likely to keep Tauchman’s hot bat in the lineup at least for the short term. DFS players should note that Tauchman has been slaying left-handed pitching (.452/.528/.645).

Another Yankee batter who’s been raking is Didi Gregorious. Over his last six games, he’s batting .522 with 13 RBI, four of which came as the result of a grand slam home run.

Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson has been swinging a hot bat as well, batting .478 with a 1.339 OPS over his last nine games. He is one of those players who could be on the move as the trade deadline approaches.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. seems to have found his big league swing. Over his past six games, he’s batting .450 with a 1.172 OPS.

Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has been swinging a hot bat as well, hitting a home run in four straight games. 

Some hitters not faring so well?

Is Mets first baseman Pete Alonso a Home Run Derby casualty? He’s batting .108 with a .351 slugging percentage since the All-Star break.

Pirates first baseman was once the hottest hitter on the planet. Unfortunately, he’s batting just .195 in his last 25 games. His BAA fastballs is .185 in those games. Up until that point, his BAA fastballs was .299.

Two pitchers who may or may not be getting traded have either been making a bid to remain on their respective teams or showcasing their talents for their next team. We’ll know next week.

Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is pitching to a 2.00 ERA over his last six starts. It appears that since the Giants are right in the thick of the NL Wild Card race Bumgarner may not be moved after all.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman has a 2.30 ERA over his last seven starts. Depending on what you choose to believe, Stroman is either on the block or going to be offered a contract extension. 

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodríguez hasn’t given up more than two runs in his last five starts. He’s striking out just under a batter per inning and pitching to a 1.76 ERA in those starts. Hitters are batting .167 against him during that time period. Rodriguez’s career second-half ERA has been slightly better (3.92) as compared to his career first-half ERA (4.26).

What the heck happened to Twins starter Jake Odorizzi ? He has a 7.99 ERA and opposing hitters are batting .316 against him over his past seven starts. He had an ERA of 1.92 and a .186 BAA in his first 13 starts this season. 

Matthew Boyd is another pitcher whose name has been mentioned as a potential trade target. Unfortunately, he’s pitched poorly over his last five starts, posting a 5.46 ERA during that time frame. He’s been victimized by the long ball lately, giving up 15 home runs over his last nine IP. His xFIP over those five starts (2.77) suggests that his overall ERA should improve once his home run rate allowed adjusts and moves closer to the league average.