The St. Louis Cardinals made the second biggest in-season trade on Friday, acquiring Oakland A’s outfielder Matt Holliday for minor league prospects Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson. A couple of months ago, the Cards also acquired Mark DeRosa from the Cleveland Indians for multiple players.

Bet 2009 World Series Odds

Holliday, who is hitting .286 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI through Friday, adds much-needed protection for slugger Albert Pujols in the Cardinals’ lineup. This acquisition essentially makes St. Louis the favorite to win the NL Central, although the Chicago Cubs and/or Milwaukee Brewers could also make a move before next week’s trade deadline.

Once again, A’s general manager Billy Beane got excellent compensation via a trade. Wallace was Baseball America’s 40th-best prospect entering the season, while Peterson is a former second rounder and Mortensen is a young right-handed pitcher.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Sports Interaction have the Cards listed as a 15/1 long shot to win the 2009 World Series, but with their acquisition of Holliday, those odds could drop so bettors should jump on St. Louis now it they think the club is a potential sleeper.

Bet 2009 World Series Odds

Posted: 7/24/09 8:40PM ET