It’s been a long and ugly back-and-forth between Major League Baseball and its player’s union, but we finally have Baseball. The MLB is returning, but when & where?
MLB players have agreed upon, a 2020 Major League Baseball season featuring 60 games in total with the season starting on July 19th. Let’s take a closer look at what the 2020 season will look like.
MLB Returns – Season Shortened To 60 Games
We bounced around quite a bit from longer to shorter season lengths, but a stalemate between MLB and the MLB Players Association led to the league imposing a schedule, as was its right in a March 26 agreement that also guaranteed players a fully prorated portion of their salaries.
The idea is that players will report by July 1st, training camps will get underway and then the season will get going in mid-July.
Keep in mind that a regular baseball season is 162 games, so we’re playing just over a third of the games. There was talk of a universal designated hitter but that will not be implemented and there are no expanded playoffs.
“All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps,” the MLBPA tweeted Tuesday night.
2020 Baseball Will Look Very Different
The season’s success probably depends on MLB’s ability to contain coronavirus spread.
If it can, MLB in 2020 will look radically different:
- Teams will play their four divisional opponents 10 times and each of the five interleague opponents in the same geographical area four games apiece.
- The National League will use a designated hitter.
- In extra innings, teams will begin with a runner on second base.
- The trade deadline will be Aug. 31, less than a month before the regular season is scheduled to end.
- Rosters will start at 30 men for the first two weeks then go to 28 for the next two weeks and stay at 26 for the remainder of the season.
- Teams will have a taxi squad that allows them to have as many as 60 players available to play in major league games.
- There will be a COVID-19 injured list with no minimum or maximum length of time spent on it, while standard injured list stints will be for 10 days and the typical 60-day stint will instead be for 45 days.
Now That The MLB Is Back… Let’s Talk Betting Odds
- This is mostly expected to be a three-team race as the New York Yankees are right behind at +400
- The Houston Astros are at +800 and everyone else is at 14/1 or longer.
- However, those “longshot” teams have closed the gap a little bit as early in the offseason, the Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros were the only teams inside of 20/1.
In the American League, the Yankees are a clear-cut favorite at +175 while the Astros are at +400. The Minnesota Twins, who were one of the biggest surprise teams last season, are third in line at +750 along with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Twins will have to keep a close eye on slugger Miguel Sano, who was originally accused of kidnapping someone. The Twins infielder says that the news reports are false and that he’s being blackmailed.
The Rays led the American League in team ERA (3.65) last season while the Astros were right behind (3.66). Pitching will play a very important role in the shortened season and the Astros should get a big boost from the hiatus.
Nobody is talking about their cheating scandal any longer and ace Justin Verlander, who had a groin and lat injury in March, has now fully recovered.
Dodgers Heavily Favored To Win National League
There were a lot of concerns from Dodgers fans during the hiatus that the team would miss out on a great opportunity in 2020. You might recall, they acquired outfielder Mookie Betts earlier in the offseason but he’s in the final year of his contract.
If the season had elapsed with no games played, the Dodgers would have missed out on having the former American League MVP on their roster (had he signed elsewhere).
The Dodgers will enter the season at +160 to win the National League and that’s not a big surprise. They have won at least 91 games in seven straight seasons, making the playoffs every time. They haven’t managed to win a World Series ring but that’s about the only thing they haven’t achieved in that span.
The Atlanta Braves are next in line at +700 with the World Series champion Washington Nationals at +800. The Nats lost slugger Anthony Rendon in the offseason but still have plenty of pitching on the roster.
As for the Braves, they are among the most balanced teams in all of baseball after finishing 10th in team ERA last season and ninth in team batting average. Their pitching rotation was the seventh-youngest last season, so another age of seasoning could help them get over the hump.
One interesting note in the National League is that the Central Division is expected to be very competitive. The St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers are all between +1200 and +1800 to win the National League.
Winning Percentages Posted
With the baseball season shortened, many sportsbooks in the Garden State have pulled the regular-season win total props off the board. FanDuel Sportsbook has been one of the fewest to maintain a prop up on the board, which is the “Win Percentage” prop.
It’s basically in the same vein as the regular-season win total but since the season is shortened, they have been working with a winning percentage. Now that we know exactly how many games will take place this season, don’t be surprised if sportsbooks start to put up regular-season win totals again.
Trout Favored To Be AL MVP, Yelich & Betts Favored In NL
All sorts of player props are now up on the board and the odd show that Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is going to win the American League MVP.
- Trout is posted at +155
- Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is next at +1000
- Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians is up at +1200
Trout has won the award three times in the last six seasons.
In the National League, it’s Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and Betts of the Dodgers that leads the way at +700.
Dodgers stud Cody Bellinger won the award last season and is next in line at +800 with the same odds as Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves.
- Odds are also up on the Cy Young Awards as Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees is favored to win in the American League at +280
- Jacob DeGrom of the New York Mets is tabbed as the front runner at +300 as of right now
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