Baseball could make its return soon

  • Major League Baseball owners have approved a plan for an 82-game regular season beginning in early July, along with a three-week spring training beginning in June.
  • This new proposal would also lead to all 30 MLB teams adopting a designated hitter for the 2020 season and an expanded playoff field.
  • The MLB Players Association must agree to all terms of the proposal, and negotiations will be complicated by the fact that owners want players to take further salary reductions.
  • Although the season isn’t guaranteed to start, many sportsbooks have kept offering betting odds on the 2020 MLB season.

NEW YORK – After a month and a half of uncertainty, Major League Baseball owners have finally approved a plan to resume the MLB season. Under this plan, the league would play a shortened spring training schedule in early June and the regular season would begin around the Fourth of July.

This proposal would shorten the season to 82 games from the usual 162 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring training would last three weeks and could be played either at teams’ usual spring training facilities in Arizona or Florida or at their home ballparks, depending on the public health situation in June.

All games played during this shortened season, regardless of league, would employ a designated hitter (DH) for both sides. The playoffs will also be expanded to include 14 teams rather than 10.

The owners’ plan does not include scheduling details, but many have speculated that teams might be forced to play a more regional schedule to manage both costs and the overall risk to public health. This hypothesis is supported by the adoption of a universal DH rule.

Betting On The MLB

Individual game lines won’t be available until MLB can draft a schedule, but there are plenty of futures lines available to eager legal sports bettors. These bets range from which team will win the World Series to individual division results to which player will hit the most home runs.

The most popular MLB betting options will likely be for the World Series and individual league results. Current 2020 MLB betting odds look like this:

2020 World Series Champion

  • Los Angeles Dodgers +325
  • New York Yankees +325
  • Houston Astros +775
  • Atlanta Braves +1500
  • Minnesota Twins +1800
  • Washington Nationals +1800
  • New York Mets +2000
  • Chicago Cubs +2200
  • St. Louis Cardinals +2200
  • Tampa Bay Rays +2200

American League Pennant Winners

  • New York Yankees +155
  • Houston Astros +375
  • Minnesota Twins +850
  • Tampa Bay Rays +1000
  • Cleveland Indians +1000

National League Pennant

  • Los Angeles Dodgers +165
  • Atlanta Braves +625
  • Washington Nationals +750
  • New York Mets +900
  • Chicago Cubs +1000

Obstacles To Resuming Play

The biggest hurdle in negotiations between the owners and the MLBPA will be salary adjustments.

The two sides already agreed to a compromise back in March. Players agreed to prorate their salaries in the event of a shortened season and in exchange for a $170 million advance, agreed to forfeit their salaries entirely in the event of the 2020 season being canceled.

Team owners are now seeking further salary reductions since games won’t be played with fans.

This will be a hard sell for players. Agreeing to prorate their salaries already slashed their 2020 compensation in half, and their job responsibilities are exactly the same no matter how many fans are in the stands.

The clock is ticking with only roughly a month before spring training is slated to start, so negotiations will need to be expedited.

This could lead to increased friction between the owners and the MLBPA for future negotiations, especially seeing as the next collective bargaining agreement needs to be signed prior to the 2022 season.

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