After months of negotiating, Major League Baseball finally has a plan in place to begin the 2020 season. The 60-game shortened season will span 66 days starting July 23 and will take place at home ballparks for all teams.
The MLBPA worked diligently to ensure prorated salaries — the main obstacle throughout the negotiation process. Now that this is in place, it’s safe to say baseball will be back once and for all this summer, barring the continued control of the coronavirus outbreak.
Commissioner Rob Manfred is hopeful spring training will begin on July 1, as many teams were forced to move out of Florida due to COVID-19 complications. The next three weeks or so will consist of intrasquad spring training games, as teams will use their Triple-A affiliates as competition.
All in all, the MLB’s reputation certainly took a hit during these last few months, but hopefully, it’ll be forgotten once our favorite teams take the field this summer.
MLB’s 60-Game Format
The 60-game season will feature 40 divisional games for each team, with the remaining 20 games being inter-league opponents from the corresponding division. Thus, the National League East will play the American League East, and so on. However, it is still unclear as to whether or not these games will be divided up equally.
This will make for some very intriguing matchups, as the NL and AL East will make for some great competition. This will be great for baseball and is a cool wrinkle to the shortened season.
Seeing the Red Sox and Yankees go against the Mets, Phillies, Nationals, and Braves will be awesome to watch, in addition to World Series rematches like the Dodgers vs. the Astros, and the Cubs vs. the Indians.
It wasn’t easy, but baseball seems to finally be on the right track now that a deal has been finalized, and expect smooth sailing from this point on so long as everything goes according to plan.
Although there was initial speculation regarding an expanded postseason format, MLB decided against it during its final agreement. They will continue with a 10-team playoff featuring three division winners and two Wild Cards per league.
Given the logistics of the season, it definitely makes the most sense to keep the playoff system as is to maintain a sense of urgency throughout the regular season.
This sprint to the finish line will likely benefit lesser teams, as anything can happen in a 60 game stretch. One bad week of baseball could be the difference, as teams always go through slumps at one point or another.
This will make it even more difficult for sports bettors to handicap, as there’s simply too much uncertainty at this point.
Particular futures could have immense value, as young teams like the Angels, Reds, or White Sox could make unprecedented runs in this year’s playoffs. All these ballclubs currently sit at +2500 to win the World Series and could find themselves in the thick of things come October.
Nevertheless, it’s safe to say this year’s baseball season will be like no other in history, as we’ll have to wait and see before taking any real action.