In a time when much of the sports world has slowed to a crawl, a great deal of interest has developed around the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Spring training was brought to a halt because of the spread of the coronavirus, and players went back home to wait for their camps in Florida and Arizona to open up again. Opening Day has already been pushed back officially pushed back two weeks, but it sounds like the teams would need a month to prepare for regular-season games. If you’re planning on including MLB futures in your sports betting — or are just curious about the national pastime — check out some of the latest news. Below the Updates, MLB Odds and some World Series Odds for your wagering.
MLB: Latest News Updates March 24th 2020
The regular season will almost certainly be shortened
Did you know that a pandemic has shortened an MLB season in the past? In 1919, the season only lasted 140 games. World War I had just come to an end, and the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 had convinced baseball’s ownership that fans just wouldn’t have an appetite for it. However, the 1919 season shattered attendance records. According to ESPN.com, what happened in 1995 might be the best clue going forward, at least for now. The season started April 25, as a labor dispute that had ended the 1994 season without a champion roiled on. The season ended October 4, lasting 163 days and having each team play 144 games. But can we really start April 25? The middle of May is now looking like the most optimistic time frame. So the season could last until mid-October, with about a 140-game season, and then the postseason would commence. One way to condense the season would happen if…
MLB is looking to postpone the 2020 All-Star Game until the postseason
Right now, the only major professional sports league in the United States that has its all-star exhibition near the end of the season is the National Football League, which has put the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl and currently plays it the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. One possibility is to have the All-Star Game between the end of the two League Championship Series and the start of the World Series, with the two teams left standing exempt from participating.
The Yankees will have Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge for Opening Day
Giancarlo Stanton has fully rehabbed his right calf injury and is ready to play for the big league club on Opening Day. Aaron Judge had a rib injury that was basically the Yankees’ fault, because they rushed him back into action before he was ready. Having those two big bats back in the lineup will help the Yankees return to the top of the American League East — so long as the team can get a decent season out of its starting rotation.
Mariano Rivera Compared the Astros Scandal to Pete Rose
The coronavirus has driven the public ire against the Houston Astros for their sign-stealing scheme, which appears to have played a major role in their 2017 world championship, largely out of the collective memory of the sporting public. Once games resume, will opposing pitchers resume sending beanballs toward players that, in their opinion, got away scot-free for cheating? Will opposing fans rain down boos on the Astros when Houston comes to town?
One venerable voice from the world of baseball who wants the ultimate punishment for the Astros involved is Mariano Rivera, longtime closer for the New York Yankees and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He thinks that the Astros should get the same punishment that Pete Rose received. As player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds, Rose bet on baseball games, including games that involved his own team. For that transgression, Rose received a lifetime ban from the game, which has kept him from induction in the Hall of Fame. Rivera points out that the whole Astros roster was involved in the deception — and should get the same punishment Rose got. What do you think?