Major League Baseball on course for 60-game season starting July 24
They took the circuitous route to get there, but Major League Baseball is coming back.
Following three months of fruitless negotiations between the league and the players union, owners voted on Monday to allow commissioner Rob Manfred to implement a 60-game season with traditional 10-team playoffs. Having failed to reach any new terms, the two sides resorted back to a March 26 agreement that now gives Manfred the ability to impose a schedule of any desired length. The expected result is each team playing 60 games, starting on July 24 and running through Sept. 27. As usual, the playoffs will take place in October. It will become official when the players agree to a pair of conditions: arriving at facilities by July 1 for a second spring training stint and agreeing to various safety measures regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Not happy about it
Aside from actual baseball being played, it is not what either side wanted. Last week the owners thought they had a deal in place for a 60-game season with expanded playoffs. The players, however, rejected it. They wanted 70 games per club and a greater share of revenue.
A statement from the players association read: “The MLBPA Executive Board met multiple times in recent days to assess the status of our effort to resume the 2020 season. Earlier this evening, the full Board reaffirmed the players’ eagerness to return to work as soon and as safely as possible. To that end we anticipate finalizing a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols with Major League Baseball in the coming days, and we await word from the league on the resumption of spring training camps and a proposed 2020 schedule.
“While we had hoped to reach a revised back to work agreement with the league, the Players remain fully committed to proceeding under our current agreement and getting back on the field for the fans, for the game and for each other.”
“Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development,” the league stated. “The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new postseason format. And, it offered players significant benefits.”
Barring any complications with the two aforementioned conditions, fans will at least get to see some baseball in 2020—albeit on television and not in person. That means there will be plenty of betting opportunities, as well. Be sure to check out our daily MLB expert picks when the season begins, likely in late July.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are +375 favorites to win the World Series, followed by the New York Yankees at +450. After the Houston Astros come in at +1200, no other squad has better than +2000 odds (the Minnesota Twins).
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is an overwhelming +125 favorite to earn American League MVP honors. Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is a +400 top choice on the National League side.