We are now into July, which means we are under a month away from the start of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season. As Major League Baseball continues to work on the final pieces to the shortened 2020 season, let us look at what is happening around the league.
No Minor League Baseball in 2020
As no surprise to many, but certainly disheartening, MiLB announced officially on Tuesday that the 2020 minor league baseball season has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The timing cannot be worse for many minor league baseball organizations as the Professional Baseball Agreement, a document that governs the minor league clubs, and their major league affiliates expire in September. This comes on the heels of a possible decision made in 2019 to cut affiliates from 160 to 120 teams.
One of the biggest questions asked by fans of the game is, “will minor league baseball organizations survive?”
The larger affiliates, your Triple-A and Double-A levels, should have no problem surviving. However, most of the organizations have had to lay off or furlough many of their employees. Most of these teams reside in a larger market with more corporate ticket and sponsorship opportunities than lower-level organizations.
However, fans in the lower level of the minors, your Single-A affiliates, and rookie leagues, will struggle to survive. Many of these organizations and locations have been mentioned prior to the shutdown as cities that may lose their affiliation.
Players Admit to Playing During League Shutdown
More than 30 MLB baseball players trained with Eric Cressey, the New York Yankees director of health and performance, in Palm Beach, Fla. at his gym, the Cressey Sports Performance. Some of the notable players include Max Sherzer, Justin Verlander, and Giancarlo Stanton.
These individual players trained and practiced together during the MLB shutdown before playing two baseball games at a local high school. The game was kept private to prevent any fans from attending the games.
Florida was one of the first states to reopen to the public in the United States, and while the state has seen significant spikes in positive coronavirus tests over the last two weeks, no one from the gym has been found to test positive for the virus.
Baseball Betting: Opening Night and Futures
We told you last week that MLB announced the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals would highlight Opening Day when the league resumes action later this month. The Yankees (-135) are the favorite to win the tilt in Washington, D.C.
The Yankees (+375) and Los Angeles Dodgers (+375) are both the heavy favorites to win the 2020 World Series. Both teams made major acquisitions in the offseason to better their already above-average rosters.
On the flip side, the Pittsburgh Pirates (+40000) are the longest shot to win it all, according to sportsbooks.
Other notable World Series odds include last year’s champion, the Washington Nationals (+1800), and their World Series opponent, the Houston Astros (+800). The season is set to begin on July 23.