Life seems to be changing every day.
Work and school routines are disrupted. Restrictions are in place. And sports, the cornerstone of American leisure, have been postponed across the country.
The latest evidence arrived in a news release Monday. Major League Baseball announced that the start of the regular season will be postponed in accordance with a CDC guideline to suspend gatherings of 50 or more for at least eight weeks.
That puts the start of baseball season in mid-May, at the earliest.
MLB Futures are still available at PA Sportsbooks
Like most of the news we encounter these days, you can view it multiple ways. Pessimists might focus on the postponement of yet another sports season. But optimists will realize a delay of eight weeks still leaves plenty of time for summer baseball. And some PA sports betting opportunities too!
So let’s accentuate the positive and take a look at Major League Baseball’s schedule plans and futures odds, which are still live at a number of PA sports gambling apps.
Questions remain regarding what happens to the season schedule. Then there are other personnel matters (payroll, service time, etc.) to be decided before the sport’s official return.
Baseball season will likely look different though
Even though baseball will likely return at some point, the uncertainty surrounding the schedule has created a number of questions.
An article on SI.com explained that the full 162-game schedule is unlikely to be played with a two-month delay already underway. But the changes will go beyond that. Here are a few other scenarios that baseball could consider:
- The season could be played as is. It would save MLB the trouble of changing game matchups, tickets and everything else.
- Two or three weeks could be added onto the regular season to make up for lost games. The postseason would then start a little bit later.
- The entire schedule could be reworked, as mentioned by NBC Sports Chicago. This would be a massive headache, but would help ensure each team had equal home and road games and equal games with divisional opponents.
- The all-star break could be taken away. NBC Sports even wonders if the game itself could be scrapped. It’s possible.
- The World Series could be played at a neutral site. The Super Bowl does this intentionally every year. Plus, if the baseball season is pushed deeper into the fall, it would make sense to select a warm city or domed stadium to host the World Series.
Whatever happens, baseball should be back at some point this summer. Which brings us to the futures odds. For more information on wagering on baseball, check out our MLB betting guide.
Phillies, Pirates far apart on futures odds
The Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates carry extremely different futures odds. This is no big surprise given their rosters and payroll.
The Pirates, however, would return 100-1 odds at most sportsbooks. But FanDuel has them at 500-1, bringing substantial rewards if the bold wager hits.
Dodgers, Yankees are favorites to win the World Series
Both the Pirates and the Phillies are far behind the World Series favorites. The New York Yankees are the favorites at FOX Bet (+350), but most sportsbooks favor the Los Angeles Dodgers, who carry a consensus price around +375.
Some sportsbooks are also offering futures odds on the MLB’s division winners. Here’s a quick rundown of each division and the pricing for the favorites according to DraftKings.
- AL Central: Twins (-139)
- AL East: Yankees (-335)
- AL West: Astros (-210)
- NL Central: Cubs (+250)
- NL East: Braves (+200)
- NL West: Dodgers (-715)
Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins are betting options for NL MVP
FOX Bet also has some player futures available on the MVP and Cy Young awards. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts (+550) is the favorite for the NL MVP, while Philadelphia Phillies sluggers Bryce Harper (+1600) and Rhys Hoskins (+5000) also have odds available.
In Cy Young Award betting, Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom (+333) is the favorite. Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola has his odds boosted to +2800.
Over in the American League, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the favorite at +125. In Cy Young betting, a trio of former Pittsburgh Pirates have odds available. Gerrit Cole, who is now with the Yankees, is the favorite at +300. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Charlie Morton (+1200) and Tyler Glasnow (+1600) also have pricing posted.
Better late than never
Much like everything else these days, the baseball season is on hold.
But it seems likely that baseball in some form should arrive sometime this summer.
And in the end, that will be a welcome change.