Is Major League Baseball Returning in July?

Is Major League Baseball Returning in July?
Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

The MLBPA and the League are getting closer to an agreement in a shortened season this summer. The agreement is likely to come in the next couple of weeks and the hope is that the MLB begins their shortened season in July. How will the players prepare for a shortened season and what cautions should the MLB have in place?

When Will The MLB Return?

If I sat here and told you that the MLB would be returning in July, would you believe me? Here’s the breakdown via ESPN.

The League made their first offer, that would be an 82-game season without prorated salaries. The MLBPA countered with a 114-game season and full prorated salaries.

The players basically believed that if the MLB plays more games, the owners will make more money for games that are played. However, the league doesn’t see it that way due to having to play in empty stadiums. The league instead believes that the fewer games played, the less money they’ll lose.

Currently, the owners would accept a 50 game season at the players’ full prorated salary but it seems far unlikely that the players would approve of this. Their stance is simple. What’s the point of risking themselves for a smaller reward during COVID-19? Also, why risk an injury in a 40-50 game season when you’re only getting 25 percent of salary?

We’ve seen cold stretches and hot stretches from batters throughout a quarter of the season. Imagine a player performs very poorly in those 50 games? Time and time again we’ve watched players have better second halves or better first halves of the season.

There would be no halves with a 50-game season. Imagine free agency when a guy hits below the Mendoza line in 35 games? That small sample size would destroy his next contract opportunities in the next season just as much as a player hitting above .400 in those 35 games would see a huge market for himself.

You see, a lot of people around the world will fight and bicker. They’ll call the players greedy while some will call the owners greedy. There’s a lot more at stake than most will realize. Many don’t take much into account.

We all selfishly want baseball.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

As of now, the league and MLBPA are aiming to return in July. But as negotiations linger on, everyone will begin to get more skeptical day-by-day. Yet, it just feels like things are getting closer between both sides. An agreement seems close but again, fans around the world want more than 50 games during the season. That seems way too little.

We’ve heard about how MLB players are preparing for the season. However, not everyone has the luxury of getting to practice, workout, and do what they need to do to be ready for the season.

If you’ve been watching the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), we’ve seen more injuries in the first month than we could’ve ever imagined.

This could mean having more players from the minor leagues available to play this season. But the players association also recognizes this and are definitely worried about injuries in a shortened season that doesn’t mean as much as a full 162-game season.

Even with a second outbreak of Coronavirus in South Korea, the KBO is still playing and all seems well. In Taiwan (CPBL), we might see no limit on fans in the stands in the next couple of weeks.

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How to Bet in a Shortened MLB Season

If the MLBPA and league can finally agree to a shortened season, MLB betting at 5Dimes and other sportsbooks will be different. We’ll no longer have 162 games of baseball with a large sample size and games going from March into October.

A shortened season actually helps underdogs while expanded playoffs would favor the favorites via FiveThirtyEight.

Reality is, the MLB has always been the hardest to predict. The Washington Nationals won the World Series after finding themselves in fourth place in the NL East after May.

Now it’s going to be even harder to predict when the season eventually resumes. When CBS used their system to predict what would happen in an 84-game season, the Marlins won the NL East going 47-37 on the season and no team did worse than 34 wins throughout the season.

Most sportsbooks are keeping all futures bets as long as there is an eventual winner. In the MLB, if you’ve made a bet on a future, that bet is still in play. The good news is that favorites look to be in good shape in the playoffs during a shortened season.