What Effect Will a Shorter MLB Season Have?

Baseball fans are happy to have some games to look forward to this year. However, with the 2020 season cut down to 60 games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is worth thinking about how the lower number of games could have an effect.

Will There Be a Surprise Winner?

One of the features of shorter tournaments in any sport is that they usually give the underdogs more of a chance of winning. With fewer games to get through, any team that goes on a great run has a chance of holding out until the prizes are awarded.

The season begins on July 23 and ends on September 27, having been postponed from the original start date in March. The first date will see the New York Yankees up against the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The following day will see the other 26 teams get started.

Each team will play 10 times against each of their divisional rivals before 20 games take place on an interleague basis.  If a team can get off to a flying start, they could be very difficult to catch over such a short period. The World Series is scheduled to take place starting on September 29, and game 7 would be played on October 28.

If you are thinking of enjoying some Major League Baseball betting, you might wonder whether it is a good time to back an outsider rather than a favorite. It seems certain that this revised schedule will help some teams and possibly hinder others.

You can check the best odds here: https://extra.betamerica.com/mlb/odds/

The Appearance of New Stars

Who will the stars of the new MLB season be? Well, we might not know that yet but we do know the names of some players who won’t be lighting up the 2020 season. This is because a number of them have opted out of playing this season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks Mike Leake was one of the first baseball players to announce that he wouldn’t be playing in this shorter season. The Washington Nationals then lost both Joe and Ryan Zimmermann. Another team to lose two stars was the Atlanta Braves, with Felix Hernandez and Nick Markakis and Felix Hernandez sitting it out.

Other baseball players are sure to follow them, as the risk of infection and other social reasons cause them to think twice. Will this lead to a lower overall standard of play or will new stars step up to replace those who have decided to give it a miss? This could be the perfect time for the next generation of players to show what they can do.       

Fewer Home Runs?

2019 was a fabulous year for anyone who loves to watch home runs getting battered all over the country. The Minnesota Twins ended the season with 307 home runs, just ahead of the New York Yankees with 306.

Even apart from those big-hitting teams, it was a vintage year for home runs, as previous records were smashed in this respect. Will we see something similar in the shorter season this year, or will the home run numbers drop down to something less impressive?

If the pro-rata rate keeps up, we can look forward to over 2,000 home runs. Interestingly, April is usually the leanest month for home runs, so with no April this season it could be that we see an even higher rate. The science behind this is the ball goes further in warm weather, but on the other hand the big hitters might need some time to warm up after the enforced break.     

It looks like being a fascinating 2020 season, with some intriguing questions set to be answered once it starts up in earnest. Are you ready for it?

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