At this moment, if anyone says they know definitively when Major League Baseball is returning, take it with a grain of salt. The truth is, while there have been many dates floating around, it all remains to be speculation.
What is certain is plans are floating around to bring baseball back. The necessary people are having conversations, developing policies and standards, and ball clubs are preparing for an eventual return.
But the exact date on when the season begins and when sports betting can resume is still a mystery.
Last updated: June 23, 2020
Following another proposal rejection by the MLB Players Association, team owners voted late Monday to implement a 60-game season first proposed back in March.
“In view of this rejection, MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26th agreement,” MLB said in a statement.
For now, all that remains is for players to sign off on health-and-safety protocols and guarantee to arrive at stadiums by July 1. There are still a few moving parts but it appears baseball is set to return for a 2020 season.
Early July is possible
In May, the MLB Players Union received a proposal from Manfred that was approved by team owners, which would have had baseball back by early July.
That first iteration of Manfred’s plan would reshape the MLB landscape with new rules, new financial stipulations, and a list of safety and health standards. The 2020 MLB season still depends on both sides overcoming the financial roadblocks that are the current topic of discussion.
Portions of Manfred’s first proposal included:
- A shortened 82 game season
- 14 team playoff
- June spring training
- Universal DH (designated hitter)
- Geographical schedules for teams
This proposal has since been nixed.
Safety protocols will change baseball
A 67-page draft of the MLB’s health-and-safety manual, obtained by ESPN, outlines new procedures that will change baseball during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new rules were written by MLB senior vice presidents Patrick Houlihan, Bryan Seeley and Chris Young, and VP Jon Coyles.
While portions of the document are missing, there are a few details to share, including:
- No high-fives, fist-bumps or hugging.
- No spitting, tobacco or chewing sunflower seeds.
- First-and-third base coaches cannot approach baserunners or umpires.
- Players should not socialize with opponents.
- Processing more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week.
Teams have been asked to respond to the proposal by Friday, May 22, with input.
Should a proposal of this magnitude be implemented, it would be a drastic change from the baseball played pre-pandemic. Discussions continue, but there are only 11 days left before the proposed start of spring training 2.0.
Major League Baseball betting for now
While betting on actual games has yet to resume, at least here in the US, several sportsbooks are still offering MLB bets in the form of futures wagers and odds for the World Series.
- 2020-21 World Series champion
- South Korean Baseball
- Taiwan Baseball
All sportsbooks around the US have curated a list of betting options during the pandemic, all with their own odds in place, so browse accordingly.