Major League Baseball (MLB) released its schedule for the abbreviated 2020 season. MLB teams will play 60 games in 66 days beginning July 23. The consolidated regular season will end on Sept. 27.
The first game of the delayed regular season features the New York Yankees visiting the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals. The official “opening day” will feature 14 games on July 24. Ironically, there’s only one daytime game scheduled for opening day.
The playoff schedule hasn’t been announced yet.
2020 MLB opening day odds
Some Nevada sportsbooks have already posted odds for the first game of the year. The Yankees, starting with pitcher Gerrit Cole, open as a slight favorite on the moneyline against the Nationals and Max Scherzer at BetMGM:
- Moneyline: New York Yankees -135 at Washington Nationals +115
- Runline: New York Yankees +135 at Washington Nationals -165
- Run Total: 7.5 (under -120, over Even)
Recently, BetMGM posted odds for the late game on the first night of the season between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants have Johnny Cueto on the mound against Clayton Kershaw.
- Moneyline: San Francisco Giants +240 at Los Angeles Dodgers -300
- Runline: San Francisco Giants +115 at Los Angeles Dodgers -135
- Run Total: 8 (under -120, over Even)
Prop bets for the game aren’t available yet.
The Yankees game against the Nationals has a great starting pitching matchup, but it might be a bit overblown. Summer camp is replacing spring training for players getting ready for the season. There are only three weeks of preparation to start the season. It’s possible neither pitcher has enough stamina to last more than a few innings.
2020 MLB schedule
MLB usually has a 162–game regular season followed by a lengthy playoff schedule. The 2020 regular season has fewer than half the usual games. This season will be more of a sprint than the very long marathon of a normal season.
Additionally, the traditional schedule of teams playing cross-country rivals has been altered to keep travel to a minimum. This year teams will play the majority of games against their typical divisional opponents.
Teams will also play opponents from the corresponding division in the opposite league. In addition to regional rivals, teams will also play inter-divisional games. This year it’s the NL East vs. AL East, NL Central vs. AL Central, and the NL West vs. AL East.
Here’s a breakdown of the new 2020 MLB schedule format:
40 divisional games (20 home, 20 road)
- 10 games against each opponent, split between three series
- Each of these matchups will have either one team playing seven games at home and three on the road, or six at home and four on the road.
20 interleague games (10 home, 10 road)
- Six games against the team’s natural interleague rival (three home, three road)
- Four games apiece against two other opponents in the corresponding division (two home, two road)
- One three-game home series against a fourth opponent
- One three-game road series against a fifth opponent
This modified schedule will be taxing on all players — especially pitchers. Seven teams will play 20 games in 20 days this year. That will be exhausting for all players and especially pitchers who won’t benefit from extra rest.
2020 MLB futures odds
This is a strange year for all sports. All major US sports have been on hiatus since the National Basketball Association suspended its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to a new schedule, there are new rules in place for this season that bettors might want to consider. Both leagues will use a designated hitter for the first time in more than 45 years. Extra innings games will begin with a runner on second base for the first time ever. Lastly, this will also be the first season where pitchers must face a minimum of three batters.
BetMGM’s futures odds reflect the changes to the MLB schedule:
|CHI White Sox||+2,500|
|BOS Red Sox||+3,500|
|TOR Blue Jays||+10,000|
The Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are both +350 (3.5-1) favorites to win the 2020 World Series at BetMGM. The Houston Astros are right behind the favorites at +800 (8-1). The Nationals are in the middle of the pack at +2000 (20-1).
More US sports coming soon
MLB will be the first major US professional sports league to take the field. However, it wasn’t the first league to announce a schedule. The NBA schedule was released last week. The regular season for the NBA resumes on July 14 and ends on Aug. 14. The first round of the NBA Playoffs is set to begin on Aug. 17.
The National Hockey League first announced its plan to return back in June. This week, the league and NHL Players’ Association agreed to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Aug. 1. The exact schedule hasn’t been released yet.
The National Football League is still holding out hopes to begin its full regular-season schedule in September as planned. While professional football looks as though it could begin on time, the same can’t be said for college football. It appears as if college football could be delayed until the 2021 calendar year.
Buckle up, this could be the beginning of a wild ride for sports fans.