At this very 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 all of it remains speculation.
What is certain, and what we do know, is there are plans 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.
Early July is possible
The MLB Players Union received a proposal from Commissioner Rob Manfred, approved by team owners, that would have baseball back by early July.
That lengthy proposal would reshape the MLB landscape with new rules, new financial stipulations, and a list of safety and health standards. The 2020 MLB season depends on both sides overcoming these financial roadblocks which are the current topic of discussion.
Portions of the plan include:
- A shortened 82 game season
- 14 team playoff
- June spring training
- Universal DH (designated hitter)
- Geographical schedules for teams
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 can not 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 is 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.
FanDuel Sportsbook and Draftkings Sportsbook to name a few, have some betting options available including:
- 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.