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After months of tense negotiations and many proposals turned down, the MLB Players Union and team owners have finally agreed on a 60-game season. While that is a long way shy of the typical 162-game season, at least there will be baseball this summer.
Along with the revised schedule, there will be no fans in the stands due to COVID-19 restrictions. That has led the San Francisco Giants to approve the installation of cardboard-cutout fans, as already seen in several European soccer leagues and the Australian football codes. Giants season ticket holders can email an image of themselves and the team will then place cutout images of them in their reserved seats.
New Jersey sportsbooks have already started posting MLB betting odds for the shortened season. At FanDuel New Jersey have the Los Angeles Dodgers as favourites to win the MLB World Series at +375, followed closely by the New York Yankees at +400. Other teams with some of the better odds to win the Fall Classic are the Houston Astros (+800), Atlanta Braves (+1400), Minnesota Twins (+1600), Tampa Bay Rays (+1700), and defending champion Washington Nationals (+1700).
The biggest longshots in World Series betting are the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, and Miami Marlins all at +50000. The Dodgers lead the way in NL Pennant betting at +160, with the Yankees at +175 to win the AL Pennant.
Caesars New Jersey Sportsbook recently posted win total lines for the season with the Dodgers leading the pack at 37, followed by the Yankees (36.5), Twins (34.5), Astros (34.5), and Rays (34). The Orioles have the lowest win total at 20.5 games. Before the pandemic hit, the Dodgers’ line was set at 102.5 total wins for the original 162-game season.
The teams will play the four opponents in their division 10 times. They will also play 20 inter-league games against five opponents, four games apiece, in their geographical area.
The 60 games of the 2020 MLB season will be played over 66 days. The second round of preseason training will begin on July 1, while the regular season is tentatively scheduled to begin on July 23 or 24.