Which MLB Teams Will Be Hurt the Most by Coronavirus Stoppage?

MLB
While MLB is waiting to start their season, World Series favorites are forced to bide their time. Could a shortened schedule actually be a hindrance to a handful of contenders? Photo by Wax8 (wikimedia commons)
  • MLB has delayed the start of its season by ‘at least two weeks’ due to coronavirus
  • In an abbreviated season, the playoff picture could be drastically altered
  • We look at which MLB teams could be hurt the most by a shortened season

The coronavirus has sent the sports world into widespread confusion. But while the NBA and NHL are among the leagues that have to figure out how to close out their seasons, only Spring Training has really been sidetracked in MLB.

Yes Opening Day will be delayed, but at this point, there’s no reason to believe we shouldn’t be enjoying the World Series at some point this year.

Considering baseball will be playing with an abbreviated schedule however, how does that change things negatively for prospective contenders?

2020 MLB World Series Odds

Team 2019 Record 2019 Playoff Team (Y/N) Odds
New York Yankees 103-59 Y +350
Los Angeles Dodgers 106-56 Y +375
Houston Astros 107-55 Y +800
Atlanta Braves 97-65 Y +1400
Minnesota Twins 101-61 Y +1600
Tampa Bay Rays 96-66 Y +1800
Washington Nationals 93-69 Y +1800
New York Mets 86-76 N +2000
St. Louis Cardinals 91-71 Y +2000
Philadelphia Phillies 81-81 N +2200
Chicago Cubs 84-78 N +2500
Cincinnati Reds 75-87 N +2500
Los Angeles Angels 72-90 N +2500
Oakland Athletics 97-65 Y +2500
Milwaukee Brewers 89-73 Y +2800
Boston Red Sox 84-78 N +3000
Cleveland Indians 93-69 N +3000
San Diego Padres 70-92 N +3500
Arizona Diamondbacks 85-77 N +5000
Texas Rangers 78-84 N +8000
Toronto Blue Jays 67-95 N +8000
Colorado Rockies 71-91 N +15000
San Francisco Giants 77-85 N +20000
Pittsburgh Pirates 69-93 N +25000
Seattle Mariners 68-94 N +30000
Baltimore Orioles 54-108 N +85000
Detroit Tigers 47-114 N +100000
Kansas City Royals 59-103 N +100000
Miami Marlins 57-105 N +100000

Odds taken Mar 12th.

This could be the last time we look at the 2020 World Series Odds for a while.

The delay shouldn’t have too much of a major effect on the heavy favorites. The Astros are still in line for retribution, but the delay to the season gives Justin Verlander time to get healthy. Same with the Yankees, while the Dodgers are loaded.

But one AL favorite from last year could face an uphill climb.

Pineda’s Suspension Hampers Twins’ Hopes

In September of 2019, Michael Pineda was hit with a 60-game suspension. It derailed a dominant stretch for Pineda, who seemed to finally be regaining his form.

Regardless of when the MLB season returns, Pineda has roughly five weeks remaining in his suspension. So understandably, the longer baseball waits to start its regular season, the longer the Twins are without him.

Jose Berrios is a stud and will anchor Minny’s rotation. But Jake Odorizzi will likely regress, Kenta Maeda’s consistency could be a question mark, and we aren’t sure what Homer Bailey has left.

Not to mention Pineda will be plenty rusty once he gets back.

Cubs’ Aging Pitchers Could Go Either Way

A few weeks ago, we were discussing the Chicago Cubs’ odds of winning the NL Central.

But could a longer delay hurt the Cubbies’ chances?

Oldest MLB Pitching Staffs

Team Pitchers Average Age Starters ERA 2019 Starters WHIP
Chicago Cubs 31.1 4.18 1.31
Oakland Athletics 30.8 4.02 1.24
Washington Nationals 30.8 3.53 1.19

All stats from 2019

If the season is delayed anywhere from two-to-four weeks, this isn’t a huge deal. But the longer the delay, the worse it is for a veteran staff that will have to start over from scratch, as it throws them out of their routines.

It could ruin their season.

New Managers Across MLB Face Challenges

One other wild card to consider? The fact that the Astros’ cheating scandal sees new skippers take over on short notice in Houston, Boston and New York.

The Astros aren’t in peril here. Dusty Baker is a baseball lifer, and while this isn’t ideal, he’s got a stacked lineup.

Ron Roenicke is running things for the Red Sox now after spending two years as their bench coach. Before that he spent five years as the Brewers manager, so he should be OK with an abbreviated spring.

But the Mets? Luis Rojas has never run an MLB clubhouse, and he’s had just over a month on the job. There will be growing pains, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the stop-and-start nature of 2020 hurts the Mets’ chances.

Especially in a tough NL East.

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