- 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|
|Tampa Bay Rays||96-66||Y||+1800|
|New York Mets||86-76||N||+2000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||91-71||Y||+2000|
|Los Angeles Angels||72-90||N||+2500|
|Boston Red Sox||84-78||N||+3000|
|San Diego Padres||70-92||N||+3500|
|Toronto Blue Jays||67-95||N||+8000|
|San Francisco Giants||77-85||N||+20000|
|Kansas City Royals||59-103||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.
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/0bWS5VTRPu
— MLB (@MLB) March 12, 2020
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.
Twins starter Michael Pineda has been suspended for 60 games for a drug violation, sources tell ESPN. He originally got an 80-game suspension, but it was reduced to 60 on appeal, as a compelling case was made that a banned diuretic he used was not a masking agent for PEDs.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 7, 2019
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|
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.
🍊 @MLBNetworkRadio Tour of Spring Training 🍊
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) March 11, 2020
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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