- MLB has delayed the start of the 2020 season by at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic
- The delay will allow teams with major injury problems to heal, therefore making them more valuable in the World Series odds market
- See the current World Series odds as well as who we think could benefit from a shorter offseason below
MLB announced Thursday that the start of the 2020 season will be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the action on the diamond may be paused for now, there is no hiatus for the baseball futures’ market. Online sportsbooks are still taking World Series bets, and plenty of teams stand to benefit from an extended break.
2020 MLB World Series Odds
|New York Yankees||+350|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+375|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1800|
|New York Mets||+2000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2000|
|Chicago White Sox||+2500|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2500|
|Boston Red Sox||+3000|
|San Diego Padres||+3500|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+8000|
|San Francisco Giants||+20000|
|Kansas City Royals||+100000|
Odds taken Mar 12th
Perhaps the team with the most to gain is the New York Yankees, the current favorite in the 2020 World Series odds.
The Rich get Richer
The Yankees’ have been hit hard by injuries this spring to both their pitching staff and their offense. Luis Severino was ruled out for the season thanks to a shoulder injury and James Paxton isn’t expected to return until May after back surgery. With two of their top-three starters down, the back end of New York’s rotation looked vulnerable.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 11, 2020
Now, with the season delayed, Paxton’s absence should be short-lived, and the trio of Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ should be more than capable of shouldering the early season load.
As for the offense, sluggers Aaron Judge (ribs) and Giancarlo Stanton (calf) were both expected to miss Opening Day, but now could be ready to go once the season finally starts up, or shortly thereafter. Just to be clear, the Yankees lineup would still have been terrifying without those two studs, but now that we can safely assume they’ll miss limited action, the Bronx Bombers’ will truly live up to their reputation.
It is high! It is far! It is gone!
Giancarlo Stanton with an opposite-field homer off Zack Britton: pic.twitter.com/jCNTD0NYCB
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 11, 2020
As if New York needed any more help, now they won’t have to play as many games without center fielder Aaron Hicks either. The 30-year-old is targeting a June return from Tommy John surgery, which means his absence won’t be felt for long. The rich get richer, and all of a sudden the Yankees’ +350 World Series odds look very enticing.
Who Else Stands to Benefit Greatly?
Another AL team with plenty of injury concerns is the Cleveland Indians. They were expected to open the season without starters Carlos Carrasco (elbow) and Mike Clevinger (knee), and potentially without center fielder Oscar Mercado (wrist) as well. For a team who already dealt Corey Kluber, going down two starters could have spelt doom.
Mike Clevinger throwing his first bullpen since injuring his left knee (video via Mandy Bell) pic.twitter.com/cdkambXNRD
— Tribe Report (@Tribe_Report) March 9, 2020
Now, however, the added rest could be enough time for all three to heal. That bodes well for Indians’ backers at +3000, because without those three key pieces, Cleveland was sure to dig themselves an early hole.
Shorter Season Could Increase Volatility
While MLB was only delayed the season for two weeks as of now, that period could be significantly longer depending on how this pandemic plays out. The longer the delay, the shorter the eventual season will be and that could definitely increase the volatility in the MLB futures market, especially in the divisional odds.
— MLB (@MLB) March 10, 2020
Trendy sleepers like the Chicago White Sox will be far more live to win the division because they won’t have to excel for as long. Plenty of teams are capable of staying hot for a few months if a few breaks go their way, and bettors who are looking to cash in on a long shot should target teams like the White Sox, Padres, Diamondbacks and Rangers to win their division.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.