When Will MLB Return, And Assuming It Does, What Will It Look Like?

Written By Joe Boozell on May 21, 2020
When will MLB return be back date

To begin the year on July 4th, Major League Baseball and the MLB Baseball Players Association are now in agreements. However, there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome and specifics that need to be ironed out in order for that to happen.

The good news is that it appears that a prospective MLB vs. MLBPA standoff, in which even the most conservative states appear to be carefully reopening in June, is the main factor that could prevent baseball from returning this year.

“Pro sports, in that first week or so of June, without spectators, and (with) modifications and very prescriptive conditions, also can begin to move forward,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “and a number of other sectors of our economy will open up, if we hold these trend lines the next number of weeks.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently echoed those sentiments.


MLB did return when?

The bad news: the negotiations appear to be off to a rocky start, as MLB owners are shooting for a 50-50 revenue split with the players in addition to prorating players’ salaries for the shortened 82-game season. The latter has been agreed upon, but the former remains a contentious issue, with players such as Blake Snell and Bryce Harperspeaking out against it.

But there is incentive for both sides to come to an agreement and ample time to strike one. MLB is losing roughly $75 million a day with no product, according to estimates by Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis. Not only that, but if baseball is the first sport back it’s reasonable to assume popularity would be greater, TV ratings would be higher and betting handle would be increased due to sports fans’ hunger for live events in the midst of the pandemic. While it’s been a disastrous couple of months for baseball, it seems like there is an opportunity for the league to regain popularity if it returns and reach an audience it doesn’t usually reach.

With that said there are also numerous health and logistical details to hash out, the financial aspect notwithstanding. ESPN reports that the plan to return would require 200,000 reliable COVID-19 tests and “a promise not to interfere with the nationwide fight to contain the pandemic.” Only four of the 17 states with MLB teams meet The Harvard Global Health Institute’s testing recommendations, which say states should conduct at least 152 tests per 100,000 people. So that challenge remains.


Seasonal changes

However, if MLB manages to figure everything out, the following are the changes to a normal season:

– Games will be played in empty, home stadiums called Teams & Rsquo.

82 games may be played in the winter.

– There would be seven teams in each group for the playoffs.

– A 20-man car squad and 30 man active rosters may be present.

There would be an all-encompassing Dd.


Chicago postseason sports

How would the aforementioned changes impact Chicago & rsquo’s teams if baseball returns?

For the Cubs and White Sox, the expanded postseason area is perfect. PointsBetAs of January, the White Sox total was 80.5 and the Cubs & rsquo, over / under, at 88.5 wins. Of course, the shorter plan will have an impact on those totals, but in a normal year, both teams might have been on the verge of securing postseason berths. Therefore, it’s possible that one or both will benefit from the expanded industry.

The Cubs, in contrast, would be able to use a Hd for every game, which may result in more at-batches for players like Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber and possibly less time in the outfield.

Having said that, it’s difficult to delve too deeply into the relevance of the modified rules because the main concern is still getting ball back in some capacity. This week’s negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA will be closely monitored by We & rsquo.

Boozell, Joe Avatar
authored by

Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

View all posts by Boozell, Joe