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 positive aspect is that it seems like a potential standoff between MLB and MLBPA, where even the most cautious states seem to be cautiously reopening in June, could be the key factor preventing the return of baseball this year.

California Governor, Gavin Newsom, stated that professional sports can start progressing in the first week of June, albeit without audiences and under stringent modifications and conditions. He also hinted at several other sectors of the economy reopening, if the current trend lines are maintained over the next few weeks.

Recently, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker echoed those sentiments.


MLB did return when?

The unfortunate news is that the discussions seem to have begun on a difficult note, with MLB owners aiming for a 50-50 revenue split with the players, along with adjusting the players’ salaries for the reduced 82-game season. The players have agreed to the latter, but the former is still a hot-button issue. Players like Blake Snell and Bryce Harper have expressed their opposition to it.

There is motivation for both parties to reach an agreement, with plenty of time to do so. As per estimates by Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis, MLB is currently losing approximately $75 million per day without any games. Moreover, if baseball is the first sport to resume, it could potentially enjoy increased popularity, higher TV ratings, and a larger betting handle due to sports fans’ craving for live events during the pandemic. Despite the past few disastrous months for baseball, there seems to be a chance for the league to regain its popularity and attract an audience it usually doesn’t, if it resumes.

Despite this, there are many health and logistical details that need to be addressed, not to mention the financial component. According to ESPN, the plan to resume would necessitate 200,000 dependable COVID-19 tests and a commitment to not disrupt the country’s efforts to control the pandemic. Only four out of the 17 states with MLB teams meet the testing guidelines set by The Harvard Global Health Institute, which recommends conducting at least 152 tests per 100,000 residents. Therefore, this issue still persists.


Seasonal changes

However, if MLB successfully navigates through all the challenges, the following changes to the regular season would occur:

Games will be played in empty home stadiums, referred to as Teams & Rsquo.

In the winter, 82 games may be played.

Each group for the playoffs would contain seven teams.

A squad of 20 men for cars and active rosters of 30 men may be present.

There would be a comprehensive Dd.


Chicago postseason sports

How would the previously mentioned changes affect Chicago’s teams if baseball returns?

The expanded postseason area is ideal for the Cubs and White Sox. As of January, the White Sox’s total stood at 80.5 and the Cubs’ over/under was set at 88.5 wins according to PointsBet. Although the shorter plan will affect these totals, in a typical year, both teams could have been close to clinching postseason spots. Consequently, it’s plausible that either or both teams could gain from the enlarged industry.

In contrast, the Cubs could utilize a designated hitter (DH) in every game, potentially leading to more at-bats for players such as Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber, and possibly reducing their time in the outfield.

That being said, it’s challenging to thoroughly examine the significance of the altered rules as the primary focus remains on the return of the ball in some way. We & rsquo will be keeping a close eye on this week’s discussions between MLB and the MLBPA.

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Boozell, Joe

Since 2015, Joe Boozell has been writing about college sports for NCAA.com. His work has also been featured on Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com, and NBA.com. As a youngster, Boozell had the opportunity to play against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicago basketball scene – and you can guess how those games turned out.

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