The MLB is back in July of 2020 following the delay of the season, but with it comes several changes that may change the strategy of the league at this time. But with these changes comes the question on everyone’s lips. Will this year be the year of the New York Yankees? In this article, we will be looking into the latest news from the MLB and what this could mean for the resumption of the sport.
The Season That Never Began
With the 2019 season ending in heartbreak for the Yankees, all eyes were on the team and how they would fare in the 2020 season.
However, this was of course derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic that halted the beginning of the 2020 MLB season this year.
However, with the 60-game season just being announced in 2020, there is plenty for them to get excited about in 2020. With several new changes to come when the league returns, this is the return to sport that baseball fans have been waiting for. Though these games are likely to be played behind closed doors, people are still able to make the most out of these games from the comfort of their own home.
Teams That Are Favorites To Win
With the announcement of the league starting in this new format, many fans are causing a stir as they set to support their favorite team from their own home. But with so many looking to the Yankees to see if they can win in 2020, they are certainly the bookies’ main choice to win according to different sites. With the odds currently set at 7/2 for the Yankees to win the World Series, fans are thinking that this could be their year. However, with close rivals Red Sox at 35/1 for a World Series title this year, it is all to play for with this brand-new format.
Changes To MLB Season
Of course, with a 60-game season crammed into such a short amount of time, there has to be changes made to the league. Besides the obvious social distancing changes, there are other changes such as the ones listed below that will alter the league slightly. We have seen changes such as this in the Premier League, FA Cup and other major sporting events but how has the MLB changed? We will be providing you with the info below:
The Regional Schedule Has Been Finalized
One of the biggest changes that have been made so far is the regional schedule. This will mean that each team will play 40 games against their divisional foes with 20 interleague games played against the team that is their geographical equal. This will all be done in the traditional group stages same as the traditional league and is sure to make for some amazing matchups.
The new format for the MLB
In addition to the regional schedule that is yet to be completely finalized, it is important to note that there was also the need for each team to submit a 60-player roster by Sunday 28th June. It is important to note that while teams are not required to bring all 40 of their players to training camp, they are in fact required to pay them regardless of whether they are playing or not.
A 60-Player Roster Will Open With A 30-Player Roster
When the season begins, each team will be able to carry a total of 30 active players on their rosters. However, after two weeks this number will be dropped down to 28 players with it dropping down again to 26 players after four weeks. This was announced by MLB’s Mark Feinsand in a tweet.
Rosters will be 30 on Opening Day. After two weeks, they will be reduced to 28. After four weeks, it's 26. At that point, teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 24, 2020
The Universal DH Rule
Another change that is to come in this 2020 season is the change to the universal DH rule. This means that pitchers will not be able to hit in the National League anymore. This is a rumor that has been circling around the MLB for several years, but in 2020 it is becoming a reality. This is set to be put in place in order to keep players healthy and give players the chance to have more consistent at-bats throughout the course of the game.
Changes To The Base Runner
Since experimenting with this in the minor league baseball, yet another change to the rules that is going to be implemented into the MLB in the 2020 season is putting a runner on second base to start extra innings. This rule will mean that there is prevention in place to make the games much faster pace. The rule change also is likely to be welcomed by the players who are playing several different games in quick succession. It will, of course, prevent marathon contests while ensuring that teams have a changed strategy that will benefit them when they play.
New Trade Deadline Will Fall In August
In addition to this, the deadline for trades has landed at the end of August this year. With the trade deadline normally falling on July 31st, this has been pushed back to August 31st this year allowing for trades to be made after all. This is crucial to the league as many thought this would not be possible this year.
Unsigned Players To Play In Nashville
The final major change that has been rumored for the MLB this year is the games being played by unsigned players. In an attempt to keep the unsigned players healthy, it has been proposed that they will be playing their own mini set of games in Nashville. They will still be paid while playing and will be kept to one side as potential replacement players for any injuries within the league.
However, this is yet to be confirmed by the MLB itself.
Whether you excited for the return of the sport or you are new to the MLB, the return of the sport in the latter half of July is set to be huge for the world of sport, not only in the U.S but across the globe.