Betting on Hardball: Odds are still in Baseball’s Favor


October 30, 2019.

That’s the last time a Major League Baseball game was played. It’s when the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in game seven of the World Series. Since then, more than 225 days have passed without a pitch, 5,400 hours have been whiled away and the world has suffered a global pandemic.

Like all other professional sports leagues, the MLB put the 2020 season on hold once COVID-19 reached the USA. The NBA and NHL stopped mid-season. The NFL halted all in-person off-season activities. And baseball players packed up and went home.

But now it looks like professional sports are about to make a comeback. Professional basketball and hockey are making plans for playoffs. It looks like American football will start its season on time. Even colleges are gearing up for the fall.


But what about Major League Baseball? It seems they are stuck on the sidelines. 

Owners and players began discussions about returning to the diamond about a month ago, around the same time all the other leagues started talking about coming back. And since then, they have been unable to agree on a comeback strategy. 

This, of course, isn’t good news for baseball fans or those who like betting on baseball. 

But fear not, the odds are good that the two sides will soon reach an agreement. Here are five reasons why the MLB is almost 100 percent sure to play in 2020: 

1) There’s too much money at stake 

Players need to play in order to get paid. Owners need games to be televised in order to take advantage of the mega-deals they’ve signed with local, national and international broadcast companies. 

And then there are the companies on the edges of the game, such as, that rely on the sport for revenue.

None of them make money if there aren’t games being played. So it’s a pretty safe bet that games will be played sometime this year.

softball baseball

2) They’re still talking 

While it’s true that players and owners have been unable to strike an agreement, it’s equally true that they are still talking.

And that’s always good news. 

The owners have made proposals. The players have made counter-offers. And back and forth and back and forth it has gone. In early June, some predicted the season was done, but then the players came back with another proposal–an 89-game season that would get everyone paid to one extent or another.? 

And as long as the two sides are still talking, there’s hope for a season.

3) Competition 

Major League Baseball has been struggling in recent years. Attendance, television viewership and even youth participation have all been declining. 

If baseball were a boxer, it would be on the ropes, and it needs to fight back. 

With the NBA and NHL figuring out how to come back with mid-summer playoff seasons and the NFL gearing up for the fall, baseball risks losing even more fans if it doesn’t play in 2020. 

Players and owners know this, and it’s unlikely they’d be willing to give more ground to the other sports.

4) America needs baseball 

Baseball is called America’s pasttime for good reason.

Through the years, decades and centuries, it has provided the country with much-needed distractions from war, economic depressions and, yes, even plagues. It has united the country after political unrest and it has given people from all walks of life something tangible for which to cheer. 

America needs baseball now more than ever–for all of the reasons listed above.

Opening Day is always special in the United States, and this year–once the players and owners finally agree to terms–it will take on even more meaning.


5) It’s bigger than MLB baseball 

When people think about who is affected by the MLB season shutdown, they tend to think of two groups: players and owners.

But in reality, the shutdown is way bigger than just those making millions of dollars.

There are hundreds of companies that supply the teams with everything from stadium food to parking to apparel. There are bars and restaurants across the country that serve fans in the shadows of stadiums before and after games. And there are the thousands and thousands of stadium employees who are losing out on weekly pay because they make their money hawking beer, hotdogs and other items on game day. 

And then there are all of the minor league players, coaches and cities that are depending on MLB making a comeback. 

There’s too much at stake, which is why it’s a safe bet that there will be a MLB season in 2020.



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