The 2020 MLB season is tentatively scheduled to begin Thursday, July 23, with the New York Yankees visiting the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. If both clubs pitch their aces, the matchup would feature Gerrit Cole, who signed as a free-agent with the Yankees (record-breaking $324 million deal for nine years) and the Nationals’ Max Scherzer – they faced off last season in Game 1 of the World Series when Cole was with the Houston Astros.
The schedule for the abbreviated 60-game season won’t be finalized for a few weeks, but the Yankees and Nationals are expected to be part of a small lineup of games one day ahead of Opening Day for everyone else (Friday, July 24). Below, we’ll highlight key rules changes for the 2020 season, and look at the updated 2020 World Series futures odds at BetMGM.
2020 rule changes
Sixty-game regular-season schedule: 10 games against each division opponent, and a total of 20 games vs. the corresponding division in the other league (i.e. AL East vs. NL East) – though it’s unclear if it will be four games against each team or more weighted vs. the “geographic rival” (i.e. Yankees-New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels-Los Angeles Dodgers).
Rosters will be expanded to a total of 60 players with 30 on the active roster and an additional 30 on a taxi squad. After the first two weeks of the season, active rosters will drop to 28 players, and then to 26 players two weeks later through the end of the regular season. The trade deadline will be Aug. 31.
Both leagues will use the designated hitter.
In extra innings, teams will begin each half-inning with a runner on second base. The runner will be the batting team’s final out of the prior inning.
No scheduled doubleheaders.
Any game suspended at any point after the first pitch due to weather or COVID-19 reasons will be picked up at the point of the stoppage at a later date.
2020 MLB World Series betting odds
2020 World Series odds provided by BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday, June 30 at 5 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles Dodgers +350 (was +375)
New York Yankees +350 (unchanged)
Houston Astros +800 (unchanged)
Atlanta Braves +1200 (was +1400)
Minnesota Twins +1600 (unchanged)
Tampa Bay Rays +2000 (unchanged)
Washington Nationals +2000 (was +1600)
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Chicago Cubs +2500 (unchanged)
Chicago White Sox +2500 (was +3500)
Cincinnati Reds +2500 (was +3000)
Cleveland Indians +2500 (unchanged)
New York Mets +2500 (unchanged)
Oakland Athletics +2500 (unchanged)
Philadelphia Phillies +2500 (unchanged)
St. Louis Cardinals +2500 (unchanged)
Boston Red Sox +3500 (was +4000)
Los Angeles Angels +4000 (was +3500)
Milwaukee Brewers +4000 (unchanged)
Arizona Diamondbacks +5000 (unchanged)
San Diego Padres +5000 (unchanged)
Texas Rangers +8000 (unchanged)
Toronto Blue Jays +10000 (was +15000)
Pittsburgh Pirates +15000 (was +50000)
San Francisco Giants +15000 (was +50000)
Colorado Rockies +20000 (was +22000)
Kansas City Royals +50000 (unchanged)
Miami Marlins +50000 (unchanged)
Seattle Mariners +50000 (unchanged)
Baltimore Orioles +100000 (unchanged)
Detroit Tigers +100000 (was +50000)
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