Yankees vs. Orioles Preview For 7/30/2020

The Pinstripes will look to beat the Orioles again as 1.5 run favorites on the road

It doesn’t seem like the Yankees were too affected by the latest changes to the Major League Baseball schedule. The Yanks’ series against the Philadelphia Phillies was postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. Instead, New York began play against the Baltimore Orioles and conclude a two-game road trip tonight at Camden Yards.

To put it lightly, the Orioles were crushed by the Yankees yesterday. The game was tied 2-1 after two innings. However, the Yanks’ bats came alive for seven more runs, giving New York the eventual 9-3 victory. Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu homered in the game while the Orioles were held to just five hits.

The Yankees’ victory should come as a surprise to nobody. The Bronx Bombers have dominated this matchup for the last three years. 2016 marked the last time that the Orioles won their regular-season series against the Yanks. Since then, this matchup has been a disaster for Baltimore. Following yesterday’s victory, the Yankees are 41-16 against the Orioles head-to-head since 2017. The victory also gives the Pinstripes a 17-game win streak over the Orioles. The last time Baltimore beat the Yankees was March 31st, 2019.

Another issue for Baltimore has been the fact that these games have not been close. During the Yankees’ 17-game win streak, the Yankees were held to less than four runs just one time. The Yanks have also scored 145 runs during this winning-streak, which averages out to almost 8.5 runs per game. Meanwhile, the Orioles have not been able to keep up. They have 72 runs during the 17-game stretch for an average of 4.2 runs per game, but the pitching has been so bad that Baltimore has never come close to stopping New York. In fact, the Orioles currently have a run differential of -73 during this 17-game losing streak

With 17 straight victories, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion that the Yankees will win tonight’s game. Let’s take a look at the matchup that awaits us. Both teams will have pitchers making their 2020 season debut. JA Happ gets the nod for the Yanks while Baltimore sends out promising lefty John Means to defend home field.

JA Happ has never wowed me since coming to New York. He’s been decent against some of the weaker teams in the league, but he hasn’t always been able to get the job during crunch time. However, Happ did prove himself valuable against the Orioles, going 4-1 in five starts against Baltimore last season.

As for John Means, it was a rough outing for the youngster against the Yanks last season. Despite being named an All-Star, he surrendered 11 runs in five games against the Bronx Bombers. That is a pretty good ERA, but it was usually never enough to get the job done as Means finished the season 1-4 against the Yanks. For that reason, I’m going to give the Bronx Bombers a slight advantage in the pitching department.

I would be absolutely shocked if the Baltimore Orioles won this game. I am not going to say they have a zero percent chance of winning because that is never true in sports. However, I will say they have about a one percent chance of winning this game. Neither pitcher is all that good, so I expect the bats to be busy. The Yankees have the lineup to get into a shootout; the orioles do not. Yankees win in a high scoring game and manage to cover the spread.

Yankees 8 – Orioles 5

All Miami Marlins Games Postponed Through Sunday

The team will miss their next six scheduled games

Major League Baseball is looking to avoid a health disaster while continuing the 2020 season. The league announced that all Miami Marlins games through Sunday have been postponed. The announcement comes just three days after it was revealed that a Coronavirus outbreak occurred in the Marlins’ clubhouse. The Marlins’ next six games (three vs. the Orioles & three vs. the Phillies) have been postponed through Sunday, August 2nd.

An outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in the Marlins’ locker room this past weekend. It is believed that anywhere between 15 and 18 members of the organization have reportedly tested positive for the disease. ESPN reports that 16 players and two coaches have recorded positive test results.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Marlins learned on Sunday morning that their pitcher for that afternoon, as well as two other players, had tested positive for Coronavirus. Miami manager Don Mattingly said that Shortstop Miguel Rojas was the guy to go to when “…we’re dealing with situations or things…” The Philadelphia Inquirer said that the group text’s opinion was that “…the team took enough precaution to play Sunday.” After that, Rojas explained how the situation was handled.

“We made the decision that we’re going to continue to do this and we’re going to continue to be responsible and just play the game as hard as we can… We knew that this would happen at some point. We came to the ballpark and we were ready to play. That was never our thought that we weren’t going to play.”

Miguel Rojas on how the team decided to play in a game on Sunday vs. the Phillies

The Marlins concluded a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, which they won two games to one. At this time, the Phillies’ series against the Yankees has been postponed as a precautionary measure to ensure that no further teams contract COVID-19.

Report: Tonight’s Yankees-Phillies Game Postponed

Second game in a row postponed due to fallout from Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak

It looks like Major League Baseball will continue to delay the start of the Yankees-Phillies series out of precaution. The New York Post‘s Joel Sherman first reported that tonight’s game between Philly and the Bronx Bombers was off. This marks the second straight day that a game in the series between the two teams has been postponed.

The series has not been able to start because the Philadelphia Phillies just finished a three-game-stretch against the Miami Marlins, who have had an outbreak of COVID-19 in their clubhouse. According to Bleacher Report, 18 total members of the Marlins’ organization have tested positive for COVID-19. It is being reported that 16 of the 18 positive test results have come from Miami players.

At this time, Philadelphia’s players and staff members have undergone further testing to determine if the team was affected by Miami’s Coronavirus outbreak. Joel Sherman is reporting that early test results show that zero members of the Phillies organization have tested positive for COVID-19.

It is expected that the Marlins and Phillies will be able to play later this week if additional COVID-19 test results come back negative. The Phillies are scheduled to play two games at Yankee Stadium beginning on Wednesday.

Two MLB Games Postponed Due To COVID-19

An outbreak of Coronavirus in Miami Marlins’ clubhouse leads to two games being canceled

Major League Baseball announced that games scheduled for later today between the Yanks and Phillies and the Marlins and Orioles have been postponed as the league conducts additional COVID-19 testing. Sources told ESPN that an outbreak of Coronavirus has spread throughout the Marlins’ clubhouse. It is believed that as many as 13 members of the organization have tested positive for the disease.

Major League Baseball released a statement late this morning about the games being postponed. The league explained that tests are being conducted and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

“Tonight’s scheduled games between the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park and the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park have been postponed while Major League Baseball conducts additional COVID-19 testing. The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results. Major League Baseball has been coordinating with the Major League Baseball Players Association; the Marlins; the Orioles; the Marlins’ weekend opponent, the Phillies; and Club medical staffs, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate.”

Major League Baseball’s statement on the postponement of two games

The Miami Marlins just completed a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies to open the 2020 season. The Marlines ended up winning the series two games to one. The Marlins were scheduled to begin a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles while the Phillies begin their series against the Yankees.

There are still 10 Major League Baseball games scheduled to be played today. The first game of the day starts at 3:40 PM EST when the Los Angeles Angels go on the road to take on the Oakland Athletics.

Yankees vs. Nationals Preview For 7/26/2020

Yanks look to close out road trip as 1.5 run favorites over the Nats

Through two games, the regular-season series between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals is now tied at one game a-piece following yesterday’s shellacking. This will be the final game of the season between the Nats and the Yanks. After today, the only time these teams will see each other again this season would be if they faced off against each other in the World Series.

As opposed to the first game of this season series, yesterday’s contest went the full nine innings. The Opening Day game between New York and Washington was canceled in the sixth inning due to inclement weather. The Nationals took the Yanks to the shed, shelling them for nine runs on their way to a 9-2 victory, their first win of the season.

The pitching was the clear difference in this one. The Nationals were able to win this one with ease even though starter Stephen Strasburg was scratched before the game. The Nats used five pitchers to get through the game. Erick Fedde started the game for Washington and did surrender two runs in the first four innings. However, the Nats went to their bullpen after that and were able to hold the Yankees scoreless through the final five innings of the game.

Now, I am not a person who gets a full-head when he gets a prediction right. However, I do feel an emphatic “I told ya so” is in order when looking at James Paxton’s performance in yesterday’s contest. I said in my preview, “… I don’t have faith in James Paxton to limit the Nationals…” Well apparently, the Yankees did not have faith in Paxton either. He was pulled after giving up two runs in the second inning. His replacement didn’t do much better, allowing the Nats to score one more run before finishing the inning down 3-0.

After Paxton’s exit, the game ended up being close for a while. Despite being down by three runs, the Yanks managed to claw their way back into it to make the game interesting. An RBI from DJ LeMahieu and a solo Home Run from Giancarlo Stanton put the Yanks back in the game, down just one run to Washington in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring the Yankees would manage for the evening. Meanwhile, the Nationals finished the game by scoring six more runs for the eventual 9-2 victory.

Let’s look ahead to this afternoon. As I mentioned before, this is the final game of the regular season series between these squads. Patrick Corbin will get the start for Washington while Jonathan Loaisiga gets the nod for the Bronx Bombers. It’s going to be fascinating to see how Corbin, a New York native, handles his second career start against the Yanks. Although, I am worried about him because he has not made a start against the Yanks since 2013.

The Yankees are expected to go to their bullpen earlier in this game with Loaisiga on the mound. I’m sure the team has faith in Loaisiga to give them a couple good innings, but I feel that bringing in a series of fresh arms to keep the Nats on their toes is the best way to win this game. Just look at how well Washington did yesterday using five different pitchers.

Even though the series is tied, I think it is the Yankees’ game to lose. Top to bottom, the Yanks have a lineup of guys that can get on base or go yard any time they step up to the plate. In fact, I know we are not even three games into the season yet, but Giancarlo Stanton looks like an early favorite to win AL MVP. He has four hits for two home runs and four RBIs in just six at-bats. Furthermore, in an abbreviated season, this guy can be the best player in baseball if he can stay healthy for just 60 games, a much easier task than staying healthy for 162 games.

The Yankees are favored by 1.5 runs in today’s game, but I don’t think they’ll be able to cover that spread. I am confident in the Yanks to win. They have a better lineup than the Nationals, and I feel like going to the bullpen early may be the move to give them a slight edge over the Nationals. However, both teams will be able to score some runs. In the end, New York will win the game, but it will only be by one.

Yankees 4 – Nationals 3

Yankees vs. Nationals Preview For 7/25/2020

Yanks look for their second straight win as 1.5 run favorites over the Nationals

The New York Yankees came away with the first win of the 2020 Major League Baseball season yesterday after they trounced the Washington Nationals by a final score of 4-1. Nats’ ace Max Scherzer was shelled for four runs in a little over five innings pitched, but he did manage to strikeout 11 Yankees’ batters. On the other side, Gerritt Cole was excellent in his first start in pinstripes, holding the Nationals to one hit in five innings. The game was eventually canceled after five innings due to inclement weather.

At the end of the day, the difference in this one was the experienced bats of the New York Yankees. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both recorded multiple hits in the game. Stanton had the swing of the game, launching a Home Run 459 feet to give the Yanks a 2-0 early lead that they never looked back from. When all was said and done, Stanton and Judge combined for four hits and four RBIs yesterday.

The interesting headlines surrounding baseball started rolling in before the game started. Just hours prior to the game’s first pitch, Washington General Manager Mike Rizzo revealed that Outfielder Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19 and would have to miss the season opener. Rizzo said that Soto is asymptomatic at this time. The star outfielder will need to record two negative tests before he can return to the field.

The Nationals definitely could have used Juan Soto’s services yesterday. The defending World Series champs were held to just one hit in 16 at-bats. Juan Soto probably could have made a difference in the game. He had the third-highest batting average of all Nationals’ players in the playoffs and the fourth-highest batting average of all Washington players during the 2019 Regular Season.

After watching the game last night, I realized something almost immediately. This is going to be a rough start for Major League Baseball pitchers. We are in unprecedented times. This Major League Baseball season is completely different than any other in the sport’s history. Sure, pitchers have had a few days to warm up and practice, but they have not seen any real opportunity to throw meaningful pitches in quite some time.

This realization became clear in the first inning of the game. Max Scherzer is a surefire Hall of Fame pitcher, but even he looked a little jumpy out there. He settled down after the Stanton homer, but he still allowed two more runs in the game for four total and an eventual loss. This is a bad start for Max Scherzer, a player who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last five to ten years and has done things statistically that few people on the planet Earth have done. If Max Scherzer is going to struggle, what hope is there for the other guys further down the rotation that are not as talented?

Here’s what I’m trying to say: I believe the delayed start to the MLB season will negatively affect pitchers. Batters are always ready to hit, but Pitchers are not always ready to throw their best stuff (that’s why they throw warmup pitches in the bullpen). Pitchers will eventually find their footing, but they will have to do it quickly. In an abbreviated, 60-game season, teams do not have time to let pitchers try and work through their struggles or growing pains. Thankfully for the Yankees, there was nothing but smooth sailing last night for Gerritt Cole

Now let us look ahead to the second game of the three-game home-stand the Nats have against the Yankees. The Nationals will be sending out the 2019 World Series co-MVP, Stephen Strasburg, who had one of the most impressive postseason pitching runs in recent history. Meanwhile, the Yankees will be sending James Paxton to the mound as he begins his second season with New York.

In terms of pitching matchup, I don’t think this one is close. Stephen Strasburg is leaps and bounds better than James Paxton. Strasburg went 5-0 in the playoffs last year with a 1.98 ERA. As for Paxton, he had a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts in 2019. The pitching matchup favors the Washington Nationals in this game.

I think this is Washington’s game to lose. It will be much easier for the Nationals to get hits off James Paxton as opposed to Gerritt Cole. Even if the Nats record only two hits tomorrow, that is still a 100% increase in the number of hits when compared to the Opening Day Game. The Yanks’ bats will show up, but I don’t have faith in James Paxton to limit the Nationals, even without Juan Soto. Nationals win and cover the spread.

Nationals 5 – Yankees 4

Yankees vs. Nationals Preview For 7/23/2020

The season starts off in DC where the Yanks are favored by 1.5

Well, it’s almost three months later than originally scheduled, but Opening Day is finally upon us. After months of uncertainty and negotiations with the Players’ Union, Major League Baseball will begin its 2020 season tomorrow at 7:00 PM EST when the New York Yankees take on the Washington Nationals, and boy, are we in for a treat!

Yankees vs. Nationals is the perfect matchup to get Opening Day off on the right foot. On one hand, you have the New York Yankees. Not only are the Yanks the most popular team in the history of the sport, but you could make the case that the Yankees are the most famous professional sports team in the world. On the other side, you have the defending champion Washington Nationals who head into this season looking to defend their 2019 World Series victory.

On top of everything, this is an interleague game in an abbreviated season, so we have to enjoy this match-up while we can because we may not see it again for a long time. Who knows, this game may even be a preview of the 2020 World Series.

The Yankees come into this year as one of the favorites to win the World Series. FanDuel gives the Yanks the second-best odds to win the 2020 World Series (+400), right behind the LA Dodgers who are +380. After posting back-to-back 100-plus-win seasons, New York seemed so destined for the World Series, but the Yanks would end up falling just a bit short both times.

The Pinstripes believed that they were one good player away from finally making it to their first World Series since 2009. That’s where Gerrit Cole comes in. This off-season the 29-year-old Pitcher signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Bronx Bombers to become the team’s new ace. Cole is expected to be the catalyst that pushes the Yanks over the top to be the great team they want to be.

Up until this season, it always seemed that the Yankees didn’t have enough good pitchers to carry them to a championship. After the Cole signing though, you look at New York and realize they have the bullpen and starting rotation to give any team in the MLB fits, especially once Luis Severino returns from injury. If Gerrit Cole can be as effective for New York as he was for Houston, then the Yankees will have no problem being the best team in the American League.

The Nationals are looking to get 2020 off to a good start with a win. Max Scherzer will be on the mound for the Nats, so Washington should feel confident that they will be able to control New York’s bats for the first few innings of the game. In fact, the Yankees’ expected opening day roster has had its struggles against Max Scherzer in the past. MLB.com only listed four players on the Yankees that had an at-bat against Scherzer: Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, and Chris Iannetta.

Those four players combined for just six hits in 25 at-bats against Scherzer. New York’s unfamiliarity with Max Scherzer gives Washington a slight advantage in the pitching department. I would be surprised if the Yanks manage to score more than one run in the first five innings of the game.

While fans may be more attracted to the Yankees’ Home Runs and big names, you can’t disregard the Nats’ effective bats. The Nationals finished the 2019 regular season with the fifth-highest batting average in the league at .265, right behind the Yankees. Meanwhile, when the 2019 playoffs came around, the Nats finished with the Athletics tied for the highest batting average of any team in the postseason.

Thankfully for Washington, the team was able to retain most of their players from last season, so you can be sure that they’ll be racking up the hits again this year. Plus, many players on the Nationals have faced off against Gerrit Cole before. Seven players in Washington’s projected starting lineup have recorded at least two at-bats against Gerrit Cole in their career. Furthermore, Cole surrendered two Home Runs and 11 RBIs to those seven Washington batters. Gerrit Cole will be a difference-maker for the Yankees this season, but that does not guarantee that his first game in pinstripes will go smoothly.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Matt, you’re an excellent writer, but we just want to know what your prediction is already!” Well, here’s the way I see things playing out. I think both starting pitchers are going to go six to seven innings, but the game will probably be tied up at that point either 1-1 or 2-2. When the teams go to the relievers, that’s when I feel like the Yankees are going to starting pulling away with the win.

It’s too hard to look up and down at the Yanks’ opening day roster and think they are going to be held to less than three runs. Washington will not be able to cover the spread, and the Yankees emerge from this one with the first win of the 2020 season.

Yankees 4 – Nationals 2

Coronavirus Update For 7/21/2020

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NFL

League Offers Zero Preseason Games In Latest Proposal

It looks like the NFL will jump right into the Regular Season this year. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the NFL has sent a proposal to the players’ union that features zero preseason games in 2020. This news comes after Training Camps began this week.

The NFL preseason usually lasts four weeks and has every team participate in four games. The league originally proposed playing two preseason games, but the players pushed for zero games. The first game of the preseason, the NFL Hall of Fame Game, has already been canceled this year.

League Lays Out Protocols For COVID-19 Testing

The National Football League now has a plan in place to test for and contain the potential spread of COVID-19 this season. In a conference call yesterday, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer said that the league will test all players every day for the first two weeks of Training Camps. Players will also need more than one negative test result to enter team facilities. The protocols were agreed upon by the NFL and the players’ union yesterday.

The protocols also state that after two weeks, the rate of positive tests will be examined. If this rate is below five percent, the league will move testing to every other day. Veterans are scheduled to report to Training Camps on July 28th.

NBA

League Reports Zero Positive COVID-19 Tests

It looks like the NBA has the Coronavirus Pandemic under control. Yesterday, the league officially announced that zero players out of 346 have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 13th. The league is saying that if a player does end up recording a positive test on the NBA campus in Orlando, then that individual will have to self-isolate until he has been cleared by league protocols.

NHL

Only Two Positive Coronavirus Tests Since Camp Opened

The NHL has some good news about their most recent round of COVID-19 testing. Yesterday, the National Hockey League announced that only two players have tested positive for the Coronavirus since camps opened on July 13th. The identities of the two players have not been revealed as per NHLPA policy.

In a statement, the league said that it completed the first five days of Phase Three testing from July 13th to July 17th. The statement also explained that 2,618 tests were administered to over 800 players, but only two players tested positive for the disease. At this time, both players are self-isolating. There is no clear timeline as to when the unnamed individuals will be able to return to practice.

MLB

Dr. Fauci To Throw Out First Pitch At Nationals’ Home Opener

The reigning World Series Champions will have a very special guest at their home opener. Yesterday, the Washington Nationals announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the team’s home opening game against the New York Yankees. The Nats and the Yankees are scheduled to face off Thursday night.

“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season…”

Washington Nationals’ Statement on Dr. Anthony Fauci

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Coronavirus Update For 7/19/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

MLB

Blue Jays Barred From Playing Games In Toronto

It appears that the Toronto Blue Jays will not be allowed to play home games in Canada this year. Yesterday, the Canadian government denied the Blue Jays’ request to play home baseball games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto this season. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino later confirmed this information. The Canadian government doesn’t reportedly think it is safe for players to travel back and forth from the United States during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Blue Jays are currently considering a few different locations where they could play home games. One of the sites in the mix is the team’s training facility in Dunedin, Florida. The franchise is also thinking about utilizing Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York which is home to Toronto’s triple-A affiliate baseball team. The Blue Jays are currently scheduled to begin their season on July 24th.

NBA

League Will Shorten Exhibition Games

The NBA announced it is tweaking the rules of the first exhibition games of the league restart to make them go by a little faster. For the initial matchups of the NBA restart, the league has decided to go with ten-minute quarters instead of the traditional 12-minute quarters. The NBA is hoping this will allow players to get ready to finish the season while also enabling them to conserve their energy for more important games that will come later.

ESPN is reporting that the clock change will only apply to the first exhibition game for every team. The second and third exhibition games at Disney will go back to the standard timing. Every team participating in the NBA restart is required to play in three exhibition games.

Race For NBA’s Individual Awards Is Already Over

On Friday, the NBA told teams that none of the seeding games will be taken into consideration when selecting this season’s individual award winners. The league also said that voting for honors like All-NBA, ROTY, etc. will be completed before the season restart on July 30th. This news means that the race for individual awards like MVP is now officially over. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP award last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and is hoping to win it again this year.

NFL

Training Camps To Start As Scheduled

Despite spiking Coronavirus cases across the country, the NFL has decided to start preseason activities on time. Yesterday, all 32 NFL teams received an email from the league informing them that training camps will begin as scheduled. Rookies will report first, followed by QBs and injured players, and finally, veterans.

Rookies that play for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans are the first players that will report to camp this year. They are all scheduled to show up at camp tomorrow. Meanwhile, the NFL said that all other teams are allowed to have rookies report to camp as early as Tuesday the 21st. NFL veterans are scheduled to report on July 28th.

NHL

Oilers’ Defenseman Feeling “Healthy” After Positive COVID-19 Test Results

On Friday, the Oilers’ Caleb Jones revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had to self-isolate for two weeks before joining the team at training camp. The defenseman reportedly tested positive for Coronavirus when he first showed up for training camp in Edmonton three weeks ago. He then had to quarantine for two weeks. Friday marked the first time Jones was able to participate in the team’s main practice.

“We’ll see if he takes part in [the] scrimmage tomorrow… I’m not sure he’s going to go that far yet, but it’s good to have him back. He had no symptoms, he tested positive without any symptoms at all, so he’s coming back feeling healthy and ready to go.”

Edmonton Oilers’ coach Dave Tippett on Jones’ return

Caleb Jones was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015. The 23-year-old defenseman played in 43 games for Edmonton this year. He finished the regular season with four goals and five assists for nine total points.

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Coronavirus Update For 7/14/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

MLB

Officials Say fans Won’t Be Allowed At Phillies Games In 2020

Earlier today, city officials said that fans will not be allowed in the stands during home games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020. The officials also said that this decision applies to Philadelphia Eagles’ home games in 2020 as well. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said he believes baseball and football can be played under the right circumstances, but he does not think it is a good idea to have fans in the stands for games.

“I do not think that they can have spectators at those games. There’s no way for them to be safe having a crowd there… I can’t say what the plans are for the league, but from a safety perspective, they can play games but not [have] crowds.”

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley

NFL

Sources Say Players’ Union Has New Set Of Requests For Return-To-Work Plan

As the NFL and the NFLPA continue to negotiate the terms of play this season, it seems that the players are looking for extra securities and financial support. According to sources, the NFLPA requested the following in their most recent proposal to the league:

  • Opt-out clause for at-risk players to receive salary if one decides not to play
  • Opt-out clause and benefits for players with at-risk families if they decide not to play
  • Opt-out clause for a player that leaves the teams after reporting
  • A $250K stipend guaranteed to all players if they show up to camp and everything is shut down due to COVID-19

NBA

Michael Beasley Reportedly Leaves Orlando Bubble

Sources are saying that new Brooklyn Nets Guard Michael Beasley left the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sources told ESPN that Beasley recently tested positive for Coronavirus.

Beasley was signed by Brooklyn back on July 9th as a replacement player that would participate in the NBA Restart in Orlando. Sources are saying that it is unclear if the 31-year-old will eventually rejoin the team in the bubble.

NHL

Nine Pittsburgh Penguins Sidelined After Potential Virus Exposure

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced they were “voluntarily sidelining” nine players from their training camp roster after it was discovered the players may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. This news comes just one day after NHL Training Camps opened. The nine players will not be allowed to participate in team activities until they pass all NHL safety protocols.

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Coronavirus Update For 7/5/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NHL

Members Of Blues’ Organization Reportedly Test Positive For COVID-19

According to multiple reports that came out Friday night, multiple members of the St. Louis Blues’ organization tested positive for COVID-19. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that no staff members or coaches are believed to have been infected with COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.

The Athletic is reporting that the team’s Phase Two workouts that were scheduled for Friday were canceled due to the positive Coronavirus test results. No further workouts are scheduled for this weekend. Current reports indicate that the team is expected to resume practice on Monday.

MLB

White Sox And Nationals Report Positive Coronavirus Test Results

Both the Washington Nationals and the Chicago White Sox announced two players on each team tested positive for COVID-19. Both teams made the announcements earlier today.

The Chicago White Sox did not identify the players who tested positive but did say they are both asymptomatic and in isolation. Meanwhile, Nats’ Manager Dave Martinez told the media that two players out of 60 tested positive for COVID-19. The four players will be allowed to return to baseball activities after recording two negative COVID-19 test results and passing other pre-established Coronavirus protocols.

NBA

League Releases Restart Scrimmage Schedule

Yesterday, the NBA released its scrimmage schedule ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season restart that will take place in Orlando. All 22 teams participating in the restart will play in three scrimmages before the season resumes on July 30th. The league is saying that the Television broadcast details will be released at a later time.

NFL

Sources: NFLPA Recommends Canceling All Preseason Games

According to ESPN’s sources, on Friday, the NFL Players’ Association Board of Representatives voted to recommend canceling all 2020 preseason games. Sources say that the decision was voted on unanimously.

Earlier this week, the NFL decided to shorten the 2020 preseason to two games from four. At this time, the league has not formally announced the decision to reduce the number of preseason games this year. ESPN says it is unclear if the NFL will consider the players’ union’s recommendation to cancel all preseason games.

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2020 MLB All-Star Game Canceled

First time the All-Star Game will not be played since World War II

Earlier today, Major League Baseball announced the cancellation of the 2020 All-Star Game. The league said the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic is the reason the game was canceled. This will be the first time since 1945 that the “Midsummer Classic” will not be held between the American League and the National League.

The game and its surrounding events were originally scheduled to take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles this summer. However, Major League Baseball announced that Los Angeles will instead host the 2022 All-Star Game since this year’s events were canceled. The Atlanta Braves are scheduled to host the All-Star Game next year.

There have been 90 Major League Baseball All-Star Games held since 1933. The American League currently holds the series lead 45 wins to 43. The American League has won the last seven straight All-Star match-ups, including last year’s game, a 4-3 win at Progressive Field.

Coronavirus Update For 7/2/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

Nine More Players Test Positive For COVID-19

Earlier today, the NBA revealed the results of the COVID-19 tests that were administered throughout the league from June 24th to the 29th. The NBA announced that the results showed nine more players tested positive for the Coronavirus. The league reports that 25 players have tested positive since testing began on June 23rd. The NBA also revealed that 10 team staffers out of 884 have tested positive for the illness to date.

NFL

No Agreement Yet On Length of Shortened Preseason

While the NFL is hoping to play at least two preseason games in 2020, there is no guarantee that it will be possible. According to the NFL Network, some members of the NFL Players’ Association are currently in favor of playing no preseason games this year. These reports come after sources said the NFL was planning on shortening the preseason to two games from four this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

The NFLPA must sign off on any decision the league makes, but they have not yet shown their approval of the plans to shorten the preseason to two games. A Board of Representatives call that will provide more information on the developments is scheduled to take place later today.

NHL

Toronto And Edmonton Expected To Be Named Hub Cities

Sportsnet says that Toronto and Edmonton are expected to be named the hub cities for the NHL season restart. The decision will be finalized once the players approve the league’s return-to-play plan, which is expected to happen later this week. Elliotte Friedman reported that teams will likely play in one of the two locations based upon conference alignment, so Eastern Conference teams will likely play in Toronto while Western Conference teams will be in Edmonton.

MLB

Teams Cannot Identify Players Who Test Positive For COVID-19

There will likely be players who test positive for COVID-19 this baseball season, but they will not have to reveal that information to the public unless they want to. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, “teams are not allowed to divulge the name of any player who tests positive.” The law goes on to state that only a player can reveal to the public that they tested positive for COVID-19. The MLBPA has not made a comment on the decision at this time.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus Update For 6/26/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

16 Players Test Positive For COVID-19

The first series of Coronavirus tests have been conducted by the NBA, and the results are not great. The NBA and the Players’ Union announced that 16 players out of 302 total tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. This means that 5.3% of the players in the NBA pool have tested positive for Coronavirus.

Under the NBA’s current safety guidelines, any player that tests positive for COVID-19 must remain in self-isolation until “he satisfies public health protocols.” A player may only end their period of self-isolation if given permission by a doctor or physician.

NHL

Vancouver No Longer Being Considered As Hub City for Restart

Yesterday, the Vancouver Canucks announced that their city will not serve as a 12-team “hub” when the NHL season restarts. This news comes despite there being speculation that Vancouver was a front-runner city to be named an NHL hub.

Canucks Sports and Entertainment COO Trent Carroll released a statement about the decision yesterday. He said, “although Vancouver won’t be a Hub City, we are still excited to see hockey start up again…”

NFL

Teams Told Training Camps Will Open As Scheduled

The NFL is still on track to start the 2020 regular season on time. Yesterday, the NFL advised teams that training camps across the league will still open on July 28th as planned. The league also said that certain selected players will be permitted to report to training camps even earlier than that.

The decision was announced during a virtual meeting amongst the owners yesterday. The Commissioner went on to say after the meeting that they not only plan to start on time, but they are planning to “get ready for games at our stadiums and to engage our fans both in stadiums and through our media partners.”

MLB

Giants To Display Fans’ Images In Stands

Yesterday, the San Francisco Giants announced a new program that will allow fans to send in images of themselves to be used on cardboard cutouts in the stands at games. The “Giants Fan Cutout Program” allows Giants’ fans to send in an image of themselves that will be placed on a cardboard cutout that will be in the stands during Giants’ home games throughout the 2020 season. The program will only be available to San Francisco Giants season ticket-holders

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

MLB Announces Plans For 2020 Season

League will hold a 60-game regular season starting in July

After months of turmoil, it looks like we are finally going to get a Major League Baseball season this year. Early this morning, the MLB officially announced its return-to-play plan which will feature a 60-game regular season. Players will be expected to report for training starting on July 1st. The league plans for the season to begin on either July 23rd or July 24th.

The decision was reached during a unanimous vote that was held on Monday by all 30 MLB clubs. The league then asked the Major League Baseball Players’ Union to confirm that players will arrive for training starting on July 1st, which the union agreed to on Tuesday.

The 60-game schedule was submitted to the Players’ Union for review. Under the plan, each team will participate in ten games against their four division rivals as well as 20 more games against opponents located in similar geographical areas. MLB.com said that a perfect example of this would be that NL East teams will face AL East Teams.

For most of Spring Training 2.0, teams will conduct practices and workouts at Major League ballparks. Recent Coronavirus case spikes in Florida and Arizona caused all 30 Spring Training facilities to be shut down for deep cleaning.

Many new rules have been instituted for the abbreviated season. First, both leagues will adopt the designated hitter rule for 2020. Players will be paid a full prorated portion of their 2020 salaries. Also, during regular-season games that go into extra innings, each half-inning will begin with a runner on second base.

Sources: MLB Plans To Hold 60-Game Season

League is reportedly aiming for a July 24th restart

Multiple sources from the Associated Press and ESPN are saying that Major League Baseball plans on holding a 60-game season that will reportedly begin on July 24th. Sources went on to tell ESPN that for the plan to work, the league first needs players to sign off on health-and-safety protocols while also promising to arrive at home stadiums on July 1st to begin preparing for the season.

MLB Owners voted to implement a 60-game season on Monday. Just hours before that decision, the MLBPA rejected a proposal from the league that featured a 60-game season as well as an expanded postseason and certain types of “ancillary salary bumps.”

Major League Baseball decided to exercise its right to implement a season based on a decision that was agreed upon by both sides during negotiations back in March. According to the agreement, the league could make the regular season and postseason baseball schedule however long it wanted. ESPN is saying a 60-game season will allow the league to play as much baseball as possible before reaching its self-imposed cutoff date for regular season play, September 27th.

Multiple professional baseball players told ESPN that they expect to agree to the league’s call to report by July 1st as well as the league’s health-and-safety protocols. MLBPA executive subcommittee member Andrew Miller further drove this point home, telling ESPN, “we are ready to get back on the field.”

A 60-game regular season would be the shortest baseball season since 1878. If the league begins play on time, it will be the latest Opening Day in Major League Baseball History.

Coronavirus Update For 6/17/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

League Lays Out Specific Plans, Health Protocols For Season Restart

Yesterday, the NBA sent teams a 100-plus page document that outlined almost every detail of what life will be like for players and staff at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida when the season restarts next month. The document explained social distancing guidelines as well as how the league plans to handle a player or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

The document laid out a process for players or staff members to follow if they test positive for Coronavirus. First, they will be placed in “isolation housing” to avoid infecting others. The individual will then have to take another COVID-19 test as soon as possible in order to rule out the possibility of a false positive. A third Coronavirus test will be administered 24 hours after the first if the second test comes back negative. A person can only leave isolation once they record two negative Coronavirus test results in a 24 hour period.

MLB

Dr. Fauci Says MLB Season Shouldn’t Go Too Deep Into Fall

Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, voiced his concerns about the potential 2020 MLB season. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the doctor said baseball would be better served being played during the summer and not extending too far into late Fall.

“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold, I would avoid that.”

Dr. Fauci explaining that the MLB Season should not end too late

When to end the potential season has been a big talking point between the MLB and the Players’ Union. Dr. Fauci said that if baseball is to be played, it should be done mostly during the summer. The MLB season remains in jeopardy as the Commissioner’s office is currently refusing to set a schedule for the season in response to the players’ union’s decision to end negotiations with the league.

NHL

Players Reportedly Won’t Have To Wear Face Shields When Play Resumes

It seems the NHL is confident in its plans to contain COVID-19 when the season picks back up. According to ESPN, the National Hockey League will not expect players to wear face shields during gameplay when the season starts up again. ESPN is saying that this does not necessarily mean players will not wear some type of face-covering during competition.

A person who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press said that emphasis has been placed on player testing and other safety precautions outside of the arena. ESPN is saying that daily testing of players means additional on-ice safety equipment is not expected to be required for practices or games.

NFL

Ohio Governor Says Hall OF Fame Game Likely Won’t Have Fans

The first game of the NFL preseason will likely not have fans. Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that if the 2020 NFL Hall of Fame Game is played, it will likely be without fans in attendance. The game, which is scheduled for August 6th, will be a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“As much as I hate to say this, because we’ve all been looking forward to that and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area and, really, across the country, it’s a great, great event that we’ve been looking forward to, [but] having a crowd that size is highly unlikely. Certainly, it could not occur today. It would be very dangerous to do it today.”

Mike DeWine explains that fans likely won’t attend the Hall of Fame Game in an interview with WKYC-TV

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium reportedly has a capacity of 23,000. According to ProFootballTalk, July 1st appears to be the deadline for the final decision on whether or not the game will be played.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

MLB Commissioner “Not Confident” About 2020 Season

Rob Manfred tells ESPN he is now less confident in a season after talks ceased with MLBPA

There is a very real chance that we may not have Professional Baseball in America this year. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had a conversation with ESPN where he revealed he is no longer confident that a season will be played in 2020. Manfred explained that the risk of a baseball season not being played continues to grow.

“I’m not confident. I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue… The owners are a hundred percent committed to getting baseball back on the field. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that I’m a hundred percent certain that’s gonna happen.”

Rob Manfred when asked if he was confident there would be a 2020 baseball season

Last week, the Commissioner told ESPN “unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year.” He also went on to say that the likelihood of a season being played was pegged at “100%.” Manfred backtracked on his remarks after negotiations stopped between the MLB and the MLBPA over the weekend.

On Friday, the MLB sent a return-to-play proposal to the Players’ Union that featured a 72-game season and guaranteed players at least 70% of their prorated salaries. However, the players’ association rejected that proposal. In a response letter to the league, MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer said, “given your continued insistence on hundreds of millions of dollars of additional pay reductions, we assume these negotiations are at an end.” The Players’ Union then told the MLB it is using its right from a previously made agreement in March to set a schedule, saying “it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work.”

Rob Manfred is scheduled to appear on an ESPN special tonight that features commissioners from six of the most popular professional sports leagues in the US. The television event will air from 9-11 pm EST.