NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Seeing Reds

By Stuart Kirsch 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Jacob deGrom, Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer

The young 2020 season has been one of contrasts for reigning two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom. He pitched well in his first two games, but came away with no decisions, surrendering just two earned runs on four hits in 11 innings total.  

In the second pair of games, he again pitched a total of 11 innings, gave up four runs on 12 hits including two bombs, but came away with wins over Atlanta and Miami. His ERA is at 2.45 and he has fanned 28 versus five walks. DeGrom’s odds for the 2020 NL Cy Young award are +350. 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: We’re on to Cincinnati

The Reds are under .500 but are surprisingly in the midst of a playoff hunt in the expanded postseason schedule. The top of the pitching rotation is clearly one of the reasons. Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer each have three quality starts under their belts in the early going.  

Bauer has won his last two starts to move to 2-0 with an ERA shrinking to 0.93. He two-hit the Tigers in a seven-inning complete game shutout as part of a double header, and then struck out a dozen Brewers on one run and three hits in his next outing.  

Starting 3-0, Gray was touched up in a 9-3 loss to the team above them in the standings, the Milwaukee Brewers. Cruising with a 2-1 lead and seven strikeouts entering the bottom of the sixth, Gray was touched for a double, a single, a stolen base, and another run-scoring single before handing over the ball.  

He was charged with four runs on six hits and three walks in 101 pitches, ballooning his ERA to 2.25. Gray and Bauer lead the senior circuit with 35 and 32 strikeouts respectively. Bauer’s odds for the Cy Young have dropped to +400, while Gray’s have dropped to +800.  

NL Cy Young Tracker: Early Surprises

Atlanta southpaw Max Fried has seen his teammates’ bats come alive in his last starts, winning a 10-1 laugher over the Blue Jays then an 8-0 shutout of the Phillies. Fried has not given up more than four hits in any of his first four starts. He’s got a shiny 2-0 record with a 1.59 ERA. Fried’s odds for the Cy Young are +1800.  

On the other coast, Dinelson Lamet continues to show his stuff for the Padres. He picked up his second victory of the season with no defeats in a 9-5 win over the Diamondbacks. His ERA is a tidy 1.61, ceding only a single run in each of his first four starts. He is tied with deGrom for fourth in the league with 28 strikeouts. Lamet has halved his Cy Young odds to +2200.  

Only One Decision

On the other side of the ledger, Max Scherzer has seen his odds rise to +1000 to win the Cy Young for the fourth time in his career. The Nationals’ ace, who will take home almost $18 million in the short 2020 season, has been hampered by a tweaked hamstring, forcing him out of his recent start against the Mets after only one inning. Scherzer is 0-1 on the season with a 3.29 ERA, his loss a season-opening rain-shortened complete game against the Yankees.  

St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty, meanwhile, has been sidelined not bacause of injury or weather, but due to postponed games as his team battles the Coronavirus. Flaherty started and won his only appearance on the year, a 5-4 win over the Pirates that saw him give up two runs on six singles in seven innings. Flaherty’s odds are also +1000 to win the NL Cy Young award. 

AL Cy Young Odds: Bieber Pops to the Top of the Charts

By Stuart Kirsch 

AL Cy Young Odds: Bieber Pops to the Top of the Charts

It only takes a quick look at the stat sheet to see why the Cleveland starting pitcher has become the betting favorite to take home the 2020 American League Cy Young award, his AL Cy Young odds dropping to +250. Through three starts, Shane Bieber is 3-0 and leads the league in strikeouts with 35 in just 21.2 innings.  

The 25-year-old Californian gave up his first runs of the year on two solo shots among five hits in a 7.2-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is an outstanding 35-3, and he is near the top of every pitching statistical category.  

The Indians are contending in the AL Central due in large to Bieber and the pitching staff. The lineup is in the bottom third of the standings in Runs, Batting, and Slugging, but the staff leads the league in ERA, WHIP, and Batting Average Against.  

The Cleveland rotation also boasts Mike Clevinger at +1000 odds for the AL Cy Young, with a 1-1 record and a 3.24 ERA in three starts; Carlos Carrasco, at +2500 odds with a 2-1 record and a 2.50 ERA in three starts; and two sophomores, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale, both with sub-3.00 ERAs and more than 20 strikeouts. 

AL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Cole Not Going Anywhere

Preseason Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole continues to prove that he is the elite pitcher for whom the Yankees backed up the Brinks truck in the offseason. The only other 3-0 starter in the AL alongside Bieber, Cole sported a 2.55 ERA entering his fourth start for the AL East-leading Yanks.  

Staked to a five-run lead against Tampa Bay and having already fanned eight, he could not get himself out of the fifth inning to earn the W. Cole struck out two more in the fifth, sandwiched around a double, and had a 1-2 count on Ji-Man Choi, the Mendoza-line-hugging first baseman.  

Choi waited out another two balls and then doubled down the right field line to put the Rays on the board. Three pitches later, Jose Martinez blasted one to straight away center field to cut the lead to 5-3 and send Cole to the showers. On the season, Cole remains 3-0 with a 3.22 ERA and 26 strikeouts. His odds for the Cy Young remain low at +280. 

AL Pitchers with Dropping Odds

Texas Ranger ace Lance Lynn has seen his odds for the Cy Young award dip to +1600. Through four starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 23 innings pitched. On the other hand, Lynn has walked 10 and is averaging under six innings per start.  

Dylan Bundy has been one of the bright spots in an overall disappointing start for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Even with a lineup featuring the premier player in the game, the Halos find themselves in the cellar of the AL West.  

Bundy has claimed the victory in two of the Angels’ wins, sporting a 2-1 record with a 2.08 ERA, a league-low WHIP of 0.60, and 25 strikeouts over 21.2 innings. Bundy’s odds for the AL Cy Young have been cut almost in half to +4000.  

Cy Young Tracker: Other Early Favorites

Chicago rising star Lucas Giolito has pitched somewhat less than competitively for a surprisingly competitive White Sox team that is fueled by its offense. He is 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA and 27 strikeouts in four starts. His Cy odds have increased to +2000. Giolito has only pitched 22.2 innings over four starts, walking 13 versus 27 strikeouts.  

The Tampa Bay Rays had a pitching staff made for a short season, three stud starters including a recent Cy Young award winner, a history of using openers, and a host of young strong arms in the pen. Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow both have Cy Young odds at +800, but have been particularly ineffective. Neither has recorded a win nor made it out of the fifth inning of a game.  

Look for Value in Oakland

Jesus Luzardo was heralded as a Rookie of the Year candidate for the now-scorching hot Oakland A’s. The 22-year-old has turned on the burners after a slow start in the pen. He has surrendered two runs in two starts over ten plus innings, both Oakland victories. Luzardo, with 2020 AL Cy Young odds at +5500, is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA. 

Similarly, Frankie Montas has two strong starts and two wins in his last two appearances. Montas has halved his ERA to 1.57 and is 2-1 with 22 strikeouts over four starts. Montas gave the A’s seven strong in each of those last two. Montas’ odds for the AL Cy are +4000. 

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

Most RBI Odds: Who is Gonna Take Care of All the Ducks on the Pound?

By: Travis Pulver 

Most RBI Odds: Who is Gonna Take Care of All the Ducks on the Pound?

We are not going to have baseball as we know and love it this season. But we will have a baseball season. For fans and gamblers, that is what matters. Do you like watching guys throw 100 MPH fastballs? Or is betting on guys like balls Mike Trout crushing those fastballs your thing? 

Either way, the season is here— time to enjoy (and bet) as much as we want. 

Categories like home runs and strikeouts will likely get the most attention. Why? Simple, because they are sexy. But RBI—RBI is a measure of productivity. Home runs look great during highlights, but it’s the runs batted in that win games. 

During a typical season, the league leader will hit well over 100+; last year’s leader, Anthony Rendon, knocked in 126. But that is a number no one will likely come close to in just 60 games. The leaders at the 60-game mark dating back to the 2002 season have ranged from the high-40s to the mid-60s. 

So, who is going to lead the league in RBI this season? 

Odds on Who Will Have the Most Regular Season RBI: One of the Usual Suspects or Someone New?

What should you look for in an RBI leader? Power is nice because home runs certainly generate a lot of RBI. But power hitters often strike out a lot, too. However, if someone is a great contact hitter, he is going to put balls in play. Every time he does with someone on base, there is an opportunity for an RBI. 

Ideally, it would be great to find someone with power that is also good at making contact. Most of the time, they will be batting clean-up, giving them ample opportunity to knock in a few runs (if the guys hitting ahead of him did their job). 

Of course, you can cut right to the chase and just look at the last few years to see who consistently records a high number of RBI—like Colorado’s Nolen Arenado (+1200). Arenado has finished in the top five for the last since 2015 (including two titles in ’15 and ’16). 

He is also a career .295 hitter and has had right around 40 home runs in each of the last five seasons. 

Should the reigning NL MVP, Cody Bellinger (+1300), continue to improve, he will definitely be in the running. He ranked right inside the top ten last year with 115.  If he can continue to drop his strikeout numbers and continue to make contact while not sacrificing power, his ceiling will be high. 

But he could also miss out on opportunities with Mookie Betts (+10000) now in the lineup. Betts only had 80 his last two seasons in Boston, but he does have two 100+ seasons on his resume.  

A SHOCKING Name to Bet on with the Most RBI Odds

It would be foolish to overlook the greatest player in the game, Mike Trout. His RBI numbers have not always been too impressive. But he has everything you should look for. He is a career .305 hitter that you can probably count on for a fair number of home runs, too. 

With a better lineup around him this season, the opportunities will be there. 

Trout’s numbers could suffer a little because of the big free-agent signing the team made in the offseason—Anthony Rendon (+2500). Rendon led the league last year with 126 and has hit over .300 in each of the last three seasons with 40+ home runs. 

Mets slugger Pete Alonso (+2000) ranked fourth in RBI last year with 120 doing much of his damage with home runs (53). However, he only hit .260 last season, and while the lineup around him is not bad, it does not necessarily provide him with a lot of protection. 

While the Red Sox are not one of the more feared teams this season, they have a couple of good candidates. Rafael Devers (+2000) burst onto the scene last year with 115 RBI. JD Martinez (+2200) might have had an ‘off’ year last season with just 105. But he led the league through 60 games in 2018 with 50. In 2017 he had a stretch of 62 games where he knocked in 65. 

Most RBI Odds Conclusion

Those are just a few of the many guys PointsBet.com is offering odds on that are worth considering. Braces star first baseman Freddie Freeman (+1500) was third in the league last season with 120. As long as he stays healthy, Christian Yelich (+2500) will be one of the league leaders (if not the leader). Jose Abreu (+4000) was only three back of Anthony Rendon last year with 123. 

Right now, cases could be made for lots of guys. Juan Soto (+1500) has all the potential in the world but will miss time with the coronavirus. Bryce Harper (+2000) could come alive. Trash cans or not, the Astros have some excellent candidates in Alex Bregman (+2000), George Springer (+5000), Carlos Correa (+5000), and Jose Altuve (+10000).   

You could wait for everyone to get about ten games under their belt and then make a call. By then, we may see a few hitters starting to separate from the rest. But then their odds are going to get really short and your payout real small. 

So, do you want to wait or take a chance and possibly win more money? 

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Odds for July 23, 2020

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Odds for July 23, 2020

Thursday, July 23, Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium; 10:08 p.m. ET  

San Francisco Giants Odds

Introductions will be meaningful Thursday night as the Giants open the season with a new manager in Gabe Kapler and without their tried-and-true battery of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. Bumgarner left to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Posey was one of few All-Stars to tap out of the 2020 season – due to the risk involved with having new twins at home during the coronavirus pandemic.  

What’s left is a lot of unknowns for the Giants. The variables entering Thursday are even more dramatic considering and infielders Brandon Belt (heel) and Evan Longoria (oblique) might not play either. Veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto gets the ball in Game 1. Will his offense produce enough to keep pace against the Dodgers’ loaded lineup?  

A season opener against Clayton Kershaw is not the day for the Giants to be missing some middle-of-the-order threats. The Dodgers’ lefty is 5-1 in his previous eight Opening Day starts with a 1.05 ERA. That would be seven runs total in those games with 59 strikeouts. 

Los Angeles Dodgers odds

Kershaw is starting on Opening Day for the ninth time in his career and he started on Opening Day against the Giants in 2011, 2013 and 2018. Each of those games was played in Dodger Stadium and, in those contests, Kershaw has given up a combined one run.  

Los Angeles lives as much on offense these days with an arsenal suited for the American League, including former AL MVP Mookie Betts. Betts makes his debut on the heels of a massive 12-year contract and brings a new element of flair to Chavez Ravine. With Betts and slugger Cody Bellinger to deal with, the Giants are going to need a vintage effort from Cueto to avoid an 0-1 start to the 2020 season. 

New York Yankees at Washington Nationals Betting Odds for July 23rd, 2020

New York Yankees at Washington Nationals Betting Odds for July 23rd

Thursday, July 23, Washington, D.C., Nationals Park; 7:08 p.m. ET  

New York Yankees Odds

The first of 60 regular-season games is one of 12 likely starts for $324 million man Gerrit Cole, the new ace of the Yankees’ pitching staff who signed a whopper contract to bolt the Houston Astros in free agency. Before baseball was paused at spring training on March 12, the Yankees were ticketed for a March 26 visit to Baltimore.  

Instead, map-minded schedule makers have the Yankees on an interleague date in Washington to limit travel. Cole felt at home almost everywhere last season with the Astros. He went 20-5, led the American League with 326 strikeouts and won his final 16 regular-season decisions before splitting a pair of World Series starts against Washington.  

New York’s offense is banging with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton expected at full strength. One unknown for the Yankees is the status of closer Aroldis Chapman, who tested positive for coronavirus on July 11 and is not expected to be active Thursday. DJ LeMahieu also contracted the virus but returned to the Yankees late last week and is expected to be in the starting lineup. 

Washington Nationals odds

Max Scherzer froths at the mouth for this type of stage – the only game on the radar Opening Day until the Dodgers and Giants meet in the nightcap. When we last saw Scherzer, he was going five innings in Game 7 of the Nationals’ World Series-clinching victory. He had a 2.92 ERA in the 2019 regular season.  

Washington kept its championship team intact save for one monumental subtraction — Anthony Rendon, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels in free agency. Budding superstar Juan Soto created some nerves with the Nationals, but he returned last week after a two-week absence due to undisclosed reasons. 

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Does Speed Still Matter

By: Travis Pulver 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Does Speed Still Matter

Brief as the moment may be, stolen bases bring excitement to baseball, and we love that. Why do we love it? More action in a game some perceive as slow can only be a good thing. Maybe it is the act of ‘stealing’ we get a thrill from, or perhaps it is the strategic aspect. 

Whatever the reason, fans enjoy seeing guys steal bases. But in recent years, it has almost seemed like stealing is becoming a lost art. Rather than manufacture runs, many teams seem to rely more on home runs to clear the bases. 

No one has had 60+ stolen bases in the AL since Juan Pierre had 68 in 2010. Ronald Acuna Jr.’s 37 last season was the lowest for a season-leader in the NL since 1961 (Maury Wills, 35). 

But in this year’s 60-game season, it might not be surprising to see managers give their speed demons the green light more often. With every game being much more important this season, it would not be shocking to see some managers be a little more aggressive with base runners. 

Numbers will obviously be smaller than usual since the regular season will only be 60 games. However, if more managers to get aggressive with their base runners, maybe the race for the league lead will be more contested than usual. 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Should You Roll with a Favorite?

The oddsmakers at DraftKings have made it clear who they think will lead the league (AL and NL) in steals this season: 

  • Most Stolen Bases 2020 
  • Adalberto Mondesi +200 
  • Mallex Smith +400 
  • Trea Turner +600 
  • Ronald Acuna Jr., Jonathan Villar +900 
  • Victor Robles +1600 
  • Starling Marte +1800 
  • Whit Merrifield +2500 
  • Byron Buxton, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jose Ramirez, Jarrod Dyson +2800 
  • Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Francisco Lindor, Oscar Mercado, Amed Rosario, Christian Yelich +4000 
  • Billy Hamilton, Trevor Story +5000 
  • Bo Bichette, Tommy Pham, Luis Robert +6600 
  • Kolten Wong, Tim Anderson +8000 
  • Mookie Betts +10000 
  • Mike Trout +25000 

If you are a casual fan, some of these names will be familiar to you, but many will not be. However, since oddsmakers felt the need to include them on this list, you know they have to be decent base-stealers, if not good ones.   

So, how do you figure out who to target? 

Base stealers are fast guys who tend to be contact hitters that can get on base, not power hitters (but sometimes they are decent power hitters, too). Look for guys that play positions for speed and dexterity are vital (i.e., outfielders, shortstops, and second basemen). 

The only guys that recorded 40+ last season were a center fielder (Mallex Smith, 46), a shortstop (Adalberto Mondesi, 43), and a second baseman (Jonathan Villar, 40). 

Mondesi (+200) and Smith (+400) definitely have the kind of speed you want in a base stealer, but both struggle in one vital aspect—they struggle to get on base. Last season, Mondesi hit just .263 and had an OBP of .291. Smith struggled even more at the plate hitting just .227 but had a slightly better OBP of .300 (but still bad). 

Why the Favorites in the MLB Stolen Bases Odds are the Favorites and Why Some Speed Demons Have a Fatal Flaw

However, what’s interesting about them is despite their struggles to get on base, they still led MLB in steals. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, Mondesi only played in 102 games and Smith 134. So, you know they had to have the green light more often than not. 

National’s shortstop Trea Turner (+600) has comparable speed to Mondesi and Smith and does a better job getting on base (BA-.298; OBP– .353). He only had 35 last season but missed 40 games. But he had 46 in 2017 when he played in 98. However, Anthony Rendon is no longer in the lineup, so he may not see as many hittable pitches as last season. 

Jonathan Villar (+900) shouldn’t be ignored after notching 40 last season and does have a 60+ season during his career, but that was back in 2016 when he was with the Brewers. The Braves young star, Ronald Acuna Jr. (+900), has the tools to lead the league in steals. He recorded 37 last year and could have solid numbers again this season if given the green light. 

If you are interested in taking a longshot, there are a few promising candidates. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton (+2800) has the tools to be a great base stealer but struggles to remain healthy. Billy Hamilton (+5000) has four seasons with 50+ on his resume. However, he has struggled to stay on the field as well.   

Dee Gordon (+4000) is a former steals champ with two 60+ seasons to his name, the last coming in 2017. But players tend to get slower with age, and he is now 32, and he struggled to stay on the field last season (117 games). 

It seems like younger players are the ones with the kind of speed needed to be a good base stealer. This season, there could be several good, young players worth betting on—Bo Bichette (+6600), Luis Robert (+6600), and Oscar Mercado (+4000). However, it is hard to say how much playing time some of them will get right now. 

So—who should you bet on? 

That’s hard to say. Yes, there are plenty of guys with speed, but many tend to struggle with getting base. However, when they do, they are dangerous. Some older guys are consistent producers but don’t tend to get big numbers anymore. 

But if someone were to go on a tear and record a few multi-steal games, it could be anyone’s contest this year. 

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.

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

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.

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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.

Coronavirus Update For 6/14/20

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

NBA

Players And Staff To Be Tested Every Other Day For Coronavirus In Orlando

The league sent out a memo to teams yesterday that outlined how Coronavirus testing will take place once the season starts back up again. The NBA said that the first Coronavirus tests for players and staff will happen on June 23rd and then take place every other day after that.

The memo said that all players and staff will be administered a COVID-19 test as well as a COVID-19 antibodies test. Each person on each team will then be tested every other day and two days directly before the team leaves to travel to Orlando. All clubs are scheduled to arrive in Florida between July 7th and July 9th.

NFL

League Commissioners Coming Together For ESPN Special Tomorrow

ESPN will be hosting a conversation tomorrow with a number of commissioners from some of the top professional sports leagues in America. Commissioners from the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and WNBA will discuss the current state of sports and the concerns about Coronavirus Monday night on SportsCenter Special: The Return of Sports. The program will air from 9 PM to 11 PM EST.

MLB

Players’ Union Rejects Latest Proposal From Owners

There continues to be tension between Major League Baseball players and owners. Yesterday, the MLBPA asked the league to set a schedule for the 2020 season rather than counter the MLB’s latest collective bargaining agreement proposal. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark rejected the proposal and said, “further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

An agreement between the two sides in March allows the MLB to set a schedule for this season. ESPN is saying that the league could impose a schedule of around 50 games that would reportedly pay players their full prorated salary.

NHL

Arizona Coyotes Staff Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

Yesterday, the Arizona Coyotes were informed that a member of their staff had tested positive for COVID-19. The male staffer has said he feels no symptoms of the disease, but he is still self-isolating at home at this time. All other members of the Coyotes’ organization that are in phase two of the NHL’s return-to-play protocols have tested negative for COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Update For 6/8/20

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

NBA

Sources: League Will Use Win Percentages To Determine Standings

According to sources, the NBA has decided that the standings for the league will be determined by winning percentage when play resumes next month. Sources also said that typical tie-breaking procedures will be used if necessary. These decisions are expected to play an important role in the final seeding of the Western Conference playoffs which has 13 teams competing for eight spots.

The league will be resuming the 2019-20 season next month in Orlando, Florida. 22 teams have been invited to the facilities to participate in eight regular-season games to determine who qualifies for the playoffs. Nine teams from the East and 13 teams from the West will be traveling to Orlando to participate in the events.

MLB

New Proposal From League Reportedly Features 76-Game Season

Sources are saying Major League Baseball has a new offer for a return-to-play plan. A source close to the negotiations told ESPN’s Karl Ravech the league made a proposal to the MLBPA earlier today for a new return-to-play plan. The proposal reportedly features a 76-game regular-season with players receiving 75% of their prorated salaries.

The plan also reportedly has a $200 million postseason pool for the players. Also, the proposal would have the MLB season end no later than October 31st. The playoff schedule, which would feature ten teams, has not yet been finalized.

NFL

Teams Receive Memo About Total Reopening Of Facilities

The league now has a plan in place for clubs to completely reopen team facilities. The NFL reportedly sent out a memo to all teams that states proper guidelines and protocols for the total reopening of training facilities.

The four-part memo breaks down the protocols players must follow to be allowed back into facilities. Some of the factors players must take into consideration include physical distancing, proper cleaning and hygiene, and even taking steps to educate yourself about the spread of COVID-19.

The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that no timetables have been set for when minicamps or training camps are expected to begin. However, Pelissero is reporting that the NFL and the NFLPA are discussing the possibility of certain players, like rookies or veterans on new teams, being allowed to return to facilities before June 26th.

NHL

League Transitioning To Next Phase Of Return-To-Play Plan

The National Hockey League continues to move closer to normalcy. The NHL announced that it is transitioning into phase two of its return-to-play plan. This means that teams will be allowed to reopen training facilities starting today if local regulations allow it.

During this next phase of the plan, NHL players and coaches will have much more freedom to work out and train. Players will be permitted to work out in small groups of no more than six. Players will also be required to wear face coverings at all times in the facility except when exercising or on the ice.

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Coronavirus Update For 6/1/20

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

NBA

Sources: Board Of Governors Expected To Approve Commissioner’s Restart Plan

According to ESPN’s sources, the NBA’s Board of Governors is expected to approve Commissioner Adam Silver’s season restart plan this week. The Board of Governors will be voting on the plan this Thursday. The proposal needs three-fourths majority approval to be passed.

Under the plan, the NBA would bring 22 teams to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida to play games during the summer. Sources are saying that this plan would likely include regular-season and play-in games to determine the finalized seeding for the playoffs in both the Eastern and Western conferences.

Sources say the NBA has not yet endorsed a restart plan. Sources are also saying that one plan, which included allowing all 30 teams to resume play, is no longer possible.

MLB

Sources: MLBPA Delivers Return-To-Play Counterproposal To League

According to ESPN, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association presented a return-to-play plan to the league on Sunday. Sources say the plan includes a 114-game season, deferred salaries in case the season is canceled, and an opt-out option for all players concerned about the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The proposal says that the 114-game season would run from June 30th to October 31st. However, Major League Baseball originally suggested the season only be 82-games long.

ESPN says the players’ association expects the league to reject this offer. However, the union is hopeful that this proposal will bridge the gap between these two sides and allow them to come to an agreement to return-to-play later this week.

NHL

League Expecting To Test Players Daily If Play Resumes

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said that the league will test players for COVID-19 daily if play resumes. He said, “we will have a rigorous daily testing protocol where players are tested every evening and those results are obtained before they would leave their hotel rooms the next morning, so we’ll know if we have a positive test and whether the player has to self-quarantine himself as a result of that positive test… It’s expensive, but we think it’s really a foundational element of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

The league says that each Coronavirus test costs approximately $125. Commissioner Gary Bettman estimates that the league will need between 25,000 to 35,000 tests to get through the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Commissioner believes that testing will cost the league millions.

NFL

DeSean Jackson: Players Should Be Miked Up If There Are No Fans

Philadelphia Eagles’ Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson has admitted that it will be a “culture shock” if there are no fans in NFL stadiums this season. However, DJax has said that if that ends up being the case, players should be miked up for games so that fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at the NFL. Jackson appeared on teammate Lane Johnson’s podcast, Outside The Lane, where he explained how great of an opportunity it could be.

“I think they should [mike up players]. They should give fans the [insight] to see what really goes on between the white lines… It gets crazy, bro. I know in the trenches it gets crazy. And I know on the outside it gets crazy, too, the conversations we go back and forth on.”

DeSean Jackson on the Outside The Lane Podcast

The NFL is still preparing contingency plans for the 2020 season. Last week, Dolphins’ Owner Stephen Ross did say on CNBC, “we’re planning to have fans in the stadium.”

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Coronavirus Update For 5/28/20

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

NFL

Commissioner Announces Next Plans For Starting Season On-Time

The NFL is giving players a bit more time to work from home. Earlier today, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league’s virtual off-season workout program has been extended another two weeks. Another important detail that was included in the announcement was that coaches could return to team facilities as early as next week.

The announcement was made in a memo sent out by the Commissioner to all teams and club presidents. Players are still not allowed to return to team facilities at this time. The memo states that the NFLPA is developing protocols with the league to get players back into facilities “before the conclusion of the offseason program.”

MLB

Players’ Union Proposal Suggests More Games, Full Prorated Salaries

The MLB and the MLBPA are at each other’s throats right now as the two sides are working to come to an agreement that will allow baseball to be played this year. According to ESPN’s sources, the MLB Players’ Association will be countering the league’s initial return-to-play offer with an offer of their own that includes more than 100 games and full, prorated salaries for players. According to sources close to the talks, MLB players “essentially pledged to ignore the league’s proposal” when it was presented to them on Wednesday.

ESPN is reporting that the MLB’s original proposal called for a pay decrease on top of prorated player salaries. ESPN says that under the league’s proposal, a player like Mike Trout would be paid less than $6 million to play in 82 games this season. Trout’s base salary for the 2020 season was scheduled to be $36 million.

NHL

League Awards Regular-Season Trophies

Now that the NHL has ended the regular season, the league has decided to hand out the awards that are presented after each year. The Boston Bruins were awarded the President’s Cup Trophy for leading the league standings with 100 points on the season. The awards didn’t stop there for Boston though. Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak were given the William H Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL this season. Leon Draisaitl won the Art Ross Trophy for the first time in his career after leading the NHL in points this season with 110 in 71 games. Lastly, there was a tie for the Maurice Richards Trophy this season, which is awarded to the league’s top goalscorer each year. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Boston’s David Pastrnak both finished the regular season tied for first with 48 goals apiece.

NBA

2020 Basketball Hall Of Fame Enshrinement Delayed

Yesterday, Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall of Fame, told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that the enshrinement ceremony for the 2020 Hall of Fame class will be moved to the Spring of 2021. The 2020 Class includes Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.

The original dates of the enshrinement were supposed to be from August 28th through August 30th. The proposed alternate dates of October 10th-12th are “just not feasible” at this time, according to ESPN. Colangelo said that the Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors will meet June 10th to discuss dates for the Spring enshrinement ceremony.

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

Coronavirus Update For 5/25/20

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

NHL

League Ready For Next Step In Season Resumption

The NHL sent a memo out to teams over the weekend that said the league is ready to move to the next phase of its return-to-play plan. The memo that was circulated said teams can begin to prepare to move into phase two of the plan. This means players will soon be able to begin working out in small groups at team facilities.

The NHL has not selected an exact date for when it will begin its next phase. It is being reported that the league is eyeing early June for the start date of phase two. Phase one of the NHL’s plan, which involved self-isolation, began back on March 12th.

MLB

NY Governor Says Pro Teams Can Return To Facilities

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that teams in New York can return to their facilities for training. All training and activities for professional sports in New York state had been paused for the last two months.

The Governor had a news conference yesterday in which he welcomed the return of sports to NY. “Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps…” he said. The MLB, NHL, and NBA are all discussing resuming their seasons with their respective players’ unions.

NBA

Patrick Ewing Out Of Hospital After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Earlier today, former NBA star Patrick Ewing told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he is recovering at home after being diagnosed with Coronavirus. On Friday, Ewing announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was being treated at a Washington DC hospital.

Patrick Ewing Jr. has been giving updates on his father’s condition. Ewing Jr. confirmed over twitter that his father was out of the hospital and is “now home and getting better.”

NFL

Woods/Manning Beat Mickelson/Brady To Win “The Match”

Four of the most recognizable faces in the world of sports came together to raise money for charity. Yesterday, Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson teamed up to take on Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods in The Match: Champions for Charity at Medalist Golf Club. Despite the bad weather, these stars gave us quite a show.

There was playful banter and teasing between the participants. Even some of the most famous stars in the NFL tuned in to watch the match. In the end, Woods and Manning came out on top, but everybody left a winner that day. The exhibition match helped raise $20 million for Coronavirus Relief efforts.

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Coronavirus Update For 5/23/20

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

NHL

Players’ Association Board Approves 24-Team Playoff Format

Yesterday, the executive board of the NHLPA elected to approve a 24-team playoff format, based on conference, for a potential restart of the 2019-20 season. The league is reportedly hoping that it can resume play this summer. The NHL paused the 2019-20 regular season back on March 12th.

Under the proposal, the top four seeds from both conferences will receive byes in the first round of the postseason. Also, the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature eight different best-of-five play-in series. These series will take place between the teams ranked five through 12 in both the East and the West Conference Standings.

NBA

League Talking About Resuming Play At Disney’s ESPN Complex

Earlier today, a spokesperson for the NBA said the league is discussing resuming the 2019-20 season at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. NBA Spokesperson Mike Bass said that play would take place at the complex located in Orlando, Florida, and start sometime in July.

Bass said, “the NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing.” He continued by explaining the league’s main concerns at this time. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”

It is still unclear if the NBA will resume the 2019-20 regular season or jump right into the playoffs. ESPN says that the 220-acre complex should allow the league to restart play while also limiting outside exposure to the Coronavirus.

MLB

Players’ Union Asks For More Coronavirus Testing Than Proposed

On Thursday, the MLBPA gave management a response to a set of protocols that were proposed for the upcoming season regarding how the league will handle the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. The union addressed issues like player protection, access to doctors, protocols for testing, and several other factors that influence that start of the 2020 season.

The Players’ Association is mainly focused on the availability of COVID-19 tests. According to ESPN, “the union wants more frequent testing than management’s proposed ‘multiple times per week.'” The league is expected to make an economic proposal to the players’ association over the next few days.

NFL

Mahomes Speaks At Texas Tech’s Virtual Commencement

Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes had the opportunity to speak at Texas Tech’s virtual commencement ceremony earlier today. His message to the graduates was simple, “go out and win your Super Bowl.”

Mahomes spoke to the 2020 Red Raiders’ graduating class for a little less than two minutes. One of the most important things he said was, “I know this isn’t the graduation ceremony that you and your families had envisioned, but that doesn’t change the outcome or all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices that you made to achieve this milestone… I know this is sure not how you imagined spending your last days as a student.” Texas Tech held its graduation ceremony virtually because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

NCAA

All Athletes Can Resume On-Campus Activities Starting June

Yesterday, the NCAA D-I Council announced that athletes from all sports can resume voluntary, on-campus workouts beginning on June 1st. The announcement means that all athletes can continue individual workouts as long as they abide by state and local health protocols.

This decision is not that surprising. On Wednesday, the organization said that athletes participating in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball could resume voluntary workouts starting on June 1st.

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Coronavirus Update For 5/21/20

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

NHL

League Eyeing 24-Team Playoff Format

Sources confirmed with ESPN that the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association are discussing a 24-team playoff format for the potential restart of the 2019-20 season. The proposed format, which was first reported by Sportsnet, would be broken up by conference.

Under the proposed playoff format, 12 teams from the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference would qualify for this year’s playoffs. The top four seeds in both conferences would receive first-round byes if the proposal were to be passed. The first round of the postseason will reportedly be a five-game play-in series between seeds five through 12. Sportsnet is reporting that discussions about the proposal could begin as early as today.

MLB

Players Hoping For More Freedoms Under New Health Proposal

ESPN is saying that some Major League Baseball players are hoping the league makes some adjustments to the recently-proposed new health protocols. The players are apparently most interested in reducing the frequency of player and staff tests in clubhouses.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Infielder Paul DeJong was able to explain what his concerns were. He said, “the daily testing, I’m a fan of, to quickly determine our status every day, but given that, I’d like to see the freedom operating in the clubhouse and on the field.”

DeJong went on to say that no pothole is big enough to derail the return of baseball. He said that he is more concerned about the financial issues that will arise moving forward. He ended things by saying, “There were a lot of rules and infrastructure to get in place and enforce. … We’ll find the right mix. We can pull this off.”

NBA

Timberwolves Announce Plan To Open Practice Facility

The Minnesota Timberwolves released a statement that they will be opening the team’s practice facility for workouts starting today. The announcement was made by Minnesota’s PR team yesterday. The practice facility at Mayo Clinic Square will be open to all voluntary player workouts.

The Timberwolves are following all new health guidelines passed down by the NBA, just like every other team that has opened their facilities since the season pause. About 15 NBA teams have re-opened their training facilities for workouts so far.

NFL

Teams Start Process Of Re-Opening Facilities

A number of NFL teams have begun to re-open facilities after they were given permission to start doing so by Commissioner Goodell starting on May 15th. Teams are only allowed to open facilities if they adhere to all state and local health protocols.

The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said that eight teams opened up facilities in some capacity coming into today. The Chiefs, Cowboys, Falcons, Steelers, Texans, Colts, and Cardinals all reportedly reopened some facilities on Tuesday. Pelissero said that the Cincinnati Bengals were the only team to open facilities yesterday. At this time, coaches are not allowed to return to facilities according to the new NFL rules.

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Coronavirus Update For 5/19/20

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

NFL

Teams Can Re-Open Facilities Starting Today

Today is the first day of this off-season that clubs are allowed to open team facilities so that they can be used by players and staffers. At this time though, coaches and non-rehabbing players are not allowed in the buildings. It is currently unclear which NFL facilities have officially opened so far.

Last week, clubs received a memo from the Commissioner saying teams were allowed to open and start using facilities on May 19th, today. Teams are only allowed to open their facilities if they meet pre-established health protocols and receive clearance from state and local officials. If teams do not meet these standards, their facilities will remain closed until everything is brought up to code.

MLB

New York, Texas, And Other States Moving Closer To Return Of Pro Sports

Governors across the nation are becoming more comfortable with the idea of professional sports returning to their states. Yesterday, political leaders from California, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania discussed the return of sports to their states as soon as next month, possibly.

California’s Governor said the potential return of sports to the state is related to the recent progress made against the Coronavirus Pandemic. California has seen a 7.5% decrease in hospitalizations over the last two weeks. Governor Newsom said that if this decline continues, then professional sports can return to California “…in the ‘first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions.'”

Now that Texas, Cali, NY, and Pennsylvania have discussed the idea of opening up for professional sports, that makes it six states that are ready for sports to come back. Earlier this month, both Florida and Arizona announced they were ready to open up for professional sports leagues.

NBA

Reports: League Still Expected To Use Lottery Process

Despite all the changes that have been made in the sports world over the last few months, at least one thing is staying the same. According to ESPN’s sources, the NBA still plans on using the lottery format they used last year to determine the picks in this year’s Draft.

The NBA postponed the Draft Lottery and the Combine back on May 1st. Both events were scheduled to take place in Chicago. There is not a date set for the NBA Draft Lottery, but the 2020 NBA Draft is currently scheduled for June 25th.

NHL

League Considering Eight To Nine Locations For Season Restart

The NHL has narrowed its list of places to restart the season to less than ten cities. Yesterday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is considering “probably eight or nine different places” that can accommodate “a dozen or so teams in one location.” Bettman made the announcement during an interview at a sports business conference.

The league is saying that it has some issues to overcome if the season is to be restarted. The league would have to deal with border problems, especially since 17% of NHL players are from outside North America. The league is also saying it needs plenty of space to house teams and plenty of testing kits need to be available for the remainder of the season.

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