2020 MLB Odds: Betting preview for 60-game shortened season

MLB will return in July and you can bet on baseball at SugarHouse online sportsbook

Major League Baseball is back, and PlaySugarHouse.com is excited to provide a wide variety of 2020 MLB odds, win totals, and futures for the shortened season.

Following a tenuous back-and-forth period in which the MLBPA and the owners could not agree on terms of a season, the two sides finally came to an agreement on a 60-game season that will begin on Thursday, July 23.

Instead of the traditional 162-game season, the 2020 MLB season will consist of just 60 games. Players will report on July 1, with Opening Day taking place on July 23 and July 24. Each team will play 40 games against their division and 20 games against the same division in the opposite league.

2020 MLB Opening Day Schedule Schedule:

  • 7:08 p.m. ET: Yankees (-139) at Nationals (+120)
  • 10:08 p.m. ET: Dodgers (-295) at Giants ((+250)

There are two very important rule changes for the 2020 MLB season. First, the National League will use the DH position, eliminating plate appearances for starting pitchers. Second, if a game goes to extra innings, a runner will be placed on second base at the start of each half-inning.

2020 MLB Odds: Season Preview

With only 60 games determining the MLB postseason, roughly 37 percent of a regular MLB season, there is less wiggle room for teams to dig themselves out of a hole. Ultimately, most teams seeking playoff contention will win 20 games and lose 20 games. It’s what a team does with the remaining 20 games that will determine the postseason fate.  According to a FanGraphs simulation, This is what will make searching for darkhorse and longshot teams with strong 2020 MLB odds all the more intriguing.

The Rangers (+5000 AL Winner) for example, added ace Corey Kluber and signed Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles. But the two most important factors in determining the Rangers’ success are the shortened season and the schedule. According to a FanGraphs simulation, no team saw their playoff chances increase more in a shortened season than the Rangers. The Rangers might not be able to catch the Astros, but with a large portion of their schedule coming against the likes of the Mariners, Angels, Athletics, Giants, Rockies, and Padres, a team like the Rangers is in prime position to win more games than expected over the course of a 60-game season and snag a Wild Card spot.

Another team that is likely to have a better chance to make the playoffs now than before is the White Sox (+1500 AL winner). While the division-specific schedule isn’t likely to do Chicago a lot of favors, only the Rangers saw an increase in playoff percentage larger than the White Sox. Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel form a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation, and a balanced bullpen should provide the depth they need to make an impact in the Wild Card race.

The Yankees (+400 World Series Winner) enter the 2020 season with a loaded roster and time to heal. A litany of injuries and new players made New York a tricky bet in the early Spring, but no team has benefited as much from the extended break as the Yankees. Now, the Bronx Bombers should have almost all their stars, names like Gerritt Cole, James Paxton, Zack Britton, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Hicks, in the lineup, despite not having had them if the season had started on time.

The time off helped the Yankees, which hurt the Rays.

Tampa Bay (+800 AL winner) was a popular play in early Spring when the Yankees were dealing with a cavalcade of injuries. But the Rays have a lot of depth in the field and on the mound, and won’t have to deal with innings restrictions to their rising stars like Tyler Glasnow. However, according to the FanGraphs simulation, a shortened season would decrease the Rays’ chance at making the playoffs, going from 77.2 percent to 55.8 percent.

The Chicago Cubs (+1100 NL Winner), like the Rays, saw their chances of making the playoffs decrease in the shortened season simulation. The seven-percent decrease was one of the ten biggest according to FanGraphs, but lends itself more to the depth of the division than the quality of talent on the Cubs. With former MVP Christian Yelich healthy and ready for the Brewers, the Cardinals fresh off a 91-win season, and a new-look Reds team, the Cubs won’t have any time to mess around.

There is a lot of unknown as the 60-game season approaches. But one thing we do know is that the NL East is once again going to be a hellacious battle between four of the five teams.

The Atlanta Braves (+600 NL winner) and reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals (+750 NL winner) remain two of the top three teams to emerge out of the NL in 2020. The Braves are built for right now, with three MVP candidates in Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Ozzie Albies. The Nationals lost their best position player in Anthony Rendon, but return the best trio of starting pitchers in baseball, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin.

But it’s the New York Mets (+900 NL winner) and Philadelphia Phillies (+1100) that make the 2020 MLB odds all the more interesting. The Mets currently have the sixth-best odds to win the World Series, thanks to the arms of Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard and the bats of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto. The Mets’ schedule will be unforgiving, but what has ailed the Mets in the past — injuries, running out of gas — doesn’t expect to have the same impact in a shortened season.

It is going to be tough sledding for the Mets and Phillies, but consider where the Phillies were after 60 games last season. With Bryce Harper still brand new to the scene, the Phillies led the NL East and held the fourth-best record in MLB through 60 games in 2019 at 33-27. Not much has changed for the Phillies as far as odds go since February, but the landscape has, which could play to Philadelphia’s advantage.

2020 MLB Odds: Win Totals 

  • AL East: Yankees (37.5), Rays (33.5), Red Sox (31.5), Blue Jays (27.5), Orioles (20.5)
  • AL Central: Twins (34.5), Indians (32.5), White Sox (31.5), Royals (23.5), Tigers (21.5)
  • AL West: Astros (35.5), Athletics (33.5), Angels (31.5), Rangers (28.5), Mariners (24.5)
  • NL East: Braves (34.5), Nationals (33.5), Mets (32.5), Phillies (31.5), Marlins (24.5)
  • NL Central: Cardinals (32.5), Cubs (32.5), Reds (31.5), Brewers (30.5), Pirates (25.5)
  • NL West: Dodgers (37.5), Diamondbacks (31.5), Padres (30.5), Rockies (26.5), Giants (25.5)

2020 MLB Odds: World Series Winner

  • Dodgers +375
  • Yankees +400
  • Astros +850
  • Braves +1300
  • Twins +1600
  • Rays +1800
  • Nationals +1900
  • Mets +2000
  • Cardinals/Cubs/Phillies +2200
  • Athletics/Indians/Reds/White Sox +2500
  • Angels/Brewers +3500

2020 MLB Odds: AL Winner

  • Yankees +175
  • Astros +350
  • Rays/Twins +800
  • Indians +1100
  • Athletics +1200
  • Red Sox +1300
  • Angels/White Sox +1500
  • Blue Jays/Rangers +5000
  • Mariners/Royals +25000
  • Orioles/Tigers +35000

2020 MLB Odds: NL Winner

  • Dodgers +170
  • Braves +600
  • Nationals +750
  • Cardinals/Mets +900
  • Cubs/Phillies +1100
  • Reds +1500
  • Brewers +2000
  • Padres +2200
  • Diamondbacks +3000
  • Rockies +7000
  • Pirates +10000
  • Giants +125000
  • Marlins +35000

Most Home Runs: Joey Gallo/Mike Trout +1000, Pete Alonso/Giancarlo Stanton +1100, Cody Bellinger +1800, Nolan Arenado/Aaron Judge/Ronald Acuna +2000

Most Stolen Bases: Adalberto Mondesi +200, Mallex Smith +400, Trea Turner +600, Ronald Acuna +900, Victor Robles +1600, Starling Marte +1800, Whit Merrifield +2500

A.L. MVP: Mike Trout +200, Aaron Judge +800, Francisco Lindor +1000, Anthony Rendon +1400, Alex Bregman/Matt Champman/Josh Donaldson/Gleyber Torres +2000

N.L. MVP: Mookie Betts +550, Cody Bellinger +700, Christian Yellich +700, Ronald Acuna +900, Juan Soto +1000, Nolan Arenado/Javier Baez/Bryce Harper +1800

A.L. Cy Young: Gerrit Cole +275, Justin Verlander +700, Shane Bieber + 800, Blake Snell +900

N.L. Cy Young: Jacob deGrom +350, Max Scherzer +400, Walker Buehler/Jack Flaherty +800

(All odds as of 12:00 p.m. ET on Monday, July 20.)

 

 

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