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Will The 2020 MLB Season Be Cancelled?

While most sports seem to be coming back to their respective arenas after being suspended due to COVID-19, Major League Baseball looks to be at a stalemate. Neither the owners nor players can agree on proposed salaries or the number of regular-season games, so naturally there’s doubt among fans about whether the 2020 season will be played.

Well, oddsmakers remain optimistic about an MLB season still happening and the best baseball betting sites have released odds that imply the season will eventually happen.

At BetOnline, they have listed odds at -165, which implies a 62.3 percent chance of a baseball season in 2020, with the “No” option coming back at +125.

However, this represents a massive shift from when this prop opened up just over two weeks ago – the odds were -300 for the “Yes” option and eventually moved to -500 after the MLB draft.

Will there be A 2020 MLB Season?

Odds as of June 16 at BetOnline

Before we dive into the factors for getting MLB players back on the field for a season, here are some key links to bookmark for your baseball handicapping:

Where MLB and The Players Currently Stand

Negotiations between MLB and its players have continued to stall in mid-June and it reached another tumultuous milestone when commissioner Rob Manfred balked on the certainty of a season being played:

This is a complete change of tune by Manfred, who said this less than a week ago at the MLB draft:

MLB analysts and fans are not pleased with Manfred’s waffling about a potential season and the longer this drags out, the less likely it is a season will come to fruition. So, where does that leave bettors? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to see an end to this stalemate as neither side seems willing to budge.

To recap the last few months of negotiations, players initially were looking to have a 114-game season with pro-rated salaries while MLB made a counter-proposal of slashing player salaries across the board and having a 50-game schedule as the last resort.

The Owners’ Side

While it’s hard to have sympathy for someone who has more money than we’ll ever make in our lifetimes, MLB team owners are taking a lot of risks to still field a season with minimal fans and will likely lose millions just to keep a season afloat. But because most of them are billionaires, it’s tough to shed a tear for this group because they can’t buy a second yacht.

MLB is already a very regional sport and while teams make money through TV deals and revenue sharing, the cash cow is the fans actually attending the games. And at least for this season, few if any fans are expected to be allowed in attendance to purchase that cold hotdog and flat beer at the ballpark.

The Players’ Side

For the players, the salary concessions and injury risk are a difficult pill to swallow. The owners are asking players to take massive pay cuts and throughout the process haven’t seemed to be negotiating in good faith when initial proposals by MLB were to slash all salaries by 50 percent AND then pro-rate moneys for games played.

Another factor that seems to have been just swept under the rug is that the risk of COVID-19 is still very real. If players are to assume the risk of injury due to the lack of a proper training camp or becoming another pandemic statistic, they want their money and they want it now.

Star pitchers Blake Snell, Max Scherzer and Trevor Bauer have been very vocal about not wanting to take pay cuts. The MLBPA is easily the strongest player union in pro sports so while the odds indicate a season is likely, it’s hard to see a path back to the diamond unless the two sides can come to an understanding and not have a repeat of the 1995 strike year.

How To Read MLB Season Return Odds

When you check out your sportsbook of choice for MLB betting props like will there be a 2020 regular season, you’ll see prop odds that look something like this:

Yes -165

No +125

To bet on these odds, you would be making a prop bet – more on that in a bit. In this case, Yes is the favorite as it has a minus sign (-) in front of the odds. No would be considered the underdog for this prop.

If you think there will be an MLB season and you bet $100 on Yes, you would win $160.61. That’s your original $100 back and $60.61 of profit. On the flip side, if you think a season isn’t going to happen and you bet $100 on No, you’d win $225 – your original wager of $100 is returned along with $125 in profit.

Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.

What is a Prop Bet?

A baseball prop is a bet on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain outcomes that may not necessarily determine the outcome of a baseball game. You can make a bet like this as soon as the odds are announced. If you see odds you like, place your bet immediately, otherwise the action could move so much that you’ll barely make a profit or maybe even not make one at all.