Betting Odds Suggest MLB Season Will Be Suspended Eventually

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There is increased skepticism that professional baseball will be played uninterrupted during the coronavirus pandemic. MLB’s shortened 60-game schedule is already being put to the test four days after the first pitch of the season was thrown.

Two games have been removed from Monday night’s schedule because of an outbreak within the Miami Marlins’ roster. The remainder of Monday’s games are set to go on as planned, though the betting odds suggest an eventual league-wide shutdown is inevitable.

The odds that the 2020 season will be suspended at some point are -575, according to Bovada, an online sportsbook. The betting website gives the season +360 odds to continue without having to be paused.

A bettor that risks $575 for the season to be suspended would win $100 if games across the board are put on hold. A $100 wager for the season to never be suspended comes with a potential profit of $360.

Owners of all 30 MLB teams attended a call Monday afternoon, shortly after the league announced the two postponements. There were no discussions about canceling the season, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

There will be additional priority testing for teams who have an outbreak, MLB officials say, but no serious talks as of yet cancelling or pausing the season. In the words of one owner on the conference call: "Obviously, the situation is fluid.''

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 27, 2020

I don’t think the Marlins outbreak will be enough to force MLB to reconsider playing the season. That is my sense after talking to industry people today.

— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 27, 2020

Miami’s home opener Monday against the Baltimore Orioles was postponed with at least 11 players reportedly testing positive for COVID-19 since Friday. The two teams could still play in Baltimore this week. The Marlins and Orioles were scheduled to play twice in Miami before heading to Baltimore for two more contests Wednesday and Thursday,

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies won’t play their Monday night matchup as scheduled. The Marlins were in Philadelphia’s visitors’ clubhouse Friday through Sunday for a three-game series against the Phillies. 

The coronavirus pandemic postponed MLB Opening Day by four months. The regular season is scheduled to end on Sept. 27, followed by a 16-team playoff in October.

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