MLB 2020 Opening Day Preview

This Thursday, July 23rd is Opening Day 2020 for Major League Baseball. It will feature two marquee matchups. The first, which kicks-off at 7:08pm ET, features the New York Yankees versus the Washington Nationals at and the second features the San Francisco Giants versus the Los Angeles Dodgers at 10:08pm ET. Both games are on ESPN.

Historically, the league and its fans look forward to the tradition of Opening Day and while there is excitement this week it’s hard to ignore the fact that this year’s Opening Day is going to look a lot different.

What is different about Opening Day 2020?

The impact of COVID-19 is going to be noticeable during Opening Day and the remainder of the MLB season for that matter. For one, this year’s Opening Day will not feature any fans in attendance, which was a large point of contention during the negotiations between the league and MLBPA.

In addition, the timing is extremely delayed. If you recall, we were once on par to have baseball start in March – it’s now July. As such, the beginning of the season will take place during the part of the calendar that is normally referred to as the dog days of summer or the period of the season after the All-Star break.

Also, a few new rules have been introduced for the 2020 season, including a universal designated hitter. Thus, we may see more offense during this year’s Opening Day and throughout the season.

With the universal designated hitter in place, no one stands to win more than the fans, who typically value offense over dominant pitching. Additionally, with the expected trend of more offense this season it wouldn’t be surprising to see more sportsbooks adjust their lines and over/under bets to account for more runs.

Needless to say, fans, sportsbooks, and sports bettors are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season. Particularly sports bettors in Colorado, as Colorado online sports betting launched in May, however, the residents haven’t had many majors sports to wager on at sites like Draftkings Colorado and BetRivers Colorado during the ongoing pandemic. July 23rd will kick-off what many expect to be an action-packed MLB season.

Opening Day for the rest of the MLB

Once the July 23rd games are in the books, we’ll be on our way to crowning a World Series champion in 2020. On Friday, July 24th the rest of the teams will start their season. In addition to it only being 60 games, there are a few other schedule changes to note.

Teams will play two-thirds of their games against teams in their division, and then the remaining one-third against teams in geographically corresponding divisions in the opposite league. Below is a complete list of Opening Day games with sports betting odds.

Thursday, July 23rd

Yankees (-1.5 +122) at Nationals (+1.5 -144) at (7:08pm ET, ESPN)
Giants (+1.5 +120) at Dodgers (-1.5 -142) at (10:08pm ET, ESPN)

Friday, July 24th

Braves (+114) at Mets (-129) at (4:10pm ET, ESPN)
Tigers (+160) at Reds (-182) at (6:10pm ET, MLB Network)
Blue Jays (+148) at Rays (-167) at (6:40pm ET)
Marlins (+175) at Phillies (-205) at (7:05pm ET)
Royals (+195) at Indians (-230) at (7:10pm ET)
Brewers (+117) at Cubs (-132) at (7:10pm ET, ESPN)
Orioles (+170) at Red Sox (-195) at (7:30pm ET)
Rockies (+123) at Rangers (-139) at (8:05pm ET)
Twins (+102) at White Sox (-117) at (8:10pm ET)
Pirates (+165) at Cardinals (-195) at (8:15pm ET)
D-backs (+114) at Padres (-129) at (9:10pm ET)
Mariners (+245) at Astros (-286) at (9:10pm ET)
Angels (+130) at Athletics (-148) at (10:10pm ET)