Baseball is coming back: Dates, locations and how to watch MLB’s return
After thisThe beginning of the baseball season was postponed and almost everything else was stopped. Baseball will finally return with a 60-game season commissioned by Commissioner Rob Manfred. Negotiations between the league and the MLB Players Association weren’t particularly pretty, with weeks of back and forth suggestions played in the media without finding a solution before a season was finally decided. Even now, a handful of players, including Nationals Ryan Zimmerman, have announced that they may skip the shortened season and more may follow.
There is still a lot to sort before the first places are thrown, but here is everything we know about the much anticipated launch of the MLB.
When does the season continue?
The regular season begins on either July 23rd or July 24th. The New York Post reports that the Yankees, who will be defending Nationals on July 23, will be the potential main game.
When is spring training?
Players are expected to register for spring training by July 1st. According to MLB.com, the teams can “invite 60 players to the Big League Camp, whereby only the players are eligible to play during the season”. Active rosters start with 30 players, before falling to 28 players after two weeks and 26 players after four weeks.
With the recent surge in cases in Florida and Arizona, the traditional spring training locations, teams will instead be preparing for the season at their home stadiums.
Where are games played?
Spring training and the regular season take place in each of the 30 home cities of the 30 teams, with the possible exception of the Toronto Blue Jays, the only MLB team outside the United States. It is currently unclear whether the Blue Jays can play their 30 home games in Canada or move for the season, although a recent Toronto Sun report suggests the Jays can play in their home park.
All games, regardless of the city, are played without fans.
Which teams play against each other?
To keep the trip low, the teams play in the closest geographic areas. Therefore, mainly expect a game in the division, with the interleague being restricted to that of the other league (AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central, AL West vs. NL West).
Therefore, as CBS Sports noted in his example, the Nationals will only play against rival NL East teams with interleague games against AL East teams. This means that the troubled Houston Astros may not be visiting the Yankees until the off-season, but those looking for the Stros who hit the garbage cans to get a bit of comeuppance can do a rematch on their games against the Dodgers the world 2017 series.
Are there any changes to additional innings?
To ensure that the games don’t last too long, the extra inning game starts with a second place for the hit team, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. This would continue every half inning until there is a winner.
Is there a DH in the NL?
The position of the thrower in the stroke order becomes a designated hitter, with MLB introducing a universal DH for the 2020 season.
What about extended playoffs?
While there was talk of expansion, the playoffs for the 2020 season remain at 10 teams.
Who doesn’t play
Some players have already said that they will not be playing in the shortened season. Here are some of the current players who have announced that they will be sitting outside:
- Mike Leake (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Joe Ross (Washington Nationals)
- Ian Desmond (Colorado Rockies)
- Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals)
How can I watch the 2020 MLB season on TV?
Exact details on how to watch the games have not yet been released, although you can probably see them on your local regional sports networks such as local Fox Sports channels, the YES network (New York Yankees) and NESN (Boston) Red Sox) or SportsNet LA (Los Angeles Dodgers).
Regular MLB stations such as Fox, Fox Sports 1, TBS and ESPN will likely also be involved. However, details are still unknown and it is not clear whether games can be broadcast on the MLB network or streamed via MLB.TV, the MLB’s paid streaming service.
Many of the national baseball channels are offered on five of the major live TV streaming services. However, you should check with everyone that your regional sports network is being offered.
To get all national baseball channels, you need Sling’s Blue / Orange package, which costs $ 45 a month, and the Sports Extra add-on for another $ 10 a month to get MLB Network receive. Read our Sling TV test.
YouTube TV costs $ 50 a month and includes all major national baseball channels. Depending on your team and your area, you may also have your regional sports network. Read our YouTube TV test.
Hulu with live TV costs $ 55 a month and includes most major national baseball channels, including ESPN, Fox, and TBS. While some areas may also receive regional sports networks, the service does not have an MLB network. Read our Hulu with live TV test.
AT&T TV Now’s Plus-Plus package for $ 55 a month includes ESPN, Fox, FS1 and TBS. However, you have to increase the maximum package of $ 80 a month for regional sports channels and possibly the selection of $ 110 a month if you also want MLB Network. Read our AT&T TV Now report.
FuboTV includes Fox, ESPN, FS1, and TBS in its standard plan of $ 55 a month, as well as some local regional sports networks, though those looking for MLB Network will need to look elsewhere. Note: ESPN is not currently available, but will be available sometime this “summer”. Read our FuboTV test.
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