2020 MLB Season Begins
The 2020 MLB Season began play on July 23 following a three-month postponement due to COVID-19. A 60-game regular season will be played in place of the regular 162-game season with each team playing 10 games against each division opponent and 20 games of interleague play against their corresponding divisional league.
Major League Baseball, known as the MLB, is America’s oldest pro-sport. The National League began in 1876 before the current competition, the world’s premier baseball tournament, was founded in 1903.
There are 30 MLB Teams facing off for a spot in the postseason, with the ultimate goal being a World Series title. The tournament is separated into the National League (NL) and American League (AL) that boast 15 teams each. Modern day baseball has provided plenty of drama and excitement, with the last back-to-back World Series champion being the New York Yankees in the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons.
The most successful Major League club with a bumper 27 titles also happens to be the Yankees. The St. Louis Cardinals sit a distant second with 11 titles to their name.
In order to reach World Series glory, all 30 teams play 162 regular season games each, with the top five clubs from both the American League and National going forward into the Major League Baseball playoffs. This postseason tournament takes place over four rounds and comes to an end with the World Series in October.
Baseball is one of the most watched and supported sports in America and betting on the MLB is popular with Aussie punters drawn in by big name clubs like the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. The daily nature of the sport provides punters with plenty of options and value, while the change in lineups and pitching also offers plenty of upset opportunities.
The biggest MLB betting event is of course the best-of-seven World Series Championship Series. The MLB World Series pits the two MLB League Champions against each other in a fight for the title and betting on the World Series Winner is open all season.
2020 MLB SEASON BETTING
The shortened 60-game 2020 MLB season began on July 23 with the postseason schedule yet to be confirmed.
Early MLB predictions have the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the early World Series favourites followed by the Houston Astros.
- MLB 2020 Regular Season: July 23 – September 27
- MLB 2020 Post-Season: TBD
- MLB 2020 World Series: TBD
- 2020 Major League Baseball All-Star Game: Cancelled.
MLB betting is open right across the season at Ladbrokes including all-in prices on the MLB World Series Winner, as well as daily promotions.
MLB odds are open for all matches during the regular season and some of the most popular Major League Baseball bet types are detailed below.
HEAD TO HEAD MLB ODDS
Open on all MLB games these baseball odds offer a price for each of the two teams to win. The shorter-priced MLB team are the favourites and punters can also take advantage on MLB Line Betting plus Total Runs – under or over a set number.
1ST INNINGS MLB MARKETS
A popular MLB betting market is to tip which team in a match will be ahead after the first inning. A high volume of runs can often be scored in the first frame of a game, especially if a less established pitcher is on the mound. There are also prices offered on whether or not a Run will be Scored in the 1st Innings.
MLB TOTAL RUN MARKETS
Get MLB Odds on the total runs made in the 1st 5 innings, plus betting on the Highest Scoring Innings, whether the total Match Runs will be and Odd / Even number and whether there will be Extra Innings.
The New York Yankees have won more MLB World Series than any other club. Photo Credit: MLB.
There are three divisions within each of the MLB Leagues – East, Central and West – below is a brief summary of each team, followed by a brief look at the history of all 30 clubs.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Baltimore are in the midst of a serious rebuild after trading star third baseman Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018. The Orioles have won the World Series three times, with their last pennant dating back to 1983.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox are perhaps the most well-supported professional baseball team in Australia. Having won the World Series in 2018, the Red Sox now find themselves in a transition phase following the firing of championship winning manager Alex Cora and the trade of star outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price. They are the third favourites to win the AL East in 2020.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Money and prospects, that’s the modern day Yankees. New York won the bidding for former Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole during the offseason and have since been installed as the favourites to win the World Series. With a young lineup led by Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are the team to beat in 2020.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays are no longer the laughing stock of the league after taking the Houston Astros to a decisive Game 5 during the 2019 ALDS. Tampa Bay’s bang-for-your-buck lineup of castaways continues to dominate under manager Kevin Cash, while a young and talented rotation made up of Cy Young winner Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnpw, Charlie Morton and Brendan McKay continues to create havoc for opposing hitters.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The next ten years should be fun if you’re a Blue Jays fan. Names like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are the future of this team, following in their father’s footsteps as potential Hall of Famers. The Blue Jays last World Series titles came during their glory 1992/1993 seasons, and with a raucous home crowd inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto, they are a team you don’t want to meet in the playoffs.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
While not completely irrelevant, the White Sox have taken a back seat to their crosstown rivals the Chicago Cubs as of late. Last winning the World Series back in 2005, the White Sox have undergone a steady rebuild that is beginning to see results. Third baseman Yoan Moncada and outfielder Eloy Jimenez are the lifeblood of this team on offence, while Chicago also got busy during free agency adding veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal to the fold. This is a sleeper team to watch.
Cleveland has been on the cusp of World Series glory for each of the past five years. They lost a heartbreaking World Series Game 7 to the Cubs in 2016, followed by a 3-2 series exit in the ALDS against the Yankees the very next year. The Indians are still one of the top teams to beat in the American League though, featuring one of the best defensive shortstops in Francisco Lindor, top five third baseman Jose Ramirez and proven ace Corey Kluber.
Five year’s ago the Tigers were a threat, but they’ve turned into one of the bottom dwellers of the American League. Having joined the league in 1901, the Tigers are the oldest team in the American League to keep the same name.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
World Series success finally graced this team in 2015, ending a previous 30-year title drought. Now in the midst of a steady rebuild, the Royals remain one of the most well-supported expansion teams in baseball. Joining the league in 1969, Kansas City’s rivalry with fellow intrastate team the St. Louis Cardinals is a must-watch.
The Twins feature one of the most potent lineups in the league. Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, C.J. Cron and Max Kepler helped set a new franchise record in home runs last season, but Minnesota continues to come up short when it matters most. Despite winning 100 games last season, the Twins failed to qualify for the playoffs.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Houston Astros star second baseman, Jose Altuve (left). Photo Credit: MLB.
The 2017 World Series champs continue to dominate the American League West, but the new season brings a range of different challenges following the sign stealing scandal. Gerrit Cole’s depature leaves the Astros short on the mound, while the firing of manager AJ Hinch also makes this is a transition season for the Astros.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Mike Trout is one of the most famous players in baseball. With eight All-Star appearances to his name, the Angels are fortunate enough to feature one of the best all-around players. The end goal is a World Series title, something the Angels have achieved only once back in 2002.
The recent version of the A’s has been only slightly above average, but this is still a team with nine World Series titles to its name. Made famous by the movie ‘Moneyball’, President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane has become an infamous figure in Oakland baseball thanks to his unique approach to building a roster.
When you think of the Mariners, do you think of the longest postseason drought in North American sports? Seattle firmly has its sights set on the future after trading away key players like Edwin Encarnacion and Edwin Diaz over the last two seasons. General Manager Jerry Dipoto loves a trade, but until this team sorts out its rotation, the Mariners will remain a doormat in the AL West.
Two chances, and nothing to show for it. The Rangers made the World Series in back-to-back seasons in 2010 and 2011 but came up empty-handed against the Giants and Cardinals. It’s hard to get a read on this current Texas team. On one hand, it looks like a serious rebuild is ahead, while on the other, the front office still thinks the Rangers can compete for a spot in the postseason. With one of the most powerful hitters in the game in Joey Gallo, a Wild Card spot is still achievable, especially in a new ballpark.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Featuring one of the youngest and exciting lineups in the Majors, the Braves are far and away the number one team to watch over the coming years. Following several seasons of irrelevancy, Atlanta’s savvy drafting and acquisition skills landed them Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies, two of the most exciting young names in baseball. Atlanta will have a tough fight on its hands in this division for years ahead, but expect the Braves to be right in the thick of the playoff race.
NEW YORK METS
The Mets have their fair share of history. Last winning the World Series in 1986, their second of two titles, New York came close to winning its third back in 2015. The present-day version features two great starting pitchers in Noah Syndergaard and Jacob de Grom, but that hardly equals wins in modern baseball. Entering 2020 the Mets were favoured to have a losing season, and since this lineup features little to no power behind Pete Alonso and Robinson Cano, New York has a long uphill battle ahead without mentioning their front office problems.
How do you ruin a fan base in the span of just two months? Sell off all your players and basically admit to everyone that your team will be tanking for years to come. Part owner and former New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter has been the face of controversy for the Marlins over the last two seasons, while the Marlins continue to struggle at the bottom of the division.
Like the Braves, the Phillies are on their way back. Success came easy for this team in the early 2000’s, winning their second World Series title in 2008. Since then Philly has undergone a gradual rebuild as veteran stars retire paving the way for names like Scott Kingerey, Aaron Nola and Bryce Harper, who signed a record-breaking $330 million contract in 2019.
The Nationals finally acquired the Comissioner’s Trophy last season beating the Houston Astros in a thrilling World Series Game 7. All of this came during the same season Bryce Harper departed for the Phillies, but the Nats will now need to overcome a loss of their own following Anthony Rendon’s departure to the Angels.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
The Chicago Cubs celebrating their 2016 World Series victory. Photo Credit: MLB
The Chicago Cubs are one of America’s oldest baseball franchises. Founded in 1903, the Cubs endured a 108-year World Series title drought between 1908 and 2016, the longest championship drought of any North-American pro sports team. Having finally captured a pennant in 2016, the Cubs remain one of the most popular teams in terms of fandom, in large part thanks to their success on the field. Star players such as Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez have helped the Cubs finish inside the Top 5 in runs scored in each of the last three years.
First established in 1881, the Reds remain one of the oldest teams in Major League Baseball. With five World Series titles to their name, the Reds have certainly found success, although it’s been a long and torturous three decades since their last title in 1990. Featuring star first baseman and five time All-Star, Joey Votto, Cincinnati has the hitting talent to compete in this division after adding names like Nicholas Castellanos during the offseason.
World Series glory has eluded this team since forming in 1969. Having won the Central Division only twice, Milwaukee has had some unbelievable playoff runs, which could soon be the case once again. As long as Christian Yelich remains in the lineup, the Brewers are still a threat to make a deep playoff run behind savvy manager Craig Counsell.
Pirates fans last tasted success in 1979, and since then, it’s been nothing but misery. The Pirates failed to make the postseason between 1992 and 2013, and with the team now in the midst of a nother rebuild, it’s tough to see Pittsburgh competing anytime soon.
Just behind the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals have won the second-most World Series titles in MLB history (11). The Redbirds last title came in 2011, while their home attendance at Busch Stadium has exceeded 3 million in each of the last 22-years. The Cardinals have a long and historic friendly-rivalry with the Chicago Cubs.
National League West
Originally entering the league as an expansion franchise in 1995, the Diamondbacks went on to win their first and only World Series title six years later. Since then Arizona has been up and down the standings, but the current day Diamondbacks continue to shape up as one of the most dangerous teams in baseball after adding future Hall of Famer Madison Bumgarner during the postseason.
The Rockies play their home games at Coors Field, a ballpark that lends itself to monster home runs with high altitude. The Rockies have never won a World Series title, let alone a World Series game. They last made the big dance in 2007, only to be swept by the Red Sox 4-0. Colorado has flirted with success recently, mainly thanks to three-time All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Dodgers were unlucky to finish 2017 and 2018 as the World Series runner-ups before losing in the NLDS to the Nationals last year. It took some time, but LA finally got busy in the dying days of the offseason by trading for star outfielder Mookie Betts. Some may argue otherwise, but this is the most talented lineup in the National League.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Established in 1969, the Padres have made the World Series twice, only to be completely overrun by their opponents. Still without a title, the Padres have faded into obscurity recently, but an aggressive front office approach to sign star third baseman Manny Machado to a lucrative $300 million deal in 2019 has San Diego well on track for success in the NL West. Young up and coming prospects like Fernando Tatis Jr and Chris Paddack also look to take a step forward in 2020.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Giants are one of the most successful franchises of the modern era. San Francisco has captured three of their eight World Series titles in the last 10 years, in large part due to clutch hitters like Buster Posey. The Giants glory days are certainly coming to a close, but their fierce rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers remains a must-watch every season.
AMERICAN LEAGUE MLB TEAMS
||Oriole Park at Camden Yards (45,971)
||Boston Red Sox
||Fenway Park (37,949)
||New York Yankees
||New York City, NY
||Yankee Stadium (49,638)
||Tampa Bay Rays
||St. Petersburg, FL
||Tropicana Field (31,042)
||Toronto Blue Jays
||Rogers Centre (49,282)
||Chicago White Sox
||Guaranteed Rate Field (40,615)
||Progressive Field (35,225)
||Comerica Park (41,297)
||Kansas City Royals
||Kansas City, MO
||Kauffman Stadium (37,903)
||Target Field (38,871)
||Minute Maid Park (41,676)
||1962 (NL) / 2013 (AL)
||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
||Angel Stadium (45,957)
||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (35,067)
||Safeco Field (47,943)
||Globe Life Park in Arlington (48,114)
NATIONAL LEAGUE MLB TEAMS
||SunTrust Park (41,500)
||1871 (NA) / 1876 (NL)
||Marlins Park (36,742)
||New York Mets
||New York City, NY
||Citi Field (41,922)
||Citizens Bank Park (43,651)
||Nationals Park (41,313)
||Wrigley Field (41,268)
||1874 (NA) / 1876 (NL)
||Great American Ball Park (42,319)
||1881 (AA) / 1890 (NL)
||Miller Park (41,900)
||1969 (AL) / 1998 (NL)
||PNC Park (38,362)
||1882 (AA) / 1887 (NL)
||St. Louis Cardinals
||St. Louis, MO
||Busch Stadium (43,975)
||1882 (AA) / 1892 (NL)
||Chase Field (48,519)
||Coors Field (50,398)
||Los Angeles Dodgers
||Los Angeles, CA
||Dodger Stadium (56,000)
||1884 (AA) / 1890 (NL)
||San Diego Padres
||San Diego, CA
||Petco Park (40,162)
||San Francisco Giants
||San Francisco, CA
||AT&T Park (41,915)
Ace: a team’s elite starting pitcher.
Bullpen: a group of four to five pitchers used to relieve a starting pitcher and close out a game.
Designated-Hitter: a player who bats in place of the pitcher in the lineup. Used only in the American League.
Grand Slam: a home run hit with the bases loaded, resulting in four runs scored.
No-Hitter: a team that was unable to record a single hit against an opposing pitcher/s.
Perfect Game: a pitcher/s that throws a minimum of nine innings without allowing a single opposing player to reach base.
RBI (Runs Batted In): a stat that credits a batter for creating a hit or play that allows a run to be scored.
Walk-Off: a game-winning run scored in the bottom of the ninth or final inning.