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If baseball is played in 2020, it will look nothing like other seasons. A 60-game schedule, limited opponents, empty stadiums, a universal DH, and a revamped extra-innings format are among the many drastic changes that will be implemented by MLB this summer.
These changes could spell chaos in the standings, and they'll certainly increase the volatility, especially in such a small sample size.
Divisional and wild-card races will be fascinating to watch unfold, while the uncertainty opens up all sorts of value for bettors.
|New York Yankees||-290|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+280|
|Boston Red Sox||+1500|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2200|
After 60 games last season, the Yankees held a one-game lead on the Rays atop the AL East. That would seem to give them little margin for error, but they aren't priced accordingly; instead, they're pegged as overwhelming favorites to win the division.
Armed with the division's deepest pitching staff, the Rays are in prime position to take advantage. Among the many beneficiaries in Tampa is Tyler Glasnow - a Cy Young candidate who has never pitched more than 111 innings in an MLB campaign, and now won't have to. The Rays' loaded roster can easily catch fire and pip the Yankees to the top of the division, and I'm definitely more inclined to buy in at +280.
|Chicago White Sox||+310|
|Kansas City Royals||+6500|
Oddsmakers don't view the AL Central as the three-horse race it's poised to be. The talent gap separating the Twins, Indians, and White Sox is marginal at best, meaning there's plenty of value to be found with the latter two teams.
The Indians boast the division's best rotation and it will come into the season healthy thanks to the delay, while the White Sox offer up a charcuterie board of young talent that gives them boundless potential heading into the 2020 season. The Twins are a strong team in their own right, but backing them at the current price can't be justified.
|Los Angeles Angels||+500|
Outside of the lowly Mariners - who I still wouldn't back in a 10-game season - there's value all over the place in the AL West. Regardless of your thoughts on the cheating scandal, the Astros still possess one of the strongest rosters in baseball and aren't aggressively priced at -145. They had built an eight-game lead on second place through 60 games last season.
But they will be pushed in 2020 given the quality of the teams behind them. The Athletics' masterful young rotation will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the short season and could seal the division for Oakland on its own. The Angels are drastically improved from 2019, bringing in an abundance of talent to help support perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout, and the Rangers are flying under the radar despite a deep rotation and well-balanced lineup.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.