Major League Baseball opening day is taking place today.

But there won’t be any fans inside of Marlins Park. The Philadelphia Phillies were supposed to open the 2020 season in Miami.

The COVID-19 pandemic has the entire season locked in a temporary holding pattern.

Instead of completely ignoring March 26, MLB is providing its quarantined fan base an alternative: #OpeningDayAtHome.

A full slate of previously played games are being shown on multiple platforms, so there isn’t any need to check the NJ sports betting run lines.

Phillies fans can visit the team website to rewatch the Aug. 15 game against the Chicago Cubs. Spoiler alert: Bryce Harper delivered with a walk-off grand slam.

The MLB Facebook page will be replaying Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The first pitch is at 2:50 p.m. For a little teaser, current Bronx Bomber manager Aaron Boone plays a major role in the final score.

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MLB still has opening day plans

Teams will eventually play live regular-season games. The where, when and, how are still being determined.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred shared an update with fans via social media:

At the same time, some may be wondering what this means for the seasonal employees working at baseball stadiums across the country.  MLB is looking out for them, too.

A little MLB betting update

The topics of which team is favored to win the National League and American League don’t seem to be as important right now.

The reality is with spring training being cut short; managers were still in the process of determining their final opening day rosters. There will likely be some underdogs that surprise the baseball world.

New Jersey sportsbooks are taking MLB futures, so the baseball betting topic isn’t completely tabled.

One thing worth looking at is seeing if and how the odds have shifted since February. Remember when pitchers and catchers reported?

In terms of the NL East winner, Fox Bet NJ customers will notice not much has changed:

  • Braves +180
  • Nationals +260
  • Mets +300
  • Phillies +333
  • Marlins +50,000

Shifting over to the American League East, the Yankees remain a heavy favorite to win the division crown:

  • Yankees -333
  • Rays +375
  • Red Sox +1000
  • Blue Jays +3300
  • Orioles +20000

The 2020 World Series champion

When MLB returns, the new dates for the World Series will be announced. Whether or not it will still be referred to as the Fall Classic is another story.

Talking about which teams will make it will help pass the time.

Since the players and coaches have gone their separate ways, the current odds help set the stage.

FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers leading the pack at +380.

The Nationals, the defending World Series champs, are +1800.

The Mets (+2200) and Phillies (+2500) are even bigger underdogs.

Here are other teams in the World Series betting conversation:

  • Astros +750
  • Braves +1400
  • Twins +1600
  • Rays +1800
  • Cardinals +2300
  • A’s +2500

Eventually, one of these bets will payout.

This year, however, the bigger excitement will come when the home plate umpire finally says, “Play ball!”

And, on that day, whenever it is, everybody will be a winner.

Bill Gelman

About

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.