One year ago, as the coronavirus pandemic resided through its infant stages, the baseball world was looking on helplessly and having to wrestle with the thought that there might not be a season.
As it turned out, we would get the strangest campaign in history. A 60-game sprint (the league just loved to market that to help evade it from being called a sham) with all sorts of monumental changes like a universal designated hitter, seven-inning doubleheader bouts and that runner-starts-on-second-each-half-inning-in-extras nonsense. Sadly, the latter two predicaments will be back for 2021.
From a gambling perspective, it was an especially challenging ordeal. All those major new wrinkles, which coincided with other significant factors such as having no fans in ballparks (until late postseason) and the array of COVID-19-related postponements, ripened for additional variance. Players — who are considered the biggest creatures of habit in sports — had to make notable adjustments. Many apparently couldn’t effectively, however.
But if I may channel Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! While normalcy is not quite fully back just yet, this season marks our closest return to such since March 12, 2020, the date of the last pre-pandemic spring training games before everything got shelved.
That being said, let’s dig into the wider-than-ever assortment of futures bets and player props to explore what stands out.