Wednesday, February 24, 2021

'Pretty Good Chance' Fans Could Return to MLB Ballparks in 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci believes there is a ‘pretty good chance’ that fans will be able to attend MLB games in 2021 provided that the rate of Covid-19 cases continues to drop.

The chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden appeared on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast on February 19th and said: “We could have people in the stands, maybe not right next to each other”. 

Local municipalities will make decisions on fan attendance, and the Tampa Bay Rays have already revealed their plans to kick off their campaign with around 7,000 supporters in the ballpark. 

A small number of fans were able to attend some games last season, and other major American sports leagues have been able to let some people in at a reduced capacity. 

With the Covid-19 vaccine still in its early stages of being implemented across the country, the hope is that more baseball fans will be allowed in as the situation improves. 

The season is scheduled to start on April 1st with all 30 teams set to play. ESPN will be showing live coverage of the Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET, and that will be followed by the World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers kicking off their title defense at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. 

Part three of the quadruple header sees the Washington Nationals host the New York Mets, and the action concludes in LA as the Angels welcome the Chicago White Sox to Angel Stadium. 

The Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series for the second year in succession, with most of the best betting sites offering odds of +350 on the National League West outfit. 

Next in the betting is the Yankees who lost the American League Division Series to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020 but are +550 to bounceback and win a 28th World Series crown. 

The San Diego Padres look absolutely stacked this year and it is no surprise to see them priced as a +900 third-favorite. Last week, shortstop Fernando Tatis committed his future to the Padres with a whopping 14-year, $340 million contract. All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish was also acquired from the Chicago Cubs, adding to an already impressive roster. 

The Atlanta Braves have no shortage of star power themselves, and after three straight National League East division titles, they are expected to go deep again with odds of +1200 to win the World Series. 

Both the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox are also in the +1200 range, while the Minnesota Twins are as big as +2000 with some online sportsbooks. 

Despite winning the American League in 2020, the Tampa Bay Rays are +2500 to go one better this year and are +900 to repeat their AL success. There are question marks over their ability to repeat what they achieved last term, especially with so many other American League teams breathing down their neck. 

The Toronto Blue Jays are among those that many believe could mount a challenge this year, and they are +2000 for the World Series.


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