Well, after waiting almost 4 months for it to happen, fifteen umpires in the next two days will be yelling out two words a lot of people have been wanting to hear..."Play Ball". Finally, the Major League Baseball season will begin! It is going to be a really different this year too! .  There will be no fans in the stands with fake crowd noise to be heard as you watch on TV or listen on the radio.  Some players will be seated in the fans seats behind the dugout to adhere to social distancing necessities.

Players are not allowed to spit anymore (which if you ever played the game, you know that just might be the hardest thing to not do). The baseballs will be tossed out after so many touches. All teams will use the Designated Hitter, and a man will start each extra inning on 2nd base.  I could go on and on about the other changes in the game thanks to COVID-19, but I will not bore you with those changes here. What is important is that we are playing baseball in 2020.

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With the regular season delayed in late March thanks to COVID-19, the limited 60 game 2020 season will get under way today with two games scheduled. The New York Yankees will open the season at Washington and be followed by the San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles to meet the Dodgers in the day’s 2nd game.  Thirteen season opening games will be played tomorrow including the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates, The Chicago Cubs hosting the Milwaukee Brewers, the Kansas City Royals travel to Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox will host the Minnesota Twins.

With the regular season only 60 games, basically the World Series is up for grabs. A bad team can get off to a good start and make a run at it. Usually, after a regular season of 162 games the cream does rise to the crop, but with only 60 games being played anything can happen. So making my picks for this year’s winners will not be an easy task. The Dodgers and Yankees seem to be loaded again, but beyond them, it’s anyone’s opportunity.  With that said, I will do my best with my selections for this year’s MBL winners.

In the National League I am selecting the Nationals to win the East, the Cardinals to win the Central and the Dodgers to win the West.  The Mets and Diamondbacks will claim Wildcard spots.

In the American League I am going with the Yankees to win the East, The White Sox to win the Central and the Astros to win the West. The Rays and Angels will win Wildcard berths.

The National League champion will be the Dodgers and the American League champions will be the Yankees.  This year’s World Series winner will be the New York Yankees. (I can hear the “homer” chants being yelled at me already).  Talk to me in November to see if I am eating crow or smiling from ear to ear.

Did I tell you I am really glad baseball is back?

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