MLB Opening Day is just over a month away and Spring Training is just two days away. Although 2021 MLB Spring Training will have limited fans, the path to normalcy is headed in the right direction. Within the past couple of seasons, a lot of new “stars” have emerged onto the scene; some have even taken the league by storm. To name a few, Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Cody Bellinger. Not only are these star studded athletes “up-and-coming” but they too are becoming the face of MLB. Soto is set to make $8.5 million in just this season alone, Tatis Jr. is now a $340 million man over the span of 14 years. That’s a sweet $24.3 million per year, and Bellinger is set to earn $16.1 million this year. NOT TOO SHABBY! Considering that they are 25 (Bellinger) and 22 years old (Soto/Tatis Jr.)
Although Spring Training games technically don’t count towards a team’s regular season W-L record, there still lies some significant value that unfolds during these 33 games. Obviously these athletes too understand that these games are irrelevant in terms of their own personal stats/accolades. However, this is not to say that they are not invested or putting forth full effort. With that being said, if a player and/or team seems to be struggling during their Spring Training games then there is a good chance that this trend could persist and role over into the regular season. Whether that struggle comes from three or four batters in a line-up barely batting their weight or a couple of starting pitchers and a couple of relief pitcher’s ERA’s skyrocketing; it is probably in your best interests to stay away from those athletes and their teams come early season MLB plays. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? In addition, early in the MLB season (Spring Training and regular) look to take the dogs when the total is 9 or higher and the favorite when the total is 7 or lower. Typically when a lot of runs are projected to be scored, the odds makers expect the underdog to score a good amount of runs as well. Hence, you can find good value if we assume that an underdog can outscore the favorite once both starting pitchers nights are done and becomes a game of the bullpens. On the flip side, I would advise leaning towards the favorites when the total is on the lower side because this scenario typically means that either one or both starting pitchers are elite. When this situation arises, whose batting line-up can fail fewer times than the opposing line-up against dominant and/or momentous pitchers. More times than not, the favorite possesses a superior line-up than that of the underdog; meaning that their may be some value in the favorite, despite being the “favorite.” Thus far, it has been a wild off-season for both the MLB and
NFL. Recent MLB transaction have consisted of Elvis Andrus to the A’s for Khris Davis to the Rangers, Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers (highest paid player in 2021), Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals, George Springer to the Blue Jays, Jon Lester to the Nationals, and Blake Snell & Yu Darvish to the Padres (just to name a few). Here is the complete list of all recent MLB transactions/trades. WARNING: There’s a lot! On the flip side, the NLF has also encountered numerous trades that involve a bit of a QB carousel phenomena. In the young NFL off season, we have already seen Goff and Stafford swapping wives placing Jared in Detroit and Matthew in LA. Both Deshaun Watson and Russel Wilson are unhappy with their current franchises and want out! Deshaun wanted the Texans to hire a different head coach whereas Russell wants to run more of a West Coast style offense. To top it all off, the Colts acquire not only Carson Wentz, but his $25.4 million 2021 contract. The real winner and loser in that acquisition is a different story for a different day.
During this continuous global pandemic, what is Major League Baseball doing to “keep up with the Jones’s”? During the odd 2020 MLB season, the organization experimented with a few adjusted rules like a batter beginning on second base at the start of games needing extra innings. It did cut down on the longevity of games, but is it real baseball? Several other minuit rules were tested, including the universal DH rule. From what I have gathered, opinions are split about whether baseball should change their rules or not. Speaking of rule changes, the NFL (football in general) has been in the vast market of experimenting with new and unique leagues with new and unique rules. The NFL has birthed, if you will, the United States Football League, Arena Football League, Xtreme Football League, and Canadian Football League, etc. If there weren’t enough leagues that have tried and failed over the years, I now present to you the FCF (Fan Called Football.) Yes, you the fan get to call the plays for these squads. By the way, one of these squads is
QB’d by Johnny Manziel. A few of the rules that the FCF have implemented include: 7 vs. 7, 50 yard fields, and NO special teams. You can view the next FCF match-up tomorrow night where the Zappers face-off against the Wild Aces, only on Twitch. Although the NFL and their partners have had many failed attempts to construct “one-off” NFL leagues, they have still been profitable, entertaining (somewhat), and competitive (also somewhat). So why hasn’t the MLB tried to incorporate these “one-off” leagues? Is it because they already have the Minor Leagues and that is plenty in their minds? Baseball could easily create a league that has completed different rules that go against typical baseball rules that might encapsulate a whole new fandom market. Not to mention, it could also be a league that is utilized as a portal for experimenting with newly proposed rules that could eventually be implemented into the MLB game.