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Marty’s musings: MLB’s timeline to play

Baseball has a plan to get MLB back for a shortened 60-game season, though COVID numbers threaten to throw cold water on the entire plan.

World Series 2019 Game 7 - Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

The MLBPA and league came to an agreement last week for a 60-game season, though the current trajectory of COVID cases, particularly in states with teams, may end up ending the season before it even begins. In any case, today we’ll look at the rule changes and timeline for a return to MLB...at least in theory.

News & Notes

60 - Game season agreed to by the league and the players union. With the negotiations behind us however, COVID cases are hitting a new peak, particularly in states that have opened more fully.

10 - Games each team will play against teams in their own division, with the remaining 20 games coming in interleague East v. East, Central v. Central, and West v. West, with six of those games being rivalry games such as White Sox v. Cubs and Mets v. Yankees etc.

30 - Players will be allowed on the active roster for the first two weeks, then it drops down to 28 for the next two weeks, before going to 26 for the remainder of the season. The 40-man roster will expand to 60 players.

7/1 - The date players are expected to report to camp.

7/23 or 7/24 - The expected Opening Day for MLB, likely kicking off with a Max Scherzer v. Gerrit Cole Nationals / Yankees matchup.

8/31 - 2020 trade deadline.

9/15 - Cutoff day for players to be added to rosters in order to be eligible for the playoffs.

~25 - Days until Opening Day.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano