At long last MLB will be getting underway this Sunday. Teams take to the training fields all over Florida and Arizona to begin their 2021 exhibition season games, and hopes are high that the season will run as planned.
MLB Spring Games Have Arrived
As in previous years play, MLB is divided into the Cactus League, which is centered in Arizona, and the Grapefruit League, which plays down in Florida. In the Sunshine State, the schedules have been altered to reduce travel amid the pandemic. While the games in Arizona with the Cactus League are centered mostly around the Phoenix area, MLB spring training camps in Florida are spread out all over the state and would normally require up to four hours travel at times.
There have been some adjustments in the scheduling and travel arrangements due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the games are set and MLB fans everywhere are anxious to hear that old famous “play ball” sung out by the umpires all over the league.
Baseball Bets To Look Different
Gambling odds are going to look a little different as the bats get cracking. According to the MLB 2021 Operations Manual, “Games from the start of Spring Training through March 13 will be scheduled as seven-inning games, though they can be shortened to five innings or lengthened to nine innings upon mutual agreement of both managers. From March 14 until the end of camp, games will be scheduled for nine innings, though managers can mutually decide to shorten to seven innings. Clubs must notify MLB of any game length modifications by 5 p.m. ET the day before the game.”
Sunday’s pre-season MLB games, beginning at 12:05 ET, start when the Washington Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals with RHP Jack Flaherty on the mound at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
Next up at the Charlotte Sports Park, the Atlanta Braves play the Tampa Bay Rays, with SP Chris Ellis pitching. This will be followed by the Miami Marlins against the Houston Astros, with SP Brandon Bielak doing the pitching at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Blue Jays And Yankees Square Off Early
Up next, still at 12:05, are the Toronto Blue Jays with RHP Anthony Kay challenging the New York Yankees with RHP Michael King on the mound at the George M. Steinbrenner Field. Then, it’s on to Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium the Philadelphia Phillies with SP Ivan Nova on the mound play the Detroit Tigers featuring RHP Tyler Alexander.
The Boston Red Sox, with SP Nathan Eovaldi pitching, take on the Minnesota Twins with RHP Devin Smeltzer on the mound at Hammond Stadium. The Pittsburgh Pirates will play the Baltimore Orioles at the Ed Smith Stadium with the pitchers yet to be determined.
Angels To Battle A Few Giants
The afternoon games get underway at 2:05 ET when the Los Angeles Angels take on the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium with the pitching yet to be determined. Next, we have the defending World Series Champion LA Dodgers with young RHP Mike Kickham doing the pitching playing against the Oakland Athletics at Hohokam Stadium.
The Cincinnati Reds, with RHP Jose De Leon on the mound, face the Cleveland Indians at the Goodyear Ballpark, followed by the Texas Rangers taking on the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. The Milwaukee Brewers will take on Tony La Russa’s Chicago White Sox team at the Camelback Ranch in Glendale. Starting pitching has yet to be announced for the game.
At the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Arizona Diamondbacks will be playing the Colorado Rockies. Once again, the starting pitchers for the game have yet to be announced. And, finally, the San Diego Padres and RHP Adrian Morejon, along with a multimillion-dollar infield, will be playing the Seattle Mariners with SP Marco Gonzales at the Peoria Sports Complex.