Major League Baseball and the world of sports betting has been put on hold due to the coronavirus sweeping across the US.
Legal sports betting began in Illinois just last week, but casinos are once again playing the waiting game.
Cubs, White Sox seasons delayed
Spring training was heating up, and players were focused on their final tune-ups as MLB Opening Day was creeping closer and closer.
The virus has delayed betting on baseball and, in general, sports betting. The virus has affected numerous leagues during this last week, including pushing back the start of the Major League Baseball season.
More than a few rumors are circulating about when baseball season will be good to go.
The first date that trickled out as a potential start date was April 9. However, that date looks to “pie in the sky” at this point.
More states continue to close bars and restaurants while representatives are putting restrictions on the number of people allowed to be at a “gathering.”
Games could begin in May or even as late as June, but whether fans will be allowed at those games is uncertain at this stage.
The MLB is still hoping to play 162 games, but the start date will have a lot of say if a full 162-game season is even possible.
MLB odds for 2020 season
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the favorites to win the World Series are the Los Angeles Dodgers at +375, New York Yankees at +400, Houston Astros at +550, and Atlanta Braves at +1200.
How should the locals fair? The White Sox might not have an elite chance to win the World Series with odds of +3500, but the Sox could cause trouble in the AL Central.
The Cubs, meanwhile, are expected to compete as usual in the NL Central.
According to DraftKings, the White Sox are +300 to win the AL Central, which is the third-best odds in the division.
The Cubs are +2500 to win the World Series while sitting at +250 to win the NL Central.
White Sox preview
The White Sox should have no issue improving on their 2019 record of 72-89. There is a lot of power on this team led by Jose Abreu, who will be entering his seventh year at the big league level. Abreu hit .284, smacking 33 home runs and finishing with 123 RBIs.
Tim Anderson will be looking to mirror the 2019 campaign, where he hit .335 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs.
Eloy Jimenez had a great rookie season and will be hoping to build off of a .267 average, 31 home runs, and 79 RBIs.
The White Sox also signed Edwin Encarnacion in the offseason, while Yoan Moncada will be expected to be a steady Eddy in production.
Lucas Giolito leads an improved pitching staff that also features Dallas Keuchel. Giolito went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA while striking out 228 hitters in just 176.2 innings.
The Cubs finished the 2019 season with a record of 84-78.
The Cubs return the meat of their lineup with the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.
Rizzo hit .293 with 27 home runs and 94 RBIs a year ago. Bryant totaled 31 home runs, 77 RBIs and a .282 average a season ago. Baez will be looking to sustain the power he has shown over the last three years when he blasted 86 home runs.
The Cubs still have a loaded rotation on paper with Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Jon Lester.
The Cubs did lose outfielder Nicholas Castellanos in the offseason.