Baseball

2020 Major League Baseball, Schedule, Rule Changes, Broadcast Rights

2020 Major League Baseball, Schedule, Rule Changes, Broadcast Rights

The 2020 Major League Baseball season was scheduled to start from March 26 but due to the coronavirus pandemic Major League Baseball (MLB) canceled training games and the start of the regular season would be delayed by at least two weeks. After a meeting between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association on Friday (March 13), players being given the right to skip practice during the 2020 season in Florida and Arizona during the national emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, the regular season was scheduled to end on September 27, with the postseason scheduled to begin on September 29. The World Series was set to begin on October 20, with a potential Game 7 was set to be played on October 28. The 91st Major League Baseball All-Star Game was scheduled to be held on July 14 at Dodger Stadium.

American League and National League each comprises 15 teams divided into three five-team divisions. Teams are scheduled to play 19 games against each of their four division opponents (76 games), plus six or seven games against the remaining 10 teams within the same league (66 games). Thus, each team will play 142 games against teams in their league; the remaining 20 games of the 162-game schedule will be inter-league contests.

MLB Opening Day Schedule

  • Nationals vs. Mets 1:10 p.m.
  • Tigers vs. Indians 1:10 p.m.
  • Royals vs. White Sox 2:10 p.m.
  • Cubs vs. Brewers 2:10 p.m.
  • Yankees vs. Orioles 3:05 p.m.
  • Red Sox vs. Blue Jays 3:37 p.m.
  • Twins vs. Athletics 4:07 p.m.
  • Rockies vs. Padres 4:10 p.m.
  • Giants vs. Dodgers 4:10 p.m.
  • Rangers vs. Mariners 4:10 p.m.
  • Cardinals vs. Reds 4:10 p.m.
  • Phillies vs. Marlins 4:10 p.m.
  • Pirates vs. Rays 4:10 p.m.
  • Angels vs. Astros 7:10 p.m.
  • Braves vs. D-backs 10:10 p.m.

The following changes, effective for the 2020 season, these are announced by MLB

  • The size of the active roster expands from 25 players to 26 players, through August 31.
  • During this time, and the postseason, clubs can carry a maximum of 13 pitchers.
  • Any team that is playing a scheduled day-night doubleheader, or a scheduled neutral-site game (such as the MLB Little League Classic), may carry a 27th player for that day only. This player can either be a position player or a pitcher.
  • The size of the expanded roster in September is reduced from 40 players to 28 players.
  • During this time, clubs can carry a maximum of 14 pitchers.
  • Pitchers and two-way players optioned to the minor leagues must remain there for at least 15 days before being eligible for recall to the major league club, rather than the previous 10-day minimum. The minimum option period for position players remains 10 days.
  • Teams must designate players as either “position players” or “pitchers” before the start of the season.
  • Only players designated as pitchers will be allowed to pitch in any regular-season or postseason game, with limited exceptions (such as one team leading by at least seven runs, or the game going into extra innings).
  • Once a player has pitched at least 20 innings and made at least three plate appearances as a position player or designated hitter in each of 20 games, he earns the status of a “two-way player” for the remainder of the season plus all of the next season. Players with this status may pitch at any time during a game. For this season only, any player who met the above requirements in either the 2018 or 2019 season qualifies for two-way status.
  • Players designated as pitchers, if placed on the injured list, must spend a minimum of 15 days on the IL before being eligible for activation. Position players may be activated after a minimum of 10 days on the IL. Two-way players are subject to the rules for pitchers. The 7-day minimum on the IL for concussions remains unchanged.
  • A pitcher must face at least three batters unless the inning ends or the pitcher is injured.
  • Managers now have up to 20 seconds to challenge a play (reduced from 30 seconds).

Broadcast rights

Fox Sports, ESPN, and TBS. Fox will air eight weeks of baseball on Saturday nights leading up to the 2020 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will also air on Fox. Fox then will televise Saturday Afternoon games for the final three weeks of the season. Fox will also televise the MLB at Field of Dreams game on August 13. FS1 will televise games on Tuesday night and Saturday both during the afternoon and night. ESPN will televise games on its flagship telecast Sunday Night Baseball as well as Monday and Wednesday Nights. TBS will televise games on Sunday Afternoon for the last 13 weeks of the season. Fox and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts will be exclusive; all other national telecasts will be subject to local blackout.

TBS will televise the American League Wild Card Game, Division Series and Championship Series. ESPN will televise the National League Wild Card Game. FS1 and MLB Network will televise the National League Division Series. Fox and FS1 will televise the National League Championship Series. The World Series will air exclusively on Fox for the 21st straight year.

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