2021 MLB Season Update
The 2021 Major League Baseball season is officially underway, with all 30 teams ready for action.
After last year’s schedule shakeup, the format is finally back to the standard 162 games played among the traditional makeup of opponents. Unlike the prevailing situation for all of last year, teams will this season be permitted to admit fans to their stadiums. The capacity guideline has been set at 20-30 per cent.
Notable is that the Texas Rangers have been given the green light to admit a sell-out crowd of 40,518 for their home opening contest against Toronto on April 5.
Blue Jays Set To Stay In Florida
The Blue Jays are in turn allowing only 15 per cent of their usual fan capacity to attend their spring training games in Dunedin, Florida. The Blue Jays have confirmed that they will play all of their home games for the foreseeable future in Dunedin. Only once Canada’s travel restrictions are eased up will the team return to their home city of Toronto.
In the event that their home country’s restrictions aren’t eased up anytime soon, the Blue Jays have announced that they’ll consider moving to Buffalo once it gets to hot and humid to continue training in Florida in a couple of months’ time.
As for the post-season format, nothing has been set in stone yet. The format is expected to revert back to the system as it had been pre-2020 – with five teams set to qualify from each individual league. The MLB has also said that it is hoping to ink a deal with the players’ union that will see the post-season expanded to as big as a 16-team playing field.
Dodgers The Team To Beat
Another change is the removal of the universal designated hitter. This means pitchers will (at least for now) be forced to hit in National League parks.
Most other 2020 rule changes are however set to remain in place, including teams staring with a runner on second base during extra innings, and double-headers being made up of seven-inning contests. Also staying put will be pitchers having to square off with a minimum of three batters, alternatively, staying in pitch until the end of the half inning.
As for the season’s favourite, the Dodgers are once again the ultimate team to beat – and even more so now that they’ve managed to finally end their harrowing championship drought.