MLB Season During COVID-19
The MLB Season was off to a great start on April 1, 2021. This season is going to be different due to COVID-19. Players joined their new teams, new rookies are standing out, and surprising teams are leading the league. Players like Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are off to hot starts. Players like Akil Baddoo, Yermin Mercedes, and Tyler Naquin are taking on the 2021 season with a storm. Ballparks and stadiums aren’t the same this year. Some ballparks are empty, and some are at reduced capacity.
COVID-19 has changed a lot of things for this season. Empty ballparks, changed guidelines and restrictions, and doubleheaders will once again feature seven-inning games. Also, MLB's extra innings rule is back, meaning that beginning in the 10th, a runner will be placed on second base to begin each half-inning. MLB players definitely feel the empty ballparks are a factor that goes into winning or losing games. Usually, the home team has the advantage because the crowd is very loud cheering, but since there are no fans, no teams have the advantage. Yankee Stadium is offering a free ticket for anyone that gets the COVID vaccination at the stadium.
Five batters are off to a very hot start with their bats this season: Mike Trout is batting .388. Yermin Mercedes is batting .373. Yordan Alvarez is batting .362. Jesse Winker is batting .354. Xander Bogaerts is batting .349. These five pitchers are off to a great start leading their teams to wins. Jack Flaherty with 6 wins. Aaron Civale has 5 wins. Clayton Kershaw has 5 wins. Steven Matz has 5 wins. Nick Pivetta with 5 wins. The three league leaders in ERA(Earned Runs Average) are Carlos Rodon with a .58. Jacob deGrom with a .68. Danny Duffy has a 1.26.
The candidates for National League Cy Young are Jacob deGrom, Corbin Burnes, and Brandon Woodruff. The NL MVP prediction consists of Ronald Acuna Jr., Jacob deGrom, and Jesse Winker. National League Rookie of The Year predictions are Jazz Chisholm, Dylan Carlson, and Trevor Rogers. The American League Cy Young candidates are Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Shane Bieber. Early American League MVP predictions are Mike Trout, Yermín Mercedes, and Byron Buxton. The American League Rookie of The Year candidates are Yermín Mercedes, Akil Baddoo, and Michael Kopech.
This 2021 MLB season has been very different then the normal looking MLB season. Not many fans are attending games, COVID tests, vaccines, and all of the precautions. Some players are off to great starts, and other players aren’t. As the season goes on, we will continue to watch great baseball with hopes that COVID doesn’t postpone or end the season.