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MLS suffers first withdrawal; MLB announces schedule

By Jeff Fogle  ( 

July 7, 2020 12:01 AM

Not everyone in the MLS will be back.

Monday, FC Dallas formally withdrew from the “MLS is Back” tournament scheduled to start Wednesday in Orlando. Latest count had 13 players and one coach testing positive for the coronavirus. No way for the team to guarantee a competitive roster for the event after failing to meet league protocols entering the Orlando bubble. 

As of Monday evening, the league hadn’t announced any group restructuring. That may be due to discussions regarding the status of Nashville. Soccer journalist Grant Wahl tweeted Monday that other MLS teams weren’t pleased that Nashville had multiple positive tests. Taking both Dallas and Nashville out of the mix would reduce the field to 24 teams, ideal for a “World Cup style” event. 

As of publication deadlines, only three teams remained in Group B (Seattle, San Jose, and Vancouver). There are six teams in Group A. One is Nashville. Eliminating Nashville and moving one of NYCFC, Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando or Chicago to Group B would balance the board.  

Tuesday is likely to be a day of important headlines in MLS. We’ll cover them for you on Twitter (@VSiNlive and @jefffogle), then report in more depth Wednesday morning when it will still hopefully be opening day of the tournament.

One other “MLS is Back” update before we move to other sports. Star Carlos Vela of market favorite LAFC has formally opted out because of his wife’s pregnancy. The team had been expecting this, and has been practicing on the assumption he wouldn’t be available. 

Potentially good news for the event from overseas. Sky Sports reported that there haven’t been any positive virus tests in Britain’s Premier League since its restart


We’ve known for a while that the New York Yankees would be visiting the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals on Thursday, July 23 to officially start an abbreviated 2020 campaign. The rest of the schedule was released Monday. 

Fans anxiously looked to see who their favorite teams would be playing first. We’ll run through those matchups for you. First note that San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers will also square off on July 23. Everyone else begins Friday, July 24. Remember that this season’s format will essentially consist of three different “leagues,” with all the “East” teams playing each other, all the “Central” teams grouped together, and all the “West” teams staying in their time zones. (This cuts down on travel while maintaining traditional rivalries.) 

Friday, July 24

*East: Braves at Mets, Marlins at Phillies, Blue Jays at Rays, Orioles at Red Sox.

*Central: Brewers at Cubs, Pirates at Cardinals, Tigers at Reds, Twins at White Sox, Royals at Indians.

*West: Diamondbacks at Padres, Rockies at Rangers, Mariners at Astros, Angels at A’s. 

We haven’t had a chance to run baseball futures prices yet in our countdown series. Here are odds to win the World Series championship from Circa Sports. Note that all odds are “plus” for each team. A $100 bet on the favored Dodgers would earn a profit of $330 should they go the distance. 

MLB World Champions (Circa Sports)

*Favorites: Dodgers (330), Yankees (370), Astros (900). 

*Threats: Braves (1300), Twins (1400), Nationals (2000), Rays (2000), A’s (2000), Cubs (2400), Cardinals (2400), Reds (2400), Angels (2500) Indians (2600), White Sox (2600), Mets (2800), Phillies (2800).

*Dark horses: Diamondbacks (3000), Padres (3500), Red Sox (6500), Blue Jays (8500), Rangers (8500). 

*Long shots: Rockies (12500), Marlins (17500), Royals (18500), Giants (20000), Mariners (20000), Tigers (20000), Pirates (50000), Orioles (50000).

As many hosts and guests have discussed on VSiN in recent days, this is a good time to consider off-the-radar teams because of the “anything can happen” realities challenging the 2020 campaign. 

MLB’s schedule release competed for headlines Monday with stories of team and player dissatisfaction with virus protocols. Both the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros cancelled workouts because of delays testing and getting results. In the windy city, Cubs star Kris Bryant told media he no longer feels safe


Though the league still hasn’t formally announced a start date, we know it’s coming soon because WNBA players began arriving Monday in Bradenton, Fla. The league announced that only seven players have tested positive thus far

Circa’s current odds to win the WNBA title: Washington Mystics (325), Las Vegas Aces (325), Connecticut Sun (555), Los Angeles Sparks (595), Seattle Storm (600), Phoenix Mercury (695), Chicago Sky (2000), Minnesota Lynx (4000), Indiana Fever (4000), New York Liberty (4000), Atlanta Dream (10000), Dallas Wings (10000). 


We recently alerted gamblers that Nevada had the worst “rate of transmission” for covid in the entire nation. That changed Monday with a drop to sixth in the U.S. at 1.26. While the goal is to stay below 1.0, that’s still a significant improvement from more than 1.50 last week.

Florida ranked ninth nationally Monday at 1.23, important with league restarts imminent. Sports bettors in Mississippi should know that state graded out at 1.12 Monday. New Jersey is re-opening right at the 1.0 threshold. 

Click this link for updates on every state, particularly those where you and your loved ones reside.

More Stories of Interest

*MLS Team-by-team preview (ESPN)

*Ivy League expects football in spring (CBS Sports)

*Power 5 football conferences will wait to decide (ESPN)

*NHL reveals results of latest covid tests (NY Post)

*Japan will allow fans at games beginning Friday (Japan Times)

*Australia closes state border after Melbourne spike (NY Post)

VSiN Clips/Tweets on Betting Restarts

*Drew Dinsick talks to Gill Alexander about NFL home-field advantage in the coming season (A Numbers Game)

*Will any MLB team win more than 40 games? Jonathan Von Tobel shares his thoughts (The Edge)


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