This is the week that baseball fans have been waiting for — a signal of warmer days ahead, green grass and the sound of the crack of the bat.
Of course, we are talking about the start of Major League Baseballs’ 2021 Spring Training, with players officially descending upon Florida and Arizona over the next few days. On Monday, pitchers and catchers will begin to report to spring training camps with full rosters coming by the end of the week.
What made you fall in love with baseball? pic.twitter.com/vcv1cHYxR7
— MLB (@MLB) February 14, 2021
Last week, MLB announced the 2021 Spring Training start dates for the 2021 season for the Grapefruit League in Florida and the Cactus League in Arizona.
American League Spring Training start dates:
|American League Teams||Pitchers and Pitchers||Full Team||League||Camp Location|
|Baltimore Orioles||February 17th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Sarasota|
|Boston Red Sox||February 18th||February 24th||Grapefruit||Fort Meyers|
|Chicago White Sox||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Glendale|
|Cleveland Indians||February 18th||February 22nd||Cactus||Goodyear|
|Detroit Tigers||February 17th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Lakeland|
|Houston Astros||February 18th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||West Palm Beach|
|Kansas City Royals||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Surprise|
|Los Angeles Angels||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Tempe|
|Minnesota Twins||February 19th||February 23rd||Grapefruit||Fort Meyers|
|New York Yankees||February 17th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Tampa|
|Oakland Athletics||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Mesa|
|Seattle Mariners||February 18th||February 23rd||Cautus||Peoria|
|Tampa Bay Rays||February 18th||February 23rd||Grapefruit||Port Charlotte|
|Texas Rangers||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Surprise|
|Toronto Blue Jays||February 18th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Dunedin|
National League Spring Training start dates:
|National League Teams||Pitchers and Catchers||Full Team||League||Location|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Scottsdale|
|Atlanta Braves||February 18th||February 23rd||Grapefruit||North Port|
|Chicago Cubs||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Mesa|
|Cincinnati Reds||February 18th||February 22nd||Cactus||Goodyear|
|Colorado Rockies||February 18th||February 23rd||Cactus||Scottsdale|
|Los Angelos Dodgers||February 18th||February 23rd||Cactus||Glendale|
|Miami Marlins||February 18th||February 23rd||Grapefruit||Jupiter|
|Milwaukee Brewers||February 18th||February 23rd||Cactus||Maryvale|
|New York Mets||February 19th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Port St. Juice|
|Philadelphia Philles||February 17th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Clearwater|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||February 17th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Bradenton|
|St. Louis Cardinals||February 17th||February 22nd||Grapefruit||Jupiter|
|San Diego Padres||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Peoria|
|San Francisco Giants||February 17th||February 22nd||Cactus||Scottsdale|
|Washington Nationals||February 18th||February 23rd||Grapefruit||West Palm Peach|
When do 2021 Spring Training games start?
The official Spring Training schedule begins on February 28th with most of the league playing on that day.
Over the following month, the Cactus League will play a total of 28 games. In the Grapefruit League, it’s a bit more complicated with teams split into three different groups to minimize travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The east of Florida (Astros, Cardinals, Marlins, Mets and Nationals) will each play 24 games. For western Florida, each of the teams will play 28 games with teams split into groups. One group will consist of the Blue Jays, Phillies, Tigers and Yankees while the other group will be comprised of Braves, Rays, Red Sox and the Twins. The two remaining teams, the Orioles and Pirates will play teams from each group.
The last spring training games will conclude on March 30th with MLB set for a full schedule of Opening Day games on April 1st, barring any schedule interruptions.
What about betting?
For many baseball fans, this will be the first year that you can legally bet on baseball, either in a casino or online (and in some cases, both). These states include Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Louisana, Maryland, North Carolina, South Dakota and Washington have also passed sports betting in various forms but have not yet gone live.
Online sports betting is limited to 14 states, at east for now: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Spring training games are expected to be available for wagering in many jurisdictions, despite concerns expressed from MLB over integrity before the 2019 season. In Nevada, a request a prohibit wagering on sports betting was denied.
For many online sportsbooks, wagering on games likely won’t be available until closer to the time the spring training schedule begins.
So for now, online sports bettors will have to settle for futures bets. On the DraftKings online sportsbook, for example, they currently have betting lines on the World Series winner, American and National League winner, and Division winner. Player futures are also up for MVP awards, the CY Young and leaders in a variety of stat categories.
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