Maggio on MLB: Four story lines to watch when season starts

Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are the defending World Series champions. (Getty Images)

After public and contentious negotiations, Major League Baseball seems set for a 60-game season to start in late July. Like my previous article on the NBA, these are a few things we may still get to see if there is an MLB season this year. Let’s hope so! Here are four story lines I'm looking forward to this baseball season.

Those cheating Astros

The virus has overshadowed (and rightfully so) all of the hate that was building toward Houston this year. There was a bet at Caesars earlier in the year on how many times Astros batters were going to get hit by pitch. The last number I saw was around 85. They cheated, very obviously. Their owner and players weren’t remorseful until they were pressured to do so. Also, don't forget about this. While people may cheer because baseball is back, it’s hard for me to give the Astros any credit for their accomplishments the previous couple of years. I know my co-worker Chris Murray feels the same way, especially in 2017 when they played the Dodgers in the World Series.

Nationals repeat?

As the old sports saying goes, "If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.” Well the Astros tried and Washington still won, minus Bryce Harper, who left the year before for his Philly payday. Anyone seen Moneyball? The Cinderella team gets hot and takes down the Goliath, and that’s always a good story. Can they repeat? Playing 60 games and not 162 may make it easier or harder, depending on who you ask.

Who will rule the West Coast?

I think Chris Murray would say the Dodgers. Vegas also agrees as they have the highest win total over/under at 37. It's hard to argue otherwise as the Dodgers have MLB's best roster top to bottom from San Diego to Seattle and all the way to the Mississippi River.

Will the Cubs be good again?

As a Cubs fans, this one is personal. I never thought I would see them win a championship, then it happened. However, it doesn’t mean all my usual negative Cubs thoughts come into play. Kris Bryant is pissed at the organization and probably won’t stay. We also can’t pitch again this year. I think it’s going to be sad to watch, but the entertainment will come from new manager David Ross trying to chug a beer and play cornhole in the dugout between innings with the players. He seems like that type of guy. I like him.

Ben Maggio is a sales manager for Nevada Sports Net and occasionally writes for the website. You contact him at

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