The MLB Season Is 'Clearly In Jeopardy': Here's Why

The Major League Baseball season could in theory come to a grinding halt over the coming days after multiple Miami Marlins members tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

More Than One Team Impacted: At first glance, the health and safety issue appears to be confined to just the Marlins, but this is far from the case.

The Marlins were in Philadelphia when the team was notified of the infections after playing the Atlanta Braves. So now the Atlanta team may need to operate under the assumption one or more players are infected.

The New York Yankees were scheduled to play in Philadelphia, but now can't do so under the assumption the visitor's locker room is infected. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles traveled to Florida to play the Marlins, but now that game is postponed.

"There's only 30 teams in MLB, I just named five right there," CNBC's Eric Chemi reported.

Season Is In Jeopardy: Part of the problem with how the baseball season is set up is it involves a lot of travel between stadiums, former Medicare/Medicaid acting administrator Andy Slavitt said on CNBC. It "doesn't take much" for the highly infectious disease to spread among players and staff and it "could get worse from here."

By contrast, the National Basketball League has basically secluded players and stuff in one giant bubble so there is zero travel required, he said. The NBA is also testing "every single person" daily, as opposed to the baseball league that is "only testing players frequently."

As such, the "whole season is clearly in jeopardy" although the league deserves some credit for making an effort to keep it as safe as possible for everyone.

"Maybe they will adjust and start again later, maybe they will have to end the season," Slavitt said.

Negative Headline Risk For DraftKings: Pausing or canceling the baseball season should be considered a "negative headline risk" for sports betting platform DraftKings Inc DKNG, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Bernie McTernan said on CNBC. But the bullish thesis that sports betting remains a "massive opportunity" over time remains unchanged.

"We think that pro sports are going to come back at some point so if it's not this year it's going to be next year or the year after," the analyst said. "And this is really just a blip in the buying opportunity here for long-term holders."

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