Eight years ago, a friend wagered me a beer and a visit that the National League would have the DH within 10 years. During a recent conversation, he proudly proclaimed he would win the bet during the first NL-only matchup of this year’s abbreviated season.
I happily conceded the bet, but as out conversation progressed we both realized that Vegas might not see fit to pay him out yet.
For one, neither of us can remember if our bet required the NL to permanently adopt the DH. I can easily see withholding a decision until the DH is more than just a necessary wrinkle in an abbreviated season. What’s more, it’s reasonable to question whether or not the NL really exists this year.
The Cubs are playing the AL Central for a third of the season, with no games at all against teams from either the NL East or West. Are they really still in the National League this year? Our tentative conclusion was yes, because the playoffs will still be divided between leagues. But still.
Another complication is when does the 2020 season become official? Just as a 3rd inning rain-out is not an official game, COVID-19 may shut everything down again well before the playoffs. That might spur MLB to void the games and statistics, which would in turn nullify the existence of the DH. Will I have still lost the bet?
Does anyone know if Vegas actually offered a prop bet on the designated hitter and if or when they plan to pay out?