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The most exciting themes, teams and players for MLB's 60-game season

There is baseball in just over four days. Real, live major league baseball, with standings and statistics and strikeouts. Max Scherzer will throw the first pitch of the abbreviated 2020 season when the Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees on Thursday night on ESPN. It's going to look weird, with no fans in the stands, although it might sound relatively normal, as stadium engineers will pump in about 75 different crowd reactions from noise compiled over several seasons and used in the MLB The Show video game.

Of course, there will be nothing normal about the season, with the COVID-19 pandemic still hanging over everything and a few players opting out of playing and others who will miss the start of action after testing positive -- with more positive test results surely to come throughout the season.