The defending World Series champion will go up against arguably the biggest sports team in the world, the Yankees. No one could really ask for much better to start a new season.
The game is expected to be on Thursday, July 23 and in primetime.
Assuming conditions allow baseball to proceed with the newly agreed upon 60-game season, this will be one of the biggest games/ series of 2020. If all goes well, it will pit two of the best pitchers in the sport, Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole against each other on Day 1 of the year. Both became quite familiar with each other after Cole's Astros fell to the Nats in the 2019 World Series. The two dueled against each other in Game 1 with the Nats emerging victorious.
This will also be Cole's debut in the pinstripes after his lucrative deal this past offseason.
Both teams are also expecting to be in the hunt for the 2020 World Series crown. The Nats, of course, are defending their title and have one of the best rotations in baseball. The Yankees fell short in the ALCS with a star-studded lineup led by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and then they added Cole.
A matchup of this magnitude, surprisingly, would not have taken place under the normal confines of the regular 162-game season. The Yankees and Nationals were not scheduled to meet. Because of travel constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic, MLB's schedule will have each geographic division play one another (NL East vs. AL East, NL Central vs. AL Central, etc.)
There are still several hurdles that baseball and the teams must pass just to start a season on July 23. But, if they are able to make it happen, Opening Day 2.0 will be one to remember.
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A Nationals-Yankees Opening Day will reportedly launch MLB's new season originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington