The New York Yankees will head to Washington for Opening Day on July 23.
Ever since the 2020 season was given the go-ahead from Rob Manfred himself, Yankees fans have been itching to know “when and where” themselves.
It’s been rumored (and makes all logical sense) that the upcoming 60-game schedule will consist of 10 games each against your division rivals, six games against an “interleague rival” (if you consider the Mets to…be that), and four games each against the other interleague opponents that line up with your division, regionally.
Though it was oft-speculated that MLB might be leaning towards spotlighting Yankees-Mets on Opening Night on the national stage, the actual reported matchup makes a lot more sense. If all goes well, get ready for Gerrit Cole and the Yankees to head to Washington, DC to take on Max Scherzer and the Nationals on July 23, one day before the rest of the league opens up play.
It appears MLB has a similar plan to gain eyeballs to the one the NBA is employing — prior to the large-scale day of kickoff games, two battles will be highlighted in prime time.
The NBA went with the Lakers and Clippers (of COURSE) to highlight their restart. MLB? They went with what they hope will be a burgeoning rivalry, and one they’re lucky to be able to take advantage of in 2020, thanks to regional travel restrictions.
These current Yankees don’t have much of a history in Washington against the Nats — in 2018, they played a rain-soaked and delayed series in D.C. that sent the timeline of Juan Soto’s career entirely out of whack. He won a resumed game with a dinger in “June” that was later ascribed to its original date in May, sending Soto to the plate before his MLB career had even started. Alright!
A few Yankees, like Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, also traveled to Nats Park for the All-Star Game that summer, an event highlighted by Judge stinging a home run off Scherzer.
Gerrit Cole, of course, has more of a relationship with the Nationals — they stole a World Series from him when last we saw baseball, as he sat in the bullpen not being called upon in Game 7.
Let’s cross our fingers and toes, New York. This is the exact matchup the season needs to get started right.