The 2020 MLB season will get underway on July 23, 2020, with a high-profile matchup between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

The Yankees are coming off a season where they went 103-59 and clinched another division title. New York’s quest for a 28th championship ended in the ALCS where they were beaten by the Houston Astros in six games. The Yankees enter this abbreviated season as the early betting favorite to represent the AL in the next World Series and they will be parading their $324M offseason acquisition Gerrit Cole in this contest.

Meanwhile, the Nationals are coming off a season where they won the World Series. Washington was 19-31 in May last year but they finished strong to earn a Wild Card berth/ Behind a dominant rotation and timely hitting, they went all the way to the championship where they defeated the Houston Astros in a thrilling series that went the full seven-game route. Washington will open their season with ace Max Scherzer who helped the team to victories in each of his six playoff starts while allowing only 8 runs in 30 postseason innings.

Let’s take a look at this opening day match-up and make our predictions:

Baseball New York Yankees

The Yankees open the season with great expectations once again. New York has a very imposing lineup led by big hitters Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge who are healthy to start the season. Judge looked well in their few Summer Camp games while rising star Gleyber Torres will be exciting to watch after his 38 home run and 96 runs season in 2019. With Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar also getting more time to heal up, expect big things from this high-powered Yankees unit.

Gerritt Cole will start for the Yankees in their season opener. Cole is coming off a 2019 season where he put up a 20-5 record with an MLB best 326 strikeouts and an impressive 2.5 ERA. and a WHIP of 0.89. The 29-year old right-hander allowed a total of 142 hits, 66 runs, and 29 home runs while walking a total of 48 hitters in a total of 212.1 innings pitched. Cole has won a total of 47 games in the previous three seasons.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 07/23/2020

Baseball Washington Nationals

The Nationals lost star third baseman Anthony Rendon to the Los Angeles Angels during the offseason but they are returning key players from their championship season. Their projected lineup is a balance of power and speed. Guys like Victor Robles and Trea Turner should give them output from the top of the order while Juan Soto will provide the firepower from the cleanup spot.

The Nationals’ pitching ace Max Scherzer will take the mound against the Yankees. The 35-year old right-hander put up an 11-7 record with an ERA of 2.92, a WHIP of 1.03, and 243 strikeouts last season. Scherzer pitched in a total of 172.1 innings and gave up a total of 59 runs on 144 hits with 18 home runs. He has posted at least 11 wins in the last 10 seasons.

Baseball Who Wins?

The Yankees are 1-4 SU in their last five games played and they are just 2-4 SU in their last six games played in the month of July. However, New York is 6-3 SU in their last nine games against the National League and they are also 57-24 in their last 81 games as the betting favorite. The Yankees are also 11-5 in their last 16 Thursday games.

On the other hand, the Nationals are 10-3 SU in their last 13 games played. Washington is also 13-4 SU in their last 17 games played at home but they are just 2-7 SU in their last nine games against an opponent from the American League East Division and 19-39 in their last 58 games as home underdogs.

The Nationals are the value pick here but given that we have two aces on the mound, anything can happen and both teams have a real chance of winning this game. However, I think that the Yankees’ bullpen is much better and their offense will score against the Nationals’ relievers.

Prediction: New York Yankees -138

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The Yankees have outscored the Nationals by an average of 0.8 run per game in their last 10 head to head meetings and 1.33 runs per game in their last three encounters. Yankees’ second baseman DJ LeMahieu has been working overtime in order to try and make the opening day roster. New York ranked 1st in runs and third in OPS last season. On the other hand, the Nationals ranked sixth in both OPS and runs scored last season.

What is the Spread?


-1.5 (+120)


+1.5 (-140)

Odds from BetOnline as of 07/23/2020

The Nationals’ bullpen was terrible last season and they could very well run into trouble one Scherzer sits. I trust the Yankees offense to get at the Nationals’ bullpen in the later going. I think that the Yankees will win this game by two runs.

Prediction: Yankees -1.5

The total has gone under in five out of the last seven games played by the Yankees. The under is also 4-1 in New York’s last five games played on the road. Head to head, the total has gone under in six out of the last seven meetings between these two teams. These teams have played to the under in four out of their last five meetings in Washington.

What are the Total Odds?

Over 7.5


Under 7.5


Odds from BetOnline as of 07/23/2020

We have two aces starting against each other here and although both teams have excellent offenses, they will likely get stifled for 5-7 innings. I have no doubt that we’re going to see some home runs and score here but I’m looking at a 2-1 score when both starting pitchers are out of the game. The Yankees’ bullpen is better and they should pick up the win. But given the star power on the mound and the rust that these teams will be displaying after an extended break, I think it’s safer to be on the under.

Prediction: Under 7.5

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