Yankees Preview: Opening Day vs Washington Nationals

The news you’ve been waiting for is here. The New York Yankees will play baseball this season. It may be a short 60-game season, but it’s better than no baseball at all. Where do the Yankees start this season? Well, how about facing off against the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals. The game will be the first game of the season on July 23rd and will be broadcast on ESPN. But what do both teams need to do, in order to go 1-0?

Cole Gets a 2nd Chance

After the Houston Astros eliminated the Yankees, NY decided to sign FA Gerrit Cole to a huge contract. Gerrit Cole’s first start in a Yankees’ uniform is essential. But man, what a start he will have. Facing off against the team that beat him in the WS, Cole will have some motivation going into this matchup. The game is also a key matchup for Yankees’ fans to watch. Fans are expecting Cole to have a big start and hoping to see just how well this man can pitch after logging 326 strikeouts last year.

But Cole isn’t the only player that will be watched. The Yankees’ bats need to come alive in this game. Guys like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres are key names in this lineup. For the Yankee bats, their main objective is to take advantage of Max Scherzer‘s mistakes (if he makes any). So how will the Nationals prepare for the Yankees in this game?

Nationals Department of Defense

For the Nationals, they are now in the role of defending their title. The first step, of course, is to win the first game. But who would step up first for the Nats to begin the title defense? Well, it’s Max Scherzer, of course. For Scherzer, the last time he has faced off against the Yankees was June 9th, 2015. Scherzer lost that game 6-1, so it seems he may have some revenge up his sleeve. But Scherzer has improved so much since then, striking out 243 in 2019. For Scherzer to improve, wins like these are considered crucial.

Offense was the primary reason why the Nationals won the World Series last year. In that World Series, two Nationals’ batters made fools out of Gerrit Cole. Juan Soto managed a 3 RBI game against Cole in Game-1. Adam Eaton contributed with one RBI as well. The Nationals lineup also includes Trea Turner and Howie Kendrick, who also helped beat Cole and the Astros. However, the Nationals will have to be without Ryan Zimmerman, as he opted out of the 2020 season.


For both teams, it’s evident that every win is crucial in a short season like this. The Yankees need this win to show that they don’t want to go another decade without a WS. The Nationals want to start their season of hoping to repeat as champions with this win. Who knows? Maybe this could even be a potential WS matchup. As fans of baseball, we are excited to see baseball back on TV, and hopefully these two teams will give us a show. It will bring a little happiness with this pandemic we have going on right now.

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Luke Garrison
I write articles about the New Jersey Devils.

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