Nats-Yanks tilt headlines 2020 Opening Night

Dodgers-Giants only other season-opening matchup on July 23

July 7th, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are the defending World Series champions and the 2020 Opening Night headliners.

The 60-game regular-season schedule was announced Monday, and the Nats will host the Yankees on July 23 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Dodgers and the Giants will be the only other teams to play that night. The rest of Major League Baseball will begin action July 24.

The Nationals will face each of their familiar National League East foes 10 times. They also will play the Orioles (6 games), Red Sox (3), Yankees (3), Rays (4) and Blue Jays (4) of the American League East in Interleague action.

The schedule is split evenly with 30 home and road games. Of the away contests, the Nationals will make four road trips, with two spanning 10 games each.

The condensed schedule includes six off-days: July 24, Aug. 3, Aug. 6, Aug. 20, Sept. 9, Sept. 14 and Sept. 17.

Preseason games
The Nationals will prepare for the season with exhibition games against the Phillies at home on July 18, in Baltimore on July 20 and hosting the Orioles on July 21.

Opening series
How does vs. Gerrit Cole sound to start the season? Last year, Scherzer and Cole (then a member of the Astros) were scheduled to face off in Game 5 of the World Series before Scherzer was scratched with a neck injury. Cole is on a different team now, but the intensity of this matchup should be just as high -- if not higher -- after the Nats beat the Astros for the title.

Intriguing series
• The Nats will take on reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and NL Rookie of the Year Award winner Pete Alonso on Aug. 4-5 and Sept. 24-27 at home and Aug. 10-13 in New York.

• Two of baseball’s young stars will face off for the first time when Juan Soto and the Nationals compete against Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays in four straight games -- two at home (July 27-28) and two on the road (July 29-30). The Nats have not hosted the Blue Jays since 2015.

• Speaking of young star power, the Nats will play Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves on Aug. 17-19 (away), Sept. 4-6 (away) and Sept. 10-13 (home).

• Former National Bryce Harper will return to Washington for six games on Aug. 25-27 and Sept. 21-23. The Nats will travel to Philadelphia Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

• The Nationals will head to Fenway Park on Aug. 28-30 for the first time since the 2015 season.

• The annual Battle of the Beltways matchups vs. the Orioles will take place Aug. 7-9 at Nats Park. Washington will then play in Baltimore on Aug. 14-16.

Closing series
The Nationals are scheduled to wrap up the 2020 season with a stretch of 10 consecutive games, including a seven-game homestand against the Phillies and Mets. Washington will close the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 3:05 p.m. ET against New York.

Matchups worth waiting for
Because of the condensed season and the pairings against geographical opponents, many of the Nationals’ anticipated showdowns will be put on hold, including a rematch of the 2019 World Series against the Astros and a bout with Anthony Rendon as an opponent with the Angels.