Report: Nationals, Yankees to Headline Opening Day on July 23

Author:
Publish date:

The defending World Series champion Washington Nationals and New York Yankees will help begin MLB's 2020 season on July 23, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman and Andrew Marchand

The Nationals and Yankees will reportedly be the "highlight" of the day in prime time with a potential matchup between three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and new Yankee Gerrit Cole at Nationals Park. Opening Day will not include a full slate of games and the season's full schedule has yet to be finalized, per Sherman and Marchand.

The last time Cole and Scherzer faced off was in Game 1 of the 2019 World Series while Cole was with the Astros. The Nats handed Cole his first losing decision since May 22, a span of 25 starts.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred came to an agreement with the MLB Players Association to go forward with the league implementing a 60-game season in 2020. The decision followed weeks of failed negotiations between the owners and union, with disagreements on the number of games played and how much of their prorated salaries the players would be paid. 

Players will be reporting to training camps on July 1 as the league works to open on the weekend of July 23-24. While the NBA and NHL are resuming their seasons in a "bubble" format, MLB is returning largely in teams' respective facilities.

Colorado Rockies players Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani are among MLB players to have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Denver Post's Kyle Newman. MLB recently sanitized all Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida due to reported positive cases.

In addition to the agreed-upon health and safety protocols to start the MLB season, the 2020 season will also include a universal designated hitter rule and a new extra-innings format in which each inning will begin with a runner on second base during the regular season. The league is slated to complete the 60-game season by Sept. 27.