New York Yankees Are Biggest Winner of MLB's 2020 Schedule Release

Max Goodman

Sure, it's nice to start strong. In a sprint, however, it's all about the finish. 

Major League Baseball officially released its schedule for this summer's abbreviated 60-game campaign Monday night. Out of all 30 big-league teams, it doesn't take an expert to discern which club was gifted the easiest slate of games down the stretch this season. 

Across the final 23 games of the Yankees' schedule, New York plays 20 times against teams that lost 95 or more games a year ago. That's 10 against the Toronto Blue Jays, seven with the lowly Baltimore Orioles and three to close the season with the Miami Marlins. 

To put that into perspective, take a look at how the Yankees' crosstown rivals finish up their campaign. The Mets – who will take on the Bombers six times in 2020 – close out the season by playing their final 10 games against teams that made the playoffs last year.

What about the team that eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention last fall? The caliber of the clubs the Astros face down the stretch will vary, but it's the location that's worth noting. The defending champions in the American League will play 16 of its final 22 games away from Houston. 

READ: Winners and Losers of MLB's 2020 Schedule Release

New York is scheduled to take a pair of trips north of the border in September and will play its lone series of the season at Fenway Park within the schedule's final two weeks. Otherwise, on paper, it's smooth sailing for the Bombers based upon their opponents. 

If all goes well for skipper Aaron Boone and this star-studded Yankees roster, New York can use the season's final month against lesser foes to tune up for a postseason run, perhaps even resting certain players who've been previously injured (and could get banged up over the course of the season) to make sure they're fresh for October. 

That is, of course, assuming that the Bombers can stay healthy early on and roar out of the gates once games begin. Plus, this is all contingent upon the cooperation of COVID-19 and that Major League Baseball is still being played three months from now. After all, several teams – including the Yankees – currently have cases of the novel coronavirus in their midst and those numbers are subject to rise moving forward. 

READ: Yankees' DJ LeMahieu, Luis Cessa Test Positive for COVID-19

Looking at the Yankees' schedule as a whole, those in pinstripes will play 40 games against American League East opponents (Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox) as well as 20 contests versus National League opponents (Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies).

Ahead of the much-anticipated schedule reveal on Monday night, Boone knew which teams his ball club would be facing later this summer. When his squad wrapped up its third official workout of Summer Camp, he sounded off on the clubs New York is slated to take on, revealing what he looks forward to the most. 

"There's a lot of formidable teams when you combine the National League and the American League East so I know it's gonna be a tough road and I know we also look forward to that challenge," Boone said. "I look forward to hopefully being ready to go when we head down to Washington and a couple weeks."

New York will open the regular season with a prime-time matchup against the Washington Nationals in Washington D.C. on July 23. Another highlight is the Yankees' home opener in the Bronx on July 29, welcoming Joe Girardi, Didi Gregorius and the Philadelphia Phillies to town. 

Unfortunately, as the Yankees are limited to playing clubs from the eastern divisions, New York is no longer scheduled to play in the Field of Dreams Game in Iowa this August. MLB announced that the St. Louis Cardinals were selected to replace the Yankees and take on the Chicago White Sox for logistical reasons attached to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Yankees longest home stand of the year is scheduled to take place in mid-August featuring a pair of games against the Atlanta Braves, a four-game set with Boston and a three-game series with the contending Tampa Bay Rays.

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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