The 2019 postseason ended with the Nationals lifting the first World Series championship trophy in franchise history. On July 23, the 2020 regular season will begin with Washington starting its title defense.
The 2020 schedule, which Major League Baseball unveiled live on MLB Network on Monday night, features a tantalizing two-game Opening Night slate on the 23rd, broadcast on ESPN. First, the Nats will host the Yankees at 7:08 p.m. ET, in a matchup that could showcase Gerrit Cole making his Bombers debut against three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. That potential battle of aces will lead into the renewal of one of the sport’s fiercest rivalries, as the Dodgers launch their quest for an eighth consecutive National League West crown against the Giants at Dodger Stadium (10:08 p.m. ET).
Those juicy headliners lead the way for a revised slate that has been shortened to 60 games per team by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a schedule that will look quite a bit different from before -- with an increased emphasis on geographical proximity -- but which will not lack for urgency or drama.
Following the pair of games on July 23, MLB-wide action begins on July 24. Opening Day presented by Mastercard and T-Mobile offers a 14-game menu -- including the Rangers hosting the Rockies in the debut of Globe Life Field -- and a full 15-game slate awaits on July 25. (The Nats and Yankees will be the only teams off on July 24.)
Each club’s slate of 60 games includes 40 against opponents from its own division (10 apiece), plus 20 spread among those from the opposite league’s corresponding geographical division (East vs. East, Central vs. Central and West vs. West). That will all set up the postseason, which will maintain the same 10-team format, which includes two Wild Card teams from each league.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the revised 60-game schedules, which will run through Sept. 27.