Major League Baseball’s full 60-game schedule is expected to be released on Monday, as first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Two games will be showcased on Thursday, July 23 with New York representation to help kick off the truncated festivities.
The New York Yankees are expected to face the defending World Series-champion Washington Nationals on that Thursday night with a scintillating pitching matchup between Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole.
Scherzer has been one of the premier pitchers in the National League over the past five years, rivaled only by the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, while Cole will be making his highly-anticipated Yankees debut as the ace of a staff that’s been in desperate need of a bona fide No. 1 arm.
The acquisition of Cole on a nine-year, $324 million deal, further increased the Yankees’ World Series chances
On the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers are believed to be playing their arch-rival, the San Francisco Giants later that evening.
While the two teams are expected to be on opposite sides of the NL West standings this year — the Dodgers set to continue their reign as one of the best teams and baseball — this is one of baseball’s oldest, most heated rivals. They’ve been playing each other since 1890 while both franchises were still in New York.
The remaining 26 MLB clubs are expected to hold their Opening Days the following day, July 24.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets will be hosting the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field that Friday.
It’s a stiff first test for the Mets as the Braves are the defending NL East champions having won 97 games last season.
However, the Braves received troubling news this weekend when star first baseman, Freddie Freeman, and three of his other Atlanta teammates tested positive for coronavirus.
In an attempt to cut down on travel this season — especially with coronavirus cases spiking around the country — the Mets and Yankees will be playing teams exclusively in the National League East and American League East.