MLB Betting Picks – New York Yankees at Washington Nationals

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

It’s time to play ball! Except the MLB game will have a different look than what we’re used to when the season finally opens on Thursday with the defending champion Washington Nationals hosting World Series favorite New York Yankees. Delayed four months by COVID, the 2020 season schedule will consist of 60 games. Rosters are expanded to 30 to start the season and the designated hitter rule will be used all season by National League clubs. There are other rules in place for the new season that will seriously impact how we wager on baseball. But the game is back and the opener features a pair of stud hurlers. The Yankees show off their prized free agent acquisition Gerrit Cole while three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer toes the bump for the home team. The game will air live on ESPN with betting options for every game on the MLB schedule available at BookMaker.eu.

New York Yankees at Washington Nationals 

Date and Time: Thursday, July 23, 2020, 7:08 p.m. ET 

Location: Nationals Park, Washington, DC 

Probable Pitchers: Gerrit Cole vs. Max Scherzer 

Yankees at Nationals TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

With all the uncertainty surrounding the season and every team carrying more pitchers as part of the expanded rosters, the games are ‘action’ only. That means you’re not betting on a particular pitcher so the starters aren’t listed. The guys tossing the baseball will have a say in the outcome as they always do. 

It’s really hard to expect what’s going to happen early in the season. Books are taking a conservative approach to the lines and sharp bettors are in wait-and-see mode. However, the public is gobbling up the chance to make wagers on something other than soccer, ping pong and darts. 

The Bombers hit the board as a road favorite for good reason. They won 108 games last season with the highest scoring offense in the Majors. They could be even scarier this season with a healthy Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks. 

It took a while for the Nats to get going last year. The truncated season leaves no room for error and they won’t have that luxury this year if they want to repeat. Going 19-31 to open 2019, the Nats were left for dead. After 60 games they were 27-33, a record that likely won’t get them to the postseason this season. They also have to overcome the loss of a significant player again. Last year it was Bryce Harper this time it’s Anthony Rendon.

Probable Pitchers

Cole makes his debut in pinstripes after inking a mammoth free agent deal. If he throws like he did last season with Houston he’ll be worth the cash. In any other season he probably wins the Cy Young after compiling a 20-5 record and 2.50 ERA. He just happened to be on the same staff as 21-game winner Justin Verlander.

The numbers back up Cole’s worthiness. He allowed just 142 hits across 212.1 innings posting a 0.89 WHIP. He topped MLB with 326 strikeouts leading the bigs in Ks per 9 innings for a second straight season. Cole is still fuming about the World Series loss to the Nats. He lost to Scherzer in Game 1, but tossed a gem to win Game 5. In six career regular season starts against Washington he’s 3-2 with a 2.92 ERA, all of those when he was with Pittsburgh.

Hampered by injuries last season Scherzer wasn’t his dominant self, though his numbers were respectable. He went 11-7 logging the fewest innings pitched since the 2009 campaign with 172.1. Entering his 12th full season, Max showed he can still bring it fanning 243 batters for a career-best 12.7 Ks/9. 

Scherzer was a big part of Washington’s championship run pitching five innings in each of the Game 1 and 7 wins. The delayed start to the season likely benefitted him after ailments and a lengthy postseason run. He’ll get a good test against a potent Yanks lineup in the opener.

Key Stat

The Yankees led baseball scoring 943 runs last season finishing one dinger shy of the MLB record for home runs with 306. Virtually the entire club returns along with sluggers Judge and Stanton making them more prolific. Last season was the year of the long ball with four teams surpassing the previous mark, which was set by the Bombers in 2018 with 267. Limited by injuries the last two seasons, Judge hasn’t been able to match his rookie total of 52 homers. Stanton blasted 38 homers in 2018, his first season with the Yanks. He missed all but 18 games a season ago. Those two are a nightmare for every hurler.

Bet Yankees at Nationals at BookMaker.eu

If good pitching stops good hitting we’re likely to see a low scoring game. However, it’s doubtful the starters go deep in the opener leaving Washington’s bullpen exposed. The group was one of the worst last season and the Yanks will be without closer Aroldis Chapman, so we could see a late flurry of runs to go over the total.

MLB Score Prediction: Yankees 6, Nationals 3

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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