MLB: New York Yankees at Washington Nationals Series Betting Preview

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

The first baseball game of the shortened 2020 season took place Thursday evening, as the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals hosted the always-dangerous New York Yankees. It was the perfect game to start the season, from ace pitchers taking the mound to young talent in each lineup.

But true to form in 2020, what looked like a monsoon tore through the spectator-less ball park at the top of the sixth inning.  The game ultimately ended with the Yankees winning 4-1.  Many books have altered their rules on when a game can end to count as action, so be sure to check before you bet.

A preview for Thursday’s showdown had the Yankees are favored to win on the road at -145. 

Yankees Outlook 

New York is the favorite to win the AL East this season, and one of the favorites to win the World Series. The Yankees have a mix of slugging and pitching that should help them be among the best teams in baseball over the course of the 60-game season.

The lineup features the slugging duo of RF Aaron Judge and DH Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom have led the league in home runs at one point or another. SS Gleyber Torres is one of the top young players in baseball, and 1B Luke Voit has become a legitimate power threat, while C Gary Sanchez is capable of double-digit homers this year.

Gerrit Cole (1-0) gave up just one hit in his five innings: Adam Eaton's solo shot in the first. 

Nationals Outlook 

The Nationals managed to shock the world last season, winning the World Series against Cole and the Astros in seven games as a Wild Card team. Although Washington is still not favored to win the NL East, much of their championship team returns, especially in the pitching department, making them a threat once again.

The Nats lost star 3B Anthony Rendon this offseason, but bring back future MVP candidate LF Juan Soto as the main feature in their lineup. Joining the 21-year old Soto is speedy SS Trea Turner, and top prospect Cater Kieboom, expected to see a lot of time at 3B. 1B Eric Thames and 3B Asdrubal Cabrera have also joined the fold for 2020.

Blessed with a great rotation that includes World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, Washington gave the ball to Max Scherzer on Thursday. The 35-year old Scherzer went 11-7 in 2019 with a 2.92 ERA and 243 strikeouts in 172 innings. 

The three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (0-1) had struck out 11 and was still in the game for the Nationals when action stopped, his pitch count nearing 100. He allowed a two-run homer to 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in the first, an RBI double to 2017 AL Rookie of the Year Judge in the third, and an RBI single to Stanton in the fifth. 

The Yankees were set to take on the Nats again on Saturday with James Paxton (L) starting for New York and the Washington starter not yet listed heading into Friday.

Injury Report 

The biggest name potentially missing from New York’s lineup this series was 2B DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu, who was a finalist for MVP last season, tested positive for COVID-19 this month, recently rejoined the team after being cleared to play. However, there’s no firm timetable for his return to game action.  He was active but not ready for Opening Night. Should LeMahieu miss the game.  On the pitching side, star closer Aroldis Chapman has also been out with the virus, and his availability by Thursday remains in question.

As for Washington, a couple players including 1B Ryan Zimmerman and SP Joe Ross opted out of playing this season. But as far as the players on the roster, CF Victor Robles is the name to keep an eye on. Robles was forced to be in quarantine for two weeks after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The young outfielder recently rejoined the team, and Washington plans to ease him back into the fold.

Head to our favorite pay per head bookie site at RealBookies.com  and bet Yankees -145.

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