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MLB 2020 schedule: Yankees-Nationals, Giants-Dodgers kick off season

MLB 2020 schedule

VARIOUS CITIES, - MARCH 12: A detail of baseballs during a Grapefruit League spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many professional and college sports are canceling or postponing their games due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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Baseball took center stage Monday evening as the MLB 2020 schedule was unveiled.

As expected, the Yankees and Nationals will kick off the season on Thursday, July 23, a likely matchup featuring Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer at 7 PM ET. At 10 ET, the two NL West rivals will square off, which could very well feature Johnny Cueto against Clayton Kershaw. The rest of the teams jump into action on Friday, July 24.

RELATED: How will the 2020 season work?

Due to the pandemic, the MLB 2020 schedule was formulated to reduce travel as much as realistically possible. Of the 60 games, 40 of them will be played against division rivals. The other 20 will be played against teams in the same division of the other league. For example, the Yankees will play 40 games against the Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Orioles, as well as 20 games against the Braves, Nationals, Mets, Phillies, and Marlins. The Yankees will not play any teams from the AL Central, AL West, NL Central, or NL West.

Needless to say, there is much more imbalance with the schedule than it would have otherwise. The Mets, for example, have a much tougher schedule than, say, the Astros, simply because both East divisions are collectively stronger than the West divisions.

The playoffs are still expected to start on time in early October with the same format: three division winners and two Wild Cards from each league. The Wild Cards will play a one-game playoff to face the highest seed in each league in the Division Series. The two winners of each Division Series in each league move on to play in the League Championship Series. Of course, the two winners of those square off in the World Series.

The baseball season is normally described as a marathon rather than a sprint due to the 162-game schedule. But with only 60 games on the MLB 2020 schedule, it is now much more of a sprint.

MLB 2020 season openers

AWAYHOMETIME (ET)
July 23
YankeesNationals7 p.m.*
GiantsDodgers10 p.m.*
July 24
BravesMets4:10 p.m.*
TigersReds6:10 p.m.
Blue JaysRays6:40 p.m.
MarlinsPhillies7:05 p.m.
BrewersCubs7:10 p.m.*
RoyalsIndians7:10 p.m.
OriolesRed Sox7:30 p.m.
RockiesRangers8:05 p.m.
TwinsWhite Sox8:10 p.m.
PiratesCardinals8:15 p.m.
DiamondbacksPadres9:10 p.m.
MarinersAstros9:10 p.m.
AngelsAthletics10:10 p.m

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