Eight most intriguing series on MLB 2020 schedule: Astros-Dodgers, Giants-Diamondbacks and more

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The 2020 MLB calendar has arrived. The Major League Baseball announced the 60-game schedule Monday night during a live broadcast on the MLB network. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the MLB to play a shortened season – 60 games will be tied for the shortest MLB season with the 1877 campaign – although the playoffs will remain the standard 10-team format.

To reduce travel during the pandemic, the 30 clubs will play 40 games against their division rivals plus 20 games in total against the corresponding geographic division in the other league (East against East, Center against Center, West against West). The unbalanced calendar is not fair, necessarily, but nothing this year has been fair. MLB does its best with the schedule.

The MLB calendar revealed doesn’t carry quite the same weight as the NFL or college football calendar, especially this year because we already know the breakdown, but that doesn’t mean we don’t wait with impatience for specific matches. Here are eight streaks we can’t wait to see during the 60-game mad streak, listed chronologically.

1. July 23-26: New York Yankees at the Washington Nationals

Aaron Judge and the Yankees will open the 2020 season at Nationals Park. USATSI

MLB is not messing around. They want to generate as much intrigue as possible after the shutdown and pit the Yankees, a legitimate World Series competitor and also THE YANKEES, against the defending World Series champions on opening day is a good way to do it. . The Yankees will be in Washington to start the season. Gerrit Cole will likely make his debut with the Yankees that night and will be countered by Max Scherzer. The two were slated to meet in the fifth game in the World Series last year, before Scherzer’s neck came up. Better late than never. Cole against Scherzer to start the season is as good as possible.

July 24-26: Colorado Rockies at the Texas Rangers

There is nothing special in this confrontation – the Rangers and the Rockies have virtually no history – but the opening series will be the very first series at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington. Joey Gallo recently told reporters that the new baseball stadium was “playing big like hell” during batting, which would be the polar opposite of the team’s previous digs. Globe Life Park was a hitter’s paradise. Globe Life Field could be the opposite. We will have a first glimpse of the world’s largest Home Depot in just over two weeks.

3. August 14-16: Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels

The 2020 edition of the Freeway Series will start in mid-August and has never been so starred. Defending MVP Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger will be joined by former MVP Mookie Betts, World Series champion Anthony Rendon, and incumbents such as Cy Young’s three-time winner Clayton Kershaw, Albert Inner Circle Hall of Fame Pujols, rising star Walker Buehler, all- world defender Andrelton Simmons and King FAR (Fun Above Replacement) Shohei Ohtani. Five former MVPs (Betts, Bellinger, Kershaw, Pujols, Trout) totaling nine awards will be on the same field this series. If it is not a record, it must be damn close.

4. August 21-23: Arizona Diamondbacks at the San Francisco Giants

For the first time in her career, Madison Bumgarner could play at Oracle Park as a guest player this season. He left the Giants and signed a five-year contract with the D-Backs over the winter – Bumgarner reportedly left money on the table to go to Arizona – and will now face his longtime employer as a division rival. The D-Backs will play seven games over two series in San Francisco this year and, hopefully, Bumgarner will field at least one of these seven games. Unfortunately for Giants worshipers, Universal DH means they won’t be able to see it hit. He’s just going to throw.

5. August 28-30: Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros

Welcome to Houston, Mike Fiers. Proud whistled the Astros and their 2017-2018 sign flight plan over the winter and the result was an unprecedented punishment that, among other things, cost director AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs. It’s not clear if fans will be allowed to enter the stadium at this point – Texas strives to fill the stadiums at 50% capacity – but, if they are, they should give Proud L ‘case. Sure, Fiers won’t even launch this streak, but it’s likely he’ll meet his former team sometime in 2020. There won’t be much love lost in this streak.

August 31 to September 2: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins

I have this series circled on my calendar. The Twins are the defending AL Central champions and the pre-season favorite to win the division again this year. The White Sox are a promising club with a ton of young talent (Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, etc.) who are looking to make the jump from reconstructor to competitor. This series, with three players on the road in Target Field, will be a measure of measure for the young ChiSox. Should be fun. (The Twins and White Sox start the season with three guaranteed rate field games, although the Target Field series was the one that caught my eye the most.)

September 8-10: Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs

NL Central has the potential for serious chaos this season. Sportsline projects four of five division teams into the 31-33 win range (sorry, Pirates). There is no driving force in NL Central – the other five divisions all have at least one team projected for more than 35 wins – and this could create a lot of enthusiasm in the final stretch. I distinguish the Reds at Cubs here because Nick Castellanos will return to Wrigley Field as a visiting player this year. He was a rock star in his two months with the Cubbies last season, scoring .321 / .356 / .646 with 16 homers in 51 games, but the club never made much effort to recruit him . Castellanos now plays for a division rival.

8. September 12-13: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers

In the days before, the Astros had to deal with a lousy road calendar laden with hoots and hoots and fantastic litter following the scandal of the theft of signs. Maybe no team should feel worse off than the Dodgers, who lost the 2017 World Series in seven games to Houston. There are probably no fans in the stands for this streak, so the Astros will get by easily, but this series will be the first time that the Astros have faced a team so strongly affected by their sign-breaking transgressions. Fireworks? May be! Even if not, these two games will present two very good teams and should be fun. (The Dodgers will be in Houston July 28-29. This will be their first road series of the season.)

Bonus: the last weekend

In a short 60-game season, teams will have less time to create a separation in the standings. This means that when the last weekend arrives, the different post-season races could be very tight, and a lot could be at stake. Here are the games for the last weekend of the 2020 regular season:

This Tigers-Royals series may not seem so important now, but who knows? Strange things happen in small samples and one or both of the clubs could be in the running for a playoff position last weekend. It would be a lot of fun. MLB could use a couple of Cinderella stories this season. Otherwise, the Angels-Dodgers, Braves-Red Sox, Brewers-Cardinals, Cubs-White Sox, Mets-Nationals and Phillies-Rays stand out as a streak with playoff spots potentially on the line.

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