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DTJ July 23, 2020 7

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In a few hours Major, League Baseball will kick off its 2020 campaign under very unusual circumstances due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the later than normal season start, the season has been reduced to 60 games per team, making every win or loss even more crucial.  On the upcoming episode of my weekly podcast, Sports and Stuff, I give my picks for who will be I the World Series this fall. For now, I want to talk about the doubleheader kicking off the season and important contests through the weekend.

Up first at 7 pm EST /4 pm PST, the Defending World Series Champs and feel good story of 2019 – #WashingtonNationals host a reloaded and refreshed #NewYorkYankees.  Nationals Ace Max Scherzer versus Gerritt Cole making his Evil Empire debut. I will be glued to this one because this is World Series match up I wanted to see last year – instead of the one involving the Cheat-Stros.

The Yankees have been on a trend over the last few years of improving hitting and pitching each of the last 3 years. The Nationals showed they are the quintessential all-around team; scrappy, full of heart, pretty decent defense, clutch pitching and coaching. They also happen to play the one team their style of play perplexed (either that or they found the hidden cameras at the Cheater-Dome and shut them down).So this should be an entertaining match up.  COVID has already made its first impact of the season, with Nationals Outfielder Juan Soto ruled out of tonight’s game due to a positive COVID test on Tuesday. We’re told he’s asymptomatic and should be healthy enough to return to action in a few days. In other COVID news, Dr. Anthony Fauci is throwing out the first pitch. I’ll leave that right there. Spoiler Alert, one of these teams is my favorite to win this shortened and unusual season. Tune in this weekend to find out who.

In the night cap; perennial WS contenders the #SanFranciscoGiants host a reloaded and dangerous #LosAngelesDodgers team, which I now like to refer to as Red Sox West.  It’s an inter-state rivalry game that would normally draw fans from the coast to the Bay. I’m sure it will be the talk of sports radio here on the West coast tomorrow. Earlier today, news broke of the Dodgers signing Mookie Betts to a 12 year extension worth $365 Million Dollars. David Price should be healthy and effective in this shortened season format. Meanwhile for the Giants, Buster Posey is on a season long sabbatical and the Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt are battling injuries and will miss the start of the season, at least. Still, the Giants always seem to find a way to stay relevant season over season. Tonight’s match up will feature Giants ace – Johnny Cueto against Dodger Ace Clayton Kershaw, making his 9th Opening Day Start.

This is going to be a long night for me, but also one filled with very compelling and competitive game.

Looking into Friday and Saturday Games, the following match ups are ones to watch.

The #NewYorkMets host the #AtlantaBraves – 1 pm EST /10 am PST Friday July 24th – Jacob de Gram vs Mike Soroka. Its never fair to make too much of one game, but for me this game will tell me if I should watch any other Mets games this year.

The #BostonRedSox host the #BaltimoreOrioles – 4:30 pm EST /1:30 PST Friday July 24th – Nathan Eovaldi vs Tommy Milone. For me, I want to see if this is a rebuilding year or a winning year for the Red Sox. I don’t expect much from the Orioles. But in weird seasons, weird things happen. I’ll leave it at that.

A complete listing of this weekend’s games is available below and on MLB’s website here:

Check your local listings for times and channels.

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