The team known as the “Bronx Bombers” won 103 games last season, despite sustaining a plethora of injuries. They are healthier this year, which does not bode well for the rest of the American League. And the defending world champions have some people to replace. This brings us to our New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals Baseball Pick & Prediction for opening day, for an inter-league contest that begins at 8:05 PM ET at Nationals Park.
It is a duel between aces. Max Scherzer, who has won the Cy Young Award three times, will take the mound for the Nats, while Gerrit Cole, who signed a monster contract with the Yankees in the off-season, will begin things for the guys in pinstripes.
There is no secret as to how the Yankees are going to score runs. They were second in the majors in homers last year, and with Giancarlo Stanton ready to return from a season where he played only 18 games, that lineup is bolstered. Aaron Judge hit three round-trippers over a period of two exhibition games, so there’s no concerns about whether he’s coming back healthy.
The Yankees should also have the use of Miguel Andujar (27 HR’s as a rookie), after he played just a handful of games before going down to an injury. Just about everybody can hit the ball out of the park, including Brett Gardner, normally known for his speed, who had 35 circuit clouts in 2019.
New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals Baseball Pick & Prediction,
These are the odds we’ll be using to bet MLB, as they are posted at CentSports:
New York Yankees (Cole – R) -132
Washington Nationals (Scherzer – R) +122
Over 7.5 Runs -110
Under 7.5 Runs -110
Cole was a huge factor for the Houston Astros, and went 11-0 with a 0.742 WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched) ratio in the second half. That made him the hottest free agent pitcher on the market, and the Yankees signed him for nine years and $324 million.
Scherzer was bothered by back problems and other ailments last year, and it was not considered his best, but he did manage to put up a 2.45 in Fielding Independent Pitching, a respected metric, which was a career best. His ratio of 7.36 strikeouts for every walk was pretty sensational as well, and over the course of his career he’s allowed just one homer for every nine innings. So he possesses some of the qualities to neutralize the Yanks’ powerful lineup.
While the baseball odds at CentSports have the Yankees as the +375 favorite to win the World Series, the Nats are priced at +2000 to repeat. Do they look like that? Would there be value in that prediction?
Well, Juan Soto (34 HR, 110 RBI) should continue to progress, but the Nationals will miss the major offensive spark, Anthony Rendon (34 HR, 126 RBI), who left as a free agent, a year after Bryce Harper did. The bullpen is not as deep as New York’s, although they picked up ex-Giant Will Harris.
The Yankees won’t have Aroldis Chapman, who tested positive for the coronavirus, and that will affect their ability to close out games. Maybe that’s a factor in something that could be low-scoring. We’re not too comfortable in the Yankees being such a favorite on the road against Scherzer, and at the same time we know that with extra pitchers being allowed for these teams, there may be a number of guys throwing heat for an inning or so.
New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals Baseball Pick & Prediction
As we finalize our, we’ll take Scherzer at +122 in a “First 5 Innings” play (same as the game price), but also go “under” the 7.5 runs.