The 2020 Major League Baseball schedule will be officially unveiled at 6 p.m. ET Monday, but as usual there already have been some leaks on certain games. The New York Yankees will visit the Washington Nationals at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and the Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Francisco Giants (10 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the lone two games July 23. The rest of the clubs will open the next day, including the Chicago Cubs hosting the NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers in an ESPN national TV game (7:10 p.m. ET).
So far, no members of the Cubs or Brewers have opted out of the season, but it certainly could happen. Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis was the most recent player to do so.
July 24 will be the managerial debut of former Cubs catcher David Ross, who has replaced Joe Maddon (now with Angels) in the Chicago dugout. Not clear yet whom Ross would start on the mound, although it probably be lefty Jon Lester. He has started the opener each of the past three seasons and didn't get a decision in any of them – the Cubbies went 2-1. Chicago last opened vs. Milwaukee on 2008, also at Wrigley.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell likely will start All-Star right-hander Brandon Woodruff – although this year, pitchers truly should be referred to as "probable" because some guys almost surely will test positive for the coronavirus and be sidelined.
For example, Rangers slugger Joey Gallo confirmed Monday that he recently tested positive but is asymptomatic. Gallo now needs two negative tests before joining the Rangers. Gallo is a +1200 second-favorite at William Hill sportsbook to win the 2020 MLB home-run title. He was limited to 70 games last year due to injury but hit 22 dingers.
It also has been released that the Chicago White Sox will open their season July 24 at home vs. the Minnesota Twins (8:10 p.m. ET). The Twins have dominated that series of late, winning 25 of the past 38 meetings. Minnesota is a -130 favorite to repeat as AL Central champion with the Pale Hose at +320 to win it for the first time since 2008.
Other openers on July 24:
- Braves at Mets, 4:10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Tigers at Reds, 6:10
- Blue Jays at Rays, 6:40
- Marlins at Phillies, 7:05
- Royals at Indians, 7:10
- Orioles at Red Sox, 7:30
- Rockies at Rangers, 8:05 (first game at new Globe Life Field)
- Pirates at Cardinals, 8:15
- Mariners at Astros, 9:10
- Diamondbacks at Padres, 9:10
- A's at Angels, 10:10 (ESPN)
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