Nationals cleared to host Yankees on Opening Day next week

Nationals' Max Scherzer against the Dodgers during 2019 NLDS
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) reacts after the last out of the top of the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There was some concern that the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals would have to find an alternate venue outside of D.C. to host the New York Yankees in less than a week.

The two title contenders were set to open the truncated 2020 MLB season July 23 at Nationals Park. However, policies related to COVID-19 in the nation’s capital led to the team considering other options in Virginia and Florida. There’s now good news on this front.

Nationals to host Yankees in D.C. Opening Night

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the game will go on as planned without the Nationals having to look at alternate sites. The biggest concern was a policy set forth by leaders in D.C. forcing people into a 14-day quarantine if they were exposed to the virus. That no longer appears to be the issue.

This is certainly good news for the Nationals. It would have been a logistical nightmare if they had to host “home games” out of state in less than a week. In addition to the Yankees’ three-game set, they take on the Toronto Blue Jays for two games in a season-opening homestand.

Opening Night starters and schedule set

The Nationals will send Max Scherzer to the mound against big-time free agent acquisition Gerrit Cole in what should be a heck of a pitcher’s duel between the two dominating hurlers at Nationals Park.

Later on Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Francisco in the renewal of a bitter rivalry. Los Angeles will send Clayton Kershaw to the bump with the Giants countering with Johnny Cueto.

A full slate of action is expected next Friday, headlined by the Atlanta Braves visiting the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics hosting the division-rival Los Angeles Angels.

You smell that? Baseball is in the air. Finally!