The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals kick off the season tonight. Let’s get into what to expect with the our Yankees-Nationals odds, picks, and predictions.
Since baseball is now back, this is your first chance to make some money off the Bronx Bombers. With a primetime matchup against the defending champion Nationals, here are our best bets to start the season in the plus column.
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Bets we like if the Yankees win (Gerrit Cole Over 7.5 strikeouts -139)
The New York Yankees are finally rolling out their new prized possession — Gerrit Cole — which is cause for great excitement. Widely regarded as a top-three pitcher in baseball, Cole is going to be amped up in his Yankee debut. Even further, Yankees manager Aaron Boone has announced that Cole could run around 90-100 pitches in his debut.
Gerrit Cole could get into the 90-100 pitch range, Boone says
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 22, 2020
As such, I feel confident that he can use those 100 pitches to rack up eight punch outs. With a 2019 strikeout rate of 39.9%, coupled with the fact that hitters are still catching up to the pitchers in season readiness, Cole could easily sit hitters down all game.
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Bets we like if the Nationals win (Nationals +1.5 -148)
With two Cy Young caliber pitchers on the mound, there’s every chance in the world that this game ends with a low score. Both Cole and Max Scherzer excel at working efficiently and striking hitters out. The outcome of the game could very well be decided by whether there’s a runner on base when the ball leaves the yard for the first time.
The true threat to this line is whether the Yankees can wear Scherzer down in the early innings and force the Nationals into the bullpen early enough. Even still, Cole and Scherzer could each throw six innings of shutout ball before turning it over to the bullpens. It’s a safe bet to assume that even if the Nationals lose, they aren’t going to be embarrassed off the field in a blowout.
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Bets we like regardless of outcome (Under 7.5 total runs -108)
As mentioned, Cole and Scherzer are two of the best pitchers in baseball. Hitters are just barely catching up to the pitchers ahead of the season. Betting fans should have every reason to believe that pitching will dominate this game so under 7.5 total runs feels like a slam dunk. The true determining factor is how early each team can reach the bullpen.
If the Yankees start seeing relievers as early as the sixth, they may put a few runs on the board in a hurry. If Cole has an early exit, the Yankees still have one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball.
My expectation is that this game ends in a 2-1 Yankees victory. Both pitchers should dominate hitters early and the outcome of the game will be determined by which team hits their long ball with a man on base.