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  • Event: (901) New York Yankees at (902) Washington Nationals
    Sport/League: MLB
    Date/Time: July 23, 2020 8PM EDT
    Play: 4% – New York Yankees -135
    Play Rating: 4%
    Result: Win

    PLAY is on New York Yankees -135 (play good to New York -160)
    4% play rating

    LIST STARTING PITCHERS, Cole and Schertzer

    (901) New York Yankees at (902) Washington Nationals

    The 2019 World Series saw The Prezident close last year's campaign while finishing a perfect 8-0 (100%) with his last eight MLB playoff releases. El Prezidente was 15-3 (83%) dating back to mid-September.  The 2020 baseball regular-season slate might be opening four months beyond what most of us expected, but damn it we have arrived. The Boyz of Summer in the heat of July providing us with what we have been accustomed to for seemingly forever... out National Passtime. Are you ready for Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet's? Lest we forget the cold beer. Major League Baseball Thursday Season Opener on ESPN.

    The last time that Cy Cole lost a regular-season game was May 22, 2019, a span of 16 consecutive decisions (over 20 starts), and due to the "Rona": delay for the 2020 campaign Cole hasn't lost in over a year.  Who has a better consecutive winning streak as a pitcher? Hall of Fame Carl Hubbell holds the all-time record with 24 straight wins.
     
    Cole and Scherzer are the first pair of starters to have registered 300-strikeout seasons that will square off on Opening Day. 
     
    The drama for this contest, due to a number of unexpected variables and the 2018 and 2019 performances by Cole the powers at MLB couldn't be more pleased with a stand-alone season opener between New York City and the Nation's Capital.
     
    The outsiders, those who are not New York Yankee fans, haven't had a large amount of free time since Year of the Rona decided to pay a visit to the lower-48 without prejudice to talk about the Astros and the sign-stealing incidents a year ago. 
     
    There is a significant amount of Red Sox fans that have found a new passion for the '20 campaign. That is making the claim that Houston has been teaching their young pitchers, all of the pitchers, how to use a less detectable sticky substance that helped with gripping a baseball and improving the spin ratio. This is the latest yada yada being thrown at Cole. That not only did he receive leads in games because of his teammates cheating but the too has a "mothers helper" with what is essentially invisible pine tar. 
     
    T Bauer, a recent MLB'er that did an interview on HBO's "Real Sports" made a claim that Cole has increased his spin rate because of the Houston stick'em. 
     
    Bauer has verbalized and wrote, “When I see a guy go from being a good pitcher for one team and spinning the ball at 2,200 rpm, to spinning the ball at 2,600 or 2,700 in Houston, I know exactly what happened.”
     
    Cole was told that if he was ever to have a top pitching contract in now MLB he would have to be working a program that emphasized throwing four-seamers up in the zone frequently and increasing his spin ratio. 
     
    Cole said he would not directly respond to Bauer's comments. But he did talk generally on the question of whether the Astros were better at creating a sticky product and/or teaching how to use that product by repeating three times, “No.”
     
    Cole detailed the improvements he experienced with his bove to Houston. Coaching had a lot to due with his improvements, technical positives, but Cole is in his prime, he is bigger and stronger than he was when pitching for the Bucs and his deliver is so much more technically sound and his delivery is consistent and liquid. 
     
    The final regular-season event for Cole and the  Astros saw the offense of Houston outscored 12 NFL teams with 21 on a Sunday afternoon. It was also a game that their ace was pitching in. Cole allowed just 1 run in 8 innings of work.  The run came on the lone hit, a solo homer. Cole didn't walk a batter and struck out 15. 
     
    Cole finished the season, in 2019, as he started it... , winning, winning more, and doing it in such a dominating fashion. In Cole�s last 18 starts, 16 of them have been of the quality variety. In the two that were the allowed just 4 runs, very close to a quality start. Cole has not gone less than 6 IP in any of those 18 outings and has a record of 12-0. He has hit double digits in strikeouts in 12 of his starts, including the last 5. Cole has struck out 181 batters in 118.2 IP in this stretch and only walked 26 batters. 
     
    Scherzer, who is reported as being nearly 100 percent after dealing with muscle fatigue prior to the suspension of Spring Training, didn't benefit from the off-times. At 35 it is more important to have reps than rest. 
     
    Sherzer isn't who he was portrayed as a year ago. His numbers were solid but somewhat skewed. And Mad Max is having an issue staying healthy. 
     
    Most significant in asking for an assessment of the Nats offense is that the front office didn't sign Rendon and lost in the Donaldson sweepstakes. 
     
    The Nats and the Washington media will attempt to tell you that they can and have replaced the production of the hot corner, Rendon, but they have not.    
     
    The Nationals haven’t had a single worry at third base since Ryan Zimmerman became the full-time starter in the 2006 season. Rendon took over in 2014. The offensive production from the Nats third basemen since 2005? Collectively the position has a .815 OPS since the start of that ’05 season. Only the Chicago Cubs (.823) and Colorado Rockies (.827) have received better production from the hot-corner over that span.
     
    Rendon hit .319 with 34 home runs and a league-best 126 runs batted in. He finished 3rd in the MVP voting. You can't replace this kind of production, clutch production from middling minor league players. 
     
    One of the key variables in this 60-game season is bullpens. The best bullpen in baseball belongs to whom? 
     
    Yes, the Yankees
    Closer: Aroldis Chapman that will follow the likes of Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle

    PLAY on the NEW YORK YANKEES and Cole -135
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