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Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole on track to face each other in season opener

The Nationals and Yankees square off on Opening Day. We break down where starters Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole stand three weeks out.

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 22, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The defending World Series champion Washington Nationals are tentatively scheduled to face the New York Yankees to open the shortened 2020 season. MLB will announce the schedule in the coming week, but teams are making final checks on it.

If this matchup happens, Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole will square off to open the season. Friday was the first day of summer camp, which means players met with the media. Cole told the media expects to start and be able to go at least five innings three weeks from now on Opening Day, according to Yankees reporter Bryan Hoch. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer threw 65 pitches on Friday and is on track to start on Opening Day, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The start of camp on Friday is three weeks out from the opening of the season. Normal spring training gives players a longer stretch to prepare, which means we could see a lot more of bullpens early this season.

Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said earlier this week that the Yankees might carry upwards of 15-18 pitchers to start the season. He thinks a five-man rotation will happen, but he also said he is, “[h]oping to build starters up to 4-6 innings by end of camp.” It’s safe to say bullpens will be all the more important in this unique season.