If you like the heat served up in the first game of the Head-to-Head  fantasy baseball  season, you got your wish.

The New York Yankees are hoping the offseason addition of All-Star starting pitcher  Gerrit Cole will take them through the American League playoffs and onto a World Series championship. New York won 103 games in 2019 and the AL East title, but their starting pitching was too thin and they were eliminated in the AL championship series by the Houston Astros.

Cole enters the coronavirus-shortened season with a nine-year, $324 million contract.  He came as close as you can get to being a 100% selection in fantasy/DFS leagues.

Washington will lean on ace starting pitcher Max Scherzer who is a starter on my “Team Martin” H2H fantasy team.  Scherzer has been a perennial All-Star pitcher since leaving Detroit and joining the Nationals staff in 2015. With Stephen Strasburg and the formidable bullpen, Washington has a solid chance to repeat as MLB champs in 2020.

It is doubtful that this season opener will be a pitcher’s duel because both teams had top 5 hitting lineups in 2019.   According to the Team Standard Batting statistics listed on baseball-reference.com. Washington had a .342 On-Base Percentage (OBP), ..454 Slugging (SLG) percentage and .796 On-Base + Slugging {OPS) percentage.  The Yankees had a .339 OBP, .490 SLG and .829 OPS.

Here are the projected starting lineups for Thursday night’s game, which will be televised at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN.

New York Yankees

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Aaron Judge, RF
  3. Gleyber Torres, SS
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  5. Aaron HIcks, LF
  6. Gary Sanchez, C [on “Team Martin”]
  7. Luke Voit, 1B
  8. Brett Gardner (L), CF
  9. Giovanny Urshela, 3B

Gerrit Cole, starting pitcher

Washington Nationals

  1. Trea Turner, ss
  2. Adam Eaton, RF [on “Team Martin”]
  3. Starlin Castro, 2B
  4. Juan Soto, LF
  5. Howie Kendrick, DH
  6. Eric Thames , IB
  7. Victor Robles, CF
  8. Yan Gomes, C
  9. Carter Kieboom, 3B

Max Scherzer, starting pitcher

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