The champions kick off the short season against the Yankees. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

MLB schedules doubleheader for July 23 Opening Day

One of the worst-kept secrets among those in baseball circles was confirmed by the league on Monday.

MLB announced that the Washington Nationals will begin their defense of their World Series title versus the New York Yankees on July 23. That game is followed by an interstate showdown between rivals the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers: 

Both games will air on ESPN. 

It had been rumored for weeks that Yankees-Nationals would open the 60-game schedule played amid the coronavirus pandemic. This, of course, assumes the campaign will get underway or happen, at all. 

Rising coronavirus cases throughout the country, most notably in states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona, have the statuses of seasons across all sports in serious doubt. On Monday, FC Dallas withdrew from the MLS is Back tournament that begins on Wednesday following a coronavirus outbreak among players. 

Earlier in the day, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant admitted the league's testing protocols haven't made him feel safe or confident the MLB season will finish in full. 

MLB intends for teams to host games in-market. It's unknown if fans will be able to enter ballparks anywhere during the season. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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