The most interesting schedule quirk for every MLB team in 2018
MLB has released the tentative schedule for 2018. World Series rematches? Free tickets in Oakland? That's just a taste
. The major takeaway is that, for the first time since 1968, all 30 teams will play in what's a "pure" Opening Day. That goes down on Thursday, March 28, 2018. As for individual squadrons, let's take a look at each team's most interesting schedule quirk/nugget for that 2018 campaign:
On March 31, the D-Backs will host the Rockies on the 20th anniversary of the first game in franchise history.
The Braves will play 49 of their 81 road games in the first half of the season.
Speaking of the first half, the O's will play 98 games before the July 16-19 All-Star break.
Boston Red Sox
The Sox will visit D.C. and play the Nationals on the Fourth of July. Also, On Sept. 3 the Sox will pay their first-ever visit to SunTrust Park in Atlanta. They'll face the Orioles in the traditional Patriots' Day Game at Fenway.
On Thursday, July 19, the Cubs will host the rival Cardinals. They'll be the only two teams playing on that Thursday after the All-Star break.
Chicago White Sox
The South Siders will host the inter-city rival Cubs from Sept. 21-23. The Sox don't figure to be contenders in 2018, but that gives them an opportunity to play stretch-drive spoiler against the presumably contending Cubs.
Playing the first game of the season in Cincinnati was once a baseball tradition. The slicing and dicing of Opening Day, though, has pretty much put an end to that tradition (although OD in Cincy is still the place to be). As noted above, however, all 30 teams will be playing on the first day of the regular season. While start times haven't been announced yet, this raises the possibility that the Reds' home game against the Nationals on March 29 will indeed be the first game of the 2018 season -- as by rights it should be.
The Indians on April 17-18 will play a two-game series against the Twins at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This marks a homecoming for shortstop Francisco Lindor, among other players. As well, the Indians get a World Series rematch with the Cubs at home from April 24-25.
This isn't so much a schedule wrinkle as an ongoing thing, but the Rox in 2018 will be celebrating 25 years since they started playing games. So you'll see a lot of this ...
From Sept. 10-12, the Astros visit Comerica Park in Detroit. Provided the rotation lines up properly, this would mean Justin Verlander first trip back to Detroit since being traded in August.
From Aug. 3-5, the Astros visit Dodger Stadium for the first time since they left the National League following the 2012 season.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals will play just 11 home games in the month of June, but they'll be at home 16 times during the month of August.
Los Angeles Angels
From May 22 through June 6, the Angels will play 16 straight games without an off day.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will be at home for pretty much every notable holiday on the MLB calendar: Mother's Day (May 13 vs. Reds), Memorial Day (May 28 vs. Phillies), Jackie Robinson Day (April 15 vs. Diamondbacks), Father's Day (June 17 vs. Giants), Independence Day (July 4 vs. Pirates), and Labor Day (Sept. 3 vs. Mets).
The season starts off with a bang in Miami, as the Marlins will host the Cubs for four and the Red Sox for two to kick off 2018.
Although specific promotions are yet to be announced, here's the Brewers' Miller Park promotional schedule for 2018:
As noted above, the Twins will head to Puerto Rico, where they'll host the Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan from April 17-18. They'll also play 20 interleague games against NL Central opponents during 2018.
New York Mets
June will be a big month in Queens, as the Mets will host weekend series against the Cubs, Yankees, and Dodgers.
New York Yankees
In a series that could have serious playoff implications, the Yankees will conclude the regular season by hosting the rival Red Sox from Sept. 28-30.
On April 17, the A's will host the White Sox and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first game in Oakland, admission will be free for all fans. As MLB.com's Mark Newman noted, this is believed to be one of the first completely free standalone games in MLB history.
Interleague play in 2018 pairs up regional divisions, and that means a couple of World Series rematches for the Phillies. They'll visit the Rays (2008 World Series) from April 13-15 and host the Yankees (2009 World Series) from June 25-27.
The Pirates have 10-game homestands from June 15-24 (vs. Reds, Brewers, and Diamondbacks) and again from July 6 through July 15 (vs. Phillies, Nationals, and Brewers).
San Diego Padres
On April 6-8, the Padres will visit Houston's Minute Maid Park for the first time since 2012, the Astros' final season in the National League. The Pads will also have a rare Sunday off day on Easter.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants will open their 2018 season on the road against the Dodgers. This will mark the ninth-straight year in which the Giants have opened up away from home.
The M's will play a whopping 19 home games during the month of May. Twelve of those 19 home games will come against AL West opponents.
St. Louis Cardinals
As noted above, the Cardinals will play the Cubs in Wrigley on the Thursday following the All-Star break, and that will be the only game of the day. The Cards will square off against the Cubs seven times in 11 days to start the second half.
Tampa Bay Rays
March 29 will be the earliest the Rays have ever opened a season. The previous record was March 30, 2004, when they opened at the Tokyo Dome in Japan against the Yankees.
The Rangers will open the season at home for the eighth time in the last 10 years. They'll host Houston to start the season. This will mark the second time they've opened against the Astros. The first time was in 2013, when the Astros played their first game as an AL team.
Toronto Blue Jays
September will see the Jays play 13 straight games and 19 total games against AL East rivals.
The All-Star Game returns to the nation's capital for the first time since 1969 on July 14-7. Also, 2018 occasions Bryce Harper's walk year. If the Nats miss the postseason, then the game at Colorado on Sept. 29 may be the last game he plays in a Nationals uniform.
MLB.com has the full master regular season schedule available.
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