If you are one of those people who detests interleague play (vote for Bill King!), the schedule released today by MLB will not make you happy. Not only has baseball put interleague games into constant rotation with the realignment, it has expanded the number of games played by every team. This season, the A’s played only 18 interleague games. Next season – 20. (A previous post has downloads if you don’t have the schedule yet.) The breakdown:
- 3 @ Milwaukee
- 3 @ Pittsburgh
- 2 @ Cincinnati
- 2 @ Giants
- 2 vs. Giants (home games)
- 2 vs. Cincinnati (home games)
- 3 vs. Chicago Cubs
- 3 vs. St. Louis
This particular format solves a problem in that each division plays an entire division counterpart in annual rotation, plus 4 games against a rival for many teams. The 4 Giants games are in a home-and-home format, which seems more dramatic than how it’ll actually play out in May. Nevertheless, it’ll allow the radio folks to hype up the series especially hard, although the A’s lose a lucrative home date vs. the Giants.
May has two interesting road trips. Early in the month is the longest roadie of the year, 10 games vs. the Yankees, Indians, and Mariners. Near the end of the month is the Texas Two-Step (we should get used to the terminology), 3 games vs. the Rangers followed by 3 in Houston. If you don’t mind the 4-hour drive between the two metros or have some Southwest points saved up for the Love-Hobby shuttle, it’s also a good bet. There’s an off day sandwiched in between the two series, so that could serve as your travel day.
Beyond the Texas possibility there are few good road trip candidates. The only one of note is June 3-9, with 3 interleague games vs. the Brewers followed by a 4-game set vs. the White Sox. The last part of that week coincides with the start of a Cubs homestand against the Pirates and Reds, so you have the chance to see games at Miller Park, US Cellular Field, and Wrigley Field all in one trip. Later tonight I’ll look at the entire schedule and I’ll put together a massive chart of the full season just as I did last year. Look for that in the near future.
Thoughts on the schedule? Does seeing “Astros” 19 times make you cringe? Sound off in the comments.