Major League Baseball (MLB) on Wednesday released its tentative 2013 MLB schedule, and it makes for some interesting matchups.
MLB.com reports that the Houston Astros move from the National to the American League means, for the first time, there will be 15 teams in each league and five teams in each division. Because of this, each club will play 19 games against divisional opponents, for 76 division games total. This will make for a more fair competitive balance as each team plays each divisional opponent the same number of times.
For example, MLB.com notes that this season the Pirates do not meet each NL Central foe an equal number of times, and they only face St. Louis 15 times. The new schedule fixes that.
Teams will play 20 interleague games including back-to-back series with their “prime” rivals (Yankees-Mets), and the prevalence of interleague games means that baseball’s first professional team gets to make another first.
The SportsXchange reports that the Cincinnati Reds, a team that traditionally opened the season, will play its season opener at home against the Los Angeles Angels, marking the first time the Reds or Angels have ever opened the season against an interleague foe. Depending on who plays on Opening Night, the Reds-Angels could be the first teams to open a season with interleague play.
The ESPN Sunday Night Baseball opener returns on March 31, featuring teams to be determined and then 12 more games take place April 1.
The MLB 2013 schedule makes for some good stories for baseball writers next season.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen leads his team back to Chicago to take on his former team, the Chicago White Sox on May 24. Further, former Yankees star Don Mattingly will bring his Los Angeles Dodgers to Yankee Stadium on June 18 to take on his old team.
The 2013 MLB schedule is subject to change.