Major League Baseball on Monday announced the full 60-game schedules for every team this season, with the regular season beginning July 23 and ending Sept. 27.
MLB suspended the season during spring training, back on March 12, because of the coronavirus pandemic. In ensuing months, both the owners and MLB Players Association took part in at-times contentious negotiations, before commissioner Rob Manfred implemented the 60-game schedule late last month.
The season will begin with a July 23 doubleheader: the New York Yankees visiting the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the longtime rival San Francisco Giants. July 24 will be Opening Day for the rest of the league, with only the Yankees and Nationals getting that day off.
Among the differences in the shortened season is the way opponents are scheduled. While teams will play the other teams in their own division, they will not play any other teams in their league. Instead, a team’s non-divisional games will be played against teams in the other league, primarily from the corresponding division.
So for example, teams in the NL West will play the other NL West teams and teams from the AL West. But they will not play teams from the NL Central or NL East in the regular season.
Each team’s schedule follows the same format:
40 divisional games (20 home, 20 road)
–10 games against each opponent, split between three series
20 Interleague games (10 home, 10 road)
–Six games against the team’s natural Interleague rival (three home, three road)
–Four games apiece against two other opponents in the corresponding division (two home, two road)
–One three-game home series against a fourth opponent
–One three-game road series against a fifth opponent
Each team will get six off days during the regular season, with the four teams playing July 23 getting seven off days.
Among the other differences in 2020 compared to a tradition MLB season:
–All teams will use a designated hitter
–Each half-inning of extra innings will begin with a runner on second base
–The decision on if (and how many) fans will be allowed to attend games is still being determined by MLB
Other highlights of the 2020 season include:
Aug. 13: The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox will play in the Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa at a field constructed near the baseball diamond in corn fields made famous by the movie “Field of Dreams”
Aug. 16: MLB will honor the 100-year anniversary of the Negro Leagues
Aug. 28: The rescheduled Jackie Robinson Day.
Sept. 9: Roberto Clemente Day
Among the highlights of the schedule brought on by realignment are two series between the Dodgers and Houston Astros in a rematch of the 2017 World Series — which ultimately became the focal point of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal — and newest Yankee Gerrit Cole potentially getting another shot at the Nationals on Opening Day. Cole went 1-1 versus the Nationals in the World Series last fall while with the Astros. The 29-year-old right-hander signed a nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees in the offseason.