Breaking Down The MLB Promotional Schedules for 2018
Promotional MLB schedules always offer some interesting information, so we'll be taking a look at them today. We'll give you a taste of what most teams will have to deal with next year. Some schedules will have promotional content, while others can have serious implications on a team's progress or standings. As we all know, time and placement is everything, so the makeup of these schedules will have a huge impact during the course of 2018.
It's already hard just creating a schedule for each team. It has to be fair and even for all teams, but also exciting. While all teams do get the same amount of home and away games, there will be tough stretches. Case in point the Atlanta Braves. Of their 81 road games next season, they are playing 49 of them in the first half. While it means more home games down the stretch, for a team that's not proficient on the road, they could be out of it by July.
The Mets might want June out of the way quick because they are facing a series against the Cubs, Dodgers, and Yankees each weekend, easily some of the top teams in the league.
If that's not tiring enough, the Los Angeles Angels will have to play 16 straight games from May 22 to June 6. That's over two weeks without any days off, so look for a tired rotation. The Toronto Blue Jays play 13 games straight in September. The Orioles don't have a stretch like the Angels, but they are still looking at a smothered schedule with 98 games to play before the All Star Break.
The Pirates are going to enjoy their June and July. From June 15-24, the Bucs will be at home for 10 games against the Reds, Brewers, and Diamondbacks. In July, they'll be at home again for 10 games against the Phillies, Nats, and Brewers.
The schedules have given us the ability to check out some important matchups for a lot of teams. The St. Louis Cardinals will be starting off the second half with a consequential seven games against the rival Chicago Cubs, all within 11 days. If both these teams sit near the top of their division, the NL Central could be decided right here if either team goes on a tear.
The Mariners could also improve on their spot in the AL West, as they play 12 of their 19 home games in May will be against divisional foes.
The Twins will be hosting the Cleveland Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico from April 17-18. The Tribe will also face the Cubs in Cleveland in a World Series rematch on April 24 and 25.
From Sept. 21-23, the White Sox will be taking on rival North Siders. Late in the season, it could have implications on the Cubs' playoff hopes in a competitive division. Also, look for Justin Verlander to make his return to Detroit with the Houston Astros on Sept. 10-12. And we all hope it'll be his turn in the rotation.
In the AL East, in what is sure to be the biggest bang to the end of the season, the New York Yankees take on the Red Sox from Sept. 28-30, to put an end to both their regular seasons. We know, along with the schedule makers, that everyone's eyeballs will be on this game.
This stuff isn't as consequential, but the promotional schedule does tell us a lot of fun stuff that teams have planned, apart from bobblehead days or giveaways.
Even better than a giveaway is a free game. And that's just what the Oakland A's are doing on April 17. They're hosting the White Sox on the A's 50th anniversary of their first game in Oakland and admission will be free for all fans.
The Nats will be hosting the All Star Game 2018 at Nationals Park. It'll be the first time held in Washington since 1969. This year will also be Bryce Harper's last year on contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
Up in Colorado, the Rockies will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. They began playing in 1993.
Who knows if the tough stretches will bury some teams, or just give them an easier schedule later in the season, but most teams will want to have those key matchups circled as they can make or break a season. For now though, the hot stove is still in session and the dates we have circled are at the end of February for the commencement of Spring Training.
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