News broke today that Major League Baseball would release its schedule for next year, today. The 2021 schedule broke three days after the condensed 2020 schedule came out. Typically, baseball would release its schedule for next year in the final month of the current season. However, with the present situation organizations and fans are in, it gives some strategy in ticket sales and ticket trade for fans who bought tickets for 2020 games and cannot attend. There are some fascinating aspects of the new schedule with the times yet announced. Needless to say, my prediction didn’t go as planned.
MLB is releasing it's 2021 schedule two months earlier than normal. I'm guessing this is due to refunds/retaining tickets.
If I had to make a prediction, I think it'll look similar to what this year was supposed to look like, but that's just my guess.
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) July 9, 2020
The NL West… again
I thought the logical choice for interleague games in 2021 was the same format as the original 2020 setup. For example, the Rangers would square off against the NL East next season because of the abbreviated schedule’s realignment. That won’t happen in 2021. Instead, the league skipped that combination’s turn, and the original plan of Texas playing NL West teams remains. The Rangers two-and-two series include Arizona and San Francisco, where the club heads to Dodger Stadium in the middle of June and Denver in early June. The only destination in the NL West Texas will miss is San Diego, who comes to town on the first homestand of 2021. Good news, the Rangers head to Denver in early June which means we may see that Joey Gallo 500 foot shot in the Mile High Sky.
A softer start to 2021
I’m not discounting the Tampa Bay Rays, but when you look at the first month, the Rangers start favorably. The Rangers will play Toronto, Baltimore, and San Diego at home and the Angels and Boston. The club also starts against a rebuilding Royals team with the Rays, Angels, and White Sox on the road. It’s also a more favorable road schedule compared to what this season was supposed to be. The Rangers’ road schedule had Colorado, the White Sox, and Philadelphia for the 2020 schedule, but for next year the only weather-induced road series maybe in Chicago (Kansas City may run into an issue, but not as likely).
June and July off-days plenty.
If you discount the All-Star break, the Rangers have eight total off days in the middle pack of the season. The Rangers also have five consecutive weeks with an off-day between August and early September. The club will not play on Memorial Day but will onLabor Day (At the Angels on September 6th). The Rangers have twenty total off days (excluding the three All-Star break off days) in 2021. The longest stretch of the season comes between April 23rd and May 12th where the club has nineteen consecutive games without a day off. It’s also unannounced when player’s weekend will occur in 2021. The Rangers are still looking to experience a player’s weekend at home, in three tries.
Lack of Divisional September Games
I’ve complained about the Rangers not playing Houston in the final month of the year (schedule makers threw that in my face with the revised 2020 campaign). However, the schedule makers did add a four-gamer weekday series against the Astros in September’s thick. The last Rangers’ road divisional game is September 12th at Oakland, and the club has one west coast road trip between mid-August and the end of the season. To make things better for Rangers’ fans who have school, the club has one west coast road trip between April and mid-May. For a schedule featuring more west coast road games than average, it’s a good scenario for Rangers’ fans that get up early for school. One division note to keep in mind, the Rangers will get a lot of the Oakland Athletics between June 21st and August 15th. In that span of 47 games, 16 come against the A’s. Yes, 34.04% of the Rangers’ games in that three month span come against Oakland. The only other three games against the Athletics come in Mid-September.
— Rama Vangipuram (@ramavan) February 20, 2020
Once again, times are not determined, but I figure the structure will go as usual. The downside is that fans have to wait another nine months to get the party going for next season. It’s a weird feeling knowing the 2021 schedule came out, without a 2020 regular-season game underway, but here we are.
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