Earlier this afternoon, MLB officially announced the 2016 regular season schedule. The Yankees will open the season on Monday, April 4th, at home against the Astros. This will be the second time in three seasons the Yankees open against the Astros. They opened the 2013 season in Houston as well.
Following the first game of the season, the Yankees and Astros will have the typical post-Opening Day off-day on April 5th before completing the three-game series on the 6th and 7th. The off-day is there in case of a rainout, so fans who buy tickets to Opening Day and still go to Opening Day the next day should there be a postponement.
Following the three-game series with Houston, the Yankees head out on a road trip through Detroit and Toronto. They’ll be in Detroit for the Tigers home opener. The Yankees play 12 home games and 11 road games in April, then play 13 home games and 16 road games in May. June looks to be their most off-balance month: they play 16 home games and only ten road games.
The full schedule is now available on the team’s official site. Here are some other notable schedule quirks and features and whatnot.
The Yankees and the rest of the AL East get the NL West this year, as expected. They travel to Arizona in mid-May, to Colorado in mid-June, and then to San Diego in early-July. The Rockies come to Yankee Stadium in late-June, the Giants in late-July, and the Dodgers in mid-September. The Yankees are not going to San Francisco or Los Angeles next year. Hopefully Don Mattingly is still managing the Dodgers then. He hasn’t been able to come back to the Bronx all that much since heading west.
After playing two separate three-game series this year, the Subway Series goes back to the four-game home-and-home series format in 2016. The Yankees and Mets play in Citi Field on August 1st and 2nd, then shift to Yankee Stadium on August 3rd and 4th. I don’t like that. I prefer to the two-three game series because they you have a definitive winner in each series and that’s what the people want. A four-game set potentially ends with no bragging right, like it did in 2014, when each team won two games.
West Coast Trips
The Yankees have three West Coast trips next year. They have a seven-gamer through Arizona and Oakland in mid-May, a quick three-gamer in San Diego in early-July — they go from New York to San Diego to Chicago with no off-days in between, yuck — and then a six-game swing through Anaheim and Seattle in mid-August. That doesn’t include trips to play the Rangers, Astros, and Rockies, which aren’t West Coast teams, but do require fairly long flights to different time zones.
The Final Homestand
The final series of the season is always potentially a big one. The AL East title could be on the line, or maybe a wildcard spot, or maybe home field advantage through the ALCS. Next season the Yankees will close out the schedule with a six-game homestand. The Red Sox and then the Orioles are coming to town. Twenty-seven of New York’s final 30 games are against AL East teams — the Dodgers series is the exception — which is not uncommon. September is always loaded with intraleague games. That’s what makes the races fun.