Earlier today MLB officially announced the 2018 regular season schedule, and the Yankees will open the season on the road for the second straight year. Opening Day is Thursday, March 29th, in Toronto. Earliest Opening Day ever. MLB and MLBPA agreed to more off-days during the season as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and to accommodate those extra off-days, the season now starts in the middle of the week. All 30 teams start the same day.
The Yankees opened the 2015 season against the Blue Jays, though at home in Yankee Stadium. They haven’t opened in Toronto since way back in 2003. March in Canada can’t be too fun. Opening Day is the first game of a four-game series with the Blue Jays. The Yankees then come home for a six-game homestand with the Rays and Orioles. The home opener is Monday, April 2nd. Here’s the full 2018 schedule. Here are some highlights.
As expected, the Yankees will play the NL East during Interleague Play next season. It rotates divisions each year and the NL East is due up. Derek Jeter’s Marlins will visit the Bronx early in the season (April 16th and 17th), so that’ll be awkward. I wonder if Jeter will make the trip? The Yankees will visit Washington (May 15th and 16th), Philadelphia (June 25th to 27th), and Miami (August 21st and 22nd). They won’t visit Atlanta. The Braves are coming to Yankee Stadium (July 2nd to 4th). So is Bryce Harper (June 12th and 13th). The Yankees will play at Citizens Bank Park for the first time since the 2009 World Series.
The Subway Series gets wrapped up in Interleague Play next year, so rather than a four-game home-and-home series, the Yankees and Mets will play two three-game series next season. I prefer that. Give me a series winner and bragging rights. The Yankees will go to Citi Field for a weekend series from June 8th through the 10th. The Mets then come visit Yankee Stadium from July 20th to 22nd. That is the first series after the All-Star break. The All-Star Game is in Washington next season, by the way.
West Coast Trips
The Yankees have two West Coast trips next year. They travel from New York to Anaheim without an off-day for a three-game series starting April 26th, then they go to Houston and come back home. Not too bad. The second West Coast is in September and that always stints. The Yankees go from New York to Oakland — again, without an off-day — on September 3rd. Three games in Oakland, off-day, three games in Seattle, three games in Minnesota, off-day. Not great, but what can you do?
Final Road Trip
This year the Yankees will play 17 of their final 20 regular season games in New York, counting the neutral site series with the Rays at Citi Field. Next season the Yankees will play 16 of their final 25 games on the road, including that West Coast trip. Know how the Yankees played their last game against the Red Sox on September 3rd this year? That won’t be the case next season. They close the season at Fenway Park.
The Yankees will play their final home series against the Orioles from September 21st to 23rd. They then go out on a seven-game road trip through Tampa and Boston to close out the season. Four games at Tropicana Field and three games in Boston. Game 162 will be Sunday, September 30th. How much will be on the line that series? The Yankees also play the Red Sox at home from September 18th to the 20th, so six of their final 13 regular season games are against the BoSox. That’ll be fun.