Now that the official 60-game MLB schedule has been released, it’s time to start planning out our viewing schedules to make sure we catch the best games.
There are so many subplots just waiting to be revealed as the new season gets underway, but here are the dates we have circled in red on our baseball-watching calendar:
1. New York Yankees at Washington Nationals (July 23): The official season opener couldn’t be any better. The Yankees get to show off their $324 million ace Gerrit Cole against (most likely) three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and the defending World Series champions.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros (July 28-29). There will be more trash cans than fans in Minute Maid Park for the long-awaited World Series rematch from 2017. Will the Dodgers feel they have some unfinished business to settle after the Astros sign-stealing scandal may have cost them a ring?
2a. Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 12-13). Imagine if fans are allowed to return to the ballpark by the time the two teams meet again at Dodger Stadium? The boos — even at 20% capacity — could be deafening.
3. Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals (Sept. 24-27). This season-ending four-game series pits two division rivals against each other with plenty of playoff implications on the line. Last season, the Cards won the NL Central, finishing two games ahead of the wild-card Brewers. Another division title could hang in the balance on the season’s final weekend.
4. Houston Astros at Oakland A’s (Aug. 7-9). Not only is this a clash of AL West powerhouses who were both playoff teams a year ago, it’s also their first meeting of the season … and it’s possible the A’s will have right-hander Mike Fiers starting one of the three games. Fiers, you may remember, was the first person to go on the record about the Astros sign-stealing operation in 2017. How will the Astros react?
5. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago White Sox at Dyersville, Iowa (Aug. 13). The “Field of Dreams” game will be played at the park where the iconic baseball movie was filmed. Because of the new schedule’s East vs. East, Central vs. Central, West vs. West setup, the Yankees had to be replaced by the Cardinals. But it’s still a classic matchup. And we can’t wait to see home runs disappear into the cornfield.
6. New York Mets at Washington Nationals (Sept. 24-27). The shortened season should keep any team from running away with a division title, especially one as competitive as the NL East figures to be. Even if one of these teams is eliminated, the chance to play spoiler is still plenty of incentive.
7. Colorado Rockies at Texas Rangers (July 24). The first official game at Globe Life Field, MLB’s one and only new ballpark in 2020. The exterior may have drawn comparisons to a barbecue grill, but at least it’s air conditioned inside!
8. San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (July 23). Mookie Betts makes his debut in Dodger blue in the second half of MLB’s season-opening doubleheader.
9. New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox (Sept. 18-20). Due to the shortened season, these traditional rivals only play each other 10 times instead of 19. So every game means even more! This weekend series marks the teams’ final regular-season meeting, so expect plenty of fireworks. (You could also say the same thing about the St. Louis Cardinals-Chicago Cubs matchup at Wrigley Field Sept. 4-7.)
10. Labor Day marathon! (Sept. 7). Although we probably won’t have fans off from work or school catching matinee games at the ballpark, a holiday full of baseball on television will still be great. The action starts with Marlins-Braves and Phillies-Mets at 1:10 p.m. ET and doesn’t stop until the West Coast night games conclude in Oakland, San Francisco and San Diego.