Interleague play in spotlight as MLB releases 2013 schedule
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Houston Astros’ shift from the National League Central to the American League West will result in at least one Interleague game every day, according to Major League Baseball 2013 tentative master schedule released Wednesday.
Based on the new schedule, Houston will open its inaugural AL season with 15 consecutive games against new division opponents, starting with a home opening series against new rival Texas April 2-4.
“We’re extremely excited about the 2013 schedule,” Astros owner Jim Crane said. “We think our fans will enjoy seeing many of the new teams and players that will be coming to our ballpark next season. This is an exciting time for the Astros organization. We’re confident that we’re moving in the right direction, both on and off the field. Our plan is in place.”
With the Astros’ move, there are 15 teams in both leagues and five teams in each of the six divisions for the first time.
The move has resulted to clubs playing 19 games against divisional opponents, for 76 division games total. The 19 games will be played in six series: three at home and three on the road.
Each club will play 66 games against non-division league opponents. Those games will be played in two series: one at home and one on the road.
Every club will see action in 20 Interleague games throughout the season that will be played in eight series: four at home and four on the road. Interleague series featuring prime rivals will include back-to-back two-game series spanning both cities/venues.
Teams that will play in the ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” opener March 31 are yet to be determined. It will be followed by 12 Opening Day games April 1, including the traditional opener in Cincinnati, where the Reds will open against an American League team, the Angels, for the first time.
The 12 Monday Opening Day games include Padres at Mets, Marlins at Nationals, Royals at White Sox, Tigers at Twins, Cardinals at D-backs, Mariners at A’s, Phillies at Braves, Rockies at Brewers and Cubs at Pirates.
Seven games are scheduled for April 2, and the first full slate of 15 games will be scheduled for Wednesday, April 3.
The regular season will end Sunday, Sept. 29, after back-to-back years of finishing on a Wednesday. That will be five days earlier than the scheduled 2012 conclusion, allowing for more flexibility in postseason scheduling.