Of all Changes coming to Major League Baseball This season—the biggest rules, defensive alignment changes, and pitch timer—the thing that may have the most practical impact on the everyday fan is the simplest: The schedule is changing. For the first time, every team will play every other team at least once this season.
As we head into spring training and really start digging into the details of the new season, we thought it might be fun to look at each team’s schedule and pick out a specific series that can’t be missed. Maybe it’s a pivotal late-season encounter with an opponent, maybe it’s a unique location, or maybe it’s the first chance to see a player who’s never been to town before. But it is the general series.
What’s the one series you can’t miss for each team? Here are our best bets.
(Note: With the exception of three of the neutral site selections – the Mexico City series, the London series and the Little League Classic – every series is here at home for the listed team.)
Blue Jays: July 18-20 vs. Padres
Doesn’t this sound like one of the modern World Series selections? How fun is the Blue Jays Padres World Series? This will be the Padres’ first trip to Toronto since 2019, and it’s fair to say both teams have changed a lot since then.
Orioles: August 4-6 vs. Mets
Buck Showalter’s era in Baltimore ended with that nightmarish 47-115 record in 2018. Both Showalter and the Orioles are in much better places than they were then, and Showalter returns to Camden Yards for the first time since with his dramatic Forever Mets.
Rays: March 30 – April 2 vs. Tigers
Can you believe rays have been around for 25 years? they have! Their first ever game was against the Tigers, and they will host Detroit in the start of their 25th season.
Red Sox: May 12-14 against the Cardinals
Mother’s Day weekend tilt, which features the only team the Red Sox have ever defeated at home to win the World Series. This 10th anniversary season, no less.
Yankees: March 30 – April 2 vs. Giants
Nothing will make more difference to the new schedule than the two former rivals playing at Yankee Stadium to start the season. Plus, Aaron Judge will be facing the team he was reportedly close to signing – but he’ll be wearing pinstripes on Opening Day.
Guardians: August 22-24 vs. Dodgers
The Guardians consider themselves contenders this year, and why wouldn’t they: They almost made the AL Championship Series, after all. There’s no better team than the Dodgers to measure yourself as a competitor than the Dodgers, who will absolutely visit Cleveland because the stretch runs really begin.
Royals: August 1-3 against the Mets
It’s never fun to relive the glory of 2015, and the Mets came to town in August, which will surely bring with them all those memories of that World Series. However, they wouldn’t bring with them any players who played in that Series: With Jacob deGrom now in Texas, none of the 15 Mets are left on the roster, though Salvador Perez is still going strong with the Royals.
Tigers: July 21-23 vs. Padres
Sure, the Padres are a fun draw anyway, but you can’t help but think of the Tigers’ last title, in 1984 – a five-game win over Tony Gwynn’s team – anytime San Diego comes to town.
Twins: Sept. 8-10 vs. Mets
Minnesota surged ahead of Carlos Correa’s sweepstakes, setting up a late-season showdown between the superstar shortstop and the team he was almost a part of. Here’s a wild fact from Athletic player Aaron Gliman: The Twins play more games against National League teams in the second half of the season than they do against AL Central foes.
White Sox: September 29 – October. 1 vs. the Padres
The final series of the year for a team that is desperately planning to compete in 2023 is at home against the Padres…and former farmer Fernando Tatis Jr.!
Angels: July 14-16 vs. Astros
This is the first series after the All-Star break, and we’ll surely know by then whether or not the Angels are in the hunt for pennants…or about to start doing some commercials.
Astros: April 28-30 vs. Phillies
World Championship Rematch! It doesn’t happen often – though, I think it will happen every year from now on. The Astros already hosted the Phillies at the end of 2022 as well; It is where the Phillies clinched their post-season berth.
Athletics: September 15-17 against the Padres
If the players do not deposit Bob Melvin appropriately after the 2021 season, this will be their first real opportunity to do so.
Mariners: September 15-17 vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers have made fewer trips to Seattle than you might think, but these games, with Julio Rodríguez and his company, feel even more gigantic than they used to be.
Rangers: July 21-23 vs. Dodgers
For the first time, the Dodgers are back on the field as they won the 2020 World Series.
Braves: April 21-23 against the Astros
The Braves welcome the team they defeated to win the 2021 World Series, in case you forgot.
Marlins: Aug. 11-13 vs. Yankees
You can never go wrong with a weekend home series against the Yankees.
Mets: Aug. 28-30 vs. Rangers
Will they line up where they face DeGrom?
Nationals: August 20th vs. Phyllis
This is technically a home game, although it would be best known as the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Phillies: Aug. 28-30 vs. Angels
Mike Trott will be making the trip home…just two weeks before his beloved Eagles season begins.
Brewers: Aug. 25-27 vs. Padres
Brewers may be vaguely familiar with the Padres’ closest left hand.
Cardinals: June 24-25 vs. Cubs
It’s a special season when you play in London against your hated opponents.
Cubs: June 24-25 at Cardinals
Pirates: September 15-17 against the Yankees
The Pirates are home to Roberto Clemente Day, and they’ll host the Yankees in what will be a highlight series this weekend.
Reds: May 19-21 vs Yankees
Joey Votto would definitely be doing something special on social media to have the Yankees in town, right?
D linebacker: April 6-9 against the Dodgers
Incredibly, Arizona plays eight of its first 10 games against Los Angeles, including a four-game opening series. We’ll know quickly if D-backs will be able to hang out with the big dogs.
Dodgers: June 2-4 against the Yankees
Two iconic baseball franchises – and eternal powers – in a weekend series that will surely dominate headlines.
Giants: September 29 – October. 1 vs. the Dodgers
Will the Giants still be in the running this past weekend? If so, this series could be the best with three games left.
Padres: April 28-29 vs. Giants
It’s been four years since the last series in Mexico, but those two teams will play in Mexico City at the end of the first full month of the season.
Rockies: June 23-25 vs. the Angels
Shuhei Ohtani and Trout in Coors Field? Yes please.