MLB

Better balanced schedule has all MLB teams facing one another in 2023

By Sports Desk August 24, 2022

Major League Baseball teams will face every opponent across both leagues for the first time in 2023 under the schedule revealed by the league on Wednesday.

The revised format is intended to provide a more balanced schedule that will make races for the three Wild Card spots in each league more equitable, as well as providing fans a more diverse option of visiting opponents and players in an effort to boost attendance.

Teams will now play a total of 46 interleague games, a substantial increase from the 20 games on the 2022 slate. Divisional play will be de-emphasised as a result, with teams now set to play 13 games per season against each opponent within their division after having 19 such games in recent years.

MLB has used the unbalanced format with increased intra-divisional play since 2001.

"This new format creates more common opponents, both in the division and among your league opponents, so that typically when you're competing for the Wild Card, there's a much higher percentage of common opponents across divisions," MLB chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinak told The Associated Press. "And we think that equity is good for the competition on the field.

"On the marketing side, we think that the new schedule gives our fans more opponents at home, so they get to see a broader array of clubs in their ballpark. And probably more importantly, it gives us a chance for our star players to get exposure more nationally and be seen in more places throughout the season."

Travel is expected to be only minimally impacted by the revisions, as teams will have the same amount of total road series as previously.

Teams will now play one three-game series per season against all interleague foes with the home site alternated year to year, as well as home-and-home series of two games against a designated opponent from the other league that is usually determined geographically.

Most of those series include natural interleague rivals such as the New York Mets and Yankees, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins.

For teams that have less-defined interleague rivals, the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners are among the most notable pairings.

Opening day will be March 30 – the earliest since 2019 – with all 30 teams scheduled to play. Three interleague series are slated for opening weekend, with the Giants visiting the Yankees, the Cardinals hosting the Blue Jays and the Phillies visiting the Texas Rangers.

Other highlights include a two-game series in London between the Cardinals and Cubs from June 24-25 and the Phillies and Nationals meeting in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on August 20 for the Little League Classic.

The 2023 All-Star Game will take place on July 11 at Seattle's Safeco Field, which will be followed by a two-day break before the resumption of the second half.

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