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.

Related items

  • Rangers sign former Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney on a two-year deal Rangers sign former Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney on a two-year deal

    The Texas Rangers continue to be busy in the free-agent market, signing veteran left-handed starting pitcher Andrew Heaney on Tuesday to a two-year contract.

    The deal is worth $25million with another $12m available in incentives, and includes an opt-out after the first season, according to ESPN.

    The 31-year-old Heaney had a bounce-back season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022, going 4-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 appearances, including 14 starts.

    After missing most of the first half of the season due to two stints on the injured list from left shoulder inflammation, Heaney returned to post a 1.09 WHIP and struck out a career-best 13.6 batters per nine innings.

    Heaney joins a rotation that includes Jacob deGrom, who the Rangers signed to a five-year, $185m contract last week. DeGrom, considered the best pitcher in baseball when healthy, was the latest massive contract handed out by the Rangers.

    Texas spent a combined $500m on middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last offseason, and now add Heaney and DeGrom to a rotation that could include holdovers Jon Gray, and Martin Perez and recently acquired Jake Odorizzi.

    In nine seasons with the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and Dodgers, Heaney is 36-42 with a 4.56 ERA in 137 games, including 126 starts.

  • Judge remains priority for Yankees in free agency, says Cashman Judge remains priority for Yankees in free agency, says Cashman

    Aaron Judge remains the New York Yankees' top priority in free agency, says general manager Brian Cashman, as they look to tie down the 2022 American League MVP.

    The four-time All-Star has spent his entire MLB career at Yankee Stadium, but failed to agree a new long-term deal ahead of last season, instead penning just a short-term contract.

    With the 30-year-old out of contract, his options are open after a season that saw him shatter the single-season American League home run record with 62.

    Cashman says owner Hal Steinbrenner has met with Judge over his future, and hopes they will be able to convince the outfielder to re-sign with them sooner rather than later.

    "We'd love to have our player back," he said. "We would love to continue to call him our player every step of the way as he follows what looks like a career path that will lead him to [Hall of Fame home] Cooperstown.

    "I appreciate being in a position to have a conversation with a player of Judge's magnitude The ownership here has allowed us to stay in the game on a big-ticket item.

    "That's great. I'm sure there's a lot of teams that would love to have access to a player of his calibre but can't participate because the asks are going to be so immense."

    Cashman acknowledged there are risks to waiting on Judge's call, both for whoever may otherwise sign him and how it will shape the Yankees going forward.

    But he believes the wait will be worth it if they can bring him back into the fold, adding: "It's not like we've missed time in my opinion.

    "I understand the longer things go, the more at risk you are. It's easier if we are driving, but we're not driving it."

  • Phillies sign shortstop Trea Turner to 11-year, $300million free agent deal Phillies sign shortstop Trea Turner to 11-year, $300million free agent deal

    The Philadelphia Phillies and shortstop Trea Turner have agreed to an 11-year, $300million contract, bolstering the lineup and infield of the reigning National League champions.

    Turner will be reunited with former Washington Nationals teammate Bryce Harper, and joins a potent lineup that also includes Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins.

    With his combination of power and speed, Turner had become one of the top prizes for this offseason’s free agency period and was also being pursued aggressively by the San Diego Padres, according to ESPN.

    Turner is expected to become the Phillies' primary shortstop, likely moving touted rookie Bryson Stott to second base.

    Turner, 29, is the fourth shortstop in MLB history to sign a contract with a total value of at least $300 million, following Francisco Lindor, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Corey Seager.

    A two-time All-Star, Turner hit .298 last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers with 21 home runs, 39 doubles, a career-high 100 RBI and 27 stolen bases.

    Since his first full season in the majors in 2016, Turner leads the MLB with 228 stolen bases, and his 85.1 per cent success rate on steals leads all players with at least 100 attempts over that span.

    Turner has a career .302 batting average and .842 OPS, tallying 124 home runs, 586 runs scored and 230 stolen bases since his debut in 2015.

    His new contract comes as a part of a flurry of deals from the MLB winter meetings, being held in-person for the first time since 2019.

    Over $1billion in total contracts have been agreed to so far this offseason, including the blockbuster deal that landed former New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom with the Texas Rangers for up to six years and $222m.

    The Mets responded by signing Justin Verlander to a two-year deal worth nearly $87m.

    The Dodgers, who retained Clayton Kershaw on a one-year, $20m deal, but lost Turner, will look to be key players in the rest of free agency.

    Outfielder and American League home run champion Aaron Judge remains the top free agent on the market, but the Dodgers could look to replace Turner at shortstop with Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa or Dansby Swanson.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.