We now have the official 2019 MLB schedule, which begins with the 2019 Japan Opening Series, featuring the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21, and the traditional Opening Day, featuring all 30 MLB clubs, on Thursday, March 28.
The schedule already has folks buzzing, between the March 20-21 series in Tokyo and the Minnesota Twins hosting a home opener for the first time in March, the snowiest month of the year in the state. Last year saw the earliest opening date in MLB history, and 2019 will beat that record by a day. The 2019 season will mark the second season under the scheduling format agreed to as part of the 2017-2021 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). The format, which extends the length of the season by adding an additional weekend of play at the beginning of the season, gives each Club three to four additional off days throughout the season to provide added rest and opportunities for rescheduling. It also pushes reporting dates to around Feb. 12 and the first spring exhibitions around Feb. 20.
For the second consecutive year, all 30 MLB teams are scheduled to play on Opening Day. The 2018 campaign had been scheduled to be the first season since 1968 that every team across the Majors opened on the same date, before two weather-related postponements allowed for just 13 of the 15 scheduled games to be played. The 1968 campaign began on Wednesday, April 10 with each of the 20 Major League Clubs in action. Additionally, the 2019 season will mark the second straight season, and the 13th campaign in history, to open on a Thursday. Other seasons to do so include 1901-04, 1907, 1912, 1959, 1973-74, 1976 and 2011.
Other highlights of the 2019 schedule include:
- Ten games scheduled for Jackie Robinson Day on Monday, April 15, including the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium.
- The first day of the 2019 MLB Draft on Monday, June 3rd, when just three Major League games are scheduled to be played.
- The first Major League game ever played in Nebraska, part of the new GEICO Summer Series, featuring the host Royals and the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, June 13th, two days prior to the start of the 2019 NCAA Men’s College World Series.
- The Los Angeles Angels will visit the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium from June 21st-23rd, marking Albert Pujols’ return to St. Louis for the first time as a visiting player.
- A split doubleheader on Saturday, June 29 between the host San Francisco Giants and Diamondbacks at AT&T Park.
- An historic two-game set at London Stadium on June 29-30 between the host Red Sox and Yankees in the first-ever Major League games played in Europe.
- The 90th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
- The Rangers will host their AL West Division-rival Houston Astros in the only Major League game played on Thursday, July 11th, following the All-Star break.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers will visit Fenway Park for a three-game series from July 12th-14th. It marks the third-ever regular season trip to Boston by the Dodgers, and the first since June 2010.
- The third annual Little League Classic presented by GEICO on Sunday, August 18th, featuring the host Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cubs at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA, home of the Little League World Series.
- The final day of the 2019 regular season on Sunday, September 29th, featuring 12 divisional games, as well as the final Rangers home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington as they square off against the Yankees.