Press release Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball announced its master 2018 regular season schedule, which will begin on Thursday, March 29th, when all 30 Clubs are scheduled to play.
The 2018 season will mark the first under the new scheduling format agreed to as part of the 2017-2021 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). The new format extends the length of the season by adding an additional weekend of play at the beginning of the season. Each Club will receive three to four additional off days spread throughout the season to provide additional rest and opportunities for rescheduling. As a result, the March 29th start date to the regular season will mark the earliest Opening Day in Major League history, excluding special season-openers at international venues. The earliest opening date for a season at traditional Major League ballparks was previously March 30th, when the 2003, 2008 and 2014 seasons began.
The 2018 season will mark the first time since 1968 that every team across the Majors will open on the same date. The 1968 campaign began on Wednesday, April 10th with each of the 20 Major League Clubs in action. Additionally, the 2018 season will mark the 12th season in history, and the first since 2011, to open on a Thursday. Other seasons to do so include 1901-04, 1907, 1912, 1959, 1973-74 and 1976.
Opening Day will feature eight divisional match-ups among the 15 games, in addition to an Interleague contest between the host Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates in a renewal of the franchises that met in the 1909 World Series. Nine games are scheduled for Friday, March 30th; a full slate of 15 games is scheduled for Saturday, March 31st; and the opening weekend closes on Sunday, April 1st with 12 contests.
Interleague play throughout the season will feature the AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West. Notable series feature renewals of four World Series matchups over the past 10 years, including Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays (April 13th-15th at Tropicana Field); Chicago Cubs-Cleveland Indians (April 24th-25th at Progressive Field, May 22nd-23rd at Wrigley Field); New York Yankees-Phillies (June 25th-27th at Citizens Bank Park); and San Francisco Giants-Texas Rangers (August 24th-26th at AT&T Park).
The final day of the 2018 regular season, featuring 12 divisional games, is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th. Other important dates next season include Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, April 15th; a two-game series between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 17th-18th; the first day of the 2018 MLB Draft on Monday, June 4th; and Baseball’s All-Star Week at Nationals Park in Washington, DC from Sunday, July 15th through Tuesday, July 17th, culminating with the 89th Midsummer Classic.