Reds' lead is so secure we can now talk about the 2013 schedule

He'll be there.

The 2013 schedule dropped recently. The headline news is that the Reds will, for the first time ever, be starting their season with an inter-league match-up -- against the Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles of Disney presents Anaheim. They'll welcome Pujols, Youkilis (probably) and the Angels to town April 1 - April 3 for a 3-game series.

While that's definitely weird and kind of interesting, it's not out of left field, given that weekly interleague play is now part of the schedule format to accommodate an odd-number of teams (15) in the NL & AL.

The Reds will have interleague games every month of the season, though September seems to be carved out for division races. From what I can tell, Bud Selig's MO over the last year has been to take the sugary-sweet excitement of the end of 2011 and try to get that high out of every season. Without, hopefully, giving us all diabetes.

Let's peer into the future. All the way to the year 2013. By then, we may not recognize the sport we presently know as baseball. It may be played in a hellish 4D arco-tower. The faint glow of this blog may be barely visible from MoonBase Delta. But we'll still be Reds fans.

At-a-glance:

Division games: 76 (47%)
West Coast games (not including AZ): 12
Interleague games: 20 (LAA, CLE, TEX, OAK, SEA, HOU)
Games against the Astros: 3

April 15-17 home against the Phillies, May 17-19 @ the Phillies
I don't like that the Reds are obligated to play the Phillies - at team they are negative-6 and 345 against over the last 5 years. But maybe it's best to get it out of the way. The Reds will be done with Washington by the end of April and Philly by May.

April glowers
Hard to say how good any of these teams will be next year, but on top of the Phils and Angels, the Reds will face the Nats 7 times and the Cardinals five in April. That could be unpleasant. Luckily, we've got a bulk supply of emergency "No need to freakout" posts.

The Ohio Cup is a tumbler
The Reds only play the Indians 4 times next season - all in one series (May 27-30). That's not even the weird part, 'cuz the first two games of the series are at home and the second two are up North - without an off-day in between. Fortunately, both teams will be able to take the high-speed cold fusion 3C bullet train President XB-95.a will build for us.

Unlawful Cardinal Knowledge?
This is one of those seasons where the Reds play the Cardinals even more than usual. After 15 games scheduled in 2012, they kick it up to 19 games next year. Rounding up a bit, that's 12% of the season. Or, more than an entire Riverfront76 "18 game capsule."®

Two li'l ol' series with th' A's
August 5th and 6th Reds welcome the A's for their first visit to Cincinnati since 2002. The teams last met in 2010, but 3 out of their 4 interleague series have been in Oakland. Prior to that series - June 25th and 26th -the Reds will be in Oakland.

West Coast games
Other than the two games in Oakland, there's only one full-on West Coast road trip next season: July 22-31.

Ranging to Texas
The Reds head to Arlington for the last three days of June. It'll be the first meeting of the two teams since 2007. Josh Hamilton may or may not be a Ranger, but if he is - and he's healthy - this would be his first time playing the Reds. This may be roughly as likely as Edinson Volquez being there to face him.

Mid-summer's rest
Including the All Star Break, the Reds have 7 off-days in 24 days between July 15 and August 8.

Schizoid August
There are 3 off-days in the space of 8 days at the beginning of August, followed by the season's longest string of games without an off-day (20).

First series against the Astros as an AL team: Sept 16-18

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