It has been a long, long time since the announcement of the following year’s schedule has been reasonably met by a waving of the hand. The Reds are still, however tenuously, in it in the middle of August, which is something we haven’t seen in half a decade. So when the new skedge dropped yesterday, most of us were like, “yeah, but Aristides Aquino is RIGHT NOW, MAN.”
Still, it’s worth taking a glance at the thing. At the very least, it is #content brought to you by SB Nation and our corporate partners at FanDuel and MillerCoors LLC.
The 2020 season will start in Cincinnati, as is tradition. Opening Day is Thursday, March 26th against the Cardinals. Some folks get a bit rankled when OD is not on a Monday and not the very first pitch of the season, but that hasn’t happened in years so whatever. There is no Fauxping Day in Japan or Australia or anything, so all 30 teams will start on the 26th.
The Reds will participate in the Pirates’ home opener, too, so that’s cool. That’ll be the following week. That means the Reds will have off-days on consecutive Fridays to start the season (in case of weather). That’s weird, but okay I get it.
The NL Central will play their interleague series against the AL East. The Reds will visit the Blue Jays and Yankees for three games apiece in the first few weeks of the season. They will host two-game series against the Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox in August and September. The Ohio Cup will be just four games again, two at Cleveland on May 19th-20th and two in Cincinnati July 7th-8th just before the All-Star break.
Perhaps most notable is the number of times they will head out west during the season. They make separate trips to Colorado, San Diego, Los Angeles/Arizona, and San Francisco. Ideally, these trips would be clumped together, but honestly the Reds being in the Midwest means they travel much less than most other teams. So while it isn’t ideal, it’s not as bad as what the Mariners have to do every year. Imagine flying Seattle to Dallas three times. And starting the season so early gives them more built-in off-days for this kind of travel, so it’s still manageable.
The Reds are clearly planning to go all in for 2020, so the hope is that they will be playing meaningful games in September. It could be kinda rough, as they will spend most of the month on the road. They will play just eight games in Cincinnati with 16 on the road. They will close the season travelling to Miami and Pittsburgh, so maybe those teams will be really bad and they can finish strong and take the division and post the best record in the NL and roll through the postseason and win the World Series I dunno why not.