Despite the constant rankling between Major League Baseball and its Players Union over the length and nature of the the game, it appears the 2021 MLB schedule is officially official. The Cincinnati Reds confirmed as much on Thursday, releasing their complete 162 game slate - one that will feature an Opening day tussle with the St. Louis Cardinals.
That Opening Day homestand will feature a trip west immediately afterwards, though at least April is cushioned with five off-days baked in for good measure.
Other highlights include a 10 game road trip through a trio of cities in the middle of May, a stretch of games that’s part of a grueling run of 29 games over the course of 30 days - a stretch that will surely make them miss those early off-days. There will be seven consecutive games played against the Milwaukee Brewers in mid-July sandwiched around the All Star break, and an early May trip to Denver that will be both still-too-pandimecky and cold as heck for me to even think about attending. Home contests on each of Memorial Day (Philadelphia Phillies) and the 4th of July (Chicago Cubs) also stand out, with the Reds and Cubs running it back in Wrigley on Labor Day.
Whether or not the end of the season will prove relevant, or not, sure remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting that the should-be-hapless Pittsburgh Pirates are scheduled for 9 of the final 18 games on the Reds slate this year, should a late push be something that could put them into a playoff position. Of course, those games are blended between games against the Dodgers, Washington Nationals, and Chicago White Sox, all of whom should have eyes on the postseason in 2021, too, so it’ll be no coast home.
All told, there are about 40 games on here the Reds will absolutely lose, 40 they’ll win no matter what, and a bit over 80 that they’ll have to mold into what will eventually define their season. Whether or not you’ll be allowed to attend any of these games remains to be seen, of course, just as ‘whether or not you even want to’ will continue to perpetrate your thoughts as the season advances, too. For now, though, we’ve at least got the purported path the Reds will be tasked with following should they be able to make the 2021 season one of great memory.