The 2020 MLB season is finally scheduled, and it's gonna be unlike one we've ever seen.
Opening Day is scheduled for July 23-24, the National League will have a designated hitter and all extra-inning games (starting in the 10th inning) will begin with a runner on second base.
Perhaps the biggest change is the divisional realignment to reduce travel length amid the coronavirus. Divisions will be geographically based, meaning the NL Central and AL Central will combine into a 10-team mega grouping.
Schedules have been sent to the MLB players union for approval and based on reports will include 40 traditional divisional games and 20 interleague matchups. Meaning, NL Central teams will play 20 total games against AL Central teams.
Plan is for teams to play 40 games in division and 20 games interleague with their geographic counterpart (East vs. East, etc.) #MLB— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 24, 2020
For the Cubs, their schedule will be a combination of these matchups:
- 10 games against the Cardinals
- 10 games against the Brewers
- 10 games against the Reds
- 10 games against the Pirates
- 4 games against the Twins
- 4 games against the Indians
- 4 games against the White Sox
- 4 games against the Tigers
- 4 games against the Royals
In the interest of limiting travel, creating five-game series made some sense, but MLB insider Joel Sherman says that is not the plan.
Thought with 10 games against each division opponent that you might see 2 5-game series to limit the travel, but someone who has seen the sked said that is not the plan.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 24, 2020
Nevertheless, limiting travel will be a priority, meaning teams will likely play the Cubs and White Sox on the same road trip. Similarly, it would make sense for the Cubs to play the Cardinals and Royals on a single trip, and on another play the Tigers and Indians (and maybe Reds).