Though the 2020 MLB season has not yet begun, the 2021 MLB schedule was released on Thursday. For the Baltimore Orioles, next year's campaign is somewhat similar to the condensed season they'll begin playing starting at the end of July.
Dropped‼️ pic.twitter.com/3Hmu4UkVZt— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) July 9, 2020
Much like this year, Baltimore will open up the season on the road against the Boston Red Sox. The three-game series will take place from April 1-4, with an off day scheduled after the first game of the series. Opening Day for all 30 teams will be on April 1.
As for interleague play, the Orioles face the same National League opponents they'll see in 2020. Facing off against the NL East, Baltimore will play the Marlins and the Phillies on the road, and host the Braves and Mets. They'll also have the standard home-road series with the Nationals. Games at Nationals Park will be played on May 21-23, while the matchups at OPACY will be on July 23-25.
Sticking with the theme, the Orioles will close the season with a three-game road series against the Toronto Blue Jays, just like they do in 2020. The 2021 regular season will come to a close on October 3.
There are really two main differences between the Orioles 2020 and 2021 schedules, and in a normal season, they wouldn't be as noticeable. First, the plan is to once again have 162 games be played in the next campaign. That means Baltimore will get the opportunity to play teams from the AL West and AL Central, something that was eliminated this year.
The release of the 2021 schedule came at an unexpected time, as baseball just figured out 2020 earlier in the month. There were no prior hints that a drop was coming, and it's the earliest the league has ever released the schedule for the following year.
A 60-game season in 2020 may slightly delay Baltimore's plan for the future in terms of prospects, but 2021 could still prove to be the year that faces of the rebuild like Adley Rutschman make their MLB debuts.
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