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Looking at the Orioles' 2013 regular season schedule

We don't HAVE to look at the Orioles' 2013 schedule, because the 2012 Orioles are still tied for first place in the American League East in mid-September. It is not desperation over the current season. It's desperation because it's early afternoon on hump day and there's nothing better to do until game time.

You can take a look for yourself at the calendar if you go to the Orioles' website and scroll through the months of next year. Times have not yet been announced for many of the games, but the dates, locations and teams are all sketched in.

The 2013 regular season will open with three games on the road, next April 2-4 in Tampa Bay. The Orioles will once again have the home opening series against the Twins, which will be Friday-Sunday of the same week. The home opener is never quite the same as full-on Opening Day. The infinite potential has been lost by three games played (unless the first three games are somehow a sweep). We will just have to deal with it.

The schedule features 76 games against divisional opponents, 66 against the rest of the league and 20 against interleague opponents. That is the case for all teams. With the Astros switching to the AL West, all divisions will have five teams, so there will be 19 games against each division opponent. What's even better than an unbalanced schedule? Making it one game even further unbalanced!

Interleague opponents for the Orioles will be: home series against the Dodgers (3 games, April 19-21), Padres (2 games, May 14-15), Nationals (2 games, May 29-30), and Rockies (3 games, August 16-18); road series against the Nats (2 games, May 27-28), Padres (2 games, August 6-7), Giants (3 games, August 9-11), and Diamondbacks (3 games, August 12-14).

Home-and-home two-game sets against the Nats and Padres? OK, MLB. The Nats one is particularly weird, with the two games in Washington and two games in Baltimore coming on consecutive days, in the middle of the week. The whole of the season series against the Nats will take place from Monday to Thursday. So much for packing those parks on the weekend. Will we have to put up with four straight days of "Battle of the Beltways" combined booth crews on MASN? I shudder to think of it.

For those who are inclined to view conspiracies everywhere, you may note that the Orioles do not have a scheduled off day from April 16 through to May 5, which consists of a 9-game homestand and then an 11-game west coast road trip.

We could attempt to break down how hard the schedule looks, but this is a foolish endeavor because nobody knows how the teams on the schedule will be performing next year. In 2011, the 2012 games against the Red Sox sounded like a tough order, and teams probably circled the Orioles as a team they could fatten up against. About that...

However, that said, the end of the regular season will feel a lot like this one. The O's will play the Yankees for the last time on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2013, with 15 games left after that point - 6 against the Blue Jays, 6 against the Red Sox and 3 against the Rays. The season ends with a 6-game homestand - 3 against the Jays and 3 against Boston, with the regular season scheduled to end after playing Boston on Sept. 29.