One good thing about sitting in first place in the division with a 9.5 game lead in September is that there is not a need to look to next year. We can do it because we want to, because it's a Monday afternoon and we're bored, not because there's nothing left to look forward to in the current season. The 2015 schedule was released on Monday afternoon - so, the Orioles are in first place right now and there's a cure for boredom. That's a win on both ends.
As far as the 2015 season itself, for the Orioles, it will span from Opening Day on April 6 (a Monday) through the final regular season game on October 4, which is a Sunday. After opening the season at home this year, they will instead open on the road next season, getting the campaign underway with three games against the Trop. They will, however, close out the season with a seven-game homestand, with the final three games coming against the Yankees.
The home opener will take place on Friday, April 10, against the Blue Jays. Once again, the O's will find themselves playing in Boston for the Patriots Day game on April 20.
For interleague opponents next year, the Orioles will face the National League East. That means that their customary series against the Nationals will be back to three games in each city. The O's will host the Nats from July 10-12 and head to the Washington mallpark from September 21-23, a very late-season interleague matchup that could be crucial if both teams perform the way they have this year. The July Nats series is the last series before the All-Star Break.
They'll play the Mets and Phillies for two games in each team's park and two games at home. The Phillies games are consecutive (June 15-16 in Baltimore, June 17-18 in Philadelphia) while the Mets games are split apart. They play the Mets on May 5-6, which will be followed by a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Mets come to Baltimore on August 18-19.
The O's will also host the Braves July 27-29 and head to Miami from May 22-24 to wrap up their interleague play for the season. Unless they make the World Series, of course.
Once again, the Orioles will come out of the All-Star Break with a long road trip, heading to Detroit, New York, and then Tampa Bay from July 17-26. Their annual West Coast expedition will run from August 3-12, and they don't have to make any further trips that far for the remainder of the year.
May will be the most active month at Camden Yards, with 18 of the 27 games that month coming at home. By contrast, it will be the emptiest in July, when 17 of 27 games are on the road. They'll be at home more in the first half (48 games) than in the second half (33 games). If the O's can win on the road next year like this year's team, there won't be much to worry about there, although having fewer late-summer game dates is unfortunate if O's fans won't get as many chances to bask in a winning team.
You can check out the full schedule for yourself here.
It's hard to say whether this schedule counts as easy or hard because nobody knows how all of the teams they'll face will be next year. We don't know who will be on any of those teams yet, or who will be on the Orioles. No one would have expected the defending champion Red Sox to be a weak team this year, but here we are. And the Orioles are plenty capable of beating any good team or getting swept by any bad team. That's baseball.