As the 2017 Orioles unfortunately starts to slip away, there’s no better time than to start looking forward to next season. Helpfully, MLB released the 2018 schedules on Tuesday afternoon, so we now know where and on which days the Orioles will play against whom, though game times will be settled later.
The O’s open the 2018 season at home against the Twins, with Opening Day coming early, on March 29. That’s a Thursday. After the standard day after Opening Day off day, they finish the Twins series on a Saturday and Sunday before hitting the road for the first time.
One big quirk of next year’s schedule is that the O’s will be facing the National League East for their interleague games. That means that the O’s will play six games against the Nationals, rather than the four games they have played recently. They’ll face the rest of the NL East teams three times apiece. If the non-Washington teams in the division are as bad as this year, that will be OK for the O’s.
The games are three home and three away and they take place about a month apart, rather than consecutively. The O’s will host the Nationals starting on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend, then head to Washington for a Tuesday-Thursday series from June 19-21.
Another difference from this season is that the O’s trip out west will not take place all in one long, brutal swing. The Orioles will visit Los Angeles and Oakland with an off day scheduled on either side of the trip in early May, but they won’t get to Seattle until the middle leg of a Kansas City-Seattle-Tampa trip in early September. That trip has off days at the start and finish as well as one in the middle when the O’s come back east from Seattle.
The longest homestands of the season will take place in September (10 games) and April (9 games). Does it really matter if there’s not a long homestand in the summer months? Maybe, for ticket sales, but I don’t know if it will affect the team any. If they want to go 27-43 on the road again, it probably doesn’t matter much when their home games happen.
The long road trips will take place in May (10 games) and late August/early September (9 games).
June will be the busiest month at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with 15 home games scheduled. If you combine March and April, there are 16 home games then. August will be the most empty, with just 11 home games scheduled.
Here’s the complete schedule. What do you think?