On Tuesday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays released the 2018 schedule — a handy tool for those of you already looking forward to next season. … take that how you want. The Rays will kick things off at home against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, March 29, which is noteworthy because every team will open the 2018 season on the same day for the first time since 1968.
Additionally, the American League East will square off against is National League counterparts in Interleague play, which includes an away series against the Braves in their recently opened Sun Trust Park.
Some other interesting tidbits and anomalies follow below:
— The typical four-game home/away “Citrus Series” will instead be a pair of three-game sets before and after the All-Star game, for a grand total of six games against the Marlins.
— The Rays will face the Red Sox in 10 of the first 28 games next season, six of which will take place in Boston. Additionally, Tampa Bay will face both Boston and New York exclusively over the first 11 games of the season.
— There are five off-days built into the first five weeks of the season, also oddly including Tuesday, April 3 and Friday, April 6 while they are on the road.
— The Rays will play 10 games against the Blue Jays in the month of September.
— As Jason Collette (The Process Report) pointed out via Twitter, Tampa Bay has 16 home games in September when all everyone does is laugh at the September attendance each year.
— They will close out the home schedule with a seven-game home stand against New York and Toronto (September 24-30).
— No road trip will last longer than nine games in length, and will feature just one game on the west coast the day after a home series, when they travel from one bay area to the other on May 28th.
— For the conspiracy theorists out there, the fact that the Rays put the face of the franchise on the header should quiet this offseason’s trade rumors.