It won't be long before the Major League Baseball and Cubs schedules will be released for 2015.
While no specific details have yet been published regarding Cubs games in 2015, there have been articles posted with highlights from the 2015 Phillies, Red Sox and Cardinals schedules for next year, from which we can deduce a few things about how the Cubs schedule will be structured for the 2015 season.
Here's what we do know: Opening Day 2015 will be April 6 (for most teams; there will likely be a Sunday night, April 5 season opener). That's later than the 2014 schedule began, and that means a later ending, too: October 4.
The interleague matchups will be with each team's matching division in the other league: East vs. East, Central vs. Central, West vs. West. And that will, apparently, produce a change in the way interleague games are scheduled, compared to the last two seasons.
This year and last, the Cubs (and other teams) played all five teams in one division of the other league, split up this way: one three-game series against four of the teams, and a pair of two-game, home-and-home series with the fifth team (this year, the Cubs had that against the Yankees; in 2013 it was with the Angels). The interleague schedule was then completed with a pair of two-game, home-and-home sets with the so-called "natural rivalry" team, in the Cubs' case, the four games they played with the White Sox. That added up to 20 interleague games for every team.
Since the "natural rivalry" team will now be in the designated interleague division, it appears the interleague schedule will be set up this way to complete the 20 games, according to the articles linked above:
- One three-game series against each of two teams in the designated division (six games).
- A pair of two-game, home-and-home series against two other teams in the designated division (eight games).
- Two three-game series against the "natural rival" (six games).
While I haven't been able to confirm this, that's how it looks from the articles about the Cardinals, Red Sox and Phillies, and it means -- at least for 2015 -- that the Cubs and White Sox are going back to playing six games against each other. Given the fact that these "rivalry" games long ago lost any specialness they once had, I'm not all that excited about this. If MLB keeps this kind of scheduling -- and there doesn't seem to be any indication they won't -- it looks like this will be the case once every three years, and the other two years the "rivalry" games would be a pair of two-game series.
The anticipated release date of the full 2015 MLB schedule is next Monday, September 8.