As part of the new MLB/MLBPA collective-bargaining agreement, the two sides agreed that on the Thursday after the All-Star break, beginning in 2018, there would be one national “showcase” game played.
Friday, we learned from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that next year’s game will involve the Cubs:
As part of baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players’ union, the 2018 season will include a shorter spring training, more off days during the season, and add four more days to the playing calendar. That means an earlier start to the season, in late March.
It also means the Thursday of the All-Star break will feature one game, a nationally broadcast game ala Sunday Night Baseball. According to a schedule given the Cardinals they will play against the Cubs at Wrigley Field that day, July 19. Teams can be selected only once during the span of the current CBA for that All-Star Thursday game.
Presumably, that’s part of a four-game series beginning that day, and I assume further that will be a night game for national TV consumption. TV ratings are generally good for Cubs/Cardinals matchups, especially at Wrigley.
This Tribune article by Mark Gonzales says the Cubs will open on the road again — good idea, to allow more time for offseason construction to finish — with a series against the Marlins in Miami beginning March 29. The home opener in 2018 will be April 9 against the Pirates.
The full 2018 schedule should be released sometime in mid-September.