The Baltimore Orioles may not make it to the postseason, but you can already get going on your 2018 game plans.
The Baltimore Orioles (and the 29 other teams) released their 2018 schedules on Tuesday.
Major League Baseball picked an odd time to release the schedules as several teams in the AL and the NL are caught up in dramatic pennant races. But, releasing the schedule was a pleasant distraction for fans of teams that are caught up in unfortunate losing streaks.
Opening Day changes in 2018
There were a few notable changes to the 2018 schedule, for all teams. The first was Opening Day. In previous years, Opening Day games were dragged out over the course of the first week of baseball. In 2017, the first day (April 2) of official baseball only had six teams playing. The second day, 22 teams faced each other. By the third day, all of the teams played.
In 2018, every single team will play on the first day – weather permitting, of course. And, the first official day of baseball will be Thursday, March 29. On that day, the Orioles will play the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. After a three-game series stretched out over four days, the Orioles leave for a seven game road trip to play the Houston Astros and then the New York Yankees.
Like every team in the MLB, the Orioles have several road trips, as they play half of their games on the away from Camden Yards. They have the typical West Coast road trip where they play the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics in early May. But, they have one road trip that is very poorly planned and it could certainly wreak havoc on the Orioles’ internal clocks. The worst road trip takes place in early September.
The worst road trip of 2018
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They start the month of September in Kansas City where they play the Royals. Once that series is finished, they hop aboard a plane and fly out to Seattle to play the Mariners, without a travel day in between. After three games in Seattle, they do get a travel day, but they have to get to Florida to play the Tampa Bay Rays.
This is a ridiculously planned set of three consecutive series that will have the Orioles traveling nearly 7,000 miles in ten days week. If they were to drive from Camden Yards to Kauffman Stadium to Safeco Field to Tropicana Field and back to Camden Yards, they would need 101 hours to complete the journey. Whoever planned this road trip was clearly not thinking.
When the season ends
The other notable difference between 2018 and previous seasons is the final regular season game of the year. In 2017, some teams had regular season games that extend into October. The Orioles play the Rays at the Trop on October 1 to end the current season. But, in 2018, no one plays in October, unless they earn it. In 2018, the Orioles and every other team finish the season on September 30. The Orioles will play the Astros at Camden Yards.
The Orioles and the rest of the AL East will face the NL East in interleague play. So, fans will get to watch the Battle of the Beltway as the O’s face the Washington Nationals at Camden Yards May 28-31. And, the face each other again in Washington June 19-21. They will also play the Mets, Phillies, Braves, and Marlins.