clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cardinals’ 2020 Schedule Announced and Additional Updates Around the League

New, 114 comments

The official MLB schedule was first discussed in a live show on MLB Network at 5:00 central time. During that show the order and number of games for certain teams was released for certain teams, but not the dates and times. The show also discussed certain scheduling quirks. The moment that show ended, the schedule for every team was released on its respective MLB.com team web page.

In this article, I will discuss the schedule and offer some analysis, as well as give some updates around the league.

GENERAL MLB SCHEDULING FACTS

*Opening night will be Thursday, July 23rd at 7:00 EST, where the Yankees will play at the Nationals. This will be followed by the Giants at Dodgers at 9:00 EST. Both games are on ESPN. Every other club will start play on Friday, July 24th. There are 60 games for each team that will be played over the course of 67 days. The season ends on Sunday, September 27th.

*For service time purposes the season starts on July 23rd, whether the club plays on that date or not. My calculation reveals that a player will have to be on the active roster for 62 out of the 67 days of the season to get one year of service time credit. Any player hoping to be a Super Two player after this season will need to get 86 days of service time credit this season, regardless of what their total was to start or would be at the end. To get 86 days of service time credit, a player will need to be on the active roster for 31 days.

*Each team plays 30 games at home and 30 games on the road

*Each team plays 40 total games within its division, with 10 games against each opponent. The home/road split will not be equally split 5/5. Instead the home road split will be either 6/4 or 7/3 in their favor or not in their favor.

*Each team plays 20 interleague games against their particular geographic division in the other league. This has changed from the original schedule, where, for example, the NL Central was originally set to play the AL East. Of those 20 games, 6 games for each club will be played against their designated interleague natural rival, with equal 3/3 home/road splits. The amount of games and home/road splits of the remaining respective interleague clubs will not be identical. But in addition to the rival games, each club will have two 2-game home and road series, one 3-game road series and one 3-game home series.

*Each team has only 6 off days after opening weekend through the end of the season on September 27th, but the number of off days per month is not the same for each team.

*There are no scheduled doubleheaders.

*Every game on Sunday, September 27th is scheduled for right around 2:00 central, with every team in MLB playing.

SPECIAL DAYS

8/13: White Sox and Cardinals play in a special Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa.

8/16: MLB honors the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues

8/28: Jackie Robinson Day—everyone wears #42

9/9: Roberto Clemente Day

GENERAL SCHEDULING ODDS AND ENDS

*According to MLB Network, the Reds (.437), Cubs (.445) and Cardinals (.445) have the easiest strength of schedule based on 2019 records through August 6th. The Mets, Pirates and Blue Jays have the toughest.

*The Twins (.449), Indians (.451), Cardinals (.475), White Sox (.477), Dodgers (.482) and Rays (.482) have the easiest strength of schedule for the season, again basing it on 2019 record. The Marlins (.534), Angels (.534), Orioles (.532), Mariners (.531) Rockies (.523), Rangers (.518) have the toughest.

*The Brewers, Cubs, Tigers, Cards, Reds and White Sox will travel the fewest amount of miles. The Rangers, Astros, Mariners, A’s, Rockies, Rays will travel the most.

*The Braves, Tigers, Mariners, Rockies, Twins, Blue Jays and Phillies all have 20 consecutive games without an off day at some point, which is the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

CARDINALS’ SCHEDULE

7/24 (7:15), 7/25 (7:15) and 7/26 (1:15): Home vs. Pirates (3)

7/27: Open Date

7/28 (7:10) and 7/29 (7:10): At Twins (2)

7/30: Open Date

7/31 (1:10), 8/1 (6:10), 8/2 (1:10) At Brewers (3)

8/3 (6:10) and 8/4 (12:10) At Tigers (2)

8/5 (7:15) and 8/6 (7:15) Home vs. Tigers (2)

8/7 (7:15), 8/8 (7:15), 8/9 (6:08) Home vs. Cubs (3)

8/10 (7:15), 8/11 (7:15), 8/12 (1:15) Home vs. Pirates (3)

8/13 (6:15) Field of Dreams game against White Sox in Dyersville, Iowa

8/14: Open Date

8/15 (1:10) and 8/16 (1:10) At White Sox (3 games total being the road team)

8/17 (7:15), 8/18 (7:15), 8/19 (7:15) At Cubs

8/20 (7:15), 8/21 (7:15), 8/22 (7:15), 8/23 (1:15) Home vs. Reds (4)

8/24 (7:15), 8/25 (7:15), 8/26 (7:15) Home vs. Royals (3)

8/27: Open Date

8/28 (7:15), 8/29 (12:15), 8/30 (1:15) Home vs. Indians (3)

8/31 (5:40), 9/1 (5:40), 9/2 (5:40 At Reds (3)

9/3: Open Date

9/4 (7:15), 9/5 (7:15), 9/6 (6:08), 9/7 (3:10) At Cubs (4)

9/8 (7:15) and 9/9 (7:15) Home vs. Twins (2)

9/10: Open Date

9/11 (7:15), 9/12 (7:15), 9/13 (1:15) Home vs. Reds (3)

9/14 (6:40), 9/15 (6:40), 9/16 (6:40) At Brewers (3)

9/17 (6:05), 9/18 (6:05), 9/19 (6:05), 9/20 (TBD) At Pirates (4)

9/21 (7:05), 9/22 (7:05), 9/23 (7:05) At Royals (3)

9/24 (7:15), 9/25 (7:15), 9/26 (6:15), 9/27 (2:15) Home vs. Brewers (4)

*The Yankees were originally scheduled to play the White Sox in the Field of Dreams game, but it was changed to the Cardinals for travel reasons. Here is the FAQ from the MLB.com page that has additional information, and no, if you were wondering, the game is not being played on the identical field in the movie. Typically in games of this special nature, clubs have been entitled to use an extra player, but because the active roster at this point in the season will be 28, the extra roster spot should not be allowed, according to the 2020 Operations Manual.

*The Cards have 2 off days each month of the season. Two off days are in the first 8 days of the season. There are only 2 off days in the last 31 days, and the club closes the season with 17 straight games, which is their maximum stretch of days without an off day. There are 10 road games in that stretch out of 17, but at least the last 4 are at home. The club’s next-longest streak is 14 games.

*The Cards play 6 home games against Pirates, 4 home games against the Brewers, only 3 home games against the Cubs, and 7 home games against the Reds.

*With respect to interleague play, the Cards have a 3-game home and road series against the Royals, a 2-game home and road series against the Twins, a 2-game home and road series against the Tigers (which is being played over the course of 4 days straight), 3 road games against the White Sox (one of which is the Field of Dreams game in Iowa) and 3 home games against the Indians.

REST OF NL CENTRAL

I won’t list the dates and times of all the other teams, but instead will list the order and number of games, together with any other quirks and differences.

BREWERS

at Cubs (3)

at Pirates (3)

vs Cardinals (3)

vs White Sox (2)

at White Sox (2)

vs Reds (3)

vs Twins (3)

at Cubs (4)

at Twins (3)

at Pirates (3)

vs Reds (4)

vs Pirates (4)

vs Tigers (2)

at Indians (3)

at Tigers (2)

vs Cubs (3)

vs Cardinals (3)

vs Royals (3)

at Reds (3)

at Cardinals (4)

*The Brewers have one off day in July (30th), one in August (17th), and four off days in September (3rd, 7th, 10th and 17th). Their maximum consecutive games is 17 straight days from July 31st through August 16th. After one day off, they then play another 16 straight from August 18th through September 2nd. That’s a stretch of 32 games over 34 days. They close the season with 10 straight games on the road.

*The Brewers have 6 home games against the Cardinals, 3 home games against the Cubs, 4 home games against the Pirates and 7 home games against the Reds.

*The Brewers’ interleague rival is the Twins, and they play a 3-game home and road series against them. They have a 2-game home and road series against the White Sox (that will be played over 4 straight days), a 2-game home and road series against the Tigers, 3 road games against the Indians and 3 home games against the Royals.

CUBS

vs Brewers (3)

at Reds (4)

vs Pirates (3)

vs Royals (2)

at Royals (2)

at Cardinals (3)

at Indians (2)

vs Brewers (4)

vs Cardinals (3)

vs White sox (3)

at Tigers (3)

at Reds (3)

at Pirates (3)

vs Cardinals (4)

vs Reds (3)

at Brewers (3)

vs Indians (2)

vs Twins (3)

at Pirates (4)

at Whjte Sox (3)

*The Cubs have no off days in July, 4 off days in August (10th, 20th and 27th and 31st) and 2 off days in September (14th and 17th). The Cubs play 17 straight games to start the season without a day off, which is their largest consecutive games streak. They start the year with 26 games in the first 27 days. Their next-longest consecutive stretch is 13 games. They close the season with 10 straight games, 7 of which are on the road.

*The Cubs have 7 home games against the Cardinals, 7 home games against the Brewers, 3 home games against the Pirates and 3 home games against the Reds.

*The Cubs’ interleague rival is the White Sox, and they play a 3-game home and road series against them. They have a 2-game home and road series against the Royals (that will be played over 4 straight days), a 2-game home and road series against the Indians, 3 road games against the Tigers and 3 home games against the Twins.

REDS

vs Tigers (3)

vs. Cubs (4)

at Tigers (3)

vs Indians (2)

at Indians (2)

at Brewers (3)

vs Royals (2)

vs Pirates (4)

at Royals (2)

at Cardinals (4)

at Brewers (4)

vs Cubs (3)

vs Cardinals (3)

at Pirates (3)

at Cubs (3)

at Cardinals (3)

vs Pirates (3)

vs White Sox (3)

vs Brewers (3)

at Twins (3)

*The Reds have no off days in July, 2 off days in August (10th and 17th) and 4 off days in September (3rd, 7th, 17th and 24th). The Reds play 17 straight games to start the season without a day off, which is their largest consecutive games streak. They start the year with 39 games in the first 41 days. Their next-longest consecutive stretch is 16 games, which they have just one day after the opening 17 games. They close the season with 10 straight games, 7 of which are on the road. They get 2 days off in the final 11 games, and have just 3 straight to close the season. Of their final 12 games, just the last 3 games against the Twins are on the road.

*The Reds have 7 home games against the Cubs, 3 home games against the Brewers, 7 home games against the Pirates and 3 home games against the Cardinals.

*The Reds’ interleague rival is the Tigers, and they play a 3-game home and road series against them. Six of their first ten games are against the Tigers. They have a 2-game home and road series against the Indians (that will be played over 4 straight days), a 2-game home and road series against the Royals, 3 road games against the Twins and 3 home games against the White Sox.

PIRATES

at Cardinals (3)

vs Brewers (3)

at Cubs (4)

at Twins (2)

vs Twins (2)

vs Tigers (3)

at Cardinals (3)

at Reds (4)

vs Indians (3)

vs Brewers (3)

at White Sox (2)

at Brewers (4)

vs Cubs (3)

vs Reds (3)

vs White Sox (2)

at Royals (3)

at Reds (3)

vs Cardinals (4)

vs Cubs (4)

at Indians (3)

*The Pirates have 1 off day in July (30th), 3 off days in August (17th, 24th and 27th) and 2 off days in September (7th and 10th). The Pirates close the season with 17 straight games, 9 of which are on the road, but the 8 home games are four each against the Cardinals and Cubs. Their next-longest consecutive streak is 16 days. Like the Cardinals, they only have 2 off days in the final 31 days.

*The Pirates have 6 home games against the Cubs, 6 home games against the Brewers, 3 home games against the Reds and 4 home games against the Cardinals.

*The Pirates’ interleague rival is the Indians, and they play a 3-game home and road series against them. They have a 2-game home and road series against the Twins (that will be played over 4 straight days), a 2-game home and road series against the White Sox, 3 road games against the Royals and 3 home games against the Tigers.

UPDATED COVID REPORTS FROM TEAMS

The following are the reports from teams that I have been able to gather from various media outlets, websites and Twitter pages.

Cardinals: Ricardo Sanchez, Genesis Cabrera, Elehuris Montero plus one identified individual.

Braves: Freddie Freeman, Pete Kozma, Touki Toussaint, Will Smith.

Cubs: Two staff members. That total may or may not include Pitching Coach Tommy Hottovy, who disclosed his struggles with his diagnosis.

Reds: Two unnamed players.

Astros: Yordan Alvarez and Jose Urquiddy are not in camp and the media has not been told the reason because of “league mandates.”

Rockies: Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl, Ryan Castellani

Royals: Salvador Perez has been confirmed as positive. The club also placed Meibrys Viloria and Matt Reynolds on the phantom 10-day IL. Reynolds is a non-roster invitee on a minor league deal and there is no 10-day IL for such players. Manager Mike Matheny disclosed that he had the virus several weeks ago.

Angels: Two unnamed players tested positive earlier in June.

Brewers: None at intake, but Luis Urias and Angel Perdomo tested positive before summer camp started.

Twins: Willians Astudillo, Nick Gordon, Edwar Colina, Miguel Sano

Mets: One 40-man roster player.

Padres: Tommy Pham

Giants: 1st round draft choice Hunter Bishop and Luis Madero.

Mariners: “More than one player.”

Phillies: 7 players and 5 staff members. 4 players were disclosed and have been placed on the COVID-19 Related Injury List—Scott Kingery, Hector Neris, Ranger Suarez, Tommy Hunter.

Blue Jays: Unconfirmed, but there were 4 phantom injury list placements with no injury disclosed—Jonathan Davis, Elvis Luciano, Brandon Drury, Hector Perez

Indians: Delino DeShields, Jr.

Rangers: Brett Martin, Joey Gallo

Dodgers: Club has seen positives, but won’t clarify whether they are active players. The Club has refused to disclose why Kenley Jansen and A.J. Pollock have not arrived in camp.

Diamondbacks: Junior Guerra, Silvino Brancho (not on the CPP).

Red Sox: Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor. Eduardo Rodriguez was exposed to someone who was sick, and his results are pending.

Yankees: DJ LeMahieu, Luis Cessa

Marlins: 4 unidentified players

Nationals: 2 unidentified players.

Pirates: Blake Cederlind, Socrates Brito.

White Sox: 2 unidentified players.

If the list is complete and accurate, that leaves the Cubs, Rays, Orioles, Tigers and Athletics as teams with no publicly disclosed player cases. Keep in mind that I am reading between the lines about the Astros and Blue Jays.

MORE OPT-OUTS

*Atlanta Braves OF Nick Markakis announce he is opting out of the 2020 season. Markakis has 14 years of MLB service. He was on a 1-year, $4 million deal, and assuming he is not considered to be high risk, he will forfeit $1,481,481.

*Felix Hernandez, who was on a minor league deal with the Braves, has also opted out. Fernandez was considered a strong candidate to win the Braves’ 5th starter job, and he would have earned a $1 million salary if he made the active roster.

*Cleveland Indians’ bench coach Brad Mills, Atlanta Braves’ 1st base coach Eric Young, Sr. and Kansas City Royals’ 1st base coach Rusty Kuntz have all opted out. Young will be replaced by DeMarlo Hale and Kuntz will be replaced by Damon Hollins.

CARDINAL AND NL CENTRAL UPDATES

*Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch clarified that neither Ivan Herrera nor Ricardo Sanchez were on the plane that carried Genesis Cabrera and Elehuris Montero. Anne Rogers of MLB.com clarified that the other 3 players were Carlos Martinez, Angel Rondon and Julio Rodriguez. Rondon was a NRI pitcher that was invited to the first spring training, and Rodriguez was a catcher that was invited to the first spring training. Neither are on the CPP right now, but were brought in for that purpose.

*Elehuris Montero was officially added to the Cardinals’ Player Pool before he was announced as testing positive. That leaves the Cardinals’ CPP at 45, and there should be no need to use the COVID-19 Related Injury List. Ivan Herrera and Edmundo Sosa actually flew here together from Panama, not the Dominican Republic as originally thought. Sosa has been working out in drills, but Herrera has not.

*Of the 22 pitchers on the Cardinals’ 45-man Summer Camp Roster, one of them is Jordan Hicks, who will not be activated from the 60-day IL before the season. Genesis Cabrera and Ricardo Sanchez have both tested positive for COVID-19. Carlos Martinez was on the potentially tainted flight that contained Cabrera, and he hasn’t worked out in camp yet. Giovanny Gallegos has still not been cleared to travel from Mexico and is stuck there. The Cardinals have also not seen Alex Reyes or Junior Fernandez on the field, although we know that they have flown in from Florida. That’s 6 pitchers who have been out of pocket, and 1 who has thrown, but won’t be available to start the season. Shildt had announced that the Cards would go with a minimum of 16 pitchers to start that season, but we haven’t had that many pitchers work out yet.

*Jose Quintana of the Cubs sliced his left (pitching) thumb while washing dishes in his house and had surgery to repair a nerve. He will not be available to start the season. He was set to be the #4 starter. Now Tyler Chatwood, who was thought to be the #5 man, will be the #4 man, and it looks like there will be a competition between Colin Rea, Alec Mills and Jharel Cotton for the final job.