If you’re the type of person who likes to travel the country following the San Francisco Giants, then you’re in luck. You can go ahead and make those travel arrangements ahead of time and get the best deals and rewards.
As always, the MLB schedule makers got to work early, and figured out next season’s schedule, even though we’ve still got more than 40 games left in this one. For perspective, the MLB schedule release beat the NBA schedule release by a few hours. The NBA season opener is the same day as the first game of the World Series, which . . . well, that’s a whole different issue.
Anyway, the point is this: the schedule is out early enough for people to do lots of schedule-related planning. Let’s check it out.
Here's the Giants' tentative 2020 schedule. pic.twitter.com/Bmf0ucolgP— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 12, 2019
There’s only so much that we can take away from a baseball schedule. For the most part, we knew what we’d get: a whole bunch of games against the NL West, a whole bunch more games against the NL West, home and aways with every other NL team, and some interleague shenanigans.
Still, there’s always some stuff to dive into. Let’s check out the notable 2020 schedule storylines, insofar as they can be notable in August of 2019.
Opening against the Dodgers
The Giants will kick things off on March 26 at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Even with the Giants being one of the worst teams in baseball (in the regular season) the last few years, and the Dodgers being one of the best teams in baseball (in the regular season) the last few years, this makes sense. It’s still a fierce and exciting rivalry that the fans love.
The Giants got underway in LA last year, and you may remember what transpired.
The #SFGiants will open the 2020 season at Dodger Stadium on March 26.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) August 12, 2019
They did that in 2018, too. Ty Blach threw five shutout innings. Joe Panik homered off Clayton Kershaw. Hunter Strickland picked up a save.
Well, those things won’t happen, since none of those players are on the team anymore. But perhaps Conner Menez will throw five shutout innings, while Mauricio Dubon homers off Clayton Kershaw, and Sam Selman picks up the save.
But also, hopefully not.
The Giants will have their home opener on April 3. It will also be against the Dodgers, for reasons.
Day 2 off day
I might be alone here, but nothing about baseball schedules annoys me more than an off day the day after the season opener. You have 162 games, and only a handful of off days, and you can’t figure out how to have an uninterrupted opening series? Silliness.
Either way, after opening the season on March 26, the Giants will get March 27 to laze at their favorite LA eateries, and ponder whether the opening day loss was by enough runs that they should start selling.
Well-rested for the final push
It remains to be seen if the Giants will be playing meaningful games this September. But they certainly plan on playing meaningful games next September. And the schedule is set for them to capitalize.
Starting on September 7, the Giants have seven straight home games, hosting the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds. Then it’s off to Arizona for a three-game set against the Diamondbacks, then an off day. A series in LA, then another off day. Then they end the year with six straight at home, against the Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers. That’s 13 of their last 19 at home, with two off days on the (short) road trip.
Hopefully the Giants will be sending more than one player to the All-Star Game next year. But then again, they might just send their whole team.
The 2020 All-Star Game will be hosted by the Dodgers, and the Giants first series after the break is . . . you guessed it, at Chavez Ravine.
MLB, in the persistent pursuit of cash money, decided to give a national TV rights-holder a game after the All-Star break, when no other games would be played, per Hank Schulman. Having the host city play that game, at home, against a nearby team, made the most sense.
So on July 16, when 28 teams get their fourth day off for the All-Star Break, the Giants and Dodgers will be back in action.
Well-spaced rest days
From August 28 until September 16, the Giants will play 20 games in 20 days. Other than that, they have no period of more than two weeks without rest days.
That’s probably for the best.
Other than all that, it’s your pretty standard schedule.
Now, who’s ready for some 2020 baseball!??!