On Monday, MLB released the 60-game schedule for the 2020 season that may or may not happen. And apparently it was so much fun that they decided to go ahead and release the 162-game schedule for the 2021 season that may or may not happen.
Now before I show you the schedule, I just want to state this plainly and clearly: Nobody asked for this. Nobody. Not one person. Not a single soul thought, “Hey, this 2020 situation sure is going swimmingly, I’d really like to know who the San Francisco Giants will play next year!”
But here we are. The Giants 2021 schedule has officially been released, so that you can go ahead and start booking airfare and hotels for your preferred road games, despite not knowing if those games will happen, or if you’ll be allowed to attend them if they do.
So, what stands out about the season?
Opening Day against the ... Mariners?
The Giants open the season on April 1, on the road, against the Seattle Mariners. Apparently the schedule makers have a crystal ball and can see that the Giants and Mariners — the bottom dwellers of the two West divisions — will shock the baseball world this season and win their respective divisions, thus setting up a primetime Opening Day clash between elite west coast teams.
Or they’re putting two of baseball’s worst teams against each other and assuming everyone will just look in a different direction. Could be that.
Either way, it’s fitting that they begin the season on April 1, because an interleague game to kick off the year is a joke.
MadBum has to wait for his ovation
The coronavirus is already delaying the standing ovation that Madison Bumgarner will get when he first plays in front of the Giants fanbase while wearing an opposing uniform. And now the schedule makers are delaying it a little further. The Arizona Diamondbacks make their first visit to Oracle Park on June 14. It’s a four-game series, so there’s a good chance that Bumgarner will pitch.
An easy start
The Giants 2020 schedule could not start any harder than it does. The Giants play the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros — consensus top-three teams in baseball — ten times in their first 20 games. All ten games are on the road.
So the schedule makers surely cackled while drawing that up, but their ice cold hearts have melted over the week, and they’ve written the Giants an apology letter.
Here’s how the Giants first 44 games of 2021 unfold (2019 record in parenthesis):
9 against the Colorado Rockies (71-91)
9 against the San Diego Padres (70-92)
7 against the Miami Marlins (57-105)
7 against the Cincinnati Reds (75-87)
4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates (69-93)
3 against the Seattle Mariners (68-94)
3 against the Philadelphia Phillies (81-81)
2 against the Texas Rangers (78-84)
No teams with a winning record!
Now, some of those teams — specifically the Padres and Phillies — will likely be pretty good in 2021. But even so, it’s a very light schedule to start the season. That will catch up to them eventually, but it at least means the Giants should be able to, at the bare minimum, give the illusion of being a playoff contender for the first 6 or 7 weeks.
A visit from Angels and goats
The Giants turn the calendar from May to June by welcoming the Los Angeles Angels to town. The Angels will be at Oracle Park on May 31 and June 1, which means Mike Trout will be coming to Oracle Park.
Now, on the off chance that A) the season happens, B) fans are allowed to attend games, C) you live in the Bay Area, D) you are free on those days, and E) you can afford to buy overpriced tickets to a sporting event, I recommend circling this day on the calendar.
Trout is well on his way to becoming the greatest of all time, surpassing either a Giants legend (Willie Mays) or a different Giants legend (Barry Bonds) depending on your point of view.
See him in person, if you can. You’ll also get to see Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, and Anthony Rendon.
Remember the 2019 summer, when the otherwise bad Giants won approximately 60 times in 50 games to creep into postseason contention? Yeah, don’t expect that summer to repeat itself in 2021.
After an off day on June 24, here are the Giants games for the next two and a half months:
12 against the Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56)
10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks (85-77)
7 against the Milwaukee Brewers (89-73)
6 against the Oakland A’s (97-65)
6 against the St. Louis Cardinals (91-71)
6 against the New York Mets (86-76)
4 against the Colorado Rockies (71-91)
3 against the Houston Astros (107-55)
3 against the Atlanta Braves (97-65)
3 against the Washington Nationals (93-69)
3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates (69-93)
Remember how I said that easy 44-game start would come back to bite them later? Yeah, I strongly recommend winning all 44 of those games. They’re gonna need the cushion.
Well folks, there you have it. The schedule no one asked for, for the season no one knows anything about.