2018 MLB season has early opening -- March 29
(TSX / STATS) -- Major League Baseball released its 2018 regular-season schedule on Tuesday with a wrinkle that hasn't been seen in 50 years.
All 30 teams will begin their respective season on March 29, marking the first time in a half-century that every club opens play on the same day. The 1968 campaign began with all 20 teams in action.
In addition, March 29 represents the earliest start to a major league season, excluding special international events. It also marks only the 12th time in league history -- and first since 2011 -- that the season will begin on a Thursday.
Opening Day features eight divisional matchups among the 15 games, in addition to an interleague contest between the Detroit Tigers and host Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Yankees open at the American League East-rival Toronto Blue Jays for the first time since 2003 while the San Francisco Giants visit the Los Angeles Dodgers to highlight the divisional contests.
The Oakland Athletics will play a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 17 in which admission will be free. The date is the 50th anniversary of the club's first game in Oakland.
The final day of the 2018 regular season features 12 divisional games on Sept. 30, including the Yankees visiting the rival Boston Red Sox.
Interleague play will feature teams from one league against clubs in the same division of the other league. The Philadelphia Phillies will tangle with the Tampa Bay Rays on April 13-15 in a rematch of the 2008 World Series while the Cubs and Cleveland Indians will square off on April 24-25 in a rematch of the 2016 World Series.
The Minnesota Twins and Indians will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on April 17-18. The Twins will host the games, which will mark the first regular-season action on the island since the New York Mets faces the then-Florida Marlins in 2010.
Washington will host All-Star Week, culminating in the 89th Midsummer Classic on July 17.
Updated September 12, 2017