Now that full teams have reported to Spring Training across the league, Opening Day is under six weeks away! For the White Sox, that means a trip to Houston to square off against the reigning World Series champions and their new first baseman, Jose Abreu. Yet there are many other important details to note about the season schedule in the meantime.
First, the league-wide changes: MLB has rearranged the schedule to include far more inter-league games and far fewer intra-division games. Specifically, division games decreased from 76 to 52, inter-league games jumped from 20 to 46, and non-division league games lightly shifted from 66 to 64. Each team will play every other team in the league for at least three games, a momentous shift from the format of the last 21 years.
Some other notable features:
- The season starts Thursday, March 30 for all 30 teams
- The cross-town series with the Chicago Cubs will be four games total, two at each venue
- The longest streak of consecutive games for the White Sox is 16, twice
- The South Siders are light on seven-game weeks and heavy on first-half games
Let’s identify some key takeaways from each month’s slate of matchups that the White Sox and their fans will need to pay attention to throughout the season.
After three games to kick things off in Houston, the White Sox return to Guaranteed Rate Field for their home opener vs. San Francisco on Monday, April 3. A week later, a crucial stretch begins – Chicago plays either the Twins or an above-.500 (in 2022) team in each contest until May 4. The NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies come to town for three games in the midst of that on April 17, their first trip to the south side since August of 2016.
Things don’t get any more comfortable after that, as the Sox play 20 division games in May. In a month where contenders begin to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, that’s an opportunity for the White Sox to make a statement. Notably, Jose Abreu makes his return to Guaranteed Rate Field on May 12.
On paper, the third month of the season appears the most forgettable to that point. The South Siders welcome some bad teams at home while squaring off against some top-tier opponents on the road, including a series each against two blue bloods in the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Major League Baseball will break for four days, July 10-13, to rest and host All-Star festivities in Seattle. The White Sox will hit the ground running with tough road stints vs. the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Sixteen days removed from the previous game at The Rate, the South Siders kick off the crosstown series with two battles vs. the Cubs on July 25-26.
In welcome news to many Sox fans, the last regular season matchup vs. Cleveland in 2023 will happen early on August 6. Carlos Rodón returns to Guaranteed Rate Field for three games with the Yankees on August 7. A grueling stretch of 32 games in 34 days commences on August 18 on the road vs. Colorado. Sandwiched by two off days, the Crosstown Cup concludes at Wrigley Field on August 15 and 16.
Contrasting with the beginning of the season, the final days of the 2023 campaign look easy on paper. Every contest from September 1 until the season finale series vs. the Padres on September 29 is against a team that finished below .500 in 2022. That begins with 12 straight games against Kansas City and Detroit which, as we found out last year, may not be a cakewalk.
Which series are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!
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92 wins – 70 losses