For the first time in a few years, Braves fans have more to look forward to in the remainder of the current season than the calendar flipping to next season. Isn’t that nice?
But, just because that’s the case for the Braves and their fans this year doesn’t mean that the inexorable march of next season’s calendar being released isn’t happening. And, indeed, said calendar has been released: https://www.mlb.com/braves/schedule/2019-03
Below are some of the highlights and key dates:
- The Braves begin the season on March 28 (that’s a Thursday) at Philadelphia, for what’s being called a 3:05 pm start right now. That should be a fun series to kick off the year, given how the current season is going, pitting these two unexpected breakout teams against one another in a tight division race. This will be the second consecutive year that the Braves open the year against the Phillies, though this past year, they did so at home.
- The Braves’ home opener is the very next series, which starts on April 1 against the Cubs. Could this be an early-season playoff rematch? Stay tuned.
- The Braves have a random three-game road trip April 8-April 10 to play the Rockies. Then, on April 26-28, the Braves host the Rockies, meaning that they won’t see any more of that particular team the entire rest of the year.
- The first interleague matchup for the Braves is April 19-April 21, when they visit the Cleveland Indians. That’s part of an all-Ohio road trip, as they follow that up by playing three against the Reds in Cincy.
- Part of the dreaded West Coast portion of the schedule occurs in early May: the Braves first go to Miami for three on May 3, and then play three in Los Angeles and four in Phoenix. They then come home for a homestand against the Cardinals and Brewers, and then immediately go out west again to play the Giants and the Cardinals (again) in St. Louis. So, like the Rockies, the Braves play the Cardinals six times in 12 days, and then never again for the rest of the year.
- The first meeting with the Washington Nationals of 2019 will take place as a two-game series on May 28-May 29. It’s actually part of a dumb sequence where the Braves have three off-days and five games in eight days.
- I’m going to keep harping on this because it’s weird, but the Braves also play the Pirates seven times in 10 days in early June.
- A big 10-game road trip looms in late June, as the Braves go to Washington for three, Wrigley for four, and then finish with three against the Mets at Citi Field. They then return home for three against the Phillies and three against the Marlins, before the All-Star Break between July 8 and July 11 (earlier in 2019 than in other years).
- Immediately after the All-Star Break, the team hits the road again on another partial West Coast trip, going to San Diego and then Milwaukee.
- They play the Blue Jays in a two-game set in Toronto August 27-28, and then at home in another two-game set the following week. Why the Blue Jays? Let me go see the Braves at Fenway again, MLB schedulers. Ugh.
- The final homestand of the year features the Phillies and then the Giants; the last game of the year in Atlanta is Sunday, September 22.
- After that, the Braves end the season with three in Kansas City and three in New York versus the Mets.
Braves evening home games are apparently starting at 7:20 pm this coming season, a change from the 7:35 home start. Stay tuned to see if there are any further developments on this front.
The Braves have a really long stretch with no off-days between April 23 and May 12. That’s six different series, including the conclusion of one road trip, a long homestand, and then a long West Coast trip. Other long stretches of consecutive games are June 4-June 19 (road trip and then long homestand) and July 26-August 11 (road trip, four-game homestand against the Reds, road trip).
Unlike this year, the Braves have a lot of rest days scheduled for later in the year. (Cross your fingers for no rainouts eating into them.) They have four off-days in September and four in August, as well as a weird week after the All-Star Break where they get two off-days, including one in the middle of the homestand, within three days of one another.