The Tampa Bay Rays released the 2018 schedule, in which the AL and NL East will square off in interleague play, including the team’s first trip to the newly opened Sun Trust Park in north Atlanta.
As a consequence, the typical four-game home-and-home with Miami for the “Citrus Series” will instead be a three game series before and after the All-Star game in DC.
The season begins with the Red Sox coming to town, a team the Rays have not faced in a home opener since 2003 (a walk-off win), and the Rays will face an immediate uphill battle against Boston and New York, facing those two teams exclusively over the first 11 games of the season.
Curiously, there are off-days built into the second week on Tuesday April 3 and Friday April 6 while the Rays are on the road. Those oddities aside, there is something positive in how the opening stretch is scheduled:
"Opening Day" as it ought to be. Every team will open the 2018 @MLB season on the same day (March 29). First time since 1968.— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) September 12, 2017
As noted by the team press release, the Rays schedule features 10 games against the Red Sox in the month of April, and 10 games vs. Toronto in the month of September, as the Rays play their typical 19 games per year against each team in the division.
The Rays will close out the 2018 home schedule with a seven-game homestand against the Yankees (September 24-27) and Blue Jays (September 28-30).
As for other American League teams, the Rays will play seven games against the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. They will have six games apiece vs. the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.
The Rays will not play any scheduled road trips longer than 9 games in length, and feature only one game on the west coast the day after a home series when they travel from St. Petersburgh to Oakland on May 28th.
Season Tickets for 2018 are on sale now and may be purchased by calling 888-FAN-RAYS or online at raysbaseball.com/seasontickets.