The Tampa Bay Rays have released their 2020 regular-season schedule, and for the 11th consecutive season will play at home on Opening Day as the Pittsburgh Pirates visit for a three-game series beginning on Thursday, March 26.
And if Chris Archer possibly facing the Rays at Tropicana Field on Opening Day wasn’t enough to pique your interest, just buckle up.
Major League Baseball apparently learned nothing from 2018, and has the Rays going to Boston and Cleveland the first full week of April, where it will surely snow.
The Rays will then face Houston at home, then following the homestand fly to Houston for four games before returning home without off days on either end; April will be a challenge.
May kicks off with a road trip to Oakland without an off-day to adjust, just one of two California trips on the schedule — with the other a LA-Seattle trip with off days before and after to end August that is far more pallatable.
For the eighth straight season, Tampa Bay will play 20 interleague games, and they will oppose all five teams from the NL Central this time around while continuing their annual home-and-home series with the Miami Marlins.
The Rays are scheduled to host the Pirates (March 26-29), Milwaukee Brewers (May 30-31), St. Louis Cardinals (July 10-12) and Marlins (July 28-29). They will play interleague road series at Chicago (July 3-5), Milwaukee (July 7-8), Cincinnati (July 31–August 2) and Miami (September 8-9). It will be only the team’s second trip to Milwaukee, following June 20-22, 2011.
Thanks to those NL games, the Rays thankfully have two-game series sandwiches twice in July and once in September, but will also conclude the schedule with an AL East firestorm, beginning with a St. Pete - Toronto - Miami - Boston - St. Pete shuttle run, and ending the year in New York.
The team seems to agree with my shock, given how “alien” they seem to have found the release:
Per the Rays, September 27 ties the earliest regular-season finale in club history when the Devil Rays finished their inaugural season coincidentally in New York on September 27, 1998. It’s ain’t gonna be easy.
What do you see in the Rays 2020 schedule?