Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

MLB's Opening Day 2018 will be different than ever before

MLB's Opening Day 2018 will be different than ever before

Major League Baseball released its schedule for 2018, and for the first time ever, all 30 teams will be playing on Opening Day. The tentative schedule adds four off days for every team.

In recent years, Major League Baseball has opted to start things off with a small number of games on the first Sunday of April - there were three this year - before scheduling the rest of its teams to open the following Monday.

There are a handful of divisional matchups on Opening Day, including a potentially feisty Giants-Dodgers game in Los Angeles. The Wednesday and Thursday after the All-Star Game are traditionally baseball-free, but the season will resume one day early next year. The big takeaway: Opening Day has been moved up to late March-Thursday, March 29, to be exact-making it the earliest season opener in baseball history (leaving aside seasons with global openers in Japan or Australia).

The early start date stems from a provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that calls for three to four additional off days to be spread throughout the season. Knowing how Major League Baseball operates, however, it'll probably still start in the afternoon and go up against all of the other live games.

Another big change will come just after the All-Star break, when two of the game's fiercest rivals, the Cubs and Cardinals, will square off on July 19. The rest of baseball gets Thursday off, as they have in recent years.

The regular season is scheduled to end Sunday, Sept. 30. There will be an worldwide game after Opening Day, however, as the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians will play a two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 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.

Previously, the earliest start except for worldwide games was March 30 in 2003, 2008 and 2014.

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