As we move closer to the end of the 2017 season, the Yankees are looking to next year with the release of their 2018 regular season schedule. Now that the schedule has been released, it’s time to take a second away from the current division race to examine what we have to look forward to next year.
The 2018 season will have every team play their first game on March 29, the first time this has happened since 1968. This will also make it the earliest start to the regular season ever (not counting international games).
Not only will baseball start earlier, but it will end earlier too, as the last game will be on September 30. Considering that the new CBA requires the season be played over 186 days, instead of 183, there will be more off days. An earlier start accommodates this without forcing teams to play too far into October.
The Yankees will open the 2018 season in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The game will be at 3:37 PM in the afternoon on Thursday, March 29. Following the four-game series, they come to Yankee Stadium for the home opener. The Monday, April 2 game will be against the Rays, with the game time still to be determined.
The AL East race starts off in a hurry with the first two weeks of the season—13 games in a row—against division rivals.
The Red Sox
The Yankees travel to Boston for the first time in 2018 to face the Red Sox in a three-game series from April 10 to 12. The two meet again for a series in the Bronx from May 8 to 10, and then again from June 29, 30, and July 1. The Yankees head back to Boston for four games from August 2 to 5.
If you think this season is coming down to the wire, imagine what next year will be like. The Yankees finish out September with two series against their division rivals. One series in the Bronx from the 18th to the 20th, and then the Yankees play their last three games in Boston from the 28th to the 30th. If both teams are as competitive as they are now, this will lead to the maximum level of drama.
The team’s first interleague series is a two-game set against the Marlins at home on April 16 and 17. This will be their first time facing the new Derek Jeter-led Miami team (as long as the owners approve the sale). On May 15 and 16, the Yankees will be in DC to face the Nationals, so we will have to see our pitchers bat.
The 2018 Subway Series gets underway with three games at Citi Field on June 8, 9, and 10. This year will be different than the two and two format we’ve seen recently. After the Yankees play the Phillies in Philadelphia from June 25 to 27, the Mets come to Yankee Stadium for another three games to kick off the second half of the season from July 20 to 22. The Yankees will see Jeter one more time with a trip to Marlins Stadium on August 21 and 22 to bring interleague play to an end.
Thanks to the elongated schedule, the Yankees will have more off days than they normally do. In 2018, the team will enjoy 20 days off. They will be off April 3, the day after the home opener, and then April 9 and 18. In May, the team will be off on the 7th, 14th, 17th, and 24th. June will actually have five off days, including June 4, 7, 11, 18, and 28. They have July 5th off before the All-Star break between the 16th and 19th.
With 13 days off in the first half of the season, that leaves only five games for the second half. The Yankees will have off on July 30, then August 13, 20, and 23. In September, they will have off days on the 6th, 13th, and 17th.
The Yankees will actually be at home for all the major holidays throughout the season. They face Oakland at home for Mother’s Day, the Astros for Memorial Day, the Rays on Father’s Day, and the Braves on Independence Day. Start thinking about how you want to spend these days now!
West Coast Trips
As luck would have it, the Yankees actually avoid a prolonged west coast trip in 2018. They head to Los Angeles to face the Angels on April 27, 28, and 29, but they don’t return until the end of the year. They spend the beginning of September in Oakland, with a three-game series on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. After an off day, they head up to Seattle to face the Mariners on the 7th, 8th, and 9th.
It’s certainly never the best time of year, but it’s nice to know that watching these games won’t be as brutal as they have been in the past.