The Oakland A’s released their 2020 schedule on Monday, so let’s have a look through to find anything of note. The full schedule is posted at the bottom.
1. Opening Day in Oakland
After beginning the 2019 season with a big trip to Japan, Opening Day goes back to normal next year for the A’s. They’ll start at home in Oakland on March 26, against the Twins. It’s a day game, at 1:07 p.m., which has become normal around the league recently, and indeed it’s the third year in a row that they’ll have an afternoon opener (not counting the Japan games this year).
As for the matchup against the Twins, it’s the first time these two clubs will begin the season against each other since 1991. That might be interesting news to Minnesota fans, as that was also the last year they won the World Series. The A’s then visit Target Field the next weekend, so they’ll wrap up their entire season series against the Twins on April 5.
2. Tough April
The A’s will be tested early next season, facing every 2019 AL playoff team by the end of April. That includes six against the Twins, six against the Astros, three against the Yankees, three against the Indians, and also three against the Red Sox just in case they get good again. Not to be left out, they host the Rays beginning on the final day of April.
3. Interleague: NL East
Each year the A’s play a different division in interleague play, and next summer it’s the NL East. They’ll visit Philadelphia and Washington for three games each, host the Marlins and Mets for three apiece, and they’ll do two home and two away against the Braves. They’ve also got four against the Giants, but we’ll cover that in the next section.
Unfortunately, matching up against the East means a bit of extra travel. They’ll make five trips to the East Coast, after making six total over the last two years combined. They go twice in June, again in late July, and then twice more in August. In one particularly tough stretch early in the second half, they’ll go from Baltimore to Houston to Oakland, then back to the East Coast for nearly two weeks, and then back to Oakland, playing 25 games in 27 days.
4. Giants in the first half
The A’s are gearing up for their first games against Giants this week, but this time next year they’ll already be done with their local rivals. There are two games in Oakland in early June (6th-7th), and then two in San Francisco in early July (7th-8th). Personally I think June/July is the ideal time to have the Bay Bridge Series, so I like this placement better than this year’s August meetings.
Oakland will host home games on three holidays in 2020: Mother’s Day (May 10), Father’s Day (June 21), and July 4th (July 4).
6. The usual schedule quirks
Every year there will be some oddities, as the league must balance the schedules of 30 teams who all must play each other a certain number of times in a certain ratio of home/away all while staying within various travel and off-day rules. Here are a few of this year’s quirks:
- As mentioned, we’re done with the Twins by April 5.
- We’re done with the Astros by July 29, so that crucial season series will be over particularly early, with 19 games packed into four months.
- We won’t see the Royals until August 31, and then we’ll play seven games against them in 11 days.
- The whole slate against the Tigers will come in early June, with six games in 10 days.
- They’ll do the Texas two-step road trip twice this year, visiting both Arlington and Houston back-to-back in the same trip. That only happened once this season, and not at all in 2018. The Texas teams aren’t actually the closest pair of AL opponents (Detroit to Cleveland is shorter), but the A’s play them way more often than the others so it’s surprising to not see them get combined like this more often. Goes to show the complexity of the scheduling process!
- They save their longest consecutive stretch for the end, playing 17 straight days from September 4th-20th, including a trip to Kansas City and Seattle. They finish the season with 32 games in 34 days. And to make it even tougher, expanded September rosters are essentially going away next year — rosters are going up from 25 to 26 for the whole season, but then in September they only go up to 28, so there will be the chance for just a couple extra players in the final month.
Here’s the full schedule: