photo: Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)
St. Louis Cardinals release
The St. Louis Cardinals, in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s league-wide release, announced their 60-Game 2020 season schedule. The regionally-based schedule will feature 40 divisional games amongst National League Central opponents and 20 Interleague games against American League Central teams.
The Cardinals will open up the season at Busch Stadium on Friday, July 24, with a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and finish their 60-game slate at Busch Stadium on Sunday, September 27, versus the Milwaukee Brewers. The Redbirds will also take part in the only game to be played outside a current Major League city when they take on the host Chicago White Sox in the “MLB at Field of Dreams presented by GEICO” game at the site of the beloved 1989 baseball-themed movie in Dyersville, Iowa on Thursday, August 13.
The 2020 60-Game schedule will feature 10 home series and 10 road series, with home matchups against Pittsburgh (July 24-26, August 10-12), Detroit (August 5-6), Chicago Cubs (August 7-9), Cincinnati (August 20-23, September 11-13), Kansas City (August 24-26), Cleveland (August 28-30), Minnesota (September 8-9), and Milwaukee (September 24-27). The club will have multiple road series against Milwaukee (July 31-August 2, September 14-16) and the Chicago Cubs (August 17-19, September 4-7).
The Cardinals will make future announcements regarding broadcast schedules and any possible ticket availability for the 60-game schedule at a later date.
Brian Walton’s take
Prior to Monday’s announcement, Cardinals PBO John Mozeliak noted the schedule had been “quite fluid” in changes since the first draft had been distributed to teams last week. Earlier he had said that the Cardinals had no objections to the initial draft.
On the positive side, the Cardinals have a relatively easy schedule, considering the weakness of several AL Central teams last season. Kansas City (which play St. Louis six times) lost 103 games in 2019 and Detroit dropped an MLB-high 114.
Here is one analysis of the initial two weeks of the schedule. The clear message is that the Cardinals should have no schedule excuses for not making a fast start.
The Cardinals will have one of the easiest schedules thru August 6. Their opponents winning percentage, based from last year, is a combined .445. They only trail the Cubs (.445) and the Reds (.437).
— Luis Nolla🇵🇷🇺🇸 (@luisminolla17) July 7, 2020
In the aforementioned 12 games to open the season, only five will be held at Busch. Two of the road contests are versus the defending AL Central champions Minnesota.
Here is how I see the big picture. Given the Reds and Cubs are the other two favorites in the division, chances are that at least one of them plays well out of the gate. So if the Cardinals don’t, too, they could be in a hole when the schedule gets tougher.
A concern stated by some is that seven of the 10 head-to-head matchups with the Cubs will be in Chicago. However, the imbalance flips the other way against the Reds, with St. Louis only having to play three of 10 in Great American Ballpark. So it goes with a limited 60-game slate.
In reality, the old cliche that all games matter has never been so true as in 2020. Prior to the rash of COVID-19 cases and season opt-outs, Caesar’s odds, as reported by ESPN, had these three clubs – the Reds, Cardinals and Cubs – all at 31 1/2 wins for the season.
How could it be any tighter? Let’s Play Ball!
As manager Mike Shildt and selected players meet with the media after daily Summer Camp practices, summaries of their comments are posted on The Cardinal Nation’s free message board. (A userid is not required to read forum comments.)