MLB releases 2021 schedule; Royals, all teams to open on April 1
NEW YORK – Major League Baseball will open the 2021 season on April 1 and hopes to have every team play its first game on the same day for the first time since 1968.
The league released the full schedule Thursday, two weeks before it plans to begin a 2020 season that's been delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. MLB intended to start this season on March 26, its earliest opening date ever except for international games.
The Kansas City Royals will open their 2021 season at home on Thursday, April 1 against the Texas Rangers. The teams are scheduled to have Friday off before completing the series Saturday and Sunday, April 3-4. The Royals’ first road game is scheduled for April 5 at Cleveland. They will play the interleague rival Cardinals Aug. 6-8 at St. Louis and Aug. 13-15 at Kauffman Stadium.
The league also hoped to have all 30 clubs play on the same opening day this season, but that was spoiled when Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended spring training in March.
Instead, a 60-game regular season schedule is scheduled to begin July 23, with clubs set to play only division foes and regional interleague opponents – AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central, AL West vs. NL West – to limit travel.
Clubs will resume full intraleague schedules in 2021, and interleague play will again align regionally.
The New York Mets will host the cross-town Yankees at Citi Field on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the first time the Subway Series will take place on Sept. 11. The Yankees will host the Mets during Fourth of July weekend.
Atlanta will host the 91st All-Star Game on July 13 at Truist Park. It's Atlanta's first All-Star Game since hosting in 2000 at Turner Field.
MLB also tried to have every team play its first game on the same day in 2018, but two games were postponed due to poor weather.
The last day of the season will be Oct. 3.