ST. PETERSBURG — Get ready sports fans because Major League Baseball has taken another step toward returning to the field.
Major League Baseball released its regular season schedules for all 30 clubs, following the abbreviated 60-game format that MLB first announced on June 23.
The Tampa Bay Rays will host the Toronto Blue Jays for Opening Day on Friday, July 24, marking the 11th consecutive season the Rays will play at home on Opening Day. Due to ongoing safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, games held at Tropicana Field will not be open to fans at this time.
The Rays open the season with a five-game homestand against the Blue Jays (July 24-26) and Atlanta Braves (July 27-28). On their first road trip, the Rays travel to play the Braves (July 29-30) and Baltimore Orioles (July 31–Aug. 2). They finish the season by hosting the Philadelphia Phillies for three games (Sept. 25-27).
For interleague play, the Rays will play six games against the Miami Marlins (three home, three road), four games each against the defending world champion Washington Nationals (two home, two road) and Braves (two home, two road) and three games each against the New York Mets (all road) and Phillies (all home).
MLB designed the 2020 schedule to include 40 games within the division and 20 interleague games. The Rays will play 10 games each against the Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Blue Jays. As a result, all 60 Rays games will be played in the Eastern time zone.
Major League Baseball will officially open the season on Thursday, July 23, with two games scheduled that night. The Nationals will host the Yankees at 7:08 p.m., and the Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Francisco Giants at 10:08 p.m.
It will also end a stretch of 266 days without a regular season or postseason game, which according to Stats LLC is the longest drought in major league history, passing the 256 days between games in 1994-95 (players’ strike).