Royals to open 2016 at home against Mets

Kansas City scheduled to face NL East clubs in Interleague matchups

KANSAS CITY -- For the first time in franchise history, the Royals will open the season with Interleague Play when they host the New York Mets on April 4, 2016.

Major League Baseball released its tentative 2016 season schedule on Tuesday.

Tentative 2016 Royals schedule

After the two-game set with the Mets, the Royals will conclude a five-game homestand with a three-game series with the Twins. The first road trip will go through Houston and Oakland. This will be the Mets' first trip to Kauffman Stadium since 2004.

"Really? We open with the Mets?" manager Ned Yost asked incredulously. "Well, OK."

In general, as you would expect, Yost wasn't all that interested in next year's schedule, not with the intensity of September and possibly October baseball on hand. But Yost's attention did pop up when it was mentioned the Royals play Atlanta next season -- Yost's farm is outside of Atlanta and he was hoping perhaps he could squeeze an off-day in back home.

But alas, all three games with the Braves are at Kauffman Stadium.

Other schedule highlights:

• The Royals will have their home-and-home series with the Cardinals the last four games of June.

• The Royals will host Interleague matchups with Washington (May 2-4) and Atlanta (May 13-15).

• The Royals' road Interleague schedule will start with the Mets (June 21-22), followed by Philadelphia (July 1-3) and Miami (Aug. 23-25).

As for holiday schedules, the Royals will be at home on Memorial Day vs. the Rays (May 30) and on Father's Day vs. Detroit (June 19), and on the road in Cleveland on Mother's Day (May 8), in Toronto on Independence Day (July 4) and in Minnesota for Labor Day (Sept. 5). The 87th All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 12, in San Diego, with the All-Star break running from July 11-14.

The complete tentative schedule can be seen on The final schedule, including all start times, will be released by MLB in January.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.