Big changes ahead for Halos, as 2013 sked released

Big changes ahead for Angels, as 2013 sked released

Big changes ahead for Halos, as 2013 sked released
ANAHEIM -- The baseball schedule is changing.

For proof, look no further than the Angels' Opening Day matchup in Cincinnati.

Major League Baseball unveiled the schedule for what will be a very different 2013 season on Wednesday. In it, the Angels open up the season with Interleague Play, matching up against the Reds at Great American Ball Park for a three-game series that begins Monday, April 1.

The Astros are set to join the Angels' division next year, giving MLB six five-team divisions and thus placing an odd number of teams (15) in each league. That creates the need for year-long Interleague Play and means that, for the first time ever, a season will open with the American League facing the National League.

The Angels will kick it off, by opening up their season in the city most symbolic of Opening Day.

The Angels will play in Cincinnati on April 1, 3 and 4, then play three games in Texas before hosting the A's for their home opener on Tuesday, April 9. The 2013 regular season will end Sunday, Sept. 29, which for the Angels marks the finale of a four-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

As usual, the Angels will play 19 games against each of their AL West rivals -- except this time, of course, that also includes the Astros.

But not much else is the same.

Interleague Play is jumping from 18 to 20 games for each team. After drawing the NL West in 2012, the Angels will match up against the NL Central in 2013, but they'll play only four games against the Dodgers in two series -- neither of which is scheduled for a weekend -- after annually playing six against their cross-town rivals.

The Angels will play at Dodger Stadium on May 27 and 28, then host the Dodgers at Angel Stadium on May 29 and 30. They'll do something similar with the Cubs, hosting them June 4 and 5 and traveling to Wrigley Field on July 9 and 10. They'll also host three-game sets against the Pirates (June 21 to 23) and Cardinals (July 2 to 4), while traveling for a three-game series against the Brewers (Aug. 30 to Sept. 1).

Another wrinkle in the new schedule is that each team will play only one home series and one road series against the 10 non-divisional teams in their league. The Angels host the Tigers in a weekend set April 19 to 21, the Yankees in a weekend set June 14 to 16 and the Red Sox in a weekend set July 5 to 7.

Each of their last 16 games will come against AL West rivals.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.