Looking ahead: Next season's schedule revealed

Traditional Opening Day games to be played on Monday, April 6

Looking ahead: Next season's schedule revealed

Major League Baseball on Monday revealed the 2015 regular-season schedule, which will begin with the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball opener on April 5 and then, by the following day, if there are no postponements, all 30 teams will have participated in traditional Opening Day games.

Cincinnati, which will host its first All-Star Game since 1988 and its record fifth overall, naturally will be one of those 15 host ballparks on that first Monday of action, when the Reds will face the Pirates. The 15 Opening Day games include 12 divisional matchups and an unprecedented opener between the Red Sox and Phillies in Philadelphia. Seven games are scheduled to be played on Tuesday, April 7, before all 30 teams take the field once again the next day.

For the record, the Yankees' first game post-Derek Jeter is scheduled to be played against Toronto on that Monday in the Bronx.

The schedule contains World Series rematches from three of the past six seasons, including a 2010 Fall Classic rerun between the Giants and Rangers in Arlington from July 31-Aug. 2. The Phillies will be at Yankee Stadium in a 2009 World Series rematch from June 22-24, and the Rays will visit the Phillies from July 20-22 in a reprise of the 2008 Series.

The regular season once again is scheduled to conclude on a Sunday -- Oct. 4. Other important dates include Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday, April 15; Mother's Day on May 10 and Father's Day on June 21; and the first day of the 50th annual MLB Draft on Monday, June 8.

Speaking of important anniversaries, they will abound as always. For example:

• On April 9, the Astros will be home against Cleveland, and that will mark the 50th anniversary of the debut of Houston's Astrodome, the "Eighth Wonder of the World."

• All those postseason runs in Atlanta under Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox's guidance resulted in one World Series title, and you can expect to hear a lot about it 20 years later. Meanwhile, the White Sox will be commemorating their 2005 championship.

• Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is classic lore. You'll be reminded of Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair as it's remembered at Fenway Park 40 years later. Of course, Reds fans will remind you that they actually won the Fall Classic that year (and the next).

• It will be the 60th anniversary of one of baseball's greatest breakthroughs: Dem Bums of Brooklyn finally beating the Yankees in the World Series.

• The 2015 season will mark the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's postseason debut, when he led the Red Sox to a title as a 20-year-old southpaw pitcher.

• Kansas City is currently attempting to make the postseason for the first time since being World Series champions in 1985. These forthcoming weeks will help determine just how much a 30th anniversary means to the Royals next season.

With 15 teams in each league, Interleague Play will take place throughout the entire regular season for the third straight year. Clubs will again play 19 games against division opponents (76 total games) and either six or seven contests against non-division league opponents in home-and-home series (66 total games). Each club will also play 20 Interleague games (10 home, 10 road).

Not only will the Pirates be hosting an American League team in their home opener for the first time in club history, Pittsburgh will be playing Detroit in its home opener for the first time since 1888, when the team then known as the Wolverines played in the National League.

The Cubs will open the 100th season at Wrigley Field by hosting the rival Cardinals. It will be the first time since 1991 that has happened. In another rarity, the Mariners will open the season at home for the first time since 2008.

No master schedule announcement would be complete without mention of the first installment of the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees. That will take place during New York's first homestand, a three-game weekend set from April 10-12. After consecutive farewell tours by legends Mariano Rivera and Jeter, it presumably will be somewhat of a return to normalcy in the Bronx.

The great Vin Scully announced this summer that he will return in 2015 for a 66th season of broadcasting Dodgers games. The first scheduled chance to experience his calls again will be in the Dodgers' home game against San Diego on April 6.

Are you ready for a Subway Series in April? That never has happened, but it will in 2015 as the series returns to weekend matchups on April 24-26 at Yankee Stadium and at Citi Field on Sept. 18-20. The earliest prior meeting occurred this year: May 12 at Yankee Stadium.

And how about the Dodgers going to Anaheim for an unprecedented September Freeway series against the Angels? That one will be played from Sept. 7-9, and if it's anything like this year's games, it will be intense.

The Red Sox will open the season in Philadelphia for the first time since 1954, the last year that city had an AL franchise, the Athletics. It also will be the first time the Red Sox open a season against an NL team.

MLB will announce the opponents for the ESPN Sunday Night opener at a later date.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.