Reds to host Bucs on Opening Day next season

Club's first 22 games will be against National League Central opponents

Reds to host Bucs on Opening Day next season

CINCINNATI -- In a season that will mark the return of the All-Star Game to Cincinnati, the Reds will open 2015 on April 6 vs. the Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

The opening month of the season will be critical for the Reds to establish themselves in the National League Central. The first 22 games of the season -- all but one game in April -- will be against division rivals. Following the first three games vs. Pittsburgh, the Cardinals come to town before an 11-day, 10-game road trip commences.

Tentative schedules were released on Monday for all 30 clubs. Game times have yet to be determined.

Next season's Interleague Play slate has the Reds facing clubs from the American League Central -- including at the White Sox (May 8-10), Royals (May 19-20) and Indians (May 22-24) and a four game home-and-home series vs. the Tigers at Detroit (June 15-16) and at Cincinnati (June 17-18). The Twins visit the Reds (June 29-July 1), as do the Indians (July 17-19) and Royals (Aug. 18-19).

There will be two trips out to the West Coast, including a 10-day, 10-game trip to Arizona, San Diego and Los Angeles from Aug. 7-16.

Down the stretch of the season, 29 of the final 35 games of the season will be against division rivals. The regular season ends in Pittsburgh on Oct. 4.

The jewel of the 2015 schedule, as far as Cincinnati is concerned, is the 86th All-Star Game to be held at Great American Ball Park on July 14.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.