Cubs-White Sox change highlights 2015 schedule

CHICAGO -- Those who wanted the Cubs-White Sox rivalry to be played out on weekends and later in the season will be happy with the tentative 2015 regular-season schedule released by Major League Baseball on Monday afternoon.

After facing the Cubs from May 5-8 this season, with games on Monday and Tuesday at Wrigley Field and games on Wednesday and Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field, the crosstown series moves back to July and August next year and covers six games. The White Sox travel to Wrigley from July 10-12, closing out the season's first half, and then host the Cubs from Aug. 14-16 before embarking on a seven-game West Coast run to Anaheim and Seattle.

"That's better," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the moving of the Cubs-White Sox series. "It did seem odd that it was in the middle of the week. It was just different. It had a different feel to it. Normally it's very warm and kind of crazy atmosphere. And they're later."

The White Sox open their season at Kansas City on Monday, April 6, and their home opener takes place against the Twins on Friday, April 10. They close the season with a six-game homestand against the Royals and Detroit, starting on Sept. 28 and ending on Oct. 4.

Twenty-four of the team's first 27 games, including the first 18, pit the White Sox against American League Central opponents, with seven vs. the Royals, five vs. the Indians, six vs. the Tigers and six vs. the Twins. So the White Sox will get an early take on where they stand within the division.

Their first 18 games are played in Midwest locales, with eight of the first 11 coming on the road.

Interleague action, aside from the Cubs, features the Reds coming to Chicago from May 8-10 for the first time since Cincinnati visited U.S. Cellular in 2001. The White Sox travel to Milwaukee (May 11-13), Pittsburgh (June 15-16) and St. Louis (June 30-July 1) and host the Pirates (June 17-18) and Cardinals (July 21-22).

Prior to that six-game homestand to finish the '15 season, the White Sox have a 10-game, three-city road trip starting on Sept. 18. They visit the Indians for three, the Tigers for three and then play four at Yankee Stadium from Sept. 24-27. The White Sox visit Fenway Park from July 27-30.

John Danks, who has been part of the Cubs-White Sox rivalry since 2007, likes the move back to the summer. He also believes the teams' success will dictate the fans' response.

"There are still a lot of passionate baseball fans in Chicago, but we have to do our part to make it exciting," Danks said. "It can only help moving it to a weekend, but honestly, when both teams are playing well and the fan bases are excited, you could play that game Wed morning and it would be exciting."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.