Big changes in store for Texas Rangers fans: Breaking down the 2013 schedule
The 2013 Major League Baseball season means big changes for Texas Rangers fans. The big development: There will be interleague baseball every day, thanks to the move of the Houston Astros from the National League Central to the American League West. MLB made the move to balance its divisions.
For the Texas Rangers, it takes a rivalry that was just a six-game interleague series billed as “The Battle for the Silver Boot” and turns it into a meaningful 19-game rivalry in which each game can help determine the AL West title.
In all, the Rangers will play 76 games against division rivals. The new interleague format means the Rangers will play interleague baseball in five of the season’s six months. (July is the exception.) The Rangers will also play home-and-home series with the AL Central and East divisions, meaning each AL team outside of the West will make only one appearance in Arlington.
Here’s the breakdown:
Season opener: The Rangers open on the road in Houston on Tuesday, April 2. The Rangers play another road series with Houston on May 10-12 and don’t get the Astros at home until July 5-7.
Home opener: The Rangers return on April 5 to open the home slate with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which is the start of a three-game weekend series. Those are sure to sell out.
Interleague opener: The Rangers’ first interleague series is on the road from April 16-18. The locale? Chicago, to face the Cubs. It will be the Rangers’ first trip to the North Side since 2002.
Interleague home opener: The Rangers open the home portion of their interleague slate on Wednesday, May 29, against Arizona.
Weirdest stretch: The Rangers face Arizona four times in four days, with two games in Phoenix and two games in Arlington. How do they accomplish this? The Rangers and Diamondbacks play a rarity on Monday, May 27 — a day-night doubleheader. The two teams get the next day off to travel to Arlington to play another two games at Rangers Ballpark.
Interleague: With Houston moving to the AL, Arizona is the Rangers’ designated NL West rival. The rest of the Rangers’ interleague games are against the NL Central. Along with the Chicago Cubs, the Rangers travel to Milwaukee (May 7-8) and St. Louis (June 21-23). The Rangers host Cincinnati (June 28-30), Milwaukee (August 13-14) and Pittsburgh (September 9-11).
Make other plans in April: The Rangers have only 10 home games in April. They play 17 games on the road that month, including a stretch of 14 road games in 18 days that includes three games against the Angels and four games in Minnesota, when it could still be pretty cold.
Best month: It’ll be hot, but July looks like a good month to be around the Ballpark. The Rangers have 16 homes games, including three against Houston, three against resurgent Baltimore, four against the New York Yankees and three against the Los Angeles Angels.
Northern transplant planner: The Yankees’ trip in August is the Bronx Bombers’ only trip to Arlington. Boston makes its only trip to Arlington from May 3-5. Detroit hits town for a four-game set from May 16-19. The Chicago White Sox make one trip from April 30-May 2. Minnesota makes its only trip from August 30-September 1.
Ending at home: For the second year in a row. the Rangers end the season at home. They host Houston for three games on September 23-25 and the Los Angeles Angels from September 26-29.
Potential Cowboys conflicts: The Rangers have home games on two Sundays in September — September 15 against Oakland and September 29 against the Angels. Plus, there is a Monday game on September 23 against Houston. All could make for a busy day, if the NFL schedules the Cowboys for a home game on any of those days in 2013.