MLB To Open '18 Season With Earliest U.S. Start Ever; All 30 Teams To Be In Action
MLB will begin its ’18 season on Thursday, March 29, with all 30 teams in action, the first time since ’68 that every team will begin on the same date. It also will be the first time Opening Day lands on a Thursday since '11. The new schedule represents the earliest start ever for a season, not counting games played abroad. The new CBA calls for more off days in the schedule. The minimum number of days to play the regular season increases from 178 to 182 beginning in ’18, prompting the league to veer from its recent tradition of starting each season with ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” The ’18 season will cover 186 days and will end Sunday, Sept. 30. The interleague division pairings next year are AL East-NL East, AL Central-NL Central, and AL West-NL West. The All-Star Game will be July 17 in DC, with the All-Star break remaining at four days. The ’18 Draft will be June 4 at a location to be determined. Other special events, such as a potential return to Williamsport, Pa., for a game during the Little League World Series, as well as most international games, have yet to be slotted. The league previously announced plans for a two-game set April 17-18 in Puerto Rico between the Indians and Twins. The CBA also includes a multiyear plan for international play that contemplates ’18 regular-season games in Asia and Mexico.