A few days ago Major League Baseball announced its schedule for the 2023 season.
It's a fixture list which will see an historic change - a three-game series against every team from the opposite league.
Natural rivals like the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels will play each other four times, two at home and two on the road.
The season starts on March 30th and ends on October 1st.
MLB, 2023 season
Across the United States, London
March 30th - October 1st
So no longer will the schedule reflect more on who is in your division, every team will have a variety of opponents. For the first time in modern MLB history, every team will play each other at some point.
Previously, other than natural rivals, teams would participate in interleague play only against a single division from the opposite league.
Additionally, teams will play one home and road series, consisting of three or four games, against teams from outside their division, but in the same league.
For example, the Mets will play the Milwaukee Brewers at the start of May for a three-game series, while hosting them for four games in June.
With the postseason format having already been expanded this season to include three Wild Card spots in each league, it is more important for teams across each league to play more similar schedules.
All wins and losses are counted the same, so a more balanced schedule conceivably limits the advantage a team from a light division has over a team from a deep division in the Wild Card race.
There is also the entertainment value. Fans across the country will see more of the star players live, as opposed to loading the schedule up with divisional games.
So fans of clubs will get to see more opposition superstars, like Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, Mookie Betts etc.
MLB chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinek said in a press release that: "This new format creates more consistent opponent matchups as clubs compete for postseason berths - particularly in the recently expanded Wild Card round.
"Additionally, this fan-friendly format provides fans with the opportunity to see more opponent-matchups with a particular focus on dramatically expanding our most exciting inter-league matchups, and offers more exposure to the star players throughout our game."
Each team will play 52 games against division opponents, decreased from 76 under the previous schedule structure.
This will include 13 games (across four total series) against each division opponent, decreased from 19 (across six series). That's seven home games and six away games (or vice-versa) against each opponent for a total of 26 home games and 26 away games.
Each team will play 64 interleague games (32 home games and 32 away games) decreased from 66.
There will be 46 interleague games (AL v NL), an increase of 20.
MLB announced that it will host another London Series featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs on June 24th & 25th 2023 at the London Stadium.
MLB last played in London in 2019 when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox fought out a two-game series. The Yankees won both games in what was MLB's first ever regular-season games played in Europe.
Chicago and St. Louis have both played international games before.
The Cubs opened the 2000 season in Tokyo against the New York Mets and played a three-game series against the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2003. The Cardinals played a two-game series against the Cincinnati Reds in Mexico in 2019.
The 2023 London series is part of an international slate of games that was approved in the Labour agreement between MLB and the players' association. It also called for games in 2024 and 2026, an Asian opener in 2024 and a Tokyo opener in 2025.
1. All 30 teams will play on Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday April 15th.
2. The Tampa Bay Rays will play the Los Angeles Dodgers in St. Petersburg, Tampa for three games in May, marking the first games between each other since the World Series in 2020.
3. The All-Star game will be played July 11th in Seattle.
4. All 30 teams will play on the opening day (March 30th) , which will be the first time since 1968 that every team starts on the same day.