Major League Baseball released the schedule for the 2018 season on Tuesday. The Milwaukee Brewers found out when they would be playing each and every one of their opponents next season.
The beginning of the 2018 season will be much different than past seasons as every single team will begin play on Thursday, March 29th. That’s about four days earlier than the season normally begins. The change is part of the recent CBA where teams are allowed more off days.
Also, the Milwaukee Brewers inter-league opponents will be from the AL Central next year. There will be games against Cleveland, Minnesota, Kansas City, Detroit, and Chicago. There will be home games against every one of those teams except the Chicago White Sox.
You can check out the entire schedule here. But let’s take a close look at the way the schedule works out for the hometown Brew Crew.
In a shocking turn of events, the Milwaukee Brewers don’t open the season against the Colorado Rockies or the San Francisco Giants. The Brewers begin their season in sunny San Diego against the Padres. At least it will be warm down there. That three game set begins on Thursday and then they have Sunday off before their home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.
That’s followed by a four game set against the Chicago Cubs to finish the first home stand of the season. Then the Crew goes on the road to play the Cardinals again followed by a travel day to play the New York Mets.
Another seven game home stand follows with series against the Reds and the Marlins ahead of a nine game road trip to the first inter league series of the season at Kansas City. Then a trip to Wrigley Field for four games and finally to Cincinnati to finish the month.
With two series against the Cubs and Cardinals, there will be a lot of jostling among the best teams in the division very early.
Finishing that Reds series leads the Milwaukee Brewers into the first of four off days in May. A five game home stand begins with three against the Pirates and two against the Cleveland Indians before heading on a 10-game, 11-day road trip out west. Four games against Colorado, three against Arizona and three against Minnesota before they return to Miller Park.
Instead of a four game home and home series against the Twins, each team will get a three game series at home, although they aren’t back to back this year. This is due to having to play the Twins’ division this year as opposed to just being a rivalry match up.
Returning home, the Brewers will host Arizona, so they finish that season series in a week and a half. Following that, the New York Mets come in for four games and the Cardinals for three to finish the 10-game home stand.
A long road trip gets followed by a long home stand. The Milwaukee Brewers are most likely going to be appreciative of the four off days this month.
The tour of the AL Central continues on the South Side against the White Sox for three games and then another two in Cleveland. That two game set in Cleveland is sandwiched between two off days and the trip finishes in Philadelphia. Perhaps bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel can attempt to beat his Philly cheesesteak record of 23.
Back at Miller Park, the I-94 Rivalry gets renewed once more before the Phillies come to town for their second straight weekend series against the Crew. A lot of season series are back to back this year.
A very short road trip starts in Pittsburgh before another six game home stand against the Cardinals and Kansas City. Following that, a trip to Cincinnati to finish the month.
There is an off day in between those St. Louis and Kansas City series and that’s the last off day the Milwaukee Brewers have for a while because…
The Brewers get absolutely hosed with the schedule in July. Honestly, this is brutal. After two games against KC, and four in Cincinnati, the Milwaukee Brewers immediately come home for seven games against Minnesota and Atlanta before going on the road again to Miami and Pittsburgh before the All Star Break.
If you’re counting that’s 20 games in a row without a day off heading into the All Star Break. The Break is also a week later than it usually is. The season starts earlier but the mid-season break is later? That makes zero sense. Also, those four days off for the All Star Break are the only off days the Brewers have in the month of July.
They follow that stretch of 20 games in a row with 17 more consecutive games. Their next scheduled off day is August 6th. They come out of the break at home against the Dodgers and Nationals before heading immediately out west to basically finish the NL West. Four games in San Francisco and four against the Dodgers. Then, they come back home without any off days in between.
At home, they face Colorado for three games before their first regularly scheduled off day since June 25th. Then they finish the home stand with three games against San Diego. MLB must’ve felt bad about not giving the Milwaukee Brewers any off days in July so they stacked August with five days off.
A three-city road trip sees the Brewers head to Atlanta for three, Chicago for two, and St. Louis for three with off days surrounding the Cubs series. The final tour around the NL Central continues at Miller Park against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh for three games apiece.
Then, they head out to Cincinnati and Washington at the end of the month.
The final month begins. If you were hoping to watch a game on a cool Thursday night in September you might as well forget about it as the Milwaukee Brewers are off every single Thursday this month.
After finishing their series in Washington, they come home to face the Cubs and Giants for three games each. Then a short trip down I-94 for three games to finis the season against the Cubs from the 10th-12th. Coming back to Miller Park, they play the Pirates and Reds before heading out to Pittsburgh and St. Louis to finish their games against the NL Central.
Their last home stand and last series of the season is against their inter league opponent, the Detroit Tigers. While normally the last series is against a divisional rival, someone has to play an inter league series for the last game of the season. It just happens to be Milwaukee next year.
How Does It Look?
They don’t have many long home stands. Most are only six or seven games and they only have one home stand where they play three teams. That’s the ten-game one back in May which coincidentally follows their first three-team road trip of the season.
But the lack of off days in July is concerning. 20 straight games is a lot considering they have three four-game series during that stretch. And the 17 game stretch almost seems worse. They face quality teams throughout the whole stretch. Starting with LA and Washington, who will win both of their respective divisions in 2017, they head to San Francisco for four. The Giants will be better next year. Then another four against LA before coming home to play Colorado. The Rockies could also be a playoff team in 2017 too. Unbelievable.
If the Milwaukee Brewers can get through July without getting completely gassed they should be fine. But the extra off days throughout the season should help a lot as they go down the stretch in 2018.
As fun as it is to look at next season’s schedule and try to make predictions about how they will perform, there’s still this season to finish up. A postseason berth is still possible and there will be big decisions to make in the off season. There could be a lot of movement that could alter the importance of a few series next year.