The 2023 schedule was released yesterday. The Rangers open at home on Thursday, March 30 against Philadelphia.
But what’s worth noting is, for the first time ever, every team plays every other team. The Rangers play all twenty-nine teams this year.
That means, instead of playing nineteen games against every divisional opponent, they play thirteen. What’s amazing about this is, shockingly, that means, shockingly, the Yankees and the Red Sox—the only games that seem to matter to the networks who broadcast baseball—will, shockingly, play fewer games.
And, every team will start the same day. No more staggered opening days. And every team will play on July 4. Why that wasn’t a thing is beyond any sort of reason.
So, why did baseball cut the number of divisional games down? To make the wild card races a lot more fair.
The best way to describe this is look at the 2013 Rangers. They beat the Astros seventeen times out of nineteen, and they beat the Angels sixteen times out of nineteen.
Against the rest of the league that year they were far below .500.
This new schedule diminishes the advantage one team gets by playing in a weak division. It’s not as strongly weighted toward division play. So, it’s ess likely a team can beef up on the bad teams in their weaker division while teams in strong divisions suffer because they don’t have ninety-pound weaklings to walk all over.
This new schedule means every team’s fans get to watch all the stars on all the teams every year. The biggest change is, instead of having twenty interleague games each season, teams will have forty-six.
The whole idea behind this new format is to level the playing field among teams so it’s a more fair path to the playoffs.
For Rangers fans, losing six games against the Astros has to be welcome. That’s six almost certain losses they can avoid.
And that’s a positive thing about the new schedule already.