By Jon Weisman
After beginning the 2016 regular season at San Diego, the Dodgers will open their 2017 season at home against the Padres on Monday, April 3, according to the preliminary schedule released today (click the image above to enlarge).
For the second consecutive season, the Dodgers will play their 162nd game away on the road, concluding the 2017 campaign October 1 in Colorado, in the first October game ever between the two teams at Coors Field.
Here’s what’s cooking for the 160 games in between …
Fleeing to the Cleve: The 2017 Dodgers begin interleague play with the American League from June 13-15, when they travel to Cleveland for the first time since sweeping a three-game series in 2003. Those are the only games the Indians have hosted the Dodgers since the 1920 World Series, in which Brooklyn scored two runs in 36 innings and Clarence Mitchell hit into an unassisted triple play.
Freeway Series: Following their usual pattern of recent years, the Dodgers will split four games in a row with the Angels between their two ballparks: June 26-27 at Dodger Stadium, June 27-28 at Anaheim.
More interleague play: Los Angeles hosts Kansas City (July 7-9), Minnesota (July 24-26) and the Chicago White Sox (August 15-16). On the road, in addition to the Indians, the Dodgers play the White Sox on July 18-19 and then fly to Detroit for games August 18-20.
San Francisco treatment: For the first time since 2012, the Giants won’t make an April visit to Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles resumes the rivalry at San Francisco with a four-game series April 24-27, then meets the Giants for the first time at Dodger Stadium from May 1-3. The final Dodgers-Giants series of 2017 will take place in L.A. September 22-24.
Longest homestands: The Dodgers have two 10-game stretches at home. The first is May 18-28, when the Dodgers host the Marlins (four games), Cardinals and Cubs. Then, from July 20-30, Los Angeles welcomes the Braves (four games), Twins and Giants.
Ground control: With 16 home games plus the All-Star Break, the Dodgers only play seven road games in July. On top of that, they are blessed with opening the second half of the season in Miami, site of the 2017 All-Star Game. Since the month begins with the Dodgers in San Diego, the team will only take three plane trips the entire month: to Miami, from Miami to Chicago (to play the White Sox) and then back to Los Angeles.
Dog days: After that, the Dodgers pay for enjoying their home cooking. In 35 games from July 31 through September 3, the Dodgers have all of eight games at Chavez Ravine, as opposed to 22 road games. Five off days are mixed in.
Longest road trip: That August stretch doesn’t even include the Dodgers’ longest excursion of the season. That 10-game junket comes September 11-21, beginning with three games at San Francisco, followed by three at Washington and four at Philadelphia.
Jackie Robinson Day: April 15 comes on a Saturday this year, with the Dodgers hosting the Diamondbacks.
Holiday games: Arizona is also coming to town for Independence Day and Labor Day (September 4). The Dodgers are on the road for Mother’s Day (May 14), Memorial Day (May 29) and Father’s Day (June 18).
Wrigley wiggle: The Dodgers are scheduled to play the Cubs at Wrigley Field beginning April 10, the earliest the two teams have met there since 1996. Essentially planning for bad weather, the schedule-makers have given the teams an off day April 11, before resuming the three-game series April 12-13.
Do your chores in advance: The Dodgers play 20 consecutive days — the maximum allowed — from June 13-July 2, with 11 of those on the road.
Off days by month: April (two, after season opens April 3), May (two), June (two), July (four, not counting four more for the All-Star Break), August (four), September (two).
Long lunch: The Dodgers’ only scheduled midweek day game at home is June 7 against Washington, beginning at 12:10 p.m.