MLB released the 2022 regular season schedule Wednesday afternoon.
At first glance, it includes all the normal quirks: Interesting interleague matchups, crucial division games down the stretch and way too many off days during the first week of the season.
Since thinking about next year’s Phillies is admittingly more fun than thinking about the current team, here are five thoughts on the Phillies’ 2022 schedule.
Opening Day in Houston should be fun
The Phillies are opening up their season on the road against an American League opponent for the first time since 2014. Cliff Lee earned the win against the Texas Rangers and Jimmy Rollins hit his 200th career home run on a grand slam. It marks the first time the Phillies will play the Astros in an interleague game in Houston. The Phillies’ last trip to Houston came in 2012, the last year the Astros were a National League club. Their last Opening Day against Houston came in 2011. Remember John Mayberry’s walk-off hit?
Will Phillies fans make the trip just to express their thoughts on the Astros sign stealing scandal? Probably. Will Aaron Nola make his fifth consecutive Opening Day start? Probably not. Zack Wheeler, who could be the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner come April, should get the ball first.
The A’s are the perfect home opener opponent
The original 162-game schedule in 2020 included a 1920s throwback weekend in June against the Oakland Athletics. Of course, the pandemic put that on hold, but maybe the Phillies will go out of their way to make the first season of the series at home a spectacle.
Throwback uniforms were part of the original plan for 2020. Hopefully, both teams will pay homage to the crosstown rivalry to begin the season. The Athletics wore 1930s Philadelphia A’s uniforms in Boston back in 2012 and they looked phenomenal.Embed from Getty Images
Hopefully, the Phillies go with their 1920s home uniforms for Opening Day. It’ll be a neat treat for fans as it should be the first home opener with a full stadium in three years.
There are plenty of scenic road trips to choose from
If you’re a fan who likes to take a once-a-year trip to follow the team on the road, you’ll have plenty of great options in 2022. The Houston Opening Day trip is one, but if you wait a couple weeks, you can spend a sunny weekend in Miami and freeze in Denver by Monday. Late June includes two games in Arlington in the Rangers’ new ballpark and four in San Diego. A six-game roadtrip in August begins with a series in Phoenix and ends with a Labor Day weekend matchup in San Francisco.
I’m going to start unsuccessfully saving for the Seattle-Los Angeles trip in May.
Phillies have 2 major holidays off
While it’s great that Phillies players, coaches and staff can spend some time with family, it feels strange to note that the team has off on both the Fourth of July and Labor Day. It’s a missed opportunity for the sport. The NFL is an integral part of Thanksgiving. The slate of NBA games on Christmas are great. MLB doesn’t have anything like that.
No Phillies game on the Fourth of July or Labor Day just means the shore will be more crowded. Great.
Shohei Ohtani (and Mike Trout) are coming to Philadelphia
Two of the best players in baseball are coming to town in what should be a must-see series in early June. Mike Trout’s first game in Philadelphia since 2014 might be overshadowed by the fact that Shohei Ohtani could pitch and hit in the hitter friendly Citizens Bank Park. I’ll set the over-under on second deck home runs for Ohtani at 1.5.
Millville Night was a hit in 2014. It wouldn’t be surprising if it came back.
The Phillies have a brutal stretch in May
Going back to the present, the 2021 Phillies have a unique opportunity to both catch the Mets in the NL East and build up a solid lead. They start a weekend series against New York at home on Friday. A week later, the Mets embark on a streak of 13 consecutive games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, two of the best teams in baseball.
The Phillies will have to deal with a similar stretch next season. From May 12-22, the Phillies will play 7 games against the Dodgers and three against the Padres. If the Phillies are banged up or are going through a tough stretch heading into the first Dodgers series, things could get ugly quickly.
Like this year, the Phillies’ second half schedule in 2022 looks lighter than the first half. Maybe it’s not that bad after all.
The Phillies will also play their entire season series against four National League teams, including the Dodgers, in just two weeks. They have seven games against Colorado from April 18-28, seven against St. Louis from July 1-11 and six against Cincinnati from Aug 15-24.
Here is the full 2022 schedule.
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