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Schedule imbalance: Cardinals to play seven of their 10 games vs. Cubs at Wrigley

Schedule imbalance: Cardinals to play seven of their 10 games vs. Cubs at Wrigley

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Cardinals Cubs Baseball

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates while rounding the bases after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning of baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo)

The cobbled schedule that emerged from the baseball owners and players finally agreeing to have a schedule was announced Monday night. And it's balanced from the standpoint that each team will play 40 games in its own division and 20 against the corresponding division in the other league.

In the Cardinals’ case, that means 10 games each against the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati among National League opponents. Natural rival Kansas City will be contested six times, Minnesota and Detroit four and Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox three times amid American League opponents, for a total of 20.

But, here it gets tricky. If you consider the Cubs and Brewers as the Cardinals’ chief rivals in the NL Central, there is imbalance in that the Cardinals will play the Cubs seven times at Wrigley Field, compared to just three times here on Aug 7-9. The Cardinals will play two series of three games each at Milwaukee before the Brewers make their only visit of the short season to Busch Stadium for the final four games of the season on Sept. 24-27. The Cubs also have two series (seven games) at home against the Brewers and just three games in Milwaukee.

The Cardinals were 4-6 against both the Cubs and Brewers on the road this past season. They were 6-3 against both at home.

If you consider the Cincinnati Reds a threat to the division title this year, there is imbalance on the Cardinals’ side in that the Reds play the Cardinals seven times here and only three in Cincinnati. That's the opposite of the Brewers’ schedule against the Cardinals.

Pittsburgh will make two visits to St. Louis for a total of six games, including the first three games of the season on July 24-26, when the Cardinals have a rare night-time opener at 7:15 on Friday, July 24.

The Cardinals will play only four games at Pittsburgh. But PNC Park is where the Cardinals shine, having won eight of nine games there last year.

On the interleague side, Cleveland plays three in St. Louis where the Indians (that’s still their name, so far) have won nine of the previous 15 interleague matches. The Cardinals will have three against the White Sox on the road and are 6-7 against them in Chicago. Two meetings will be in Chicago and one, a White Sox home game, at the Field of Dreams park in Iowa on Aug. 13.

The Cardinals, in fact, will play five games in succession in Chicago as they meet the White Sox there on Aug. 15-16 and the Cubs on Aug. 17-19.

Minnesota and Detroit will be contested twice apiece at home and on the road. The Cardinals are 10-6 in the regular season against the Twins here and 3-7 away. Against Detroit, the Cardinals are 6-8 here in the regular season and an unseemly 6-15 in Detroit although the Tigers have neither Justin Verlander nor Max Scherzer anymore.

The Cardinals, who have home-and-home series of three games each with the Royals, have had by far their best interleague success at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, posting a 39-19 mark. The Royals are 23-23 here in the regular season. The return of former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, now piloting the Royals, will be on Aug. 24-26 while the Cardinals don’t go to Kansas City until their last road series of the season on Sept. 21-23.

In the big picture, of course, there will be little home-fan advantage in these games because there will be few, if any fans.

“Nothing’s normal about this year,” said Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.

CARDINALS 2020 SCHEDULE

(Home games in bold type)

July

24: vs. Pittsburgh, 7:15 p.m.

25: vs. Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m.

26: vs. Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m.

28: at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m.

29: at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m.

31: at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.

August

1: at Milwaukee, 6:10 p.m.

2: at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.

3: at Detroit, 6:10 p.m.

4: at Detroit, 12:10 p.m.

5: vs. Detroit, 7:15 p.m.

6: vs. Detroit, 7:15 p.m.

7: vs. Chicago (NL), 7:15 p.m.

8: vs. Chicago (NL), 7:15 p.m.

9: vs. Chicago (NL), 6:08 p.m.

10: vs. Pittsburgh, 7:15 p.m.

11: vs. Pittsburgh, 7:15 p.m.

12: vs. Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m.

13: vs. Chicago (AL) at Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, 6:15 p.m.

15: at Chicago (AL), 1:10 p.m.

16: at Chicago (AL), 1:10 p.m.

17: at Chicago (NL), 7:15 p.m.

18: at Chicago (NL), 7:15 p.m.

19: at Chicago (NL), 7:15 p.m.

20: vs. Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.

21: vs. Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.

22: vs. Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.

23: vs. Cincinnati, 1:15 p.m.

24: vs. Kansas City. 7:15 p.m.

25: vs. Kansas City. 7:15 p.m.

26: vs. Kansas City. 7:15 p.m.

28: vs. Cleveland, 7:15 p.m.

29: vs. Cleveland, 12:15 p.m.

30: vs. Cleveland, 1:15 p.m.

31: at Cincinnati, 5:40 p.m.

September

1: at Cincinnati, 5:40 p.m.

2: at Cincinnati, 5:40 p.m.

4: at Chicago (NL), 7:15

5: at Chicago (NL), 7:15

6: at Chicago (NL), 6:08

7: at Chicago (NL), 3:10

8: vs. Minnesota, 7:15 p.m.

9: vs. Minnesota, 7:15 p.m.

11: vs. Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.

12: vs. Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.

13: vs. Cincinnati, 1:15 p.m. 

14: at Milwaukee, 6:40 p.m.

15: at Milwaukee, 6:40 p.m.

16: at Milwaukee, 6:40 p.m.

17: at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

18: at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

19: at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

20: at Pittsburgh, TBA

21: at Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.

22: at Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.

23: at Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.

24: vs. Milwaukee, 7:15 p.m.

24: vs. Milwaukee, 7:15 p.m.

26: vs. Milwaukee, 6:15 p.m.

27: vs. Milwaukee, 2:15 p.m.

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