Yesterday afternoon, the Cardinals released the details of their schedule for the 2014 season. After some of the adjustments made to the scheduling process in the first year of the balanced schedules, there were plenty of new elements to get used to. Constant interleague match ups, two game “natural rivalry” series, an increase in four-game stands and increased divisional play all changed the course of the season and the weight of each ballgame.
Next spring will be the ninth season for Busch Stadium III, as well as the inaugural year for Ballpark Village. But looking ahead inside the park, there are new challenges on the horizon for the Cardinals. Most notably, the interleague alignment will pit the baseball’s two most competitive divisions from this season against each other, as the National League Central will face off against the American League East. This will undoubtedly create a much tougher road throughout the season, yet create a number of attractive match ups, both a current and historical sense.
Also, the I-70 Series vs the Kansas City Royals will remain in the fold, as the two-and-two format will remain in place, with two consecutive series in each team’s home ballpark.
Unlike this year, the team will play a heavier home schedule before the All-Star Break with 48 home games at Busch Stadium before the July 14-17 Mid-Summer Classic, and another 33 after. While announcements on ticket availability, promotions and game times will come in the future, here are a few of the highlights and series of note for the upcoming season.
- The season opens March 31 in Cincinnati with a three game series against the Reds, before moving on to Pittsburgh for a three-game weekend set.
- Opening Day in St. Louis is Monday, April 7 versus the Reds for the second consecutive season
- April 11-13: First home series versus the Chicago Cubs
- May 2-4: First weekend trip to Wrigley Field
- Longest Homestand: From May 12-June 3, the team plays only three games away from Busch
- Interleague visits to Busch: The New York Yankees visit Busch from May 26-28, the Tampa Bay Rays for a two game series July 22-23 and the Boston Red Sox from August 5-7.
- Interleague Travels: The Toronto Blue Jays June 6-8, Tampa Bay Rays June 10-11 and to Baltimore to face the Orioles August 8-10.
- I-70 Series: The Kansas City Royals come to Busch from June 2-3, and the Cardinals go to Kansas City June 4-5.
- Holiday home stands: Memorial Day versus Yankees, Fourth of July (vs. Miami Marlins) and Labor Day (September 1 vs. Pirates)
- The final home stand of the season is a nine game stand against the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds from September 12-21.
- The season ends visiting the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 28.