With MLB announcing the 2021 regular season schedule on Thursday, we break down what next year provisionally looks like for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Major League Baseball has made a lot of strange, infuriating and curious moves since COVID-19 started impacting professional sports leagues. Chief among these was their handling of negotiations to play games this year.
Keeping with this theme – albeit nowhere near as terrible as said negotiations — MLB released the 2021 regular season schedule on Thursday. Aside from the fact the league decided to do this on the same week they announced the revised schedule for this year, the timing is still somewhat perplexing even though we all hope this alludes to next season representing a return to normal.
Consider that in recent times, the regular season schedule for the following year has usually never been announced so early. For example, the 2019 schedule was released in August, while in 2017 and 2018 it was not revealed until September.
Regardless, there is still a lot to consider with the 2021 regular season schedule. Let’s break down what next year (provisionally) looks like for the Blue Jays specifically:
1) Tough road to start the season
There is always something special about playing opening day at home. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, they will not get this privilege in 2021.
Instead, the team will face a particularly rough start to next year by travelling to New York to face the Yankees. The two teams will play a three-game series starting on April 1.
Toronto then makes a trip to Texas to take on the Rangers in another three-game series beginning on April 5. While things have calmed down in recent years, there is still a rivalry there which manifested itself during consecutive heated postseason clashes in 2015 and 2016.
2) A return home to friendlier confines
While teams would often prefer to start the season at home, at least Blue Jays fans will have an extra week to build up the anticipation for opening day. This will only be enhanced, depending on what the situation is like by next April in respect of the capacity in which fans are allowed to attend games.
Regardless, Toronto will play their home opener on April 8 against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels. This will represent the first of a four-game series between the two teams.
The first home-stand of the 2021 regular season will then conclude with another series against the Yankees. The AL East divisional rivals will play three games between April 12-14. (It is always a positive for the Blue Jays to play weekday games against a big team to help encourage fans to attend.)