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Thread: The importance of the early schedule

      
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    Default The importance of the early schedule

    From espn.com:


    We broke down strength of the early-season schedules for the American League on Monday -- and while the news was great for the Rays and Twins, it wasn't so good for the Orioles.

    On Tuesday, it's the National League, ranked from toughest early-season schedule to easiest.

    If you are a Cubs fan, you are going to be feeling pretty good about your team's chances for rocketing to a strong start (or maybe, if you are a Cubs fan, you haven't really felt that good about anything for a long time).



    Washington Nationals
    Home/away: 19 of their first 40 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 31 of their first 40 games.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Nationals will get challenged right from the start, with six of their first nine games against the Phillies, and starting on April 19, they play a stretch of 19 straight games against teams that contended last year. Maybe it would be good to call up Stephen Strasburg in May, to let him get his career started under a little less stress than he already is going to face.



    Houston Astros
    Home/away: 22 of their first 39 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 26 of their first 39.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Astros better have their game faces on right out of the gate, because their first 15 are against teams that finished over .500 last year: the Giants, Philadelphia, St. Louis, the Cubs and Florida.


    Arizona Diamondbacks
    Home/away: 18 of their first 40 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 24 of 40.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The D-backs have a chance to jump out very early, with nine of their first 12 games against the Padres and Pirates. Then, starting on April 19, they have back-to-back home series against St. Louis and Philadelphia, before starting an 11-game road trip that starts in Colorado and Wrigley Field.


    Atlanta Braves
    Home/away: Just 12 of the Braves' first 34 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 19 of their first 34.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Braves play a six-game homestand against the Rockies and Phillies starting on April 16, and then follow that immediately with a seven-game road trip through New York and St. Louis.


    Milwaukee Brewers
    Home/away: 18 of their first 37 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 21 of their first 37.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Brewers will hit the hot coals right out of the gate: Their first nine games are against the Rockies, St. Louis and the Cubs, and before May 10, they have separate road trips of nine and 10 games.


    New York Mets
    Home/away: They play a whopping 22 of their first 34 games at home. And after last year, the attitude of Mets fans will be Show me something. The Mets will have that chance.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 25 of their first 34.
    Meat-grinder stuff: So they have a lot of home games -- and they play a lot of games against the NL's best teams early on. From April 13 to May 2, they play 19 consecutive games against teams that contended last year, including all four playoff teams (the Rockies, Cardinals, Dodgers and Phillies).


    Pittsburgh Pirates
    Home/away: 18 of their first 39 are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 21 of 39.
    Meat-grinder stuff: After a 10-game road trip April 23 through May 2 against the Astros, Brewers and Dodgers, the Pirates will come home to play host to the Cubs and Cardinals in consecutive series. That will be a big time for this team.


    San Diego Padres
    Home/away: 16 of their first 34 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 18 of their first 34 games.
    Meat-grinder stuff: Oh, sure, the Padres get to play the Diamondbacks in a couple of series early on, a match-up against a team that was under .500 last year. But it appears San Diego will match up twice each against Dan Haren, Brandon Webb and Edwin Jackson. Not a lot of fun.


    Philadelphia Phillies
    Home/away: They play only 16 of their first 37 games at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 19 of their first 37.
    Meat-grinder stuff: Remember how the Marlins got off to a great start last year? Well, keep in mind that they got to play the Nationals in a bunch of games early -- and this year, that honor falls to the Phillies, who see Washington in six of their first nine games. But the Phillies do have a ton of road games early.


    Cincinnati Reds
    Home/away: The Reds play 18 of their first 34 games at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 18 of their first 34.
    Meat-grinder stuff: There will be a lot of pressure on this team to get off to a good start, and they'll have to earn their stripes early -- 13 of their first 16 games are against teams that contended a year ago, including the Cardinals and Dodgers.


    Florida Marlins
    Home/away: 22 of their first 40.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 15 of 40.
    Meat-grinder stuff: Starting on April 16, the Marlins play nine consecutive games on the road, including stops in Philadelphia and in Colorado. But overall, it's a nice and easy start for the Marlins.


    San Francisco Giants
    Home/away: 21 of their first 36 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 18 of their first 36.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Giants will get a real test during their nine-game homestand from April 23 to May 2, when they play host to the Cardinals, Phillies and Rockies.


    Colorado Rockies
    Home/away: 19 of their first 37 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 15 of their first 37.
    Meat-grinder stuff: Colorado, like the Dodgers, has a very nice early schedule, with 14 of its first 37 games against the Nationals and Padres. But from April 30 thru May 9, the Rockies do have a classic NL West road trip that takes them through San Francisco, San Diego and L.A.


    St. Louis Cardinals
    Home/away: 18 of their first 40 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: 11 of their first 40.
    Meat-grinder stuff: On paper, the Cardinals appear to have a nice and soft early-season schedule. They do have a week of games against the Giants and Braves, April 23-29.


    Los Angeles Dodgers
    Home/away: 16 of their first 37 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: Nine of their first 37.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Dodgers have what would appear to be a soft early schedule, with 10 games against the Pirates and Nationals. They do play a ton of road games early -- 15 of their first 21 are away from Dodger Stadium.


    Chicago Cubs
    Home/away: 19 of their first 38 games are at home.
    Games against teams that finished over .500 in 2009: Six -- that's right, just six -- of their first 38 games.
    Meat-grinder stuff: The Cubs open the season with three games against the Braves, and they don't play another team that had a record over .500 in 2009 until May 10. The Cubs do not see the Cardinals until May 28 -- and they don't play their first game in St. Louis until Aug. 13. That is not a misprint.

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    Default Re: The importance of the early schedule

    Who puts these schedules together?

    Philly plays Washington 6 out of their first 9 games.

    The Cubs and Cards do not play in Saint Louis till August?

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    Default Re: The importance of the early schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Who puts these schedules together?

    Philly plays Washington 6 out of their first 9 games.

    The Cubs and Cards do not play in Saint Louis till August?
    The entire MLB schedule is designed around the "Interleague rivalry" games (mainly just to cater to Chicago, New York, and LA). They don't really worry about how much it throws off the rest of the schedule as long as they get those games in during the designated period. That's how you end up with those situations and ones like the Pirates making 4 separate trips to California during the season.

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    Default Re: The importance of the early schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The entire MLB schedule is designed around the "Interleague rivalry" games (mainly just to cater to Chicago, New York, and LA). They don't really worry about how much it throws off the rest of the schedule as long as they get those games in during the designated period. That's how you end up with those situations and ones like the Pirates making 4 separate trips to California during the season.
    It's definitely complete bull****.

    What's even more ****tier about is that it's these National TV contracts controlling the scheduling since they want the ratings from the large amount of Large Market team games are shown while a team like the Pirates can't even get a single National TV game

    Ok, back on topic..

    I personally like that we're playing some tougher teams first simply because they are rusty, not in a zone and hitting any sort of stride. This is a good time for a young team with some enthusiasm like the Pirates to actually steal some wins... Harder schedules later in the year are tougher cause the better teams have hit strides by then, they are more focused and in a zone. Harder to beat

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