Manager Joe Maddon called the weekend’s testing snafu, which resulted in postponed workouts on Monday, a hiccup, and said he didn’t have any reservations that the 60-game season could be completed, even amid a pandemic.
“I have confidence that it’s been well thought out, I have confidence of everybody,” he said. “Everybody needs to do their job. And everybody needs to be the best version of themselves as a teammate right now. If you could actually put that in your back pocket and pull it out when you have any kind of a doubt, it can be very helpful because this is going to go quickly. It’s gonna go very fast.”
Here are some highlights from the Angels’ 60-game schedule:
- The Angels also opened the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons on the road in Oakland. The team says this will be the first time in major league history a team has opened on the road against the same opponent four years in a row.
- Opening day against the A’s (7:10 p.m., July 24) will be televised by ESPN
- The Angels have two nationally televised Saturday games on Fox — August 1 vs. Astros, September 19 vs. Rangers, both 4:15 p.m. PT games.
- Games against divisional teams aren’t split evenly except in aggregate, to account for the three- and four-game series. For instance, the Angels play the Mariners seven times at home and three on the road. The Halos play at home against the Astros six times, the Rangers four times, and the A’s three time.
- In the original 162-game schedule for 2020 — remember that? — the Angels were scheduled to play the Astros 11 times in their first 21 games. Now, they play Houston 10 times in total.
- Twelve Angels home games are scheduled at 6:40 p.m. PT, with four games at 6:10 p.m. and only one (Wednesday, July 29 vs. Seattle) at 7:10. Nine home games have 1:10 p.m. starts, including four weekday games.
- The Angels have three four-game wraparound weekend series, running Friday to Monday: July 24-27 against the A’s in Oakland, August 28-31 against the Mariners at home, and September 18-21 against the Rangers at home.
- The final week of the season has the Angels on the road in San Diego and Los Angeles. That final weekend series against the Dodgers will be the first time the Angels have ended the regular season playing a National League opponent.
- Off days for the Angels fall on Monday three times, Thursday twice, and Tuesday once (September 1).
- The Angels’ three exhibition games will be July 20 in San Diego against the Padres, July 21 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, and July 22 against the Padres in Anaheim.
Among the 10 MLB breakout candidates from Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs is Dylan Bundy, about whom Szymborski writes, “My working theory on Dylan Bundy is that he needed a change of scenery more than practically any pitcher in the majors, both figuratively in terms of coaching and literally in terms of a park better configured to contain his mistakes.”
Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times wonders if this is the safest schedule for MLB during a pandemic.
Should the entire schedule be completed, the Angels are set to travel 10,457 miles this season, the seventh-most in MLB, per Daren Willman of MLB.com. The American League West has five of the seven most prolific travelers this season.
Angels left-hander Ryan Buchter was a guest on MLB Network Radio Monday. “Wearing a mask can cut down a lot of the problems that this virus brings,” Buchter said. “If you’re in closed quarters talking how you want to pitch with somebody, wear a mask. Who cares if you’re on a field?”