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OC Register: MLB announces 60-game schedule; Dodgers and Angels will open on ESPN

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The Dodgers will begin the shortest regular season in franchise history at home against the Giants on July 23. The Angels will play their first game the next night in Oakland.

Commissioner Rob Manfred resolved months of suspense by unilaterally imposing an abbreviated season in June, and Major League Baseball announced the 60-game schedules for every team on Monday.

Because of the novel coronavirus, the season was placed on hold in March. The state of California disallowed live crowds at sporting events shortly thereafter. The number of daily recorded coronavirus cases has gradually trended upward ever since, and it’s unclear whether fans will be allowed in Dodger Stadium or Angel Stadium between now and October. With no tickets on sale, MLB had the luxury of time in announcing its schedule.

The regular season ends Sept. 27 with the finale of a three-game series between the Dodgers and Angels at Dodger Stadium. All 15 games that day are scheduled to begin at noon. A traditional three-round postseason will follow.

Dodger Stadium will host three exhibition games: July 19 and 20 against the Diamondbacks, and July 21 against the Angels. The Angels also have exhibition games July 20 at San Diego and July 22 at home against the Padres.

Following their four-game series in Oakland to begin the season, the Angels play their first home game July 28 against the Mariners, a 6:40 p.m. start.

The Opening Day matchup between the Dodgers and Giants will be televised by ESPN, a scheduled 7:08 p.m. game. Two days later, Fox will televise the Saturday rematch at 4 p.m. The next day, July 26, the teams return to ESPN for a 7 p.m. “Sunday Night Baseball” game.

Fox is also televising a Saturday game between the Astros and Dodgers on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. The Dodgers visit Houston for the first time since the 2017 World Series on July 28-29. The Astros visit Los Angeles Sept. 12 and 13.

With two exceptions – Opening Day, and a 4:10 game against the Mariners on Aug. 18 – every weekday home game at Dodger Stadium is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m.

ESPN is televising the Angels’ opener on July 24 at 7 p.m. Fox is televising two Saturday Angel games at 4 p.m.: Aug. 1 against the Astros and Sept. 19 against the Rangers.

The 2020 schedule features some familiar baseball hallmarks. The vast majority of weekday home games will be played under the lights. Most Sunday games will be afternoon affairs. Every series will consist of two, three or four games.

Other than its length, the biggest change to the schedule involves a lack of travel. The Dodgers and Angels will not play any regular season games outside their division, with the exception of interleague games against other West division teams.

The Angels will make one interleague road trip to San Francisco (Aug. 19-20), one to Colorado (Sept. 11-13), and another to San Diego (Sept. 22-23). The Giants (Aug. 17-18) and Padres (Sept. 2-3) visit Angel Stadium. The Angels’ only other interleague series is Aug. 14-16 against the Dodgers in Anaheim.

The Dodgers play the Mariners (Aug. 17-18 at home, Aug. 19-20 in Seattle), Rangers (Aug. 28-30 in Texas), and A’s (Sept. 22-23 at home), in addition to their series against the Angels and Astros.

The Angels are scheduled to play 18 games in 18 days from Aug. 14-31, sandwiched between a pair of home off-days.

The Dodgers’ longest stretch of consecutive games is 17, from Aug. 7-23. That streak curiously includes 15 games in Southern California sandwiched around two in Seattle (Aug. 19 and 20).

Jackie Robinson Day, which normally takes place each April 15, will be celebrated Aug. 28. That date marks the anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963, as well as the date in 1945 when Branch Rickey met with Robinson to discuss his future in the big leagues.

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