On Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs announced their 2023 schedule, and let’s just say, it’s wonderful.
For the first time in MLB history, each team will play every other club at least once. As part of MLB's push for a balanced schedule, each team will now play just four series against divisional opponents, two series against the rest of the teams in their league, and one series against each team in their opposite league.
I think this setup is awesome. I’ve always been a big fan of interleague play, and now we will see it next season against every team. If the Cubs have the loud offseason that many fans are expecting and the front office has signaled, next season could bring about a plethora of interesting matchups.
Here are some of the series that I'm most looking forward to next year.
March 30-April 2: Opening Day, Series vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Obviously)
At this point, I don’t understand why MLB Opening Day isn’t a national holiday. Opening Day marks the end of winter and the endless possibilities of things to come for the next seven months. Every team has a clean slate, and every fan base has at least a small glimmer of hope that “this could be our year,” even if it’s just for a day.
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Chicago Cubs will play the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day. Sure, they’ll probably be facing off against the fireballer that is Corbin Burnes, but who knows, maybe the North Siders will have a flame-throwing ace in their corner as well come Opening Day 2023? “deGrom” would look awfully nice on the back of a Cubs jersey, right?
May 8-10: vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The first Cubs/Cardinals series of the year is always an exciting one, and the first installment of 2023 will take place at Wrigley Field. By next season, both Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols will be forgotten memories in St. Louis, and fans will finally be able to enjoy an I-55 Rivalry series without two guys that are on the closer end of being qualified for an assisted living facility.
Throw in the potential of a Kyle Hendricks start in one of those games and who knows, maybe we’ll see a perfect game in which he throws fewer than 90 pitches? With Hendricks’ track record against the Cardinals, I would not be surprised.
May 15-17: at Houston Astros
There’s a strong chance that this Cubs' series at Houston could be against the reigning World Series champions. There’s also a chance that if the Cubs continue their quest this offseason for a star shortstop, and if that star just happens to be former Houston Astro Carlos Correa, then the table would be set for a clash against former teammates.
Throw in the fact that Minute Maid Park is one of the most beautiful settings in all of baseball, and we’ve got a pretty exciting series on our hands, folks.
June 6-8: at Los Angeles Angels
On the surface, you’re probably saying, “What’s so special about the Angels? They’re a dumpster fire and will probably lose 100 games next year.” And yeah, you’d probably be right.
But think about this: Angels' megastar Shohei Ohtani is set to become a free agent following the 2023 season. Ohtani would be a franchise-changer to any organization. The Chicago Cubs could use this series as an opportunity to showcase themselves to Ohtani, and next thing you know he’s signing with the Cubs before the 2024 season. He would look perfect in royal blue pinstripes.
June 25-26: London Series vs. St Louis Cardinals
By this time next season, the Cubs hope to be well on their way to the top of the division before traveling to London for this two-game series against St. Louis. It’s always cool when MLB does special events like the London Series. Let's hope the league does an adequate job of promoting the series to give it a special feel.
If this series is anything like MLB's last London Series, be prepared for a lot of run support. The 2019 installment saw the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees combine for 50 runs in two games. Thankfully, the Cubs have two off days before the series begins and another off day after the finale.
July 14-16: vs. Boston Red Sox
For the second year in a row, the Chicago Cubs will host the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field. I’ve always enjoyed the Cubs/Red Sox series and wish they would play each other every year. With each team’s historic ballparks, combined with the color schemes of their uniforms, and mixing in a night game, it’s a beautiful baseball picture.
My birthday will also take place during this series, so I may just have to head to Wrigley in the middle of July next year to blow out some candles.
July 25-26: at Chicago White Sox
The 2023 Crosstown Classic begins with a two-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field. I was really hoping the Chicago White Sox would’ve just agreed to play all of their games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field next year, but I guess we’ll have to settle for a pair (Aug. 15-16).
If all goes well, maybe the South Siders will play up to their “projected potential” next year, the Cubs will have a star-studded lineup that mashes Sox' pitching, and White Sox' manager Tony La Russa can stay awake for all of it (if he’s still there).
August 7-9: at New York Mets
The only reason I have this series on my watch list is because if the Cubs decide to make a huge offseason splash and sign Jacob deGrom, it could mark the first outing of his career against his former team. Throw in a salty and fired-up Max Scherzer on the bump for the Mets, and we’ve got ourselves a classic matchup that hopefully ends up in a 21-strikeout performance from deGrom. Hey, it could happen.
The 2023 season has the potential to be an exciting one on the North Side. With all the possibilities of moves the Chicago Cubs could make this offseason and the opportunity to play every team next year, there’s no doubt that next season is going to be a fun one.