Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals announced the schedule for the 2022 season, which includes a leaguewide Opening Day on March 31 — if there is no work stoppage.
The Nationals will open their 18th season with a three-game series in New York against the Mets — the sixth time the Nats will open a season against their NL East rival.
The home opener at Nationals Park pits the Nats against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 4, the first of a two-game series. Washington will have 12 homestands, two of which will last 10 games or more.
The Nationals’ interleague schedule includes series against AL West teams — the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics, and a 2019 World Series rematch with the Houston Astros — which means the A’s will make their first-ever visit to Nationals Park and the Nats will visit Texas for the first time since the franchise’s inaugural season in 2005. Oakland is the only MLB team that hasn’t played at the current Nationals ballpark since its 2008 opening.
The annual “Battle of the Beltways” series against the Baltimore Orioles will be June 21-22 at Camden Yards and Sept. 13-14 at Nationals Park.
The Nationals have holiday series against the Mets (Memorial Day) and Miami Marlins (Fourth of July).
The NL East could come down to a critical late-season stretch; the Nationals play division opponents in their final 15 games and 21 times in the final 27.
The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ association expires Dec. 1. Given the acrimonious relationship between the sides, a lockout or strike appears possible. Baseball has not had a work stoppage since a 7½-month strike in 1994-95 that caused the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years.
MLB tried for three of the past four seasons to have all 30 clubs play on the same Opening Day. If the league is successful in doing so in 2022, it would be the fourth time since 1968.
The full schedule is available online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.