Cubs host Crew on July 24 for 2020 opener

July 7th, 2020

CHICAGO -- One element that separates Wrigley Field from other venues is that the seats inside the historic ballpark are not the only ones with a view of the field. When this baseball season begins, there very likely will be fans watching from the rooftops of buildings outside the outfield walls.

"You're going to hear them loud and clear, too," Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood said. "I promise you that."

Mark your calendar for July 24. That will be Opening Day at the Friendly Confines.

On Monday, Major League Baseball unveiled the regular-season schedule for the upcoming campaign, which has been trimmed to 60 games in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Cubs will open their tour on July 24 at 6:10 p.m. CT at home and on ESPN against the Brewers, who will remain in Chicago for three games to start this unique slate.

The Cubs' July 25 game against the Brewers will be aired on FOX.

The Cubs' schedule consists of 40 games against National League Central opponents (10 apiece against the Brewers, Cardinals, Pirates and Reds) and then 20 against American League Central foes. That will include six games against the crosstown-rival White Sox, plus four games each against the Indians and Royals, and three apiece against the Tigers and Twins.

The Cubs will host the White Sox for three games on Aug. 21-23 and then head to the South Side for a three-game series on Sept. 25-27 to end the regular season.

"It's exciting, right?" Cubs manager David Ross said. "It's the crosstown rivalry, so to speak, and it's convenient for us. We get to sleep in our own beds at night and we can set up things where, if we need to, we can work out here and drive over like you would in an Arizona Spring Training.

"There's a lot of options that we have for us that we can do with it with an in-town team. I feel like that's definitely a luxury."

Prior to the regular season, the Cubs will play three exhibition games. The North Siders will host the White Sox at 7:05 p.m. CT on July 19 and then head to Guaranteed Rate Field for a 7:10 p.m. CT game on July 20. The Twins will play the Cubs in an exhibition game at Wrigley Field at 6:05 p.m. CT on July 22.

Within the division -- which the Cubs have not won since 2017 -- Chicago will host the Brewers twice (Aug. 13-16 in addition to the opening series) and the Cardinals twice (Aug. 17-19 and Sept. 4-7), while heading to Milwaukee (Sept. 11-13) and St. Louis (Aug. 7-9) once each.

The Cubs will go to Cincinnati twice (July 27-30 and Aug. 28-30) and host the Reds once (Sept. 8-10). The same format will apply to the Pirates, who will go to Wrigley Field once (July 31-Aug. 2) and host the Cubs twice (Sept. 1-3 and Sept. 21-24) twice in Pittsburgh.

The Cubs and Indians, who famously squared off in the 2016 World Series, will have two games in Cleveland (Aug. 11-12) and two in Chicago (Sept. 15-16).

The Cubs will have six days off, including one on the Aug. 31 Trade Deadline.

"This is a year more than ever where selfishness is out the door," Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. said. "This is all about the Cubs. We've got 60 games. It's not a marathon like it always is. It's a sprint and every game matters. Every baserunning thing, every defensive out, hitting. It's going to be fun."

Ross was recently asked if this season deserved any kind of asterisk for the World Series winner, given all the circumstances in play for the abbreviated campaign.

"If they're passing out a trophy, I want it," Ross said. "If they're handing out rings and we're all starting from the same point, I don't care if it's a five-game season. This is competition and it's what we enjoy doing. It's why we suit up."

Almora echoed that sentiment.

"I'm here to win a World Series in 60 games or whatever it is," Almora said. "It's as simple as that."