KANSAS CITY -- The Royals will get to know in a hurry perhaps how much improvement they have made since back-to-back seasons with over 100 losses.
The Royals will open the 2020 season at Cleveland, expected to contend in the American League Central, on July 24. After three games in Cleveland, the Royals will play four games in Detroit.
The Royals’ home opener will be July 31 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kauffman Stadium against the White Sox. It will mark the third straight season the Royals’ home opener will be against the White Sox.
“I think it’s great to get out of the box and play an AL Central team [like the Indians] that is expected to be very good,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “It’ll be a great test for us.
“Whether there are fans in the stands or not, it’s going to be competition for something that’s really important. I would say it doesn’t matter who, but why not just jump in against a team we’re going to have to find a way to beat.”
The Royals do not know yet if they will play any exhibition games prior to the regular season.
“I know we’ll be hungry for games against other teams,” Matheny said. “We still don’t know about the exhibition stuff -- we’ve heard some rumors. [General manager] Dayton [Moore] has been in conversation with other GMs just to see if [exhibitions] make sense.
“There’s a chance [Opening Day] will be our first competition outside of ourselves. That’s something to really look forward.
“It’s amazing how quick this season will be. But our guys our going to be excited to play anyone. It will feel more real. That will feel like real baseball.”
One of the more interesting road trips will be Aug. 24 when the Royals go to St. Louis for three games -- it will represent Matheny’s return to St. Louis, where he started managing in 2012 and was dismissed in
Other noteworthy items about the 2020 schedule:
• The Royals will finish the season with a seven-game homestand against the Cardinals and Tigers.
• The Royals will play 10 games each against American League Central teams, and then 20 games total against the National League Central.
• After the three-game opening series at home, the Royals will have home-and-home series with the Cubs, starting with two at Wrigley Field Aug. 3-4, and two at Kauffman Stadium Aug. 5-6.
• The longest road trip of the season is the first one at seven games.
• The longest homestand is seven games Aug. 31-Sept. 6 against the Indians and White Sox.
• The Royals will have six off-days after Opening Day weekend.