CHICAGO -- The 2013 White Sox season begins on April 1 against the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field, according to the tentative schedule released by Major League Baseball on Wednesday.
Judging by the one-sided 2012 head-to-head results, facing Kansas City for three games is not exactly the best way to begin for the South Siders. But a six-game opening homestand, which also features three against the Mariners, and an ensuing 10-game road trip that begins on April 9 against the National League's Washington Nationals and includes stops in Cleveland and Toronto, won't draw the main focus when looking at this new White Sox rundown.
That attention is going to fall instantly upon a series at U.S. Cellular Field from May 24-26 against the Miami Marlins when Ozzie Guillen returns to town. The White Sox manager from 2004-11 and the man who guided the team to a 2005 World Series title, will lead his new squad back to the place where his tenure came to a somewhat acrimonious close at the end of the 2011 campaign.
Four games against the Cubs follow on the White Sox schedule, with the two at U.S. Cellular on May 27-28 and the two at Wrigley Field on May 29-30 representing the only head-to-head battles between the intracity rivals. The new scheduling format features the home-and-home series back-to-back and just two games for each instead of the previous three-game sets.
Five two-game series exist on the schedule for the White Sox, including May 7 and 8 at Citi Field against the Mets, and June 25 and 26 at home against the Mets. The White Sox return to New York, only this time to Yankee Stadium, from Sept. 2-4 as part of a 10-game, East Coast trip that also features stops in Boston and Baltimore.
Detroit, the team battling the White Sox during most of the 2012 season for the AL Central title, doesn't show up on the 2013 schedule until a three-game set at U.S. Cellular from July 9-11. Sixteen of the 19 games to be played between these two teams come after the All-Star Break.
The 2013 schedule finishes for the White Sox with five on the road at Detroit and Cleveland and then four at home against the Royals from Sept. 26-29. Other NL teams on the White Sox schedule include a trip to the Phillies from July 12-14 to close out the first half and hosting the Braves from July 19-21 to start the second half.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.