ST. LOUIS – If the Cubs don’t get their rematch with the Cardinals in the playoffs, they won’t have long to wait.
For the second time in three seasons, the National League Central rivals face off to open season the season in 2017, this time in St. Louis, April 3.
The Cubs get another marquee matchup for the home opener, April 10, when Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers go to Wrigley Field in what might be a followup to a series this October.
Schedules for next season were released Wednesday.
The Cubs’ match up with the American League East for interleague play next season, including Theo Epstein’s Cubs traveling to Boston to face his former club for the third time in seven years (April 28-30).
The interleague schedule also includes a Tampa Bay reunion for manager Joe Maddon, who guided the underfunded Rays to four playoff berths in nine seasons as manager, including a 2008 World Series berth.
“Outstanding,” Maddon said.
The Rays play at Wrigley Field July 4-5 and host the Cubs for another two-game series September 19-20.
The Cubs also get the Yankees (May 5-7) and Blue Jays (Aug. 18-20) at home.
They open their post-All-Star-break schedule with a road series in Baltimore, just ahead of their first trip to the Atlanta Braves’ new ballpark.
The crosstown series against the White Sox is a quick four-day stretch again in late July, with a pair of games at Wrigley July 24-25 followed by games the next two days at Interest Rate Field, or whatever they’re calling it next year.
If the Cubs are in position to win home-field advantage in the playoffs again next year, they’ll have an even smoother transition, finishing the regular-season at home for the first time since 2012.