KC Royals 2023: Win or lose, next year will be different

(Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The KC Royals, 51-75 after their exciting victory over Arizona Wednesday night, are on pace to lose at least 96 games. And with 36 games left in the season, winning 23 times to match last year’s 74 victories is possible, but improbable.

Natural, then, are thoughts of next season and how maybe, just maybe, the club can be relevant again. Whether that happens or not, one thing about the 2023 campaign is already certain.

It will definitely have a different look.

That much was assured Wednesday when the Royals released their 2023 schedule:

Let’s take a closer look.

The KC Royals are scheduled to play every major league team next season.

Major League Baseball introduced regular season interleague play in 1997. But never in the format’s 25-year history have teams played every other big league club in the same season.

That changes next year—the Royals, like all franchises, will host or visit all of their 29 sister teams, giving fans their first-ever opportunity to see Kansas City in action against the entire National League and its plethora of major stars.

The schedule includes 46 interleague contests in all. Left intact is KC’s annual home-and-home series against St. Louis; the Cardinals host the first two games May 29-30, then travel to Kansas City August 11-12 for an unusual Friday-Saturday matchup.

Kansas City also hosts interleague games with the Braves, Astros, Nationals, Rockies, Reds, Dodgers, Mets and Pirates, and travels to San Francisco, Arizona, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee and San Diego.

The KC Royals play fewer games against their American League Central rivals.

Expanding interleague play required MLB schedule makers to modify other components of the 2023 slate. The emphasis remains on intra-division play, but on a lesser scale—instead of facing the White Sox, Guardians, Twins and Tigers three times at Kauffman Stadium and three times on the road, the Royals will visit and host those teams twice, and end up playing their rivals 13 times apiece.

They’ll also play 64 games against non-Central Division AL opponents.

The 2023 campaign will begin and end at Kauffman Stadium for the KC Royals.

Kansas City will start next season at home with three games against the Twins and four with Toronto. Opening Day is scheduled for March 30, followed by the traditional day off before the Royals complete the three-game set with Minnesota.

Barring late makeup games or schedule changes, the campaign concludes at The K Oct. 1 with the last of three contests against the Yankees.

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Next season may not be any better than this one, but it will certainly be different.