Before the Mets could even play a game this season — if they play a game this season — they know where they will be next year.
MLB released the full 2021 schedule on Thursday, more than a month earlier than it normally does, and it included a familiar Opening Day setup: April 1 against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.
The Mets began last season in the nation’s capital, too, and this year were supposed to host Washington for the first game this year before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.
The 2021 home opener at Citi Field will be a week later, April 8, against the Marlins.
The Mets’ schedule also features interleague play against the AL East. Instead of having the NL East face the AL West in 2021 — that was the plan this year until the original slate of games got scrapped — MLB stuck with the initial interleague schedule, pitting the East divisions against each other.
Here are some other highlights and takeaways from the schedule:
- The Subway Series is arranged around special days. The Mets will visit the Yankees on July 2-4, which includes Independence Day. And the Yankees will visit the Mets on Sept. 10-12, which includes the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
- On Mother’s Day, the Mets host the Diamondbacks.
- On Memorial Day, the Mets visit the Diamondbacks.
- On Father’s Day, the Mets will be back in Washington to play the Nats.
- On Labor Day, the Mets will complete their third of three series at the Nationals.
- In interleague play, the Mets host the Red Sox (April 27-28), Orioles (May 11-12) and Blue Jays (July 23-25) and Yankees (Sept. 10-12). They go to Tampa Bay (May 14-16), Baltimore (June 8-9), the Bronx (July 2-4) and Boston (Sept. 21-22).
- Longest road trips are a pair of nine-game, 10-days treks. Those come May 14-23 in Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Miami, followed by May 31-June 9 in Arizona, San Diego and Baltimore. That leaves the Mets with just seven home games between May 13 and June 10.
- The Mets get three homestands that are three series long — all in the second half. They are July 23-Aug. 1 against the Blue Jays, Braves and Reds; Aug. 24-Sept. 2 against the Giants, Nationals and Marlins; and Sept. 10-19 against the Yankees, Cardinals and Phillies.
- The Mets finish the 2021 regular season with a three-game set in Atlanta on Oct. 1-3.