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Dodgers open 2020 season against Giants before facing Astros on the road

Dodger Stadium aerial view
The Dodgers will open the 2020 season at home against the San Francisco Giants on July 23.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

If there is a 2020 season, the Dodgers will open their 60-game dash like they were supposed to begin their 162-game plod in March: at home against the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers are scheduled to host the Giants on July 23 on ESPN as a nightcap to a doubleheader to open the 2020 campaign. The Washington Nationals, the defending World Series champions, will host the New York Yankees to start the season.

The Dodgers and Giants will play a four-game series before Los Angeles goes on the road to face the Houston Astros in a 2017 World Series rematch that wasn’t in the original 2020 regular season schedule before the novel coronavirus forced the league to shut down.

The clubs will play a two-game series at Minute Maid Park on July 28 and 29. They are scheduled to meet again at Dodger Stadium for a two-game set Sept. 12 and 13. It would be the Astros’ second visit to Dodger Stadium since beating the Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series -- and first since that championship was tarnished.

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The Astros’ title came under fire when Mike Fiers, a pitcher on the team, went on the record last November to say Astros hitters regularly cheated that season.

Major League Baseball’s investigation confirmed the allegations. The Astros faced several penalties, including the loss of draft picks. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were fired, but players were not punished and the franchise did not forfeit the title.

Ross Stripling didn’t make the Dodgers’ starting rotation in the spring, but David Price’s decision to sit out gives the right-hander a second chance.

Whether fans will be in attendance to jeer the Astros in person remains unknown. The Dodgers will begin the season playing games at home without fans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, but in a statement Monday the organization said it “remains optimistic” about fans being allowed later in the season.

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MLB released its schedule Monday, 17 days before its slated opening day, as questions about its ability to stage a season during the coronavirus outbreak swirled. Teams held their first official workouts of training camp Friday. By Sunday, word leaked that a few teams already were experiencing problems with the testing protocols.

People across the sport, including dozens of players, have tested positive while players and coaches have decided not to participate in the season. Dodgers pitcher David Price joined that group Saturday. Others have said they’re not sure if they will play. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts said Monday he has his doubts that the league can pull it off.

In an effort to limit travel and the spread of the virus, MLB limited each team to 40 divisional games (20 home and 20 road) and 20 interleague games (10 home and 10 road) against the corresponding division in the other league. That pits the National League West against the American League West.

The 10 divisional games against each divisional foe are not equally divided by location. The Dodgers, for example, will host the Giants for seven games, but only play three games in San Francisco. On the other end, they will face the Arizona Diamondbacks at home three times and play seven games in Phoenix.

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The Dodgers will host three exhibitions before starting the regular season. They’ll take on the Diamondbacks on July 19 and 20 at Dodger Stadium before the Angels visit for the final tune-up July 21.

The Southland rivals will meet again for two three-game series during the regular season. The Dodgers will visit Angel Stadium on Aug. 14-16 and host the Angels to close the season Sept. 25-27.

In another change from previous years, first pitch for most weeknight games at Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. And for the first time since 2013, Dodgers games will be available on television for most of the region.

DODGERS 2020 REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE

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July 23-26: Giants at Dodgers

July 28-29: Dodgers at Astros

July 30-Aug. 2: Dodgers at Diamondbacks

Aug. 3-5: Dodgers at Padres

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Aug. 7-9: Giants at Dodgers

Aug. 10-13: Padres at Dodgers

Aug. 14-16: Dodgers at Angels

Aug. 17-18: Mariners at Dodgers

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Aug. 19-20: Dodgers at Mariners

Aug. 21-23: Rockies at Dodgers

Aug. 25-27: Dodgers at Giants

Aug. 28-30: Dodgers at Rangers

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Sept. 1-3: Diamondbacks at Dodgers

Sept. 4-6: Rockies at Dodgers

Sept. 8-10: Dodgers at Diamondbacks

Sept. 12-13: Astros at Dodgers

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Sept. 14-16: Dodgers at Padres

Sept. 17-20: Dodgers at Rockies

Sept. 22-24: Athletics at Dodgers

Sept. 25-27: Angels at Dodgers


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