The Atlanta Braves kicked off their first inter-league series of the season last night against the Tampa Bay Rays. They won the series opener behind a good pitching performance by Tommy Hanson. The inter-league road for the Braves will not be an easy one to navigate. They have the most difficult inter-league schedule in the NL East. It makes no sense, whatsoever, why the Braves have this schedule. The unbalanced schedule needs to go away and hopefully next year it will.
In the mean time, the Braves have to overcome a difficult hand that they were dealt. It will be nice to see the farewell that the New York Yankees give Chipper Jones in June. The Braves play the Rays, the Yankees six times, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles and at the Boston Red Sox. The Braves get to see what the New York Mets feel like since they have played the Yankees six times every year since the inception of inter-league.
I recognize that it is not an easy task making these schedules. However, it is very frustrating comparing the Philadelphia Phillies‘ inter-league schedule with the Braves. The Phillies luck out by getting a three game series against the worst team in the MLB in the Minnesota Twins. They don’t have to play the Yankees at all.
There is no sense complaining about this. The Braves have to take this as an opportunity to prepare for their playoff push later in the year. Realistically, it could provide a good experience to play against tough opponents in great environments as they seek to win their division. It could also help them to be battle-tested as they compete against lesser NL teams later in the year. Regardless, they have a tall order moving forward.