Major League teams announced their schedules for the 2012 season on Wednesday. The Cardinals draw the American League Central for Interleague Play, and within the National League, they see the Cubs more than any other opponent.
The season gets off to an unusual start. The Cards' opener is a one-game stopover in Miami on Wednesday, April 4, to open the Marlins' new ballpark. After that it's north to Milwaukee and Cincinnati for three games apiece before the home slate gets started.
And that home schedule opens with a bang. The rival Cubs make their first of three trips to St. Louis beginning with the Friday, April 13 home opener. It's three with the Cubs followed by three with the Reds for the opening homestand.
The Cards face the Cubs a total of 17 times, with the first visit to Wrigley Field coming April 23-25. The Cubs come to St. Louis May 14-15 and July 20-22. The Cardinals will play each of their National League rivals 15 times -- nine at home and six on the road against Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, nine on the road and six at home against Cincinnati and Houston. The only other NL club the Cardinals face more than seven times is the Dodgers, with seven games in Los Angeles and four in St. Louis.
For Interleague Play, the Cardinals see every AL Central team except Minnesota. The Indians, White Sox and Royals visit Busch Stadium for a 10-day, nine-game homestand from June 8-17. After that, the Cards hit the road for series in Detroit and Kansas City June 19-24. That trip concludes with a second visit to Florida and is one of four three-city road trips on the schedule.
The Cardinals are home for two of the three main holidays of the baseball season. They're in Atlanta on Memorial Day, but home against Colorado on Independence Day and home against the Mets on Labor Day.
St. Louis gets four days rather than three at the All-Star break, but the breather is followed by what could be a critical trip. Immediately after the break, the Cardinals play three games in Cincinnati followed by three in Milwaukee.
The season wraps up with the Redbirds at home. They end the slate with a six-game homestand against the Nationals and Reds, with a Wednesday Oct. 3 date with the Reds as game No. 162.
Game times and ticket information were not announced.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.