When it comes to coming up with the opening and final series of each season, the MLB schedule makers generally try for natural intradivision rivalries . . . Red Sox and Yankees, Cubs and Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants. In the era of daily interleague play, that becomes a bit harder. For example, the Phillies are opening this season not against the Mets or Nationals, but the Texas Rangers.
I was curious to find out how many times a team ended the season in an interdivision matchup, and then started the next season with the same matchup in the same city. I parsed the game logs in the “division era” from Retrosheet, filtering the first and last series of each year from 1969-2013.
Amazingly, the Astros and Yankees appear to be the first such matchup in history (there have been no interleague matchups with similar scheduling). So, let’s hear it for the quirky schedule makers.