Photo: Greg Flume/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles schedule for 2013 was announced today, and it’s a little more interesting than most years.

The main reason is because of the divisional change of the Houston Astros coming over to the AL West. As you’ve probably heard this means that there will be a different inter-league game played every day of the season. The Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will play each other on Opening Day. The Orioles’ Opening Day opponent will be the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. This will be the 3rd time in the last 4 years that the Orioles have to open up at Tropicana Field, which seems a little unfair to me. The O’s are 1-1 against Tampa on Opening Day in the last 3 seasons. The Birds are actually 9-3 on Opening Day since 2001, with 2 of their 3 losses coming against Tampa Bay.

Click through to take a deep dive with The Fantasy God on the rest of the Orioles’ 2013 slate, including a uniquely-formatted series vs. Bryce Harper and the Nationals.

The home opener at Camden Yards will happen on Friday April 5th against the Minnesota Twins. The first inter-league series will oddly happen on April 19th when the Los Angeles Dodgers come to the town. Baltimore fans will really start to feel the impact of the new scheduling system early on in the season. The idea of having an inter-league series in mid April should create a new buzz of excitement. That excitement will continue on May 14th when the San Diego Padres also come to town.

One of the more interesting things I’ve ever seen in baseball scheduling is the plan for the 2013 Battle of the Beltways. On May 27th and 28th the Orioles will play a two game series at Nationals Park. The following two days the Nationals will come to Camden Yards for two more days. I can’t say that I can ever remember a time when a team played against another team back to back while changing cities in the middle of the series. These four games will also be the only time that these two teams meet in the regular season.

On June 4th the Orioles make their debut against the AL West Houston Astros. The O’s travel to Houston for this series. They will also see Houston later on in the season at home. The 2013 All-Star game will happen on July 16th. I’m sure the Orioles will be sending a half dozen players to try to win home field advantage for their 2013 World Series appearance. Write it down. Buy your tickets now.

Oddly the Orioles will see the Padres for a second time on August 6th and 7th. It will only be a two game series. Of all the NL West teams to play multiple times, I’m glad we drew the Padres. Series at San Francisco, at Arizona, and at home against Colorado follow. That will complete the inter-league madness….until the World Series of course. The season concludes on September 29th at home against the Boston Red Sox. We all know what happened the last time we ended the season at home against the Red Sox. Ahem.

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