Even though it is still just Spring Training, it is time to look ahead to the regular season to see what is coming up. While every year involves 162 games with 81 at home and 81 on the road (except in 2007), there are always considerable differences in the year to year schedule. This season will have an odd start, with the Diamondbacks and Dodgers opening up the regular season in Sydney, Australia. This will be played as the normal 1:00 AM, 7:00PM (Pacific time) double header on March 22nd. The Dodgers will also open the regular, regular season on March 30th against the Padres. This affects the Indians in the slightest way as they will be playing their final two pre-season games (March 28th and 29th) against the Padres as the University of San Diego.
- The Indians will start the season both later and earlier than usual. In general, Opening Day takes place the first Monday in April somewhere between 1:05 and 4:05 PM local time. This year, they will be playing the Athletics on March 31st at 10:05 PM ET. The good news for the Tribe is it will be getting a West Coast trip out of the way early when they are still used to Pacific Time, but Indians fans will have to stay up late if they want to watch the Tribe's first two real games.
- As with last season, and for the foreseeable future, Interleague play with be spread out all season. This year, the Tribe will go up against the Padres at home (4/7-9), Giants in San Francisco (4/25-27), Rockies at home (5/30-6/1), Diamondbacks home and away (6/24-25 and 8/12-13), Dodgers in LA (6/30-7/2), Reds home and away (8/4-7).
- Like 2013, the Indians will only play four games against their Ohio rival, the Reds to decide who wins the Ohio Cup. Last year, both teams won their two road games for a split of the season series. As with last year, the first two games will be played in Cleveland and, without a day off or series between, the next two will be played in Cincinnati.
- A yearly worry for all Eastern teams are strenuous West coast road trips, but the Indians have things pretty easy this year. In addition to starting the season out West when they are already used to the time zone, they only have two more trips of six or more games all year. Their worst trip will take place from June 23rd through July 3rd against the D-Backs, Mariners and Dodgers, but even this won't be too bad as the team has off days on the 6/23, 6/26 and 7/3.
- The All-Star game will be in Minnesota this year and will be a welcome respite to the Tribe after playing the Dodgers, Royals and Yankees the previous two weeks. After two games off, the Indians will go to Detroit, then the entire team will go back to Target Field to play the second series in that stadium after the All-Star Game.
- In addition to starting early, the season will also end early with no regular season games scheduled for October. The Indians will be ending their season against the Rays, the team that beat them in the one game play-off. If things are looking similar to September of 2013 in September of 2014, the chances of a tie will be greatly reduced with the two Wild Card teams ending the season against each other.
- In whole, September looks to be a bad time for the Tribe. In addition to the Rays, the Indians have 10 games against their Central Division rivals the Royals and Tigers. Last season, the Indians cake-walked their way through an incredibly easy September into a Wild Card berth.
The scheduling computers seem to have been pretty kind to the Indians this year. There are no outrageous road trips, breaks at good times and they don't have to fly to Australia to play two games. Of course, there are so many predetermined factors prior to each season that only the issues noted above could either helpful or detrimental to the team. The real predictors of the Indians success will be the team's offensive production and starting rotation, but at least they won't have to deal with a poor schedule in addition to dealing with the Tigers and Royals.