The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached another point in their schedule where they face an American League opponent as they kicked off the Freeway Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The series will shift to Angel Stadium on Wednesday, where the final two contests of the four-game set will be played. Interleague play was introduced in 1997 as a novel concept; Some in baseball believed the introduction was temporary.
Now 20 years later, Interleague play has flourished and been a draw across the league. After the Houston Astros moved to the American League West division in 2013, it left 15 teams in each league.
In somewhat of a unique situation, the Angels opened the 2016 season with a two-game home series against the Chicago Cubs.
While some continue to argue against Interleague play being part of the annual baseball season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts still enjoys the aspects associated with it, according to Joey Kauffman of the LA Daily News:
“The novelty’s worn off, it’s more commonplace,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But I think, for me, if I had to do it all over again, I’m in favor of it. I like it. I like seeing the different ballparks. I like seeing the different styles of baseball. For a National League team, to go into a park and give a guy a day off as a DH is nice. So, it’s amazing it has been 20 years. I do still love that format.”
Aside from the annual Freeway Series, the Dodgers’ Interleague slate features AL East opponents. Los Angeles recently split a two-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays and Tropicana Field, then traveled north of the border and took two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays.
After this week’s games with the Angeles, the Dodgers’ will next see an AL opponent when they host the Rays for a two-game series in July. Their final look at the AL will come in the form of the Boston Red Sox for a three-game set at Dodger Stadium from Aug. 5-7.