When You Should Go to Spring Training, Pt. 2

Spring Training 2019With planning season for spring training well underway, you’re looking at the potential dates for your trip—and like many fans, you want the maximum exposure to your favorite teams. Here’s a rundown of optimal travel dates for each Arizona team, for your Cactus League planning.

Earlier this week we posted optimal dates for a Grapefruit League trip. Here we do so for the teams training in Arizona. The circumstances here are a little different. Because you have 15 teams training at 10 complexes across the Valley of the Sun, hitting an away game isn’t necessarily a hard task. But rivalries still count when it comes to spring training, so we’ll focus on itineraries where the game might count a little more than the average spring-training match.

Based on our conversations with fans, there are three main types of folks attending games. The first group: locals who just enjoy a game out in the ballpark. The second: travelers who seek great experiences and will spend time driving between training camps in order to see multiple teams in multiple venues.

Then there is the third kind of fan: the kind who wants to see their favorite team for the maximum number of games in the shortest stretch of time, the kind who spends most of their time in a single area and who isn’t interested in driving too far from an Arizona spring-training complex. In this article we review each team’s schedule and provide the best stretches for optimum baseball: plenty of home games with away games nearby. These recommendations run between three days and seven days, with special considerations for rivalry games and events like St. Patrick’s Day.

Arizona Diamondbacks: March 14-17. Three home games in four days, highlighted by a visit from the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs, and a St. Pat’s Day match against the Chicago White Sox. The Diamondbacks are a top draw, and the Cubs faithful will assuredly make that game a sellout. Don’t be surprised if all three home games sell out. Here is the full Arizona Diamondbacks schedule, complete with ticket information.

Chicago Cubs: March 17-22. Five home games in six days: true heaven for the Cubbie faithful. The stretch includes a St. Pat’s Day game with the Colorado Rockies in town. The other visitors are solid teams—Seattle, the Dodgers and San Francisco—and given that the Cubs may end up selling out almost every game this spring, you can bet Sloan Park will be packed this week. Here is the full Chicago Cubs schedule, complete with ticket information.

Chicago White Sox: March 15-21. Five home games in seven days, including visits from the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants. The only bump in the road: the ChiSox will be on the road on St. Pat’s Day across town at Salt River Fields, but there are plenty of watering holes in the West Valley should you not want to make the drive. Here is the full Chicago White Sox schedule, complete with ticket information.

Cincinnati Reds: March 15-17. True, only three games are on this itinerary, but they’re all in Goodyear, and they include a St. Patrick’s Day match across instate rival Cleveland Indians. You could add in an extra day on March 14 with an away game against the Dodgers in nearby Camelback Ranch-Glendale or start your trip early to see the Indians in Goodyear on March 13-14. Here is the full Cincinnati Reds schedule, complete with ticket information.

Cleveland Indians: March 8-14. Four home games in six days are in this stretch, with visits from the Giants and the Brewers. The lone away game is in nearby Peoria, hosted by the Seattle Mariners. There’s an off day in this schedule as well, but the Reds are in town on March 12, giving you another chance to see an Ohio team in action. Here is the full Cleveland Indians schedule, complete with ticket information.

Colorado Rockies: March 8-11. With four home games in four days, you don’t need to leave Scottsdale. The highlights: The Diamondbacks on March 9 and the Dodgers on March 10. A longer itinerary would begin on March 5, giving you six home games in seven days, adding the Brewers and the Angels to the mix. Take in a Diamondbacks game on March 7 and you’d have seven games in seven days at Salt River Fields. Here is the full Colorado Rockies schedule, complete with ticket information.

Kansas City Royals: March 10-16. Five home games in seven days and one “away” game against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium, including visits from the Brewers, White Sox and Indians. You can easily shorten those seven days to five and hit four Surprise Stadium games in four days. Here is the full Kansas City Royals schedule, complete with ticket information.

Los Angeles Angels: March 3-8. Four games in six days may not seem like a big deal, but it is when the four opponents are the Cubs, Athletics, White Sox and Dodgers. The weather in early March should be lovely, and this gives you some chances to catch more baseball across the Valley. The Angels’ schedule is fragmented in 2019; this is the best stretch of games. Here is the full Los Angeles Angels schedule, complete with ticket information.

Los Angeles Dodgers: March 8-14. Like the Angels, the Dodgers have a pretty fragmented schedule in 2019. This seven-day stretch gives you five home games, including night games against the White Sox and Royals and a visit from the Giants. The only away game is in a pretty great venue—Salt River Fields—against a team that’s become a true rival, the Colorado Rockies. Here is the full Los Angeles Dodgers schedule, complete with ticket information.

Milwaukee Brewers: Feb. 26-28. This will be a big spring for the Milwaukee Brewers, unveiling renovations to Maryvale Baseball Park. So why not be there for the first three games in the revamped facility? This three-day stretch gives you three home games, including a visit from the San Francisco Giants. Here is the full Milwaukee Brewers schedule, complete with ticket information.

Oakland Athletics: March 8-10. The Athletics are playing a truncated spring-training schedule over the course of three weeks before heading to Tokyo to open the MLB regular season. That gives you the choice of 12 games over 21 days at Hohokam Stadium. There are three home games over the weekend, including a visit from the Giants. As a bonus, the regulars should be out in full force as the team preps for a March 20 season opener. Here is the full Oakland Athletics schedule, complete with ticket information.

San Diego Padres: March 14-17. Three games in four days may not seem like a lot, but the opponents are the Royals. Dodgers and Angels—with the Angels scheduled for a St. Patrick’s Day match. You can bet the area surrounding Peoria Stadium will be hopping on a Sunday St. Pat’s game. Here is the full San Diego Padres schedule, complete with ticket information.

San Francisco Giants: March 15-17. The Giants are a runaway hit at Scottsdale Stadium, so any stretch will be an eventful one, with many sellout crowds and packed concourses. This three-day weekend gives you three home games, including a St. Patrick’s Day visit from the Kansas City Royals. Downtown Scottsdale will certainly be rocking on a weekend St. Pat’s Day. Here is the full San Francisco Giants schedule, complete with ticket information.

Seattle Mariners: March 8-13. The Seattle Mariners are opening the 2019 MLB regular season in Tokyo against the Oakland A’s on March 20, with the MLB squad in town through March 13 and a prospects squad playing in Peoria on March 21-22. We’d recommend seeing the full MLB squad, and the best stretch comes with four home games in six days, including visits from the Cubs and the Giants—both night games. Here is the full Seattle Mariners schedule, complete with ticket information.

Texas Rangers: March 15-18. Another team with a fragmented 2019 spring-training schedule, the four-day weekend includes a visit from the Arizona Diamondbacks on St. Patrick’s Day, as well as visits from the Dodgers and Indians. The Royals will be hosting the Brewers on March 16, giving you four pretty good games in four days. Here is the full Texas Rangers schedule, complete with ticket information.

About Kevin Reichard

Kevin Reichard is editor and publisher of Spring Training Online.

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