When the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders embark on their 2019 regular season campaign in April, the first seven days will be spent on the road before they head to PNC Field for the first time.
The RailRiders’ home opener against the Buffalo Bisons is on April 11. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre also opens its slate against the Bisons, with a four-game set in Buffalo, starting April 4.
The upcoming campaign is a special one for the team.
It will be the 30th season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise, after playing as the Red Barons from 1989-2006, Yankees from 2007-2012 and RailRiders since 2013. The franchise spent its first 18 seasons as a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate before changing to the New York Yankees in 2007.
The RailRiders’ 2019 slate features 140 games, like the originally scheduled 2018 campaign before rainouts forced the team to cancel a pair of games.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will see a plenty of the rival Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2019. The teams will meet for the first time Monday, April 8 in Allentown to start a three-game set. In all, the two teams will meet 18 times with the last series coming Aug. 23-25. The Phillies Triple-A affiliate will make its first stop at PNC Field on Monday, April 15.
Unlike this past season, the RailRiders will often face teams in pairs.
For example, the first month’s slate opens with a four-game set in Buffalo and three-game set in Lehigh Valley. When the RailRiders come home on April 11, they will open up with a seven-game homestand against those very same Bisons and IronPigs.
While the RailRiders do head to Buffalo for another three-game set against the Bisons first, they will then travel to Rochester for four games before returning home to open a seven-game homestand against the Syracuse Chiefs and Rochester Red Wings, starting April 26. After the homestand is complete, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre heads to Syracuse before hosting six-game homestand against the Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens.
Much of the RailRiders’ 2019 campaign follows this pattern.
Even though teams often avoid having to play doubleheaders, the RailRiders already have one scheduled in on April 20 in Buffalo. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will play a doubleheader to avoid playing on Easter Sunday, which is April 21.
The RailRiders have 10 scheduled off days in 2019. This number has been bumped up from the eight scheduled this season.
After finishing the regular season in Pawtucket next month, the RailRiders will finish out the 2019 regular season at home. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 2019 regular season schedule concludes with a four-game homestand against the Bisons, ending on Sept. 2.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle