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Schedule draft has Rays opening at home against Blue Jays

It's subject to change, but the Rays would play 3 games vs. Mets and Phillies, 4 vs. Braves and Nationals, 6 vs. Marlins.
Former Rays center fielder Tommy Pham gets caught in a rundown at home during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in September at Tropicana Field.
Former Rays center fielder Tommy Pham gets caught in a rundown at home during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in September at Tropicana Field. [ ALLIE GOULDING | Times ]
Published Jun. 29, 2020
Updated Jun. 30, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are set to open the 2020 season at home July 24 against the Blue Jays, according to a draft of the schedule that has been circulated by the league but is subject to change.

The format for the 60-game season has the Rays playing 10 games against each of their four AL East opponents and 20 games against the five National League East teams.

The breakdown: six games (three home and three away) against the Rays’ “natural rival” Marlins; four games split into two-game, home-and-home series with the Braves and World Series champion Nationals; and three games each with the Mets (in New York) and Phillies (at home to finish the season).

Related: Breakdown of Rays’ 60-player roster

The schedule is subject to input from teams and could be changed, with hopes it will be finalized and released by the end of the week.

One issue could be where the Jays are based. They are hoping to get governmental approval to play their games in Toronto and potentially hold their training camp there as well with their second choice being using their Dunedin spring facility.

On Monday, the Jays said they were bringing players and staff to Dunedin to start the process of doing the MLB-mandated intake testing, with hopes of getting the governmental permissions to bring the whole group to Toronto later this week to start camp. If they get that permission the players and staff would essentially be quarantined there, staying at the hotel attached to the Rogers Centre stadium.

Of note, the Jays recently had a number of personnel at their Dunedin facility test positive, and cases are spiking throughout Florida.