MLB releases 2022 schedule: Dodgers-Padres rivalry highlighted; Angels open in Oakland

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Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tags Padres' Jurickson Profar on June 23 in San Diego.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tags Padres' Jurickson Profar on June 23 in San Diego. (Denis Poroy / Associated Press)

Give the fans what they want. In 2022, for the two best teams in Southern California, the Major League Baseball schedule does just that.

You can argue about whether the Dodgers' true rivals are the San Francisco Giants or the San Diego Padres, but there is no argument that Dodgers fans flock to Petco Park to see their team play. This year, so do Padres fans.

But, amid the ascendance of the Padres, MLB set three of the six series between the Dodgers and Padres this year as midweek series — including two of the three series at Petco Park. In 2022, five of the six series between the Dodgers and Padres will be weekend series. If Amtrak isn't the sponsor, MLB is missing the obvious.

The Dodgers open the 2022 season at home March 31 against the Colorado Rockies. The highlight of the season: July 19, when the All-Star Game returns to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1980.

On July 17, the Dodgers and Angels will be off, giving the Futures Game a desperately needed spotlight. On July 18, Dodger Stadium hosts the home run derby.

On July 21, the spotlight again shines on Dodger Stadium, when the Dodgers and Giants play the first game after the All-Star break. All the other teams resume their schedule July 22.

The Angels open their season March 31 in Oakland, again. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that opener will make the Angels the first team in MLB history to open a season in the same road ballpark five times in six years.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.