Baseball to again start mid-week in 2012

The 2012 Major League Baseball season will start in the middle of the week for the second straight year.

Next year's schedule will begin on Wednesday, April 4, similar to this year's start. After years of opening with a single game on Sunday night and a full slate on Monday, the 2011 campaign began with games on a Thursday.

The move was made, in part, in an effort to end the World Series before November. This year's playoffs will begin on Friday, September 30 and a potential Game 7 of the World Series is slated for October 27.

Next year's postseason will likely start on Friday, October 5, two days after the conclusion of the regular season.

The 2012 season openers will feature the first game for the Marlins, who next year will be the Miami Marlins, at their new ballpark on April 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The 37,000-seat facility is currently under construction at the old site of Miami's Orange Bowl and features a retractable roof.

Six games are on Thursday's schedule, including a matchup of potential AL playoff teams in Boston and Detroit at Comerica Park. Also on Thursday's slate are Toronto at Cleveland, Atlanta at the New York Mets, the Nationals at the Cubs, the Dodgers in San Diego and Philadelphia traveling across the state of Pennsylvania to visit Pittsburgh.

Friday's schedule features 10 games, while the first full day of 15 games will take place on Saturday, April 7.

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.

Interleague play will feature a number of World Series rematches, including a battle between 2010 participants Texas and San Francisco.