Will the interleague schedules matter?

The Braves have had the tougher interleague schedule several times over the past few years. How does Atlanta's schedule compare with Philadelphia's interleague matchups?

at Minnesota
vs. Tampa Bay
vs. Kansas City
at Chicago White Sox
vs. Detroit

at Boston
at New York Yankees
vs. Minnesota
vs. Cleveland
at Toronto

Each series, for both teams, is a three-game set. So who has the advantage with their interleague matchups?

Could these differences in the schedules make an impact?

Remember a few years ago when Chipper Jones complained that the Phillies were getting an advantage because the Braves were playing the Red Sox? Well, the last two years the Phillies have struggled in interleague play. They were 6-12 last season and 4-11 in 2008 against the American League.

Last year the opponents were very similar, as both Atlanta and Philadelphia played the teams in the American League East. The Phillies could actually hollar a bit about the schedule, since they had three more games against the AL than the Braves did last season.

This season the Phillies have to play in Boston and in New York against the Yankees, while the only NL East opponent the Braves have is when they host Tampa Bay.

But the Braves have to play the three teams in the AL Central (Minnesota, Chicago, and Detroit)expected to be at the top of that division, while Philadelphia has to go to Toronto, which is their 'natural' rival in interleague play.

So will the interleague games in June make a difference, in what is expected to be a tight race in the National League East?

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Atlanta Baseball Show. Shanks writes a weekly column for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.

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