DETROIT -- It was a common debate this year: who got the better deal out of the big offseason trade between the Tigers and Yankees. To start the 2011 season, the two clubs will square off on Opening Day and maybe settle the discussion.
Detroit will open the 2011 slate in New York with a three-game series against the Yankees on Thursday, March 31, through Sunday, April 3. Opening Day next season will be a Thursday and Friday, instead of the usual Sunday and Monday, to move up postseason play.
After three games over four days in Baltimore, the Tigers will play their home opener on Friday, April 8, against the Royals.
The Tigers will finish up the season series against the Yankees early, when the Bronx Bombers come to Detroit for a four-game set from May 2-5.
Detroit will have a lengthy 10-game homestand to close out the month of May. The Rays will come to Detroit for three games, followed by a four-game series against the Red Sox and wrapping up with three games against the Twins.
Detroit will be on the road for the club's first three Interleague series of the season. First, the Tigers will square off against manager Jim Leyland's former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, from May 20-22. Detroit will play back-to-back series on the road against Interleague opponents from June 17-22 when they travel to face the Rockies and Dodgers.
Then, from June 24-July 3, the Tigers will welcome three Interleague foes to Motown. Detroit will get the nine-game homestand started with three games against the D-backs, followed by three-game sets against the Mets and Giants before Independence Day.
From July 21-27, Detroit will be on the road for seven games against divisional opponents. The road trip will start with four games against the Twins and conclude with a trip to Chicago for a three-game series against the South Siders.
The last three weeks of the season will be extremely daunting for the Tigers. During the home stretch, from Sept. 9-28, Detroit will have only one off-day. The club will be on the road for nine games against the White Sox, Athletics and Royals.
The Tigers will return home for a seven-game homestand to wrap up the season from Sept. 22-28. If the club is in playoff contention, the schedule is very favorable, as they will close out the 2011 campaign with a four-game series against the Orioles and three games against the Indians.
Alex DiFilippo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.