The Nationals announced their 2018 spring training schedule today, one that again takes advantage of their conveniently located new complex in West Palm Beach and concludes with a final exhibition against the Twins in D.C.
Twenty-five of the Nationals’ 31 Grapefruit League games in Florida will be played in Palm Beach County, either at their shared complex with the Astros or a short 15-minute drive up the road at the Marlins and Cardinals’ complex in Jupiter. Three more road games will be played against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, about 45 minutes north of West Palm Beach.
Only three road games will require a longer drive than that: Feb. 26 and March 1 against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista (2 1/2 hours away) and March 12 against the Tigers in Lakeland (2 hours, 45 minutes away).
The Nationals’ exhibition opener is Feb. 23 against the Astros, who will be the designated home team at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The two teams face each other a total of seven times next spring (with the Nats serving as the home team four times).
Most of the club’s spring travel takes place during the first half of the Grapefruit League season, with nine of the final 13 games to be played at home.
The Nationals’ Florida finale is March 25 against the Cardinals in West Palm Beach, after which they’ll fly north and enjoy a day off. Then on March 27 they’ll host the Twins in this year’s exhibition game at Nationals Park. After another day off, they’ll travel to Cincinnati for their March 29 opening day matchup with the Reds.
The club hasn’t announced reporting dates for pitchers and catchers yet, though that’s expected to take place in mid-February.