SIOUX CITY – The Sioux City Explorers announced their schedule for the 2018 season has been finalized and will feature all 11 league opponents coming to Lewis & Clark Park, which will mark the teams 26th season in Siouxland.
The Explorers will open the 2018 season on the road for their first seven games beginning with a four-game set versus the Lincoln Saltdogs starting on Thursday, May 17. The X’s will have an off day on the 21 before traveling to Sioux Falls for a three-game series against the Canaries. The X’s 2018 home opener will be on Friday, May 25 against the Cleburne Railroaders.
The American Association will once again operate with a total of 12 teams but will move to a two-division format from its previous three-division setup. Sioux City will play in the American Association’s South Division, along with the Lincoln Saltdogs, Kansas City T-Bones, Wichita Wingnuts, Texas Airhogs, and the Cleburne Railroaders. The North Division will be comprised of the Sioux Falls Canaries, St. Paul Saints, Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, Gary SouthShore Railcats, Winnipeg Goldeyes, and the leagues newest member, the Chicago Dogs.
The new two-division format will provide the opportunity for a more balanced schedule with each team having two series at home and two series on the road against divisional teams, while playing teams from the opposite division once at home and once on the road. The Explorers will face South Division opponents 65 times while facing North Division teams a total of 35 times.
There will be 50 home games played at Lewis & Clark Park with an equal number of games to be played on the road. Four teams will qualify for the playoffs (two from the South Division, two from the North Division) with the top two teams from each division playing in the best-of-5 semifinals, with the winners of that playing in the best-of-5 championship series.