It marks the beginning of Houston's life in the American League, after spending the previous 51 years in the National League. It will be the first regular season for brand new manager Bo Porter, and it will be the debut of the new color scheme on the Astros' uniforms.
It was also be the first time that Houston will have been featured on ESPN's exclusive Opening Day broadcast. That game will be available across ESPN's wide range of media outlets including ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, and ESPN Mobile TV.
Houston will have a little practice at Minute Maid prior to that series, as they wrap up Spring Training against the Chicago Cubs on March 29 and 30. After that, the Rangers will come to town before Oakland drops in for a weekend set.
Here is the setup of how the Astros will spend their first year in the AL West:
- 19 games against Texas, with 10 held at Minute Maid Park
- 19 games against Seattle, with 10 held at Minute Maid Park
- 19 games against Oakland, with 9 at Minute Minute Maid Park
- 19 games against Anaheim, with 9 at Minute Maid Park
They will also continue with their now FORMER NL Central counterparts. Here is how the season shapes up with the likes of the Cubs, Cardinals and Pirates:
- May 17-19 at Pittsburgh
- June 18-20 against Milwaukee
- June 21-23 at Chicago
- June 25-26 against St. Louis
- July 9-10 at St. Louis
- September 16-18 against Cincinnati
One of the more anticipated matchups at Minute Maid Park will be August 5-7, as the Astros will host the Boston Red Sox. During the 2011 season, the Red Sox made the trip to Houston and the park was nearly sold-out for the whole series. Expect the same during Boston's one and only trip to Minute Maid Park this season.
Players are about a month away from reporting for Spring Training, with pitchers and catchers reporting on February 11 to Kissimmee, Florida. They will have their first workout the next day. Position players will report on February 15, with the first full-squad workout on February 16.
The Astros will kick off their 2013 Grapefruit League games on February 23, as the play the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida.