10. Opening Day at Texas Rangers
When: Thursday, March 29th, 2018
Pitcher: Justin Verlander
The Storyline: What better way to open the season than with your ace? Opening the season on the road versus your in-state rival is a great way to get going. Since the Astros made the move to the American League, the rivalry with the Texas Rangers has gotten fiercer. The Astros and Rangers have been division rivals since 2013, and the Rangers lead the division series 60-35. The ‘Stros bested them last season 12-7, and we all remember the Hurricane Harvey incident that added fuel to the fire in this matchup.
9. Gerrit Cole’s Astros Debut vs. The Texas Rangers
When: Sunday, April 1st, 2018
Pitcher: Gerrit Cole
The Storyline: This is presumably the newly acquired Gerrit Cole’s first start. The Astros get to see what their new toy can do. Slotted 4th on the depth chart of what is arguably the best rotation in the majors is very scary. When trading for an arm like Cole, most MLB teams are trading for an ace. The Astros traded for depth. Let that sink in for a bit as he rolls out his 2.04 spring training ERA.