While most Houston Astros fans are tired of the phrase collective bargaining agreement after 99 straight days of discussion on the topic, there were some less publicized changes that could affect the way the Astros operate this season and certainly the next. I’ve outlined a few and how they could change the way Houston operates moving forward.
The Astros will face no more rotating interleague play in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Perhaps the biggest of the changes is that beginning in 2023 the schedule will change and instead of playing 19 games each against the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A’s, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, the Astros will play their division foes 14 times each, reducing the number of games within the division from 76 to 56.
In addition, teams are designated a “rival” in the opposite league and will play a four-game series each season, two home and two away. Finally, for each of the other 14 teams in the National League, the Astros will play a three-game series each year while rotating home and away each season.
This means the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will play every year. Less Rangers and more Dodgers may cost the Astros a win or two, but sign me up.