While Houston Astros fans have been waiting patiently for the team to do, well, much of anything, the rest of the offseason has rolled along for the rest of the league. There are already some teams that are sending out non-roster invites press releases and the official start of spring training is a little over a month away. Another unofficial sign that the 2024 season is upon is when ESPN releases the match-ups that are going to be featured on Sunday Night Baseball.
Sunday Night Baseball doesn't have the same prestige that it once had, but it is still a fantastic opportunity for teams to showcase themselves in front of a national audience. Normally, the matchups are reserved for the best of the best matchups each weekend which is why ESPN releases the schedule in batches so they can adjust during the season as division races heat up and teams break out or fall off.
Today, ESPN released the first batch of games that are going to be featured and the Houston Astros are going to be featured prominently very early in the 2024 season.
Astros' early season re-match with the Rangers to be featured on Sunday Night Baseball
The first few series of any season are usually when teams are still adjusting to the season and finding their footing. However, the Astros have an absolute banger of a series at the beginning of April in an re-match with their foes from the 2023 ALCS and fierce division rivals, the Texas Rangers. Both teams enter the 2024 season as early playoff contenders and both have had weirdly quiet offseasons...at least so far.
The Astros/Rangers series is the first of two appearances on Sunday Night Baseball for Texas as their match-up with the Braves on April 21 is also on the docket. The Dodgers/Yankees matchup in early June looks like it could be appointment television and the Cubs/Cardinals matchup in late May will be a nice test to see if the changes both teams have made were enough to catapult them into the National League's elite.