Astros unveil '18 slate, open season vs. Rangers

Opening Day set for March 29; Houston faces NL West in Interleague Play

Astros unveil '18 slate, open season vs. Rangers

HOUSTON -- The Astros will open the 2018 season on the road March 29 against American League West foe Texas, marking the second time in club history they open the season against their Lone Star State rivals. Major League Baseball released the 2018 schedule on Tuesday.

The 2018 season will be the first under the new scheduling format agreed to as part of the 2017-2021 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). The new format extends the length of the season by adding an additional weekend of play at the beginning of the season.

Astros' 2018 regular-season schedule

As a result, each team will receive three to four additional off-days spread throughout the season to provide additional rest and opportunities for rescheduling. The March 29 start date will mark the earliest Opening Day in Major League history, excluding special season openers at international venues.

The Astros, who have won five consecutive games on Opening Day, will play the Rangers 19 times next year, but none in the final two months of the season. When the Rangers visit Minute Maid Park July 27-29, it will be the final meeting of the season between the teams.

The Astros, who will face the National League West in Interleague Play next year, will have their home opener, April 2, against the Orioles in the start of a three-game series. The Padres will follow Baltimore to town on April 6-8 in Houston's first Interleague set of the season.

Like this season, the Astros will finish the 2018 season with a seven-game road trip, playing three in Toronto (Sept. 24-26) and four in Baltimore (Sept. 27-30) to end the season.

Houston's longest road trip is 10 games through Texas (June 7-10), Oakland (June 12-14) and Kansas City (June 15-17). Its longest homestand is 11 games, when the White Sox (July 5-8), A's (July 9-12) and Tigers (July 13-15) come to Minute Maid Park.

Interleague Play will include matchups against all five NL West clubs, four of which will be at home: the Padres (April 6-8), Giants (May 22-23), Rockies (August 14-15) and D-backs (Sept. 14-16). The Astros will travel to the D-backs (May 4-6), Rockies (July 24-25), Dodgers (Aug. 3-5) and Giants (Aug. 6-7).

Season tickets, group tickets and individual game suite rentals for the 2018 season, as well as 2018 season ticket packages that guarantee 2017 postseason priority access, are on-sale now by visiting www.astros.com/tickets or calling the Astros ticket department at 1-800-ASTROS2.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.