Much anticipation surrounds the Houston Astros as they move to the American League in 2013. That move took a step closer to reality when their Spring Training schedule was released on Thursday. They will have 16 home dates at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, FL., where the club will play its 29th season. Nine of those 16 games will be played on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
The Astros will begin their 2013 Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday, February 23 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, FL, before hosting the New York Mets on Sunday, February 24, in the club’s Spring Home Opener. Start times to all Spring games are to be announced and of course dates and times are subject to change.
It should be a tough but fun test for Houston with ten of their 16 home games featuring teams that made the playoffs in 2012, starting with the reigning American League Champion Detroit Tigers (Tuesday, February 26) and A.L. East Champion New York Yankees (Thursday, February 28). The Astros will then host the National League Wild Card winner and 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, March 1, before hosting the N.L. Wild Card participant Atlanta Braves on Saturday, March 2. The Washington Nationals, this year’s N.L. East Champion and former organization of Astros Manager Bo Porter, will visit Osceola County Stadium on Thursday, March 7, followed by the Braves, who return to Kissimmee on Friday, March 8.
The Phillies, a club that has made the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, will be in Kissimmee on Sunday, March 10, followed by the return of the Nationals on Wednesday, March 13. The Astros will then host their former division-rival Pittsburgh Pirates (Friday, March 15), the Toronto Blue Jays (Sunday, March 17) and the Mets, who return on Wednesday, March 20.
The Astros will play the Cardinals again as they wrap up their Spring home schedule by hosting them on Friday, March 22, followed by the Miami Marlins on Sunday, March 24, the Nationals on Monday, March 25, and the Tigers, who will take part in the Astros’ final Spring home game on Thursday, March 28.