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Here’s what you need to know about the Astros schedule

Much like 2020, nothing is normal

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander reacts after pitching a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game in Toronto. Only 60 games into last season for the Houston Astros last summer, Justin Verlander won nine games and struck out 103 batters and went on to win his second AL Cy Young Award. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander reacts after pitching a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game in Toronto. Only 60 games into last season for the Houston Astros last summer, Justin Verlander won nine games and struck out 103 batters and went on to win his second AL Cy Young Award. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

The Astros open at home Friday against the Mariners. The beginning of a season that will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the many strange situations produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The season obviously had to be altered, and many have said it benefits the Astros. No fans in the stands at away games means no anger and harsh words regarding the sign-stealing scandal.

Here’s what we can expect with the Astros schedule, as the team goes for their fourth consecutive AL West title:

If they follow history, they’ll win opening day.

The Astros have won seven straight Opening Day games, from 2013-2019. During a 60-game season when every game counts, making it eight in a row would be impressive and important.

Location, location, location

The structure of the season was meant to limit traveling during the pandemic. The regular season for the Astros contains 40 games against their American League West division opponents and 20 games against the National League West teams.

Astros take a long road trip after their first homestand

After their opening series against Seattle and a visit from the Dodgers, the Astros hit the road. Nine games in 10 days taking on the Angels, Diamondbacks, and A’s from July 31 to Aug. 9.

Plenty of match-up with their 2017 Nemesis

Many feel like the Astros 2017 World Series title against the Dodgers has become tainted since the sign-stealing scandal. The Dodgers come to town July 28 and 29, and the Astros travel there on September 12 and 13.

Cody Bellinger and Carlos Correa exchanged plenty of words in the off-season, meaning media sessions (albeit via Zoom) could be interesting.

On the road again ... in Oakland

The A’s impressed last season, and the Astros play them 10 times. Seven of those games are in Oakland.

National TV Appearances

Here are the televised games slated so far:

1.) Opening Day vs Mariners (MLB Network)

2.) July 28 vs Dodgers (FS1)

3.) July 29 vs. the Dodgers (ESPN)

4.) Aug. 1 at the Angels ( FOX)

5.) Aug. 6 at the D-backs ( FOX)

6.) Aug 10 Giants (ESPN)

7.) Sept. 12 at the Dodgers (FOX)

We’ve heard it a million times since the 60-game season was announced: while most MLB seasons are “a marathon and not a sprint,” this 60-game season is absolutely a sprint. Every game will matter. Stick with KPRC 2 for all your Astros coverage.