The 2013 Major League Baseball will kick off (is it ok to use a football metaphor? I miss it already) on Sunday, March 31 in Houston, as the lowly Astros play host to the Texas Rangers. This will be the Astros' first game ever as an American League team, and the move gives each league 15 teams, with each of the six divisions having five teams. But regardless of which league they're in, Houston is going to suck again.
How do I know this? Well, when your ace pitcher is Bud Norris (2012: 7-13, 4.65, 1.37), that kind of sends up a red, Texas-sized flag. But hey! At least the rotation has a guy who threw a perfect game in Philip Humber. Remember that? Me neither. Wait, Philip who?
For fantasy purposes, unless you're in an NL-only league, you should have approximately zero Houston Astros players on your team; although I can certainly let a late round Jose Altuve pick slide. Any other Astros and you're asking for trouble.
Call it the Astros Roto Corollary, adapted from Bill Simmons' Royals Roto Corollary:
If you have no Astros, you're probably in first or second place. One Astro, third place. Two Astros, fourth place. Three Astros, fifth or sixth. Four Astros, seventh or eighth. More than four, you're in dead last and already preparing for your football draft.
For the Rangers, they'll be without Michael Young for the first time in 13 years. They'll also be without the beastly Josh Hamilton, who bolted for the Los Angeles Angels for a monster, five-year, $125 million contract. How much money is that? It's so much money, that the Angels felt that they only had enough to pay 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout just $20,000 above the league minimum. How scandalous! The Angels were able to hose Trout because he has less than three years Major League service, meaning he had no leverage to work with because teams are allowed to sign un-signed players with less than three years in the MLB from March 2 to March 11. Trout will be eligible for arbitration after the 2014 season.
Find out who's playing their opener when, and stay tuned for updates throughout spring training:
Atlanta Braves: vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 1, 7:10 p.m.
Arizona Diamondbacks: vs. St. Louis Cardinals,Monday, April 1, 10:10 p.m.
Baltimore Orioles: @Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday, April 2, 3:10 p.m.
Boston Red Sox: @New York Yankees, Monday, April 1, 1:05 p.m.
Chicago Cubs: @Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, April 1, 1:35 p.m.
Chicago White Sox: vs. Kansas City Royals, Monday, April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Cincinnati Reds: vs. Los Angeles Angels, Monday, April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Cleveland Indians: @Toronto Blue Jays, Tuesday, April 2, 7:07 p.m.
Colorado Rockies: @Milwaukee Brewers, Monday April 1, 2:10 p.m.
Detroit Tigers: @Minnesota Twins, Monday April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Houston Astros: vs. Texas Rangers, Sunday, March 31, 8 p.m.
Kansas City Royals: @Chicago White Sox, Monday, April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Los Angeles Angels: @Cincinnati Reds, Monday, April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Los Angeles Dodgers: vs. San Francisco Giants, Monday, April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Miami Marlins: @Washington Nationals, Monday April 1, TBD
Milwaukee Brewers: vs. Colorado Rockies, Monday April 1, 2:10 p.m.
Minnesota Twins: vs. Detroit Tigers, Monday April 1, 4:10 p.m.
New York Mets: vs. San Diego Padres, Monday, April 1, 1:10 p.m.
New York Yankees: vs. Boston Red Sox, Monday, April 1, 1:05 p.m.
Oakland Athletics: vs. Seattle Mariners, Monday, April 1, 10:05 p.m.
Philadelphia Phillies: @Atlanta Braves, Monday, April 1, 7:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh Pirates: vs. Chicago Cubs, Monday, April 1, 1:35 p.m.
San Diego Padres: @New York Mets, Monday, April 1, 1:10 p.m.
San Francisco Giants: @Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 1, 4:10 p.m.
Seattle Mariners: @Oakland Athletics, Monday, April 1, 10:05 p.m.
St. Louis Cardinals: @Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, April 1, 10:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay Rays: vs. Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, April 2, 3:10 p.m.
Texas Rangers: @Houston Astros, Sunday, March 31, 8 p.m.
Toronto Blue Jays: vs. Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, April 2, 7:07 p.m.
Washington Nationals: vs. Miami Marlins, Monday, April 1, TBD