Baseball's back! The 2013 regular season kicks off Sunday night with this first intraleague (and intradivision) contest between the two teams from Texas. This game marks the Astros' American League debut, their first home game with a designated hitter, and the official debut of their new retro uniforms. Unfortunately, the Rangers won't start Yu Darvish until Tuesday. Instead you'll see Matt Harrison take on Bud Norris.
2 of 10 Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI, Chuck Solomon/SI
April 2: Indians @ Blue Jays
Hope springs eternal in baseball, so why not take an early look at two teams that hope to rank among the most improved by season's end. Most likely the Indians won't be a serious challenger to the Tigers in the AL Central, but the Blue Jays could be in the mix in the East. If that doesn't move you, just tune in to watch R.A. Dickey's knuckleball as he'll face Justin Masterson in this game.
3 of 10 Cliff Welch/Icon SMI, Brad Mangin/SI
June 13: Royals @ Rays
The Royals and Rays meet in early May, but there's a better chance of Wil Myers being in the Rays' lineup by the time this series rolls around. And we'll have a better idea of whether or not the Royals are getting what they need out of the single year of James Shields they acquired (if Shields pitches every fifth game to this point in the season, he'll start this one for Kansas City).
4 of 10 Brad Mangin/SI
June 18: Dodgers @ Yankees
Though interleague play has been around since 1997, this will be the Dodgers' first game in the Bronx since the 1981 World Series and first regular season road game against the Yankees ever. Incredibly, the schedule makers, who never managed to get the Dodgers back to the old Stadium before it was razed, have limited this series to two games. There are a few subplots to this game. It will mark Dodgers manager Don Mattingly's first appearance in the Bronx in another uniform (his ovation should be deafening nonetheless). It could represent an unofficial passing of the torch as the Dodgers have displaced the Yankees as Baseball's 800-pound gorilla over the past year. And it could give the Dodgers players and coaches a chance to butter up Robinson Cano, who is sure to be in their sights as a free agent come November.
5 of 10 Al Tielemans/SI
June 21: Rangers @ Cardinals
The Giants and Tigers won't play during the regular season, making this the most recent World Series rematch. It will be the first meeting of these teams since St. Louis hosted Game 7 of the 2011 Series, thus bringing the dozen-or-so remaining members of the 2011 Rangers team back to the site of their most bitter defeat.
6 of 10 Erick W. Rasco/SI
July 16: All-Star Game
The better of New York's two new ballparks gets its first All-Star game, the first in Queens since 1964, Shea Stadium's inaugural season. The game still determines home-field advantage in the World Series, but more than that, if you're only going to watch 10 baseball games this year, why not make one of them the one jam-packed with the game's best players, even if it doesn't really count.
7 of 10 David E. Klutho/SI
Sept. 5: Cardinals @ Reds
After the dog days of August, the pennant races heat up in September, which should provide a steady slate of must-see games. The first of those is this one, the final game of the season between the two likely rivals for the NL Central crown.
8 of 10John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Sept. 18: Braves @ Nationals
Just four games separated the Nationals and Braves atop the NL East last year, and things could be even tighter this year. This game is the last regular-season meeting of these two teams.
9 of 10 Brad Mangin/SI
Sept. 26: Dodgers @ Giants
The Dodgers and Giants should be a compelling matchup all season. Not only is the latter the defending world champion and the former baseball's new big spenders -- and a team many expect to topple the Giants in the NL West this season-- but also their rivalry dates to the presidency of Benjamin Harrison and hasn't mellowed one bit in the California sunshine. Again, this will be their final regular-season meeting in 2013.
10 of 10 John Biever/SI
Sept. 29: Angels @ Rangers
This is the best matchup from the final day of the regular season (possible runner-up: Rays @ Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. EST). It wouldn't be the least bit surprising if there were still a division title or playoff spot on the line in this game. Last year the Angels finished four games behind the Rangers, but the Rangers didn't have the most successful offseason, and this rivalry produced five straight NL West champions from 2007 to 2011. That rivalry will only intensify with Josh Hamilton joining fellow ex-Ranger C.J. Wilson on the Angels.
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