SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A new baseball season is here as both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros kick off their 2019 seasons Thursday.
The Astros start their season at 3 p.m. CT in St. Petersburg, Florida, to take on the Tampa Bay Rays while the Rangers kick off their campaign in Arlington against the Chicago Cubs at 3 p.m.
Fans for either team should expect very different seasons.
“Complete opposite, really,” ESPN San Antonio host Jason Minnix told KTSA News. “The Astros will have a chance, again, compete to win the AL West, maybe compete for the World Series. The Texas Rangers — let’s see. Have they had their first pitch yet? They’re already out of it. It’s going to be a long, long year for the Texas Rangers.”
For Astros fans. there is a lot to look forward to this season.
“You look at the team they have coming back, getting Verlander signed to a long-term deal,” Minnix explained. “Forrest Whitley out of Alamo Heights is going to be a big contributor from the pitching staff for the Houston Astros. They’ll be good, they’ll be fun to watch.”
For Rangers fans…
“No excitement with the Rangers. None. Zero,” Minnix stated bluntly. “After about 7 o’clock [Thursday], the excitement level for the Rangers is probably going to be over.”
If you like food more than good baseball, the sports talk host said there will be some good news for you.
“If you are going to the game, they introduced all kinds of new ballpark food and while the team might not be exciting, the menu and the calorie count will be exciting at the ballpark in Arlington.”
But if you are hoping for a 2019 World Series pennant to be raised in Arlington, the only chance that may happen is in a video game.
However, Minnix says there are some things to consider this upcoming season for the team.
“The Rangers, they do have a new manager, so it will be interesting to see how they are more analytics driven, putting their team together. But they know this year that they are rebuilding.”
The San Antonio Missions start their baseball season a week after the major league teams, their first in AAA’s Pacific Coast League.
Minnix says the Missions season may actually be more interesting than the Rangers this year.
“Going into AAA certainly adds a lot of excitement to their season,” the radio personality said. “I know their home opener is next Tuesday, the 9th. Just seeing some of the different players that are going to be coming through San Antonio playing AAA baseball either for the Missions — as part of the Milwaukee organization — or who they are playing against, you are going to see a lot of different players that, quite frankly, we haven’t seen in San Antonio on a regular basis.”
You can listen to every Texas Rangers game this season on ESPN San Antonio.