The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers will be under the national spotlight during the first week of the 2023 Major League Baseball season.
ESPN announced its Sunday Night Baseball schedule, and the Phillies will travel to face the Rangers for the first broadcast April 2. That means fans will get a first look at the reigning National League champions and a Rangers squad hoping to compete in the American League West.
This will be the 34th straight year for Sunday Night Baseball, and play-by-play announcer Karl Ravech will be joined by David Cone and Eduardo Perez in the booth. ESPN's Buster Olney will also be included in the broadcasts.
That the Phillies will be highlighted comes as no surprise.
They went to the World Series last season behind a daunting lineup that included Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos, among others. They also agreed to an 11-year, $300 million deal with shortstop Trea Turner this offseason, adding even more pop to their offense.
Turner is a World Series champion, two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger and batting title winner who is still in his prime at 29 years old.
As for Texas, it made waves this offseason as well when it brought in pitcher Jacob deGrom on a five-year, $185 million deal with a sixth-year option that could bring the value to $222 million. While deGrom comes with injury risk, he is also one of the best pitchers in the entire league when healthy.
His resume includes two Cy Young awards, four All-Star selections, Rookie of the Year honors and an ERA title.
Philadelphia will be plenty familiar with deGrom if he pitches in the Sunday night game considering he spent the first nine years of his career on the NL East rival New York Mets.
There will be no shortage of star power in that matchup as both teams attempt to get off to an ideal start in the 2023 season.