PLAY BALL!

Astros tickets now on sale, here's everything you need to know

Baseball is right around the corner. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Houston Astros haven't had fans sitting for games inside Minute Maid Park since the team's heartbreaking World Series loss nearly a year and a half ago.

But with a shortened MLB season under their belt, not to mention relaxed restrictions statewide, the 'Stros are ready to welcome their fans back, despite setting capacity limits to no more than 50 percent of the ballpark for their first month.

Single-game tickets go on sale at 9 am Wednesday, March 24 for home games in April. Tickets can be purchased through the Astros website or by calling 1-877-9ASTROS (927-8767).So, what can fans expect as the Astros settle into another season played during the pandemic? Here's what the team has announced.

What tickets are on sale?

Tickets are available in all sections, including some sections with physically distanced seating pods.

Seats adjacent to the field will be sold, as they have for a standard season. Seats adjacent to the dugouts and bullpens will be separated from the field by plexiglass.

What capacity is in place for 2021?

To keep guests physically distanced while in the stadium, Astros games will not exceed 50-percent capacity during the month of April.

What matchups are on sale?

The Astros will re-open Minute Maid Park to the general public on April 8, for the Astros Home Opener vs. the Oakland Athletics, with a first pitch set for 7:10 pm.

The Home Opener is the first game of a three-game series between the division rival Astros and A's (April 8-10).

Houston will also host the Detroit Tigers for three (April 12-14), Los Angeles Angels for four (April 22-25) and the Seattle Mariners for four (April 26-29) in the month.

Are masks required?

Masks are required at all times within Minute Maid Park unless actively eating or drinking. Eating and drinking is only permitted at your ticketed seat (not the general concourse).

To find out about the bag policy and what to expect when entering the ballpark, continue reading on our news partner ABC13.

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Martin Truex Jr. won his 2nd race of the season last week. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

NASCAR returns to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. This is the first of two races here at this track as they will race on Sunday afternoon. This will be different from the normal night race they usually have here as this will definitely affect the racing surface considering how much the sun could make the track slick. It should be a fun race come Sunday.

Last week, Martin Truex Jr. passed Denny Hamlin to capture his second win of the season after rain moved the race to Sunday. He became the first driver to win multiple races after a fierce battle with his teammate Denny Hamlin. The race was filled with tons of wrecks including a fifteen car pileup including Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. It was one of the better races of the season as there was lots of beating and banging.

The race was not without controversy but not the kind you would expect. Early in the race Rick Ware Racing teammates Cody Ware and James Davison were involved in an altercation. The two were battling towards the back of the pack when Ware decided to drive through his teammate in turn four. The race got much worse for Cody Ware as he was involved in three more cautions all throughout the race. Many people around the sport were quite perturbed by his antics including broadcaster Mike Joy as he was audibly annoyed after Ware spun out later in the race. Many have questioned if the fifth-year driver should even be in the car and overall I can understand why some of those people think that. In his five years of driving, he has finished on the lead lap one time. I hope that he is able to figure it out and find success in the future, but this was not a good look.

The slump continues for two-time champion Kyle Busch

Throughout the race, Busch was running okay for the most part but towards the closing laps of the race he and Chris Buescher got together triggering a fifteen car pileup. Despite all this, he was able to rebound to a respectable tenth place finish. This has been more than likely the toughest stretch of his career since his championship in 2019. Many would say that the omission of Practice and Qualifying has really affected his performance. Whatever the issue is, this team really needs to find some speed, or he could be in danger of missing the playoffs. I look for this team to bounce back considering how talented he is.

Prediction

The driver that I have winning this week is Kyle Larson. This has been an incredible rebound season for Larson as he currently sits fourth in points. He is also second in laps led only to Denny Hamlin. Richmond has been a great track for him as it fits his driving style perfectly as he can run the outside line and find grip where others can't. This track is also rather sentimental to him considering he won his first pole award here during his rookie season in 2014. While he may not have the results he would want he has always been extremely fast here and even won back in 2017. I look for him to capture his second victory of 2021 come Sunday.

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