The 8 p.m. ET game, announced by Major League Baseball on Thursday, will be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston as the start of a three-game series. The teams will finish the set Tuesday and Wednesday of that week.
It's the first time the Rangers and Astros have played each other to start the season. The Astros' move now gives each league 15 teams, and the AL West will grow from four teams to five.
This is the third time the Rangers have played in the season-opening game on ESPN. They faced the Toronto Blue Jays in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 1, 2001, and the Angels in Anaheim, Calif., on March 30, 2003.
Opening night is the beginning of ESPN's 24th season televising Major League Baseball. The Rangers-Astros game also can be heard on ESPN Radio nationally and on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, the club's flagship station.