The 2016 Major League Baseball regular season doesn’t end for another two weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start looking ahead to next season. 

Per’s Mark Newman, MLB released its full regular-season schedule for 2017 on Wednesday with tripleheader featuring the New York Yankees vs. the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks kicking things off on Sunday, April 2.

The third game will be broadcast in prime time on ESPN as part of Sunday Night Baseball, but it has not yet been determined what the game will be. 

If the schedule follows the same pattern as 2016, expect the prime-time game to feature the defending World Series champions. This season, the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals got the feature matchup on ESPN to start the season in a rematch of the 2015 World Series. 

Based on the likely playoff teams this year and scheduled matchups to start next season, that game won’t feature a World Series rematch. 

The remaining 24 teams will open play on April 3, with the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals being the top opening-series matchup. 

Other key stories that will dominate the April schedule in MLB include the Boston Red Sox adjusting to life without David Ortiz on April 3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves opening their new stadium on April 14. 

The All-Star Game is scheduled for July 11 at Marlins Park, while the regular season will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 1. 

So if your team is still fighting for a playoff spot this season, there’s still reason to focus on 2017. If you’ve endured the trials and tribulations of a long 2016, there are fewer than seven months before your hope for a World Series begins. 

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