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Rox-Astros begins new Interleague chapter

HOUSTON -- Cubs-White Sox, Yankees-Mets, Cardinals-Royals and … Astros-Rockies? With the Astros making the switch to the American League this season, Colorado and Houston has become a new annual Interleague rivalry, and an odd one at that.

Rockies veteran Todd Helton said the lack of history between the two teams is obvious, but he likes coming to Houston.

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"Great ballpark, plenty of hunting magazines and hot weather," he quipped about the city. "I'm on board."

Third baseman Nolan Arenado said the two squads are more similar than ever, despite now being in separate leagues.

"It's going to be a good series," Arenado said. "They have a great venue and have a young team full of highly-regarded guys, a lot like us. They want to get back up to the top, and so do we. We're a little closer right now, but it's two teams that have something to prove in the next few years."

Colorado manager Walt Weiss said he's still adjusting to the Astros' new affiliation.

"It's just weird to me," he said. "It's hard for me to fathom that the Astros are in the American League. It was late last night before I realized I'd need a DH today. I just don't think of them as an AL club."

The two teams met 159 times as National League members, with Houston owning a slight 80-79 advantage.

The Astros' move to the AL also created continous Interleague Play, which Weiss was less than enthusiastic about.

"I'm kind of lukewarm on Interleague Play, to be honest," Weiss said. "I like the fact that the leagues used to be separate. I know it creates some pretty cool matchups, but I'm still a big fan of the separate leagues.

Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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