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Former NL West stars returning to their old stomping grounds highlight 2016 MLB schedule

Pablo Sandoval and Troy Tulowitzki will be returning to their former home parks as part of the 2016 schedule.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of former NL West stars will return to face their former teams in 2016, highlighting the schedule released by MLB today.

Former Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval will return to AT&T Park with the Red Sox on June 6-7. Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal with the Red Sox prior to 2015 after playing seven seasons with the Giants, hitting .294/.346/.465 with 106 home runs, making a pair of All-Star appearances and winning three World Series rings. He hit especially well at AT&T Park, with a .313/.365/.488 line in nearly 2000 at bats.

Later in June, Troy Tulowitzki will return to Coors Field with the Blue Jays for a three-game series from June 27-29. The Rockies traded Tulowitzki to Toronto on July 27, in the midst of his 10th season with the club. He hit .299/.371/.513 with 188 home runs as a Rockie, with a .321/.394/.558 line at Coors Field.

Opening Night still up in the air

The traditional Sunday night opener has not been announced yet, as the results of the 2015 postseason will likely dictate the matchup, but there look to be three prime candidates among games scheduled for Opening Day.

The Mets will open 2016 with an interleague matchup at Kansas City, which could be a World Series rematch if things fall the right way. There is also a possible ALCS rematch on the schedule for Opening Day, with the Astros traveling to the Bronx to face the Yankees. Though perhaps the most likely outcome is a second-straight Opening Night appearance for the Cardinals, who open the season against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Schedule strife in Oakland

One team unhappy with its 2016 schedule is Oakland, as Susan Slusser noted late last month before the schedule was released. One stretch that has the A's upset in particular, according to Slusser, is in August when Oakland has a six-game road trip to Texas and Chicago, returns home for three games, and then goes back to the Central time zone for six games at St. Louis and Houston.