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Phillies 2016 season preview: games, dates, matchups to watch

If you're a baseball fan be sure to mark down these seven dates on your calendar.
The Phillies may be hard to watch on a day-to-day basis, but there will be some gamesGetty Images

The Phillies are not going to win too many games. According to Vegas odds-makers the Phils' total will beover/under 66.5 games. It's afar cry from the 101 they won in 2011.

There will be a steady stream of young, unproven but exciting players churning through the ballpark, but the timeframe for these (Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford, Mark Appel and others)is hard to predict. But there are a few games that you certainly can anticipate as having entertainment value, regardless of which prospects have made The Show. Here's a brief look at these:

April 4: Opening day

The Philstravel to Cincinnati to open their season for a three-game set against the Reds before traveling to New York for three against the Mets. Jeremy Hellickson will look to start the second actof his career on a high note (looking to return to his 2011 Rookie of the Year form). And there's always positive energy on opening day -- even if you're the worst team in baseball.

April 11: Home opener

The Phils host the San Diego Padres to kick off their home slate on a Monday at 3:05. And fans will likely come in drones to watch the fan-favorite starter from last year Aaron Nola make his second start of the year. It may be the one and only sell out of the season.

June 6: Victorino returns

Shane Victorino has had a roller coaster of an offseason but is currently a member of the Cubs. If he stays on the big-league roster, the speedy outfielder will come back to Citizens Bank Park to what will surely be a standing ovation. And even if he doesn't the Cubs are many people's World Series favorites and will be a hot ticket in South Philly

June 18:Franco bobblehead night

Maikel Franco could be the next great Phillies slugger, and what better way to line your merchandise collection than with a free Franco bobblehead on June 18 when the Arizona Diamondbacks arrive for a three-game set.

July 1-3: The champs come to town

The World Series champion Kansas City Royals come to town for a three-game series at the beginning of July that will showcase one of the best teams in baseball. Another series you should try not to miss.

August 16: Chase Utley's return

It will be an emotional day for many Phils' fans when Chase Utley returns to CBP as a member of the Dodgers. This is assuming he can stay healthy, or not get into trouble with MLB for breaking the newly implemented 'Utley rule' for slides into second base.

September 20: Rollins returns

Another return could occur in September, if former Phillies MVP and all-time hit leader Jimmy Rollins is still a member of the White Sox. The shortstop is slated to start on opening day for Chicago.

 

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