Nats' first game in new spring park slated for Feb. 28

Washington announces 2017 Grapefruit League schedule

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals will begin their 2017 Spring Training schedule with three road games before they open up their new Spring Training home -- The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. -- against the Astros on Feb. 28.

It will be the first of seven games between Washington and Houston, partners in the new facility, as the Nationals revealed their 33-game Spring Training schedule Monday.

Washington will play 16 home games in its inaugural spring season in West Palm Beach, welcoming National League East foes such as Miami, New York and Atlanta at least once, as well as the Cardinals, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers.

The Nats open the spring schedule -- which begins a week earlier than usual with the return of the World Baseball Classic in 2017 -- on Feb. 25 against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., and close the schedule against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., on March 29.

One of the reasons the Nationals moved to the new ballpark was because it will greatly reduce their travel time to road games. Their longest trips are to Lakeland and Fort Myers (both more than a two-hour drive away), but the Nats will have "road" games against the Astros in West Palm Beach to go along with much more manageable trips to Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, all less than 45 minutes away.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.