With or without Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Phillies will lead off ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball schedule next season.

The Phillies' home game on March 31 against the rival Atlanta Braves has been selected by ESPN as the national game of the week, the team and the network announced Monday. The Phillies and Braves are scheduled to open the season March 28 at Citizens Bank Park.

After a five-year absence from the national stage, the Phillies were twice featured on Sunday Night Baseball last season, including the annual Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., in August.

The Braves will be defending the National League East title, while Phillies owner John Middleton has vowed to spend big money on the roster this winter after the team finished in third place with an 80-82 record in 2018.

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