5 Series the Texas Rangers Should Look Forward to in 2014

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Texas Rangers 2014 Series to Look Forward To

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Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Opening day for baseball has a way to just make everything right again. Every team is undefeated; every team is in first place; and every team still has a chance to win it all. Letting go of what happened the season before is something that needs to be done but not forgotten so teams can use that bitterness to propel them to the top.

The Texas Rangers are about to embark on a very interesting season. With free agent signings and trades that teams have made during the offseason to bolster their respective rosters, the hill to the World Series got that much harder to climb. The American League West is going to be a battle from the top down and should propel that division into American League supremacy.

The 2013 season for the Texas Rangers didn’t end the way they had hoped. Having to play an extra game just for the right to make it into the playoffs was a challenge within itself, and losing it was even harder to get over. The goal for every team in every sport is to be the last one standing when the final out is recorded or the clock expires. Nothing else is acceptable. If the season ends any other way the teams will start looking ahead to the next season. Once the schedule is released there are certain dates that stand out to players and fans alike. Here is a list of the five most intriguing series in my opinion that will be must-watch television if you are a baseball fan.

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5. April 4 - April 6: vs. Tampa Bay Rays

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers lost game 163 against the Tampa Bay Rays. They won't have to wait long to get their revenge as the Rangers travel to sunny Florida to take on the Rays April 4 - April 6. The last time these two teams met the Rays got the better of the Rangers by a score of 5-2. The loss sent the Rangers packing and the Rays into the one game winner take all Wild Card against the Cleveland Indians.

Prior to game 163, the Rangers were on a hot eight-game win streak that kept them five games behind the American League West Champion Oakland Athletics and in a tie with the Rays.

What makes this series intriguing is the payback factor. Sure it doesn't have the same meaning since it is in the beginning of the season, but you can be sure that the players remember and haven't been able to shake the bad taste out of their mouths since the last time they faced each other.

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4. April 14 - April 17: vs. Seattle Mariners

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Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Seattle Mariners come to Arlington April 14 to April 17 for the first time in the 2014 season. The Mariners finished 71-91 in 2013, but you can be sure that the results will not be the same this coming season. Mariners' management opened their checkbook to make the team better with the acquisitions of Robinson Cano, Corey Hart, and the trade for Logan Morrison. That alone won't get the job done, but pair that up with some of the pitching the Mariners have and you have yourself a highly contested race in the division.

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3. April 21 - April 23: vs. Oakland Athletics

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Anytime you spend the better part of the season looking up at the same team you look forward to the next time you have the chance to play them to get a little redemption. The Oakland Athletics were a surprise team last season winning the American League West and finishing with a record of 96-66. The small market team that refuses to conform to the big money teams' rules. The A's had kind of an uncharacteristic offseason as they brought in some names as free agents and made some trades to make them better in hopes of getting over the hump.

This is the first time these two teams meet in 2014, and it should be a good showdown as the first month of the season starts to wind down.

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2. May 22 - May 25: vs. Detroit Tigers

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

There is no secret as to why this series will garner some attention. It will be the first time Prince Fielder returns to Comerica Park where he spent two seasons as the Tigers' first baseman. This isn't going to be a bitter return by any means, but anytime you face your old mates it makes it that much more interesting. Fielder was traded earlier this offseason for Ian Kinsler so it will be interesting for both of them as they look to continue their careers in different cities.

The top series to be on the look out for is eerily similar to this one.

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1. June 24 - June 26: vs. Detroit Tigers

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This series is the first time the Detroit Tigers travel to Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers. It will be Ian Kinsler's first time exiting out of the visitors' dugout. Kinsler spent his entire eight-year career with the Rangers before being traded to Detroit for Prince Fielder. I am sure it won't be easy since it is the only place he has ever known, but he is a professional and must move on.

We will certainly have an idea what move paid off more for which team at this point in the season. There might even be some separation in the standings too.

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