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10 MLB Teams That Need to Set the Tone on Opening Day 2014

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10 MLB Teams That Need to Set the Tone on Opening Day 2014

MLB Opening Day 2014
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Despite the fact that there are 162 games during a regular season, every team must get off to a hot start right out of the gate. A shot at a playoff berth won’t depend on whether a team is victorious or not on opening day, but it certainly could help with setting the mood for the rest of the season. Here are 10 teams that need to set the tone on opening day in 2014.

10. Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels
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10. Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels
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The Los Angeles Angels have been quite the let down the past few seasons, which is even more disappointing considering all the noise they’ve made in free agency. If there was ever a team that needed to start the season on a high note it’s the Angels this year. Setting the tone against division rival Seattle Mariners on opening day should take care of any doubts the team might have.

9. Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers
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9. Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers
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The Milwaukee Brewers will field the highest payroll in franchise history this year, which means setting the tone will be vital for the fans and the players. If Milwaukee wants any shot at winning an unbelievably competitive division, it’s imperative that they begin the season with a checkmark in the win column.

8. Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
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8. Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
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Winning the World Series is great. Unfortunately, there’s a target on the Boston Red Sox’s back this year, which means every game must be played as if they’re in the playoffs. Every team they face will play the hardest they possibly can because they want a piece of the world champs. If the Red Sox want to repeat, they must start the season by firing out of a cannon.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers
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7. Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have the talent and depth to win it all in 2014. However, the same could have been said about last year. It’s critical that the Dodgers don’t mess around in the beginning months and force themselves to catch fire down the stretch. Instead, setting the tone on opening day will show the rest of the National League that they mean business.

6. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves
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6. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves
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The Atlanta Braves are favorites to clinch the NL in 2014. However, Atlanta has struggled with high expectations in recent years, which usually ends with an early exit from the playoffs. The Braves will have an opportunity to set the tone early during their possible championship season by defeating the Brewers on opening day. A loss could cripple their self-esteem.

5. Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics
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5. Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics
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If the Oakland Athletics want a third consecutive AL West title they will need to set the tone early right out of the gate. Every other team in the division is gunning for the Athletics, which means they will have a target on their back similar to the one the Red Sox have. Oakland was one of the best teams in baseball last season, and dominating on opening day will show the world they are for real this year as well.

4. Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers
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4. Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers
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The Texas Rangers’ battle with the Athletics for the top spot in the AL West is sure to come down to the wire. For that reason, every game is just as important as the next one. A win on opening day will show Oakland that they are a very legitimate threat to win the division. If the Rangers learned anything from the end of last season it’s that no game can be taken for granted.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates
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3. Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Pittsburgh Pirates took a giant leap in the right direction in 2013, but the team fell well short of expectations. The Pirates will have their hands full in the NL Central, a division that won’t be decided until the last week of the season. A loss to the Chicago Cubs on opening day would be devastating, which is why Pittsburgh must use the contest as a statement game.

2. New York Yankees

New York Yankees
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2. New York Yankees

New York Yankees
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The New York Yankees missing the playoffs in 2013 was a shock to the fan base. The good news is New York worked very hard in the offseason to field a team that has the potential to dominate the competition. The only way to ensure momentum is to be victorious against the lowly Houston Astros on opening day, which won’t be until April 1 for both teams.

1. Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals
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1. Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals
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The Washington Nationals have a very talented roster that has the capability to do a lot of damage in 2014. Going head-to-head with the Braves won’t be easy, which is why the Nationals must take advantage against the New York Mets on opening day. Setting the tone will be key for a team that won 86 games but missed the playoffs last season.