MLB Spring Training 2013 Schedule: Highlighting Biggest Preseason Battles
Spring training is here, and while some fans may be content to stick to college hoops and hockey until Opening Day arrives, others are going to want to get a closer look at all 30 teams before the season begins.
Whether you prefer the Cactus League or the Grapefruit League, this spring has plenty in store for serious MLB fans.
Below we'll highlight a trio of upcoming preseason matchups that fans won't want to miss.
*For the entire 2013 spring training schedule, visit MLB.com.
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: Monday, Feb. 25, at 1:05 p.m. ET
The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles last met in the American League Division Series this past fall, with the Yankees taking the series in five hard-fought games.
The series went back and forth with neither team winning two games in a row.
Plus, both teams are American League East rivals, which should make for some early fun. With tons more Yankees-Orioles matchups during the regular season to come, each side will no doubt be looking to pick up on a few things this spring.
Also, keep an eye out for first-year Yankee Kevin Youkilis, who will be trying to find his rhythm with his third different team in the last year.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Thursday, Feb. 28, 3:05 p.m. ET
Which matchup interests you the most?
Both L.A.-based franchises will square off on Thursday in a battle for bragging rights in Hollywood.
The two teams are both in the Cactus League and will want to get off to a strong start in spring training after each narrowly missed the playoffs last October.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols could possibly star for the Angels, while home run master Matt Kemp will likely be out for the Dodgers, as he hopes to return to action as soon as March 1.
Whether you're a West Coast baseball fan or you simply enjoy preseason rivalries, Thursday afternoon's battle for L.A. promises to satisfy your thirst for baseball.
Be on the lookout for starting lineups ahead of time, though, as you rarely know for sure who is and isn't going to play in spring training.
San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics: Friday, March 1, 3:05 p.m. ET
The reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants will be one of the most watched teams during spring training as many are wondering whether Bruce Bochy's squad is capable of repeating in 2013.
Having won two of the last three World Series titles, it's certainly not out of the cards.
But on Friday, in addition to getting an up close look at the champs, baseball fans can check out the defending American League West winners, the Oakland Athletics. The two Bay Area teams show a lot of promise coming into this season, and like with the previous two matchups, this one should at least be competitive.
These teams come from different leagues and rarely see each other during the regular season. Like Angels-Dodgers, this showdown doesn't come around often, and you have to catch it while you can.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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