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MLB Spring Training 2013 Schedule: Previewing This Weekend's Top Games to Watch

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 10:  Manager Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers directs play against the Washington Nationals  March 10, 2013 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2013

While basketball and hockey fans are watching their seasons come to an end, baseball is just getting started. The MLB regular season does not start until April, but there is already plenty of action worth watching.

Spring training is a time for the players to get back into the habit of playing every day and get back their mechanics. Fans can see who is ready to perform well in the upcoming season, as well as which prospects can be a big part of the future.

There is a lot to see around the league in these exhibition games, but here are the games worth watching over the next few days.


Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers; Friday, March 15

No team had a bigger offseason than the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition to acquiring Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and others in a trade from the Miami Marlins, they also added R.A. Dickey and Melky Cabrera.

A few of the new players are currently in the World Baseball Classic, but it will be interesting to see how they start to perform together when they are all in the same locker room.

Then again, the defending American League champions are not going away any time soon. Until the Blue Jays can prove otherwise, the Detroit Tigers are the team to beat in that league.

Detroit is showing it is more than just Miguel Cabrera, and this will be an interesting battle to send a message for the rest of the season.


Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees; Saturday, March 16

Heading into last season, these were two of the top teams in baseball. Unfortunately, age and injuries have slowed down the expectations for 2013.

The Yankees are starting to look like the Phillies did last year, with a lineup full of minor-leaguers and replacement players. Fortunately, they have plenty of young talent coming through the farm system that is close to major-league ready.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia has traded away most of its young talent for current stars. However, the roster is starting to perform well on its own. Ryan Howard has been outstanding in the spring, and even Domonic Brown is hitting so far.

Both squads have the potential to win over 90 games this season, but these older rosters are also close to a sharp decline.


Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics, Saturday, March 16

Last season, the Angels had one of the most talented rosters in baseball. Rookie Mike Trout was an MVP candidate, while Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and others filled out an impressive lineup.

Still, Oakland was able to finish solidly above Los Angeles in the standings to earn the Wild Card spot.

As a result, the Angels bolstered their lineup even more by signing Josh Hamilton in the winter. Surely, this has to be enough to pass the young Athletics in the standings.

This will not be decided until the regular season and probably not until September. However, this game can give a preview for the year in what should be a fantastic battle from beginning to end.

Do not be surprised to see the Angels try to send a message to the division rival in this one.


Full Weekend Schedule (via ESPN.com)

Friday, March 15

Boston at Baltimore 1:05 PM
Toronto at Detroit 1:05 PM
Miami at NY Yankees 1:05 PM
NY Mets at Atlanta 1:05 PM
Pittsburgh at Houston 1:05 PM
Washington at St. Louis 1:05 PM
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay 1:05 PM
Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox 3:05 PM
Seattle at LA Angels 4:05 PM
San Diego at Kansas City 4:05 PM
Cleveland at Milwaukee 4:05 PM
Japan at Chicago Cubs 4:05 PM
LA Dodgers at San Diego 4:05 PM
Texas at San Francisco 4:05 PM
Oakland at Arizona 4:10 PM
Minnesota at Boston 7:05 PM
Netherlands at Seattle 10:05 PM
Colorado at Cincinnati 10:05 PM
Kansas City at LA Dodgers 10:05 PM

Saturday, March 16

Philadelphia at NY Yankees 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh at Minnesota 1:05 PM
Baltimore at Toronto 1:05 PM
Detroit at St. Louis 1:05 PM
Boston at Tampa Bay 1:05 PM
Miami at NY Mets 1:10 PM
Oakland at Chicago White Sox 4:05 PM
Cincinnati at Milwaukee 4:05 PM
LA Angels at Oakland 4:05 PM
LA Dodgers at Texas 4:05 PM
Kansas City at Chicago Cubs 4:05 PM
Arizona at San Diego 4:05 PM
Cincinnati at San Francisco 4:05 PM
Texas at Chicago Cubs 4:05 PM
Seattle at Colorado 4:10 PM
NY Yankees at Atlanta 5:05 PM
Houston at Washington 6:05 PM
San Francisco at Cleveland 10:05 PM

Sunday, March 17

Minnesota at Baltimore 1:05 PM
Washington at Detroit 1:05 PM
Toronto at Houston 1:05 PM
Baltimore at Philadelphia 1:05 PM
NY Yankees at Pittsburgh 1:05 PM
St. Louis at Miami 1:05 PM
Atlanta at NY Mets 1:10 PM
Tampa Bay at Boston 1:35 PM
San Diego at LA Angels 4:05 PM
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City 4:05 PM
Chicago Cubs at Oakland 4:05 PM
Texas at Seattle 4:05 PM
Texas at Chicago Cubs 4:05 PM
Cleveland at Cincinnati 4:05 PM
Milwaukee at LA Dodgers 4:05 PM
Arizona at San Diego 4:05 PM
LA Dodgers at Arizona 4:10 PM
Colorado at San Francisco 6:15 PM


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