5 Most Intriguing Matchups in the Cubs' 2014 Season

Jason S. PariniCorrespondent IIOctober 31, 2013

5 Most Intriguing Matchups in the Cubs' 2014 Season

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    The 2013 MLB season is officially over after the Boston Red Sox knocked off the St. Louis Cardinals to win their third World Series in 10 years.

    For a true baseball fan, the season never ends. Eligible players such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano became free agents on Oct. 31, with the general manager's meetings being held Nov. 11-13 in Orlando.

    The Cubs have many intriguing matchups on the 2014 schedule, perhaps most notably a trip to Boston to face the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.

    Here we look at the five most intriguing matchups in the 2014 Cubs schedule.

At Yankees and Red Sox

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    As perhaps the three most storied franchises in baseball, the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox all draw large crowds wherever they travel to.

    Put them together and ticket demand skyrockets.

    The Cubs head to Yankee Stadium early in 2014 to take on the Yankees for two games (April 15-16), as well as heading to Boston to face the world champion Boston Red Sox (June 30-July 2).

    The Cubs-Yankees series will be especially sentimental for Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who will face his old team for the first time, while the Cubs-Red Sox series will be a homecoming for Cubs president Theo Epstein, who is largely credited with returning the Red Sox to glory.

Crosstown Classic, May 5-8

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    Despite the fact that both the Cubs and White Sox were dreadfully abysmal in 2013, there are sure to be shenanigans going on between the two teams when they face off May 5-8.

    The Cubs host the White Sox for two games before making the trip across town to face the Sox for two games at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Here's to hoping the two teams aren't in their division cellar by early May.

Cubs at Cardinals, May 12-15

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    Of all of the heated rivalries in sports, the Cubs-Cardinals hatred is certainly one of the best.

    Despite the fact that MLB.com suggested the rivalry wasn't what it used to be, it's guaranteed the two teams don't hate each other any less.

    In fact, that might have ticked them both off a little bit.

    After the Cardinals swept the Cubs in Busch Stadium to end the 2013 season, the Cubs will be looking for redemption against their longtime rival. Four games in St. Louis? Here we go!

Cubs vs. Yankees

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    As mentioned before, Soriano and the Yankees going against the Cubs is especially meaningful this year.

    It will be even more so when Soriano returns to Wrigley Field for the first time to face his former team.

    Soriano played nearly seven seasons with the Cubs, including two playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008.

    The Yankees at Wrigley will be sure to draw a large turnout. In 2011, the Yankees came to Wrigley Field for a three-game set and drew a whopping 126,283 fans.

Late Season vs. Division Rivals

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    Beginning August 11, the Cubs will see a lot of their enemies, as they face off against National League Central Division rivals quite often.

    The Cubs will play 28 games against division rivals in less than two months, setting up some possible playoff implications for any or all teams.

    The Cubs will play 10 games against the Brewers and six each against the Reds, Pirates and Cardinals.