March 31-April 3 vs. Blue Jays
The Rays open the season with four games against a division foe that, according to manager Joe Maddon, could be the sleeper in the always-tough AL East. The excitement of opening day will give way to a series that could set the tone for the season as fans get their first look at David Price, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Chris Archer.
May 20-25 vs. A’s and Red Sox
This will be a good test while the season is still early — six games against the defending AL West champs and defending World Series champs jammed between a pair of tough road trips. The Rays return from a seven-game West Coast swing that includes three games in Seattle and four in Anaheim, then head out on a three-city trip through Toronto, Boston and Miami. In between they play one team that gives them fits and one that eliminated them from the 2013 postseason.
Sept. 15-17 vs. Yankees
September games against the Yankees are always interesting. Mix in Derek Jeter’s last trip to the Trop and the possibility of playing those meaningful games during the final month of the season as they head toward a playoff berth should make for three entertaining nights. Also, the Rays know how to say good-bye to giants (see Cal Ripken Jr. and Mariano Rivera).