The Texas Rangers are still fighting for a place in the 2013 playoffs, but that won't stop them from trying to get fans excited about next season.
The Rangers have released their schedule for the 2014 season, and for the fifth time in the past six seasons, they will open up at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, this time with an interleague matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies.
It'll be a short three-game homestand, however, as they'll go on the road for three at Tampa Bay and three at Boston to make way for the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four at AT&T Stadium.
The schedule also includes interleague games with every NL East team, playing at home against the Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, and on the road versus the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Marlins. Additionally, they'll play a unique series against their "prime" interleague rival, the Colorado Rockies, with two at Colorado on May 5 and 6, followed directly by two at home on May 7 and 8.
Months where the Rangers will have to survive as best they can will be May and August, when they'll play a total of 36 out of 56 games on the road.
As the Oakland A's have developed into the Rangers main AL West rival over the past two seasons, you can expect to see a lot of them down the stretch. The two will play seven times over the final two weeks, including the final four games of the season.
Fortunately for the Rangers, their last seven games are at home, with the month of September including 17 home games and only nine on the road.
Of course, the schedule that should be most concerning to Rangers fans is the current one, which has 19 games remaining, including 12 at home. But with 12 of those games against teams also fighting for their playoff lives, nothing will come easy.