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MLB unveils 2015 regular-season schedule

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For the second year in a row, the A's will start the season against a team other than the Seattle Mariners, and a pitcher not named Felix Hernandez.

MLB released its 2015 regular-season schedule this morning, and the A's will begin the campaign at home against the Texas Rangers on April 6. That series is part of a seven-game homestand that features four weekday games against Texas leading up to a three-game weekend tilt with the Mariners.

The most notable change from 2014 is that the AL West and NL West are partners for interleague play in 2015, which does well both to provide interesting match-ups and keep travel schedules slightly more manageable.

The biggest and best consequence of that partnership is that for the first time since 2012, the A's and Giants will play one another six times, with full three-game series in both Oakland and San Francisco. The series come surprisingly late in the year, though, as the A's will visit AT&T Park for a weekend series starting July 24, and Oakland will play its final home series of the year against San Francisco starting on September 25.

The A's finish their campaign with a three-game visit to Anaheim starting September 28, which could be an exciting end-of-season race to the finish between the teams that will likely begin the year favored to compete in the AL West.

Following their season-opening homestand with a 10-game roadtrip to Houston, Kansas City, and the Los Angeles Angels, before returning home for another homestand against exclusively AL West teams, this time Houston and Los Angeles.

Some other highlights of the season schedule include a seven-game May homestand featuring three games against Detroit and four over the weekend against the Yankees.

In an interesting quirk, the A's will play a split four-game set against San Diego, with Monday and Tuesday games starting June 15 being played at Petco Park and Wednesday and Thursday games moving north to Oakland.

Oakland also gets a three-game set against Colorado starting June 29, and on July 28, they'll visit Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the first time since 2009, giving Southern California A's fans a chance to see their team without venturing into Orange County and Angels territory. The Dodgers will return the favor with another two-game, midweek set in Oakland beginning August 18.

The travel schedule is relatively reasonable, with off days before most East Coast trips and just three 10-game, three-city road trips. Moreover, the geography for many trips actually makes some amount of sense geographically, such as a trip to Houston then Kansas City, or two stops in the middle of the country (Houston and Detroit) before trips farther east (Boston and Tampa Bay).

So, to recap, the A's open with three games against Texas, play the Giants six times including a late-September matchup in Oakland, get short home-and-home series with San Diego and the Dodgers, and have generally fair travel schedules, especially when headed east.

It't not a spectacular home schedule by any means, but it's certainly a solid one, highlighted by visits from California teams like the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres, along with traditionally exciting home matchups like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels.