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Rays 2017 begins with division-heavy April.

The Tampa Bay Rays 2017 schedule was released Thursday morning with a first month chalk-full of AL East matchups. 20 of the Rays first 26 games are against all three division foes with six of their first nine against the Yankees. They’ll begin the season on Sunday, April 2nd with the Yanks coming to Tropicana Field in a game that will be televised on ESPN. They’ll get an off-day Monday before finishing the three-game series Tues/Wed against New York. The Toronto Blue Jays will then come to St. Pete for a four-game series before the first road trip of the season begins in New York on April 10th and ends in Boston against the Red Sox before coming home for six games against the Tigers and Astros. April rounds out with trips to Baltimore and Toronto before heading to Miami May 1-2 to begin the 20th season of interleague play against the Marlins.

Other interleague matchups for the Rays in 2017 will include the Reds, Brewers, and Cubs at Tropicana Field while they’ll travel to face the Pirates and Cardinals as well as a two-game series against the Cubs in Chicago. The significance of the 2017 interleague slate for the Rays, of course, is the return of Joe Maddon to Tropicana Field as skipper of the Chicago Cubs. That two-game series will take place on September 19-20.

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