Marlins release schedule for 2015

Marlins release schedule for 2015

MIAMI -- One of Major League Baseball's biggest surprises this season, the Marlins are confident that they have the pieces to become an elite squad in 2015. They'll find out quickly how they stack up with a perennial National League East power on April 6, when they face the Braves at Marlins Park.

Miami on Monday announced the tentative 2015 schedule, and it won't take long to see how the vastly improved Marlins stack up in their division, as they play 19 of their 22 April games against NL East rivals.

In addition, Miami has an attractive Interleague schedule against the American League East. The slate begins at home with the Citrus Series against Tampa Bay (April 10-12). The Marlins also play the Yankees and Red Sox four times each, with a pair of games at home and on the road.

The Marlins have not opened against the Braves since 2005. Traditionally, Miami has had its struggles with Atlanta, but in 2014 the Marlins turned the tables and won the season series (10-9) for the first time since 2009.

Miami wraps up the 2015 regular season with three games against Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park (Oct. 2-4). Right before the finale will be a trip to St. Petersburg from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

Before they look too far ahead, the Marlins have some unfinished business. They remain in striking distance for an NL Wild Card spot. Even if they fall short of that goal, they could finish above .500 for the first time since 2009.

The organization anticipates that the experience the young nucleus is gaining now will make the club stronger in 2015.

The Marlins' Interleague plan has the makings for some intense matchups.

The Marlins will get well acquainted with the Yankees for four straight days, starting with two games at home (June 15-16), followed by a pair at Yankee Stadium (June 17-18).

Miami has never faced New York in the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

The Orioles will visit Marlins Park for three games (May 22-24). There will be a two-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park (July 7-8), and Boston will visit Miami from Aug. 11-12.

The Marlins will travel to Toronto from June 8-10.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on July 14. Leading into the Midsummer Classic, the Marlins will host the Reds for four games from July 9-12.

Jose Fernandez is expected to rejoin the rotation sometime around the All-Star break. The 2013 NL Rookie of the Year underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-May, and his recovery time was expected to be about 14 months.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.