For those new to BaseballGB, on every Monday of the regular season I write up a guide to the coming working weekâ€™s MLB games that are scheduled to start before midnight UK time (the vast majority of which begin between 18.00 and 21.15).
These are day-games for people in North America, but the time difference means that they are played during the evening for us in the UK.
That makes them nice and convenient for us to follow; more so than the more standard working-week night-games in North America that begin at between midnight and 3.15 a.m. Consequently I refer to them as â€˜earlyâ€™ games.
Every week there are a decent number of games you can watch or listen to live without needing to stay up all hours to do so. The first week of the season normally provides the most games and the 25 this week is in line with that. Typically you can expect there to be between 10-15 â€˜earlyâ€™ games played every working week. A two-part analysis of 2011â€™s early games can be found here and here.
With the explanation out of the way, itâ€™s on to the early game schedule. All times are in BST.
Monday 9 April
18.05. Miami at Philadelphia (Sanchez – Hamels) * ESPN America
21.10. LA Angels at Minnesota (Wilson – Blackburn)
21.10. San Francisco at Colorado (Zito – Chacin)
Tuesday 10 April
18.05. Tampa Bay at Detroit (Moore – Porcello) * ESPN America
21.10. Pittsburgh at LA Dodgers (Correia – Kershaw) * ESPN America
Wednesday 11 April
17.05. Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (Danks – Gomez)
17.35. St. Louis at Cincinnati (Garcia – Cueto) * ESPN America?
17.37. Boston at Toronto (Lester – Romero) * ESPN America?
18.05. Tampa Bay at Detroit (Shields – Verlander)
18.10. Washington at NY Mets (Strasburg – Santana)
19.20. Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (Gallardo – Dempster)
20.35. Kansas City at Oakland (Chen – McCarthy)
23.35. Arizona at San Diego (Saunders – Luebke)
Thursday 12 April
18.05. Tampa Bay at Detroit (Niemann – Smyly)
18.05. Cincinnati at Washington (Latos – Gonzalez) * ESPN America
18.10. LA Angels at Minnesota (Haren – Liriano) * BBC 5 Live Sports Extra
19.05. Seattle at Texas (Vargas – Holland)
19.20. Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (Greinke – Garza)
20.10. San Francisco at Colorado (Bumgarner – Moyer)
Friday 13 Apil
18.05. LA Angels at NY Yankees (Santana – Kuroda)
19.05. Tampa Bay at Boston (Price – Beckett)
19.10. Detroit at Chicago White Sox (TBA – Peavy)
20.15. Chicago Cubs at St. Louis (Samardzija – Wainwright) * ESPN America
21.10. Cleveland at Kansas City (Lowe – Hochevar)
21.35. Pittsburgh at San Francisco (McDonald – Cain)
Itâ€™s immediately obvious that this week doesnâ€™t just provide quantity, but quality as well.
The Rays-Tigers series should be very entertaining and all three games of it are being played during the day-time in Detroit, which is great news for us. The Raysâ€™ latest outstanding pitching prospect Matt Moore makes his season debut on Tuesday, while the Shields-Verlander pitching duel on Wednesday could be something special.
On Tuesday we will hopefully be able to move from Mooreâ€™s start straight to Clayton Kershawâ€™s second outing of the season. He came out of his opening game against the Padres after three innings due to illness, but the reports are that heâ€™s feeling well again now and currently heâ€™s on course to get right back to it.
On Wednesday, while the Shields-Verlander match-up is hard to ignore, it will also be worth keeping an eye on the game in New York. Johan Santana produced a very encouraging performance in the Metsâ€™ opener last Thursday in his return from a long-term absence due to a shoulder injury. He will look to make it two positive outings in a row against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.
The good games continue on Thursday and Friday, with Albert Pujolsâ€™ first game in an Angels uniform at Yankee Stadium likely to grab the headlines on Friday.
ESPN America subscribers can catch a ballgame everyÂ evening this week. The game they broadcast on Wednesday will be determined by a poll on ESPN America’s website, so get your vote in now if you have a strong preference for one of the two options.
Nat Coombs and Josh Chetwynd will be presenting radio coverage of the Angels-Twins game live on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra in their new Thursday evening schedule slot.
All of these games are available to watch live via the MLB.TV subscription at MLB.com.Â The early games being shown on ESPN America are highlighted above, while the full ESPN/ESPN America schedule can be found on their website.Â BBC 5 Live Sports Extra can be found on digital radio, digital TV and on the BBC.co.uk website (coverage on the website is only available to UK residents).Â The complete schedule for this weekâ€™sÂ MLB games can be found on MLB.com.