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MLB this Week: Early games on Wednesday and Thursday

by Matt Smith

CovMLBUK2014All of the MLB games starting before midnight U.K. time this working week are taking place on either Wednesday or Thursday.

Although that means we have three ’empty’ evenings, the games we can watch at a convenient time do provide a good mix of teams and starting pitchers.

Wednesday’s ‘early’ schedule begins with a Max Scherzer start against the Indians and ends with a match-up in Washington between two pitchers who have been very pleasant surprises for their teams so far this season.

In between we have a game between AL West rivals in the Mariners and Rangers and a rare visit to Wrigley Field by the New York Yankees.

There are strong starting pitchers in all of the five early games scheduled for Thursday. Cole Hamels collected his 100th career win last time out and will go for number 101 against the Marlins. Rick Porcello looks to be fulfilling his promise at last for the Tigers and he’ll take his excellent recent form into a potential pitching classic against the Rangers with Yu Darvish on the mound for Texas.

Jorge De La Rosa is another pitcher who has performed well of late and in his last start he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He should match up against Tim Hudson who has proved to be a very effective off-season acquisition by the Giants.

Mark Buerhle has been outstanding for the Blue Jays up to this point and he’ll look to keep that going at Fenway Park against Jon Lester, whilst there will a match-up at Tropicana Field between two of the more promising young pitchers in the American League in Sonny Gray and Chris Archer.

All times are listed in BST.

Monday 19 May

No early games

Tuesday 20 May

No early games

Wednesday 21 May

17:05. Detroit at Cleveland (Scherzer – McAllister) *ESPN
19:05. Seattle at Texas (Young – Tepesch)
19:20. NY Yankees at Chicago Cubs (Whitley – Samardzija)
21:05. Cincinnati at Washington (Simon – Roark) *ESPN

Thursday 22 May

17:40. Philadelphia at Miami (Hamels – Alvarez)
18:08. Texas at Detroit (Darvish – Porcello) *ESPN
20:10. San Francisco at Colorado (Hudson – De La Rosa)
21:05. Toronto at Boston (Buehrle – Lester) *ESPN
21:10. Oakland at Tampa Bay (Gray – Archer)

Friday 23 May

No early games

Early game totals so far

This is the eighth week of the 2014 MLB regular season and so far it has been the Minnesota Twins who have given British fans the most opportunities to watch them at a convenient time during the working week.

Twelve Twins games have been scheduled before midnight U.K. time, with the perennial league-leaders in day-games the Chicago Cubs having played 11, the same number as the Detroit Tigers (another regular at the top of the day-game charts).

At the other end of the scale, the LA Angels have had only two ‘early’ games and that meagre return is in line with recent seasons. In my recent study of working week day-games over the last three MLB seasons, available in Volume 1 of the Project COBB “This Diamond Isle” anthology, the Angels played in the least amount of day-games of any team in the Majors (40 combined over the 2011-2013 seasons).

So far this season the Angels are closely followed by the Astros, Blue Jays and Yankees who have all played in only three early games.

All of these games are available to watch live via the MLB.TV subscription at MLB.com. The early games being shown on ESPN are highlighted above. The complete schedule for this week’s MLB games can be found on MLB.com

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