UK MLB Broadcasts: 10th-17th April 2014

This week’s pick of the TV choices in MLB comes on Wednesday and features two NL Central contenders facing off as the Pittsburgh Pirates (5-2, 1st place NL Central) travel to face the Cincinatti Reds (2-6, 5th place NL Central) live on ESPN at 5:30pm.

Francisco Liriano (0-1, 3.00 ERA, 117ERA+) will toe the rubber for the Pirates.

In many ways Liriano (a left handed pitcher) is perfect to face the Reds. Cincinnati has a predominantly left handed line up containing the likes of Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

Cincinnati depend very heavily on Ryan Ludwick to offer protection to their big hitting lefties.

For the past few years now the Pirates have had an elite shutdown bullpen. Anchored by closer Jason Grilli (2.25 ERA, 2 saves and168 ERA+ so far in 2014), with key support coming from Mark Melancon (2.25 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, and 168 ERA+) and Tony Watson (2.08 ERA, 0.692 WHIP, 14.2 K/9). In fact the whole relief corps has been so good that with the exception of Jeanmar Gomez (5.40 ERA) everybody else has put up an ERA of 2.25 or lower. This hot start also means Pittsburgh’s bullpen ranks fourth in baseball with a cumulative and excellent 1.91 ERA.

The offense has yet to really get going. Pirates hitters have only scored three or more runs in three out of seven games in total thus far although in two of those games they did put up seven and 12 runs respectively.

Reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen has been getting on base well (.441 OBP) but has zero home runs and just three RBIs to his name thus far. Leadoff hitter Starling Marte has continued on from his breakout 2013 season by getting on base at an excellent .429 clip. Pedro Alvarez has provided most of the power in the early stages of the 2014 season slugging two home runs and five RBIs. A special mention goes to slick fielding first baseman Travis Ishikawa who currently leads the team in slugging (.588), OPS (.938) and OPS+ (.163).

Ace Jonny Cueto (0-1, 1.93 ERA, 192 ERA+) will take the hill for the Reds. Cueto has had a superb start to the season so far allowing only three earned runs in 14 innings pitched.

The Cincinnati bullpen has had to cope without elite closer Aroldis Chapman who is recovering from being hit in the head by a comebacker line drive. J.J. Hoover (19.29 ERA, 3.429 WHIP) was the first choice to replace Chapman.

Due to his (Hoover) less than stellar performance, Manny Parra has taken over the closer role and been very solid thus far (0.00 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 4.0 K/BB). It’s been a mixed bag for the Reds relievers with Trevor Bell (67.50 ERA) and Logan Andrusek (5.40 ERA) both struggling. In contrast Nick Christiani, Logan Ondrusek, Sam Le Cure and Curtis Partch all boast ERAs of 0.00.

The Reds’ main problem in this early part of the season has been scoring runs – in their eight games played so far they have only scored over four runs twice.

Leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton has had very little chance to use his explosive speed as he is currently stuck in a 2-for-22 slump registering a tiny .130 OBP.

Joey Votto has also had a cold start to the year productively with 0 home runs and one RBI in April thus far although he is still putting up a great .382 OBP.

Jay Bruce has been the most productive hitter in this line up with two home runs and seven RBIs to his name in this early part of the season.

Ryan Ludwick has put up a nice slash line of .320/.357/.440, translating into one home run and four RBIs thus far.

For Cincinatti to win this game, Billy Hamilton will have to find a way to get on to base to provide a potentials and Ryan Ludwick will have to stay hot to protect the dual big hitting threat of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto.

My pick to win this one will be the Pirates simply due to the Reds’ recent struggles versus left handed pitchers, as well as their cold start to the season.

List in full of your live and tape delayed TV offerings:

(All games/Baseball Tonight episodes on ESPN/HD unless stated.)

Thursday 10th April

12:00am: Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays

3:00am: Baseball Tonight

9:30am: Baseball Tonight

11:00am: Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox

2:00pm: Baseball Tonight

6:00pm: Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays

Friday 11th April

2:00pm: Baseball Tonight

Saturday 12th April

12:00am: Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

3:00am: MLB 162: MLB Magazine

9:30am: Baseball Tonight

1:30pm: MLB 162: MLB Magazine

6:00pm: Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

9:00pm: Colorado Rockies @ San Francisco Giants

Sunday 13th April

1:00am MLB 162: MLB Magazine (BT Sport 1/HD)

4:00am MLB 162: MLB Magazine (BT Sport 2/HD)

7:00am: MLB 162: MLB Magazine

Monday 14th April

12:00am: Baseball Tonight

1:00am Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

3:00pm Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

11:00pm MLB 162: MLB Magazine

Tuesday 15th April

12:00am: Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies

3:00am: Oakland Athletics @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

7:30am: MLB 162: MLB Magazine

9:30am: Baseball Tonight

3:30pm: Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies

6:30pm: Oakland Athletics @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

9:30pm: Baseball Tonight

Wednesday 16th April

12:00am: Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers

3:00am: Baseball Tonight

9:30am: Baseball Tonight

11:00am: Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers

2:45 pm: Baseball Tonight

5:30pm: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds

8:30pm: New York Mets @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Thursday 17th April

12:00am: Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies

6:00am: New York Mets @ Arizona Diamondbacks

1:30pm: Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies

5:00pm: Baseball Tonight

8:00pm: Baseball Tonight

8:30pm: Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants

MLB.com Free Game Of The Day

Friday 11th April – 12:07am: Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays

Saturday 12th April – 1:10am: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Milwaukee Brewers

Sunday 13th April – 1:10am: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:35pm: New York Mets @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


  1. cheers for the info charlie

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