Charlie Baldwin brings you up to date with the live MLB offerings on your TV screen coming up this week, including the live games along with listings for episodes of Baseball Tonight.
“True” regular season games start from Sunday 29th March with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, travelling to San Diego to face the Padres and young flame thrower Andrew Cashner.
The live game of the week to watch could be the Monday 9:00pm game between the Cincinatti Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Reds have lost arguably the best leadoff hitter in Baseball – Shin-Soo Choo to the Texas Rangers through free agency as well as their all-star closer Aroldis Chapman for 4-6 weeks after he was hit with a line drive comebacker.
Johnny Cueto gets the opening day call for Cincy and when healthy he is a great pitcher. The problem is staying healthy – the Reds ace has only started 30 or more games in a season once since and including 2011.
He will also want to forget the memory of his last competitive outing where he was infamously put out of his stride by a very rabid pro-Pirates crowd at PNC park in the 2013 NL Wildcard playoffs.
Perennial MVP candidate Joey Votto will be in the Cincinnati lineup as will slugger Jay Bruce and popular second baseman Brandon Phillips.
The player to watch will be Billy Hamilton. Hamilton has yet to play a full MLB season but he has already broken the minor league single steals record whilst he was in the Reds farm system.
If he could put up an average .obp he has the speed and base stealing nous to steal perhaps as many as 80 bases.
The Cardinals will counter with their ace Adam Wainwright who has proven himself to be one of the best pitchers in the national league on an annual basis throughout his career.
He will be supported by arguably the best offense in the national league with standout hitters such as Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina with Matt Carpenter providing some base stealing speed and Matt Adams adding in some big time home run power potential.
The bullpen will be anchored by 2013 breakout star Trevor Rosenthal who has one of the highest consistent fastball speeds in all of Baseball. Crucially he also has great secondary pitches that he can also mix in when required.
The Cardinals may have a slight advantage, but it really is a game that could go either way.
If you are lucky enough to have the chance to watch the Sunday night game and all of the Monday games then by the end of the Mariners/Angels game you would of seen Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, Felix Hernandez in addition to the aforementioned Cueto and Wainwright.
So if pitching is your preference you will definitely be in for a treat.
If your looking to watch MVP calibre hitters then you won’t be disappointed either.
Those five games will feature the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Allen Craig, Troy Tulowitzki, Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout – six players all with the ability to be definitive game changers at any point in time.
List in full of your live TV offerings:
Wednesday 26th March
11:00am Atlanta Braves @ Detroit Tigers
2:00pm Baseball Tonight
10:00pm Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals
Thursday 27th March
4:00pm Washington Nationals @ New York Mets
Friday 28th March
11:30am MLB Special: 2013 MLB World Series Film
12:30pm Baseball Tonight: The Baseball Tonight 100
6:30pm Baseball Tonight: The Baseball Tonight 100
Saturday 29th March
4:30am Baseball Tonight: The Baseball Tonight 100
12:00pm Baseball Tonight
5:30pm MLB Special: 2013 World Series Film
Sunday 30th March
8:30am(BST) Baseball Tonight: The Baseball Tonight 100
11:30pm Baseball Tonight
Monday 31st March
1:00am ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Opening Day – Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres
12:00pm ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres
6:00pm Chicago Cubs @ Pittsburgh Pirates
9:00pm Cincinatti Reds @ St.Louis Cardinals
Tuesday 1st April
12:00am Colorado Rockies@Miami Marlins
3:00am Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
6:00am Baseball Tonight
(Please note all programmes are on ESPN/ESPN HD unless stated. Clocks in Great Britain will move forward by one hour at 1:00am Sunday 30th March – timings given prior to 30th March are in Greenwich Mean Time – GMT, after are in British Summer Time – BST)
There is no scheduled MLB.com “Free Game of the Day”, as these have yet to be announced, but these will be included each week in our TB roundup.
So now it’s a case of simply sitting back, relaxing with a few hot dogs and beers and revelling in and enjoy the fact that Baseball is back.