UK MLB Broadcasts: 2nd-8th April 2014

The San Francisco Giants visit the Los Angeles Dodgers live at 1:00am Monday morning on MLB.TV and BT Sport 2 (also in HD) as arguably the most vociferous rivalry in baseball heats up again in 2014.

The Giants will be sending their number two starter Matt Cain to the hill. Cain held a record of 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA and a poor 83 ERA+ in 2013.

In the second half of last season he improved, pitching to a 2.63 ERA for the rest of the season after the all-star break. Cain had been dealing with arm fatigue and bone spurs in his elbow but has looked fully healthy in spring training in 2014.

San Francisco’s bullpen looks weaker than in previous years. David Huff last season pitched for the Yankees and had a tendency to give up home runs. The Giants will be hoping that pitcher friendly AT&T park can lower those numbers.

Jean Machi and Juan Gutierrez have also been sub-par in the recent past.

Jeremy Affeldt is on the disabled list at the moment but the Giants still have a potent eighth and ninth inning combo in Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo.

Buster Posey remains the focal point of the Giants offense and is looking to rebound after a bad year by his lofty standards in which he only hit 15 home runs and drove in 72 RBIs as well as seeing his .OPS decrease from .957 in 2012 to .821 in 2013.

Brandon Belt is looking to finally have a full breakout season after putting up huge numbers in the second half of last year.

Pablo Sandoval will be motivated to put up big numbers as he is a free agent at the end of 2013.

The Giants will miss the veteran presence of Marco Scutaro who is currently dealing with a back injury on the disabled list.

For the Los Angeles Dodgers, Zach Greinke will toe the rubber. Greinke had an outstanding 2013 with a 15-4 record, 2.63 ERA and 135 ERA+.

The Dodger bullpen looks to be one of the strongest in baseball this year.

The likes of Paco Rodriguez, J.P. Howell, Jamey Wright and Chris Withrow provide a very solid front end to the LA bullpen.

Whilst Brian Wilson for now has the eighth inning locked down. It would not be surprising to see free agent signing Chris Perez in that role at some point this year if Wilson stutters.

Livewire closer Kenley Jansen will provide the saves for the Dodgers this season. He is, in my estimation, the third best closer in the national league behind only Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. In 2013 Jansen saved 28 games in 32 opportunities with a 1.88 ERA, 190 ERA+, a phenomenal 13K/9 as well as a 6.17 K/BB rate.

The LA offense will be anchored by Hanley Ramirez and Adrien Gonzalez. While Yasiel Puig took a lot of plaudits for the Dodgers miraculous recovery that started in June of 2013, many forget that Ramirez was even better.

In just 388 at bats (roughly half a season’s worth of at bats) Hanley hammered 20 home runs and batted in 57 RBIs with a monstrous .638 SLG for a 1.040 OPS and 190 OPS+.

The Dodgers will be hoping that Yasiel Puig can just focus on baseball and build on his great rookie year.

The Dodger wildcard could well be Matt Kemp. After a hugely successful 2011 season in which he hit 39 home runs and drove in 126 RBIs for a 172 OPS+, Kemp has been unable to shake off the injury bug until now.

If he can return to those 2011 numbers he could well turn the Dodgers from a top three NL team into the best NL team.

The historical record of this rivalry says it all in terms of how close it has been. As it stands the Giants lead the Dodgers by 1201 – 1174 and are 40 – 33 against LA since 2010.

LA have the slight edge in this one purely because they are the home town team. Either team could win this though, especially if it’s a very closely fought pitching duel.

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

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

Wednesday 2nd April

6:00pm: Milwaukee Brewers @ Atlanta Braves

Thursday 3rd April

12:30am: Baseball Tonight

1:00am: Philadelphia Phillies @ Texas Rangers

9:30am: Philadelphia Phillies @ Texas Rangers

5:00pm: Baseball Tonight

6:00pm: Washington Nationals @ New York Mets

9:00pm: San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Friday 4th April

6:00am: Washington Nationals @ New York Mets

Saturday 5th April

12:00am: Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays

3:00pm: Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays

Sunday 6th April

8:30am: Baseball Tonight

1:30pm: Baseball Tonight

Monday 7th April

12:00am: Baseball Tonight (BT Sport 2/HD)

1:00am: San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers (BT Sport 2/HD)

3:00pm: Baseball Tonight

4:00pm: San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers

7:00pm: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Houston Astros

10:00pm: MLB Magazine

Tuesday 8th April

12:00am: Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox (BT Sport 1/HD)

3:00am: Baseball Tonight (BT Sport 1/HD)

6:30am: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @Houston Astros

9:30am: Baseball Tonight

3:30pm: Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox

MLB Free Game of the Day

Wednesday 2nd April

6:10pm: Atlanta Braves @ Milwaukee Brewers

Thursday 3rd April

5:35pm: St.Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds

Friday 4th April

8:05pm: Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians

The listing for the MLB free game of the day currently only go up to Friday.

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