First things first, the New York Yankees’ game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night isn’t an early contest taking place at a convenient time for us in the U.K.; however the almighty hoopla surrounding Alex Rodriguez’s potential return to the diamond, mere hours after being handed a 211-game ban (which he is appealing), makes it a game that may well be worth sacrificing some sleep over.
If you’re sick of the Biogenesis drug scandal and want to focus on the baseball – and that surely includes most of us – then there are live games to watch before midnight U.K. time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The series between the A’s and Reds should be worth watching, although the presence of Bartolo Colon on the mound in the game on Wednesday isn’t likely to help much in the ‘avoiding talk of drug bans’ stakes.
Something much more positive (in the good, non-drug test sense) is the potential match-up on Thursday between the Marlins and Pirates that, if rotation schedules stay on course, should bring together two of the young starters that have captured plenty of attention so far in their rookie seasons: Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole.
The new ESPN channel will be broadcasting evening double-headers on Wednesday and Thursday as well as a live game at midnight (or at 1 a.m.) every night this working week, so any fears that MLB would take a much-reduced position on the channel following the demise of ESPN America thankfully appear to be unfounded.
Monday 5 August
No early games
Tuesday 6 August
No early games
Wednesday 7 August
17.35. Oakland at Cincinnati (Colon – Bailey) *ESPN
20.40. Toronto at Seattle (Redmond – Harang) *MLB.com Free Game of the Day
20.40. Baltimore at San Diego (Gonzalez – Stults) *ESPN
Thursday 8 August
17.10. Colorado at NY Mets (Chacin – Gee) *ESPN, MLB.com Free Game of the Day
17.35. Miami at Pittsburgh (Fernandez – Cole)
18.05. Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia (Samardzija – Martin)
20.45. Milwaukee at San Francisco (Hand – Lincecum) *ESPN
Friday 9 August
19.10. Minnesota at Chicago White Sox (Gibson -Danks)
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. 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). The complete schedule for this week’s MLB games can be found on MLB.com