It’s the sixth of October and there are still some crucial MLB postseason scheduling issues to be resolved. Such matters are particularly important to British fans keen to know whether they can watch the games they are most interested in at a convenient hour or if plans need to be made to stay up until the early hours of the morning.
First and foremost, the eighth and final participant needs to be decided tonight in a ‘winner takes all’ game that is being played at a decent time for UK-based fans. We will then await the New York Yankees’ decision on which ALDS schedule format they want to select. Finally, start times for quite a few of the (potential) Divisional Series games are yet to be decided.
Tonight’s ‘play-in’ game between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins is scheduled to begin at 22.07 British Summer Time (BST). It promises to be a gripping encounter with so much on the line and so much expected of two young starters in Rick Porcello and Scott Baker. Add in a Minnesota crowd determined to enjoy every last second of the Metrodome, for all it’s faults (one sign I saw at the weekend put it bluntly: ‘I love this ugly place’), and you’ve got the makings of a classic.
Within an hour of that game finishing, the Yankees have to declare whether they want to play the victor in an eight-day series (ALDS ‘A’) beginning tomorrow or a seven-day series (ALDS ‘B’) beginning on Thursday. The Yanks have earned the right to choose thanks to their league-leading 103 wins and are expected to opt for the former eight-day format that will give them an extra mid-series off-day if the series goes all the way to five games.
If they do indeed take that option, the first two games of the series will both begin at 23.07 BST on Wednesday and Friday. The first two games between the Red Sox and Angels in Anaheim would then start at 02.37 in the early hours of Friday and Saturday.
As for the Senior Circuit, the most UK-friendly of the games confirmed so far are the first two games of the NLDS between the Rockies and Phillies. Played tomorrow and on Thursday, both will start at 2.37 p.m. local time in Philadelphia making for two 19.37 BST starts. The second and third games of the Cardinals-Dodgers series will also both begin before midnight, with first pitch on Thursday and Saturday set for 23.07 BST.
Check the MLB.com postseason schedule page for the most up-to-date details on the ALDS formats and the start times for the other potential Divisional Series games. They are listed in Eastern Time on that page, so remember to add on five hours to get the British Summer Time equivalent.