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Matt Smith is the editor and lead writer at BaseballGB. An Oakland A's fan, Matt has been obsessed with baseball since 1998 and started writing about the sport in 2006.

Game 163 and some Divisional Series start times

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.

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16 Responses to “Game 163 and some Divisional Series start times”

  1. I’m pleased that at least a couple of play-off games will be at a reasonable hour, as I’m getting too old to stay up into the early hours on a work night!

    We should also count ourselves lucky that tonight’s game isn’t too late.

    Bring on the play-offs…even if I do end up watching them on a days delay.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm Reply
    • Matt Smith #

      Hi Steve. I know what you mean. Staying up to all hours before going into work can be difficult (I like my sleep!). I book days off during the World Series every year so I can watch that live though.

      October 6, 2009 at 6:01 pm Reply
  2. Chico #

    Matt: Looks like I am going to maybe “eat some crow” after tonight’s game at the Dome. Marty just might end up watching his beloved Twins against the Yankees. My White Sox did their part and very much put the Twins in the situation they find themselves in. Last year at this time I was sitting in left field at the Cell in Chicago watching my Sox beat the Twins 1-0 as you remember. The “blackout” game as it was called. Strange, erie, wierd with almost everyone in black supporting the Sox. Twins players to this day say they were intimidated by that crowd. Anyway, it is an amazing thing for a team to go 2 years in a row to a 163rd game to see who wins the division. That crowd is going to be loud! I could have gone (friend who has season tickets) but am staying home to watch it. Should be a dandy!

    October 6, 2009 at 6:36 pm Reply
  3. Chico #

    As far as the Vikes-Packers game was concerned: Way, way too many logistical things to change in only one day before the scheduled NFL game. Absolutely impossible to have changed it! They did it correctly. Four professional teams, 3 cities, hotels, tickets in 2 NFL cities, on and on… It had nothing to do with being accomodating. Simply cannot be done.

    October 6, 2009 at 6:50 pm Reply
  4. Matt Smith #

    Hi Chico. I’m listening to the game via MLB.com. Certainly is strange that the AL Central has gone to a 163rd game twice in a row. Goes to show how competitive that division is.

    October 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm Reply
  5. Marty Gabel #

    Hope that crow didn’t taste too bad Chico!

    But seriously, wow. That was an absolutely stunning game, so full of ups and down, amazing plays, base running mistakes, heroes, villains, missed opportunities… it had everything. My girlfriend and I went from being elated one moment to being depleted the next: a total roller coaster ride.

    I’m delighted the Twins won of course, their fight and grit over the past month has been stunning, but I’m not relishing the showdown with the Yankees. However, for once, this AL Crown was such a significant victory, that it counts for a lot in most Twins’ fans minds I’m sure.

    October 7, 2009 at 5:42 am Reply
  6. Dawn #

    I shall be watching my yanks tonight at 11.07pm BST.. Im grateful the game doesnt start at 1 or 2 am…

    I am used to watching the world series previously via CH 5 on tape delay the next day . Its never been easy tryng to ignore the news all day until Ive seen the game ! I believe MLB does tape delay service in their packages so I am looking into this… No doubt I will still take a few days off so I can stay up….

    Dawn

    October 7, 2009 at 5:36 pm Reply
    • Matt Smith #

      Hi Dawn. Yes, all games are available to watch back after the game has finished (I can’t remember exactly how long it normally takes for them to become available).

      The World Series certainly won’t be the same without Jonny and Josh.

      October 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm Reply
  7. Chico #

    Marty: I give the Twins all the credit in the world. The White Sox did their part to make the 163rd game possible. My coaching colleagues are smiling today. Actually, there are many more Twins fans in the area I live in, in Wisconsin than Brewers fans. A quick 50 minute drive to the Dome. I make no more predictions with this team! Hope you and your wife enjoy the next round and go on to the pennant and the WS. Our family will be watching tonight. Chico

    October 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm Reply
  8. Chico #

    Sorry: Your girlfriend.

    October 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm Reply
  9. Chico #

    Dawn: It is wonderful that you are such a baseball fan! We take it for granted many times because it is so available. Your Yankees have assembled quite a team in 2009. Truthfully, they are going to be hard to be stopped. As we all know (Twins as a recent point of reference) baseball is a game that can break one’s heart or bring elation. I have been around the game my whole life as a player and coach and I can certainly say it is a game that can humble a player and a team. It really is a “game of failure”. Have fun and good luck!

    October 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm Reply
  10. Chico #

    Matt: That division really is amazing with it’s parity. Next season should be the same. Only Cleveland looks to be weak. Chico

    October 7, 2009 at 6:48 pm Reply
  11. Matt Smith #

    Hi Chico. I’m still not convinced that the Royals are really heading in the right direction, even though they have some talented youngsters: Greinke and Butler in particular. A few strong moves over the offseason and a great year by the bullpen (we all know how unpredictable bullpens can be from one year to the next) and they might get somewhere, but the moves Dayton Moore made this year for pretty mediocre veterans doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    Twins, Tigers and White Sox should produce quite a battle though. Jake Peavy could be a real difference maker.

    October 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm Reply
  12. Dawn #

    Hi Matt,

    I think the game recording goes up 60 mins after it is finished… I presume it then stays up for 24hrs or more ?

    ooh its 2-2 , Im feeling nervous…..

    Dawn

    October 8, 2009 at 12:21 am Reply
  13. Matt Smith #

    Hi Dawn. I’m not aware that the games are taken down at all (maybe they are a fews years down the line).

    October 8, 2009 at 7:08 am Reply
  14. Dawn #

    ok thanks Matt.. go yankees :D

    October 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm Reply

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