Early MLB games this week: Interleague play continues

This week sees the continuation of Interleague games in MLB.  These are marketed as special events (yes, even Mariners-Padres!) and, depending on the ballclub, that can either make them more or less likely to be played during daytime.  Thankfully for us, there are plenty of early contests once Monday and Tuesday are out of the way.

All times are listed in British Summer Time. 

Monday 15 June

There are only two games being played in MLB today, neither of which are being played in daylight.  At five past midnight, the Brewers take on the Indians with Dave Bush and Carl Pavano taking the mound.  A little later on (03.15), it’s the Angels against the Giants. Barry Zito has faced the Angels many times in the past in the green and gold of Oakland and he will renew his rivalry with LA wearing the black and orange of the Giants.  John Lackey starts for the Angels.

Tuesday 16 June

We’ve got a full slate of games tomorrow, but once again they are all under floodlights.  Dutch pitcher Shairon Martis makes arguably the biggest start of his career so far as the Nationals take on CC Sabathia and the Yankees in New York (00.05).  One hour later, the Windy City series begins at Wrigley. John Danks is scheduled to match up with Carlos Zambrano.

Wednesday 17 June

19.20. White Sox @ Cubs – Floyd (4-5), Wells (0-3)
20.45. Angels @ Giants – Palmer (6-0), Lincecum (6-1)

Our first pair of early games should both be exciting contests.  Games between the two teams in Chicago are always lively affairs, on the diamond and also in the stands.  Meanwhile you should never overlook the chance to watch Tim Lincecum with the ball in his hand.  He threw a complete game shutout in his last performance (against the A’s unfortunately) and is carrying on from his Cy Young winning form of 2008.  Lincecum will face off against the former Giant Matt Palmer who has been a real find for the Angels this season.

Thursday 18 June

17.35. Braves @ Reds – Hanson (1-0), Maloney (0-1) 
18.05. Blue Jays @ Phillies – Janssen (2-3), Blanton (4-3)   
18.05. Nationals @ Yankees – Stammen (0-2), Chamberlain (3-1) 
18.10. Pirates @ Twins – Snell (1-7), Blackburn (5-2)  
19.20. White Sox @ Cubs – Contreras (2-5), Dempster (4-3) 
20.10. Rays @ Rockies – Garza (4-4), Jimenez (5-6)  
20.35. Mariners @ Padres – Washburn (3-5), TBD

Thursday always provides us with a good selection of early games.  The opener is the National League game of the day in which the highly touted Tommy Hanson continues to introduce himself to Major League hitters.

The rest of the games are Interleague match-ups.  The Chicago encounter should once again be a real battle, while the Blue Jays-Phillies and Rays-Rockies games both look interesting.  It almost seems unfair to send the Nationals in against Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees, but that’s their challenge for the day.  Pirates-Twins and Mariners-Padres might be for their respective fans only.

Friday 19 June

19.20. Indians @ Cubs – Lee (3-6), Harden (4-3)

When we put together a Team Picker last November, designed to help Brits choose their MLB team, the Cubs came out on top by a mile.  One of their most appealing traits is that they play a good number of day games at Wrigley and Friday’s game makes it three early starts in a row this week.  It should be a good game as well, with Cliff Lee and Rich Harden toeing the rubber.

All the above games can be followed via various resources on MLB.com (Gameday, Gameday Audio and MLB.tv), while ESPN America’s MLB schedule can be found here.

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