MLB Opening Day 2013 TV schedule: The MLB regular season starts Sunday, March 31, with Texas at Houston. ESPN and ESPN2 air four games April 1.
Once again, the Hot Stove cooked up an offseason stew of big names and big money on the move in Major League Baseball.
The Angels snagged the top free-agent hitter again this offseason, with Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal. He’ll hit behind Albert Pujols, last year’s top free-agent prize. The Dodgers also had deep pockets, signing starting pitcher Zack Greinke for six years and $147 million. Sensing the AL East was ripe for the taking, the Blue Jays cleaned up at the Marlins’ fire sale, pulling off a 12-player trade to get shortstop Jose Reyes, and pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. The Jays then traded with the Mets for NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. The Braves brought brothers Justin and B.J. Upton to their outfield. The Red Sox look to get back to winning with Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, while the aging and injured Yankees added Travis Hafner and Kevin “I’ll always be a Red Sock” Youkilis.
New managers filling out lineup cards are John Farrell (Red Sox), John Gibbons (Blue Jays), Terry Francona (Indians), Bo Porter (Astros), Mike Redmond (Marlins) and Walt Weiss (Rockies).
It’s also the first season of American League ball for the Astros, who move from the NL Central to the AL West. The AL and NL now have 15 teams each, and each of MLB’s six divisions are comprised of five clubs for the first time. As a result, there will be interleague games played throughout the entire season.
Baseball on TV should look pretty familiar this year. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball returns, with John Kruk moving to the broadcast booth alongside Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser. FOX returns with its Saturday afternoon schedule of regional games, including a stretch of eight Saturday night broadcast windows beginning May 25. TBS is back with a slate of Sunday afternoon games, and MLB Network will pick up a few games throughout the week. The big shakeup happens in 2014, when MLB’s new eight-year, $12 billion rights deal with FOX, ESPN and Turner Sports takes effect.
MLB Opening Day 2013 TV Schedule
March 31 Rangers at Astros, ESPN
April 1 Red Sox at Yankees, ESPN
Giants at Dodgers, ESPN
Phillies at Braves, ESPN2
Cardinals at Diamondbacks, ESPN2
ESPN MLB season-opening schedule
|Date||Time (ET)||Game / Commentators||Networks|
|Sun, Mar 31||6 p.m.||Baseball Tonight Presented by Burger KingKarl Ravech, Alex Cora, Barry Larkin, Curt Schilling, Tim Kurkjian||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||Beisbol Esta NocheCandy Maldonado, Carolina Guillen, Manny Acta||ESPN Deportes|
|8 p.m.||Opening Night Baseball on ESPN Presented by Burger King: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros ESPN:Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser, Buster OlneyESPN Radio: Jon Sciambi, Chris SingletonESPN Deportes: Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo AlvarezESPN Deportes Radio: Renato Bermudez, Jose Francisco Rivera||ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN|
|Mon, Apr 1||12 p.m.||Baseball Tonight Presented by Burger KingKarl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Curt Schilling||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|1 p.m.||Opening Day Baseball on ESPN Presented by Burger King: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Dave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|4 p.m.||Opening Day Baseball on ESPN Presented by Burger King: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers ESPN:Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser, Buster OlneyESPN Radio: Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton||ESPN, ESPN Radio WatchESPN|
|7 p.m.||Opening Day Baseball on ESPN Presented by Burger King: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Sean McDonough, Mark Mulder, Doug Glanville||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|10 p.m.||Opening Day Baseball on ESPN Presented by Burger King: St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks Steve Levy, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Gomez||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|Tue, Apr 2||1 a.m.||Baseball Tonight Presented by Burger KingKarl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Alex Cora||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|Wed, Apr 3||12:30 a.m.||Baseball TonightAdnan Virk, Manny Acta, Doug Glanville||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|7 p.m.||Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Presented by T-MobileDave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|10 p.m.||San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Presented by USAAJon Sciambi, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Gomez||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
Photo: Credit: John Cordes/Icon SMI 506/Newscom