MLB sets times of regular season schedule
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball announced the game times for its master 2018 regular season schedule, which will begin on Thursday, March 29, when all 30 clubs are scheduled to play.
ESPN will provide extensive Opening Day coverage that begins with the Chicago Cubs visiting the Miami Marlins (12:40 p.m. ET), followed by the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros visiting their intrastate-rival Texas Rangers (3:35 p.m. ET/2:35 p.m. CT).
The quadruple-header on ESPN continues with the defending National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers hosting their NL West-rival San Francisco Giants (7:08 p.m. ET/4:08 p.m. PT), while the Cleveland Indians visit the Seattle Mariners (10:10 p.m. ET/7:10 p.m. PT) to close out ESPN’s Opening Day coverage.
Overall, ESPN will broadcast 10 games over the first six days of the 2018 season.
FOX will begin its 2018 national coverage on Saturday, March 31, when the Rangers host the Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington at 4:07 p.m. ET/3:07 p.m. CT on FS1. MLB on TBS live game coverage will return Sunday, July 8, and continue each Sunday through the end of the regular season.
MLB Network will have extensive coverage of Opening Day, featuring 17 hours of live coverage beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 29, followed on Friday, March 30, by the return of its regular season programming lineup of MLB Central, High Heat with Christopher Russo, The Rundown, MLB Now, Intentional Talk, MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch with live look-ins at games in progress, previews, highlights and analysis.
The 2018 season will mark the first time since 1968 that every team across the Majors will open on the same date. The 1968 campaign began on Wednesday, April 10 with each of the 20 Major League Clubs in action.
Additionally, the 2018 season will mark the 12th season in history, and the first since 2011, to open on a Thursday.
Other seasons to do so include 1901-04, 1907, 1912, 1959, 1973-74 and 1976.
The final day of the 2018 regular season, which features 12 divisional match-ups, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30.
For the fourth consecutive year, all games played on the final scheduled day of the regular season will begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET), with potential Postseason ramifications at stake.
Among the other highlights of the 2018 regular season:
• In a rematch of the last two National League Championship Series, the Cubs will host the Dodgers at Wrigley Field for a three-game series beginning on Monday, June 18 at 8:05 p.m. (ET)/7:05 p.m. (CT). The Clubs will square off again a week later for a four-game set at Dodger Stadium beginning on Monday, June 25 at 10:10 p.m. (ET)/7:10 p.m. (PT).
• The Astros and New York Yankees, who met in the 2017 American League Championship Series, will play a four-game series at Minute Maid Park beginning on Monday, April 30th at 8:10 p.m. (ET)/7:10 p.m. (CT). The Clubs will meet for a three-game series at Yankee Stadium beginning on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28 at 1:05 p.m. (ET).
• 2018 Opening Day includes an Interleague match-up between the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park (1:10 p.m. ET) in a renewal of the franchises that met in the 1909 World Series.
• The Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium at 4:10 p.m. (ET)/1:10 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, April 15, which is Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball.
• Interleague play throughout the season will feature the AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West. Notable series feature renewals of four World Series matchups over the past 10 years, including Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays (April 13-15 at Tropicana Field); Cubs-Indians (April 24th-25th at Progressive Field, May 22nd-23rd at Wrigley Field); Yankees-Phillies (June 25-27 at Citizens Bank Park); and Giants-Rangers (August 24-26 at AT&T Park).
• In special international events, the Minnesota Twins will host the Indians on April 17-18 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while the San Diego Padres will host the Dodgers at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey on May 4-6 in Monterrey, Mexico.
• On Sunday, August 19 (7:10 p.m. ET), the Phillies will host the New York Mets in Williamsport, Pennsylvania during the second “MLB Little League Classic” at Historic Bowman Field.
• In the 30th anniversary season of the 1988 World Series, the Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics will play a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on April 10-11, as well as a two-game series at Oakland Coliseum on August 7th-8th.
• The St. Louis Cardinals and Tigers, who met in the 2006 Fall Classic, will square off at Comerica Park on September 7-9 in a rematch of the 1968 World Series in its 50th anniversary season.
• In the 110th anniversary season of the 1908 Fall Classic, the Cubs and Tigers will meet for a two-game series at Wrigley Field on July 3-4, as well as a two-game series at Comerica Park on August 21-22.
• The 2018 All-Star Game, to be hosted by the Washington Nationals, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17 at Nationals Park.