Baseball’s best player, Mike Trout, brings his Los Angeles Angels to South Florida for the first of three weekend interleague games Friday against the struggling Miami Marlins. This is only the second-ever MLB contest to live stream for free on Facebook under a new 20-game deal between Major League Baseball and the social media mega-platform. And unlike in other MLB streaming deals, games streamed live on Facebook will not be subject to blackouts in any region, including the home markets of the two teams.
In other words, fans in South Florida and in Southern California will have the ability to watch Friday’s Angels vs. Marlins game live stream for free; an opportunity not offered by the paid-subscription MLB.TV service. Baseball also has a streaming deal with the competing social media platform Twitter, which streams a “Game of the Week” each Tuesday. But the Twitter games are subject to blackout restrictions.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred called the Facebook streaming deal, “the most important single announcement” to come out if MLB’s recent Owners Meeting.
“It’s really important for us in terms of experimenting with a new partner in this area,” said Manfred. “We are really excited about this.” The Facebook live streaming deal started last Friday, May 19, with a game between the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds.
Fans who check out the Facebook live stream will see the first appearance in South Florida by the reigning American League MVP and five-time All-Star, the Angels 25-year-old center fielder, Mike Trout. With two MVP awards — 2014 as well as last season — already in his trophy case, Trout appears well on his way to a third in 2017.
The phenomenon, who was drafted 25th overall in the 2009 first round by the Angels out of New Jersey’s Millville High School, currently leads the AL in batting average (.344), on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.753) with an eye-popping 1.214 OPS. Trout has also belted a league-high 15 home runs in just 154 at-bats over the Angels first 50 games. Trout also has the Major Leagues’ best Wins Above Replacement — better known as WAR — number at 3.3. In fact, Trout has led the American League in WAR in every year since 2012; his first full season in the big leagues.
The Angels, however, have not been able to take full advantage of Trout’s monster numbers over the first two months of the 2017 season. They sit at an even 25-25 in second place in the AL West, but the Angels are eight games behind the streaking Houston Astros.
The task of containing Trout falls to the Marlins 28-year-old righty, Dan Straily, who, despite a 2-3 record for the 16-29 Marlins, has put together a solid run of starting mound performances in the early stages of the 2017 campaign. Straily has thrown eight straight starts without allowing more than four hits in any start while fanning 48 in 48 2/3 innings.
For the Angels, 33-year-old, 10-year veteran Jesse Chavez,who is pitching for the seventh team of his career, will bring his 4.61 ERA to Marlins Park to face sluggers Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and the rest of the Marlins lineup.
The Los Angeles Angels vs. Miami Marlins game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 4:10 Pacific, at 36,700 seat Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, on Friday, May 26. The game will live stream on Facebook, with the stream going online at 6:55 p.m. Eastern, 3:55 p.m. Pacific, at this link. The Angles vs. Marlins game will also stream live on mobile devices using the Facebook app. Visiting the MLB Facebook page in the app to get the live stream.
[Featured Image By Jeff Gross/Getty Images]