Opening Day schedule changes for 2016 have made it a two-day event. Though the official Opening Day for Major League Baseball is on Monday, April 4, there are still going to be three games on Sunday, April 3. As the new schedule for MLB breaks down, there is also a Spring Training game still taking place on Sunday as well. A previous report from Yahoo! Sports revealed the announcement from MLB that three Sunday games would take place, providing fans with two extra games to watch on the weekend slate.
The Opening Day schedule begins with the St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates on April 3. That game will take place at 1:05 p.m. ET on ESPN. ESPN2 picks up the coverage for the second game at 4:05 p.m. ET and it is the Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays. For the night game, ESPN is airing the New York Mets at Kansas City Royals, with a start time of 8:35 p.m. ET. The Mets vs. Royals series will mark the first time in MLB history that the defending league champions will meet in the first series of the following season.
After the three games from Sunday on the Opening Day schedule, Major League Baseball has scheduled 12 more games for Monday, April 4. The ESPN Networks are going to broadcast four of the games to a national audience, showcasing some of the interesting teams this year. The first three games on ESPN are the Houston Astros at New York Yankees (1 p.m. ET), the Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (4 p.m. ET), and the LA Dodgers at San Diego Padres (7 p.m. ET). The night game is the Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Inter-league play has created a situation where an opening series of each season has to include an American League team and a National League team. It was an interesting quirk that the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets will meet on the first weekend of the 2016 MLB schedule. This could create a lot of excitement for the baseball season, especially if the Royals and Mets put on a show for the national audience. Both rosters have a lot of new faces, but many of the postseason stars are returning for another shot to repeat as league champions.
2016 MLB Opening Day Schedule
Sunday, April 3
St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (1:05 p.m. ET)
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (4:05 p.m. ET)
New York Mets at Kansas City Royals (8:35 p.m. ET)
Monday, April 4
Houston Astros at New York Yankees (1:05 p.m. ET)
San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers (2:10 p.m. ET)
Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles (3:05 p.m. ET)
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (4:05 p.m. ET)
Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians (4:10 p.m. ET)
Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds (4:10 p.m. ET)
Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (4:10 p.m. ET)
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (7:05 p.m. ET)
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 p.m. ET)
Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks (9:40 p.m. ET)
Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels (10:05 p.m. ET)
Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics (10:05 p.m. ET)
There are a lot of interesting sub-stories that will begin with the 2016 Opening Day festivities. One is whether the San Francisco Giants can win another World Series in an even year. The Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Big names playing for new teams include David Price with the Boston Red Sox, Ian Desmond with the Texas Rangers, Zack Greinke with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Johnny Cueto with the San Francisco Giants.
The 2016 Opening Day schedule didn’t quite provide a L.A. vs. Arizona series that many fans would have liked to watch, but the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates series will set the tone for the National League Central.
[Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]