Cubs, Pirates Face Off In Key NL Central Matchup Tonight On MNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Pittsburgh Pirates took 2 of 3 against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, winning 4 – 1 and 5 – 1 Friday and Saturday respectively.  But the Reds got a bit of revenge Sunday night, taking the last of the teams’ 3-game series 6 – 5 in extra innings.  Now after that tough loss the Pirates look to regroup as they are set to face yet another NL Central foe this week in the form of the Chicago Cubs.  The teams face off this week in a 3-game series that begins tonight.  And ESPN will have full coverage of the series’ opener in this week’s edition of Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.

Tonight’s game (and the series in whole) will have major implications for both teams even this early in the season.  That is because there’s more than just NL pride on the line.  The team’s cross city rivals, the White Sox, currently sit at 18 – 8 on the season so far.  The Cubs on the other hand are 17 – 6 so far on the season.  In the NL ranks, the Cubs are currently trying to hold off the second place Washington Nationals (17 – 7).  A win tonight (and wins Tuesday and Wednesday) would help the Cubs pad their lead over the Nats.  It would also help the Cubs in their rivalry with the White Sox.  On the other side of the ball, a win in tonight’s series opener (combined with wins Tuesday and Wednesday) would help the Pirates as they battle with the Phillies and the Cubs for position.

Gerrit Cole is currently expected to start for the Pirates tonight.  He is 2- 2 so far on the season.  His last time on the mound was six days ago on April 26th against Colorado.  The Pirates routed the Rockies in that game 9 – 4 with Cole pitching six innings.  Cole didn’t have the greatest game, allowing 4 runs and 2 earned runs on 8 hits, and 1 home run.  He walked 2 and struck out 3.  This was all against 27 total batters.  Thanks to good fielding on Pittsburgh’s side and just as many problems for Colorado’s bullpen, the Pirates were able to pull off the win.

Starting for the Cubs tonight will be Jason Hammel.  Hammel is currently 3 – 0 on the season.  He has had plenty of time to rest and prepare for tonight’s game.  That’s because his last time on the mound was seven days ago against the Reds.  The Cubs blanked the Reds in that game 9 – 0.  Hammel was credited with the win having pitched 6 innings.  He was in top form in the game, too, allowing 0 runs on only 3 hits.  He walked only 2 of the 23 batters that he faced and struck out 7 while allowing 0 home runs and 0 earned runs.  Red pitcher Alfredo Simon meanwhile struggled mightily in the game, pitching only 2.2 innings before being pulled.  In that short time, he allowed 8 runs, 8 earned runs, and 2 home runs on 10 hits.  He walked only 1 of the 18 batters that he faced and struck out only 3.  So needless to say that Hammel will be on his A-game tonight.

Adding to the interest for tonight’s game (and this week’s series) is that while Pittsburgh and Chicago are evenly matched in their home records—Pittsburgh is 7 – 4 at home so far this season to Chicago’s 7 – 3—the visiting Cubs are 10 – 3 on the road so far to Pittsburgh’s 8 – 6 road record.  Chicago is 7 – 3 in its last 10 games while Pittsburgh is 8 – 2 in its last 10.  So when all of the numbers are added up, they show tonight’s game to be full of fireworks for both sides.  The same can be said of Tuesday and Wednesday’s games, too.

Dave Flemming will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Dallas Braden and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.  ESPN Deportes will simulcast the game for the network’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Yanks, BoSox Close Out Weekend Series Tonight On SNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Yankees and Red Sox go under the lights live on ESPN once again tonight as they wrap their latest series.

The Red Sox look to finish off the Yankees tonight as they close out their latest series against their long-time rivals live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  The Red Sox already already took the first two games in the teams’ weekend series 4 – 2, 8 – 0 Friday and Saturday respectively.  Nathan Eovaldi is expected to get the start for the Yankees tonight.  Eovaldi’s last time on the mound was April 25th against the Rangers.  He was impressive in that game, facing 24 batters and striking out 6 over the course of 7.2 innings.  He also kept the Rangers’ bats relatively quiet over that time, allowing only 2 hits but not one run, no home runs, and only 2 walks.

On the other side of the ball David Price is expected to take the mound for the Red Sox.  Price has been perfect for Boston so far this season going 3 – 0 in his starts so far.  His last time on the mound was April 26th against Atlanta.  Price struck out 14 of 33 batters over 8 innings allowing only 2 runs and 2 earned runs on 6 hits.  He walked only 2 of those 33 batters and kept the ball well inside the park, allowing 0 home runs.

Dan Shulman will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will be on the field with all of the latest in-game news, interviews and more throughout the game.  The game will be simulcast live on ESPN Deportes for ESPN and the MLB’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  And those that won’t be near a TV during the game can also still catch it live as it will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio and online via WatchESPN.

Before the first pitch is thrown, Karl Ravech, Dallas Braden, and Tim Kurkjian will preview the night’s game while analyzing the weekend’s previous games live on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown.  The trio will be live on site in Boston with all of the latest on tonight’s game and a recap of the weekend’s games.  Broadcast begins at 7pm ET on ESPN.

More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Yankees, Rangers Close Out 3-Game Series Tonight On ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s MLB broadcast schedule for this week has official been released.  And it’s going to be another busy one.  It all begins tonight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes with an American League showdown between two teams that are struggling to get some footing right now early in the season.

Tonight on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire the Texas play host to the New York Yankees live at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.  The game is the rubber match in the teams’ three-game series, which began Monday.  The Yankees took Game 1 3 – 1.  But the Rangers didn’t stay down after that loss.  They stormed back Tuesday night, routing the Yankees 10 – 1.  CC Sabathia is expected to start for the “Pinstripers” in tonight’s game.  He is currently 1 – 1 so far on the season with his last start being on April 16th against Seattle.  Sabathia took the loss in that game.  He pitched a little more than four innings in the game, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 earned runs.  He struck out five of the 22 batters that he faced in that time, though walking only 1 batter and allowing only 1 home run.  The rest of the Yankees’ dugout picked up the slack, keeping the Mariners’ bats relatively silent, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 8 total batters.  Along the way they allowed no walks, home runs, earned runs, or runs.

Martin Perez will get the start for the Rangers in tonight’s game.  Perez has struggled just as much as Sabathia this season, going winless in two starts.  His last time on the mound was last Friday, April 22nd against the Chicago White Sox.  Perez pitched 5.2 innings in the game, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, and 5 earned runs.  He walked two and struck out just as many.  To the positive, of the 24 batters that he faced in the game, he prevented any of them from knocking one out of the park.  Needless to say he will be looking to bounce back just as much as Sabathia when New York and Texas round out their series.

In the bigger picture, both teams will have plenty more to play for tonight than just the series win.  The Yankees sit at the bottom of the AL East standing at 8 – 11.  On the other hand, Texas is 11- 10 so far on the season, only one game over .500.  The Rangers are 7 – 4 at home so far this season while the Yankees are 3 – 4 on the road.  New York is 4 – 6 in its last 10 games while Texas is 5 – 5.  So the odds would seem to be more in the Rangers’ favor for tonight’s game.

Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.  The game will be blacked out in the New York market.  Coverage of the game is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Ahead of tonight’s broadcast, Karl Ravech, Alex Cora, and Jim Bowden will preview the game at 7pm ET on Baseball Tonight.  More information on tonight’s game is available online along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bbtn

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Orioles Look To Stay Perfect Tonight Against Boston On ESPN’s WNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Baltimore Orioles are off to a hot start in the 2016 MLB regular season.  The team currently sits at a perfect 7 – 0 so far on the season, leaving the team the only undefeated team so far on the season.  It also means that the team currently sits atop the league standings.  Tonight the “Orange Birds” look to keep their success going when they wrap up a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.  The game will be carried live tonight on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire.

The Orioles and Red Sox face off tonight on ESPN in the last of a three-game series.  The game Joe Kelly is expected to get the start for the BoSox in tonight’s game.  It will be Kelly’s second start of the season.  His first start of the season was on April 8th.  And it was a rather inauspicious start for the right hander.  He pitched three whole innings before being pulled in the fourth, having allowed 7 hits, 7 runs, 7 earned runs, and 3 walks, and striking out only four of the twenty batters that he faced over that time.  A base-clearing grand slam by Josh Donaldson in the fourth ended Kelly’s night.  Ubaldo Jimenez is expected to get the start for Baltimore in tonight’s game.  His last time on the mound was April 7th against Minnesota.  He was credited with the win in the game having allowed only 2 runs on 8 hits, and striking out nine of twenty-eight batters over seven innings.  He allowed only 1 earned run in that time, too.

Broadcast of tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET.  It will be live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes+.  Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville for additional commentary.  Before the first pitch is thrown, Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Eduardo Perez, and Tim Kurkjian will have a preview of the game on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight on ESPN2 beginning at 6:30pm ET.  Anyone that won’t be near a TV for tonight’s game can still catch the game online on WatchESPN.  More information on tonight’s game and all of ESPN’s scheduled games is available online along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Adds NL, AL Matchups To Its MNB, WNB Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added two more games to its Major League Baseball broadcast schedule.

On Monday, April 18th, the Cubs and Cardinals will face off live on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.  The game is the series-opener in a three-game set between the NL Central opponents.  The game will also mark the midway point of what will be a six-game home stand for the team.   No announcement has been made at this time in regards to starting lineups or pitching rotations for either team in the game.  The other three games in that run will see the Cardinals host another NL Central opponent, the Cincinnati Reds.  Currently the Reds sit second in the division just behind the Cubs.  Dave Flemming will be in the booth for the game.  He will be joined by analysts Curt Schilling and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.

Also added to the network’s MLB coverage, the defending MLB champion Kansas City Royals will host the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, April 20th on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tires.  Currently the Royals sit fourth in the AL Central, one game back from the division-leading Tigers.  The White Sox and Indians currently sit in second and third respectively in the division.  The game will be the second in a three-game set between those two teams.  Coverage is expected to begin at 7pm ET on ESPN.  Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for the game.  Analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Eduardo Perez will also be on hand for additional commentary.  As an additional note, this game will be a full national telecast.

Both the NL Central matchup on the 18th and the AL Central game set for the 20th will be simulcast on television on ESPN Deportes and online via WatchESPN.  More information on both of these games is available online along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.comphilspicks and “Like” it.

ESPN Unveils MNF Preseason Broadcast Schedule

NFL on ESPN Logo

Next Friday, April will already be halfway over.  That means that the year is already almost three and a half months old.  Before long summer will be here and then fall.  And with the return of fall also comes the return of football.  In anticipation of its return ESPN has unveiled its 2016 Monday Night Football preseason broadcast schedule.

The network’s 2016 Monday Night Football preseason broadcast schedule features two games this year.  The first of the games, the league’s annual Hall of Fame game, is a cross-conference matchup between the Colts (AFC) and the Packers (NFC).  That game is currently scheduled for Sunday, August 7th at 8pm ET.  This year’s broadcast marks the first time that ESPN will have the Hall of Fame game.  The game is typically broadcast on NBC.  However, this year it will carry the Olympics thus leading to the change.

The second game on ESPN’s 2016 Monday Night Football preseason broadcast schedule is just as big as its first game.  That is because it will feature the hugely anticipated return of the Rams to Los Angeles.  The Rams will take on the Cowboys in that game.  It is currently scheduled to air live Saturday, August 13th at 8pm ET.  Mike Tirico and Jay Gruden will be in the both for both games.  Reporter Lisa Salters will be on the sidelines for all of the latest in-game news, interviews and more during both games.

Both of this year’s Monday Night Football preseason games will be simulcast on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network.  Each game will also be available online via WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

The full 2016 ESPN MNF broadcast schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.  More information on ESPN’s MNF schedule is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNMondayNight

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Highlight Western Conference In This Week’s NBA Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced its NBA coverage schedule for this week. And in this week’s schedule of games the Thunder and Clippers will be highlighted.

This week’s NBA broadcast schedule kicks off tonight with a double header schedule on ESPN. First up on the night is a cross-conference matchup between Memphis and Boston. While the showdown pits teams from opposite conferences against one another it still will have its own playoff implications. Boston currently sits third overall in the East, seven games back from Cleveland while Memphis currently sits 5th in the West, eighteen and a half games back from the Warriors. Neither team has yet clinched a playoff berth. So win or lose tonight’s game between the Celtics and Grizzles will play a big part in the teams’ playoff fates. Tipoff for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7pm ET. Mark Jones will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Tim Legler for additional commentary.

Second up on the night is a Western Conference matchup between Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder welcome the Clippers into the Chesapeake Arena in a game that will also determine both teams’ playoff fates. That is because neither team yet has clinched its berth in the post season. Oklahoma City currently sits third in the west with the Clippers not too far behind in fourth. Neither team has a chance of catching the Warriors or Spurs. But both teams can potentially set their place in the playoffs. Tipoff for the game is set for 9:30pm ET. The game will be simulcast on ESPN and ESPN Radio. Dave Pasch will have the call for the game on ESPN. He will be joined by Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Chris Broussard for additional commentary. On the radio side, Marc Kestecher will have the call for the game. He will be joined by P.J. Carlesimo for additional commentary.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s double header schedule Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, and Brian WIndhorst will have a preview of the night’s games and will look ahead to the rest of the week’s schedule in The Jump beginning at 1pm ET on ESPN2.

After Wednesday night’s double header ESPN will shift its attention to college basketball. It will be carrying coverage of the ACC Tournament and Big Ten Tournament Thursday and Friday. The NBA action picks back up on Saturday night at 8:30 pm ET with a Western Conference matchup between Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Spurs will play host to the Thunder on NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta beginning at 8:30pm ET on ABC. Mike Tirico will have the call for Saturday’s game. He will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary. Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will preview the night’s matchup and look back on the week’s other games ahead of Saturday’s showdown between the Western Conference opponents. San Antonio has already clinched its spot in the post season. But Oklahoma City has not yet solidified its spot in the playoffs. If it doesn’t clinch Wednesday night, a win Saturday could set its spot in that race.

Cleveland and the Clippers round out the week’s NBA coverage on ESPN and the ESPN networks Sunday afternoon on NBA Sunday Showcase presented by BBVA. Cleveland sits atop the Eastern Conference but has yet to clinch its spot in the playoffs. So the team will be looking to punch its post season ticket in the game. That is because the Raptors, who currently sit second in the East, are currently only two games back from Cleveland. So they are making things very interesting for Cleveland heading into the regular season’s final stretch. Win or lose Wednesday Sunday’s game will still have its own implications for the Clippers, too. That is because the Clippers sit fourth in the West. The fifth-place Grizzlies don’t have a chance of catching the Clippers and the Clippers likely won’t catch the Thunder either. So L.A. will be looking to solidify its place in the post season once and for all Sunday against the Cavs. Mike Breen will have the call for the game. He will be joined by analyst and Hall of Famer Hubie Brown for additional commentary. Reporter Lisa Salters will also be courtside throughout the game for all of the latest updates and more. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30pm ET. The game will be simulcast on ABC, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Radio. Kevin Calabro will have the call on ESPN Radio. He will be joined by P.J. Carlesimo for additional commentary. The full schedule for this week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks is noted below.

 

 

Date Time (ET) Telecast/Commentators Network (s)
Tues, Mar 8 3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Brian Windhorst
ESPN
Wed, Mar 9 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Tim Legler
ESPN2
  1 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm*
Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Brian Windhorst
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Boston Celtics
Mark Jones, Jon Barry
ESPN
  9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Dave Pasch, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Chris Broussard
Radio: Marc Kestecher, P.J. Carlesimo
ESPN, ESPN Radio
Thu, Mar 10 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols,
ESPN
Fri, Mar 11 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols
ESPN
Sat, Mar 12 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2
  8 p.m. NBA Countdown
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
  8:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs  presented by La Quinta
Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
ABC
Sun, Mar 13 1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2
3 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
3:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers  at Los Angeles Clippers presented by BBVA
Mike Breen, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox
Radio: Kevin Calabro, P.J. Carlesimo
ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

 

 

More information on the ESPN networks’ NBA coverage is available online along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.