With September underway, and with another exciting MLB pennant race underway, MLB Network is making sure we’re all covered. Over the next two weeks, the only day that the network is NOT airing a live game is Sunday, September 7th – and don’t worry, because we’re covered with Royals-Yankees on TBS and Giants-Tigers on ESPN.
Next Monday, MLB Network will air a tripleheader of games: Angels-Indians, Royals-Tigers, and either Cardinals-Reds or Braves-Nationals. There will also be split doubleaders (early afternoon slot, primetime slot) on Thursday, September 11th and Friday, September 12th.
And when it comes to the teams involved, every game will feature at least one contender. There are no games featuring two teams currently under .500 against one another. In fact, every team currently above .500 is featured in at least one game, with the exceptions of the Seattle Mariners (who could be a popular team in the second half of the month thanks to multiple games with the Angels and Athletics) and Toronto Blue Jays (currently in the midst of a freefall that could put them under .500 sooner rather than later).
No team will appear more than five times in September (which is admittedly excessive given we’re looking at a two week sample here), with the Nationals and Yankees leading that charge. The Tigers will appear four times, and no other team shows up more than three times. It’s a pretty solid balance of the contenders over the beginning of the month, and I’d expect more of the same in the season’s final two weeks once that schedule is released.
It really is a relief to see the contenders be put in the spotlight. And even though the Yankees are featured a lot, you didn’t expect MLB Network to pass up a pair of Red Sox games, a home game on September 11th, and a pivotal doubleheader against the AL East leading Orioles, did you? Boston isn’t on the schedule at all aside from those two Yankees games. Neither the Cubs or Mets are on the schedule at all. The Phillies and Rangers each appear just once. I’m very much in favor of exposing new teams to the spotlight, and this season has really emphasized putting those teams on the national stage instead of continually falling back on the same teams and matchups time and time again.
It’s still not ideal, but it’s a great start.