MLB’s Opening Night is seven days from Thursday, and its fuller Opening Day comes a week from Friday, but you won’t need to wait that long for live MLB games on your TV – even if they’re just exhibitions.

Per ESPN’s advance schedule, the network will air a Yankees-Mets exhibition on Saturday at 7 PM ET on ESPN2, and a White Sox-Cubs exhibition on Sunday at 8 PM ET, also on ESPN2. The full season schedule then starts on July 23rd with a Yankees-Nationals and Giants-Dodgers doubleheader, and a complete slate of games on July 24th.

Not to be outdone, MLB Network will also air some exhibition games prior to Opening Night. Per a release and their schedule, the network will air seven live games over the next week, along with several replays. You can check out the schedule of replays on MLB Network’s site, but here’s the schedule for the live games.

  • Saturday, July 18th: Cleveland Indians vs Pittsburgh Pirates, 7 PM ET
  • Sunday, July 19th: New York Mets at New York Yankees, 7 PM ET
  • Monday, July 20th: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees, 6 PM ET
  • Monday, July 20th: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Angels, 9 PM ET
  • Tuesday, July 21st: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals, 2 PM ET
  • Tuesday, July 21st: Colorado Rockies at Texas Rangers, 8 PM ET
  • Wednesday, July 22nd: Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs, 8 PM ET

Exhibition games are a big bowl of whatever, but hey, they’re live baseball games that you don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to watch. That counts for something, right?

I actually am somewhat interested in watching a couple of these games, if only to get a feel as to what Major League Baseball in the COVID-19 era looks and sounds like. How will the fake crowd noise sound? Will camera angles be different? Will we be able to hear players on the field? If the broadcasters are calling games from a studio instead of the booth, how different will they sound? Will the fan cut-outs in parks going that route look ridiculous? Is the National League going to implode upon itself with pitchers not hitting?

It’s going to be different for all of us, but there certainly is a lot to look for when watching these games that don’t actually matter.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.