ESPN will provide national coverage of seven 2017 Opening Day games on Sunday, April 2nd and Monday, April 3rd. The announcement was made today by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. at the conclusion of MLB's quarterly owners meetings.
The seven games on Sunday and Monday - three on Sunday and four on Monday, comprised primarily of divisional match-ups - will include the participation of six Clubs that played in the 2016 Postseason, including an exclusive ESPN "Sunday Night Baseball" national opener featuring the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs visiting the National League Central-rival St. Louis Cardinals at 8:30 p.m. (ET)/7:30 p.m. (CT). Earlier that day, the 2017 Championship Season will begin on ESPN with a 1:10 p.m. (ET) game between the host Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. At 4:10 p.m. (ET)/1:10 p.m. local, the Arizona Diamondbacks will welcome the San Francisco Giants in an NL West game that will be broadcast on ESPN2.
ESPN also will exclusively telecast the Cubs' home opener on Monday, April 10th (8:05 p.m. ET/7:05 p.m. CT), when they will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a renewal of this year's National League Championship Series.
In addition, for the third consecutive year, all games played on the final scheduled day of the regular season - Sunday, October 1st - will begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET). The simultaneous schedule aims to maximize the excitement of Postseason races throughout the sport on the season's final day.