Five Tribe games slated for national TV

April 3 Opening Day game against Rangers on ESPN

CLEVELAND -- A nationwide audience got to know the Indians better throughout the team's memorable October run to the World Series last fall. That trend will continue for the reigning American League champions this season, when at least five of the team's games will be broadcast nationally.

On Thursday, Cleveland unveiled its start times and broadcast schedule for the 2017 season, in which the Indians enter as heavy favorites to contend for a second straight AL Central crown and a return trip to the Fall Classic. In addition to the April 3 Opening Day clash with the Rangers, the Indians will have a handful of games aired by FOX and ESPN.

Indians' 2017 regular-season schedule

Cleveland's Opening Day game will begin at 7:05 p.m. ET and will air on both SportsTime Ohio and ESPN. The Indians will also have nationally televised games against the White Sox (June 10 on FOX), Tigers (July 1 and 8 on FOX and July 9 on ESPN) and Orioles (Sept. 9 on FOX). The July 9 game will mark the first time the Indians have been a part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball program since 2014, and the first in Cleveland since '09.

The Indians' home opener against the White Sox on April 11 will begin at 4:05 p.m. ET and will be aired on STO and will be one of four games simulcast locally in Cleveland on WKYC Channel 3 this year. Channel 3 will also carry games against the Tigers (July 7) and Royals (May 26 and Aug. 25) in the upcoming campaign.

There will be 157 games televised on STO, while WTAM 1100 AM will have 160 radio broadcasts. All 162 games will be aired along the 27 affiliates across the Indians Radio Network and 146 games will be broadcast on 100.7 FM.

The Indians will once again use a 6:10 p.m. ET start time for weeknight games in April and May, with the goal of minimizing weather issues and allowing families to be home earlier on school nights. Those 11 home games will be on April 12, 13, 25, 26 and 27, as well as May 15, 16, 24, 25, 30 and 31.

The team's annual Tribe Fest event is scheduled for Jan. 28 -- all general admission tickets are sold out -- and the club's equipment trucks depart for Spring Training on Feb. 3. Cleveland's pitchers and catchers are expected to report to Goodyear, Ariz., for spring on Feb. 12, with position players following suit on Feb. 16. The first full squad workout is Feb. 18 and the Indians will begin their Cactus League slate on Feb. 25 against the Reds.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.