Major League Baseball today announced the game times for its master 2014 regular season schedule, which will begin with MLB Opening Series Sydney 2014 between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, March 22nd at 12:00 a.m. (PT) / 7:00 p.m. (local) and Sunday, March 23rd at 6:00 p.m. (PT - Saturday evening) / 1:00 p.m. (local - Sunday). On Sunday, March 30th, the 25th season of ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" will begin the rest of the schedule as the San Diego Padres host the Dodgers at 8:05 p.m. (ET) / 5:05 p.m. (PT).
Thirteen games will be played on traditional Opening Day on Monday, March 31st. The first full slate of 15 games will be played on Wednesday, April 2nd. The final day of the 2014 regular season, which features 12 divisional match-ups, is scheduled for Sunday, September 28th.
ESPN will continue its coverage of Opening Week presented by Budweiser with five games on Monday, March 31st, featuring four pairs of division rivals squaring off. Opening Day coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and WatchESPN begins at 1:00 p.m. (ET) as the Chicago Cubs visit the Pittsburgh Pirates, followed by the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox at the Baltimore Orioles at 3:00 p.m. (ET), and the defending National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals at the Cincinnati Reds at 4:00 p.m. (ET) / 3:00 p.m. (CT). At 7:00 p.m. (ET), the Colorado Rockies will visit the Miami Marlins, followed by the Seattle Mariners at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at 10:00 p.m. (ET) / 7:00 p.m. (PT).
MLB Network will have extensive coverage of Opening Week, featuring the return of its regular season programming lineup of The Rundown, MLB Now, Intentional Talk, MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch with look-ins at live games in progress, previews, highlights and analysis.
Among the other highlights of the 2014 regular season:
- The Texas Rangers open their season against the Philadelphia Phillies at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Monday, April 31st at 2:05 p.m (ET) / 1:05 p.m. (CT), marking the start of the 18th season of Interleague Play.
- The Red Sox open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on Friday, May 16th at 7:10 p.m. (ET) as the clubs meet again after the 2013 American League Championship Series.
- The Cardinals visit the Dodgers for a four-game set at Dodger Stadium beginning on Thursday, June 26th at 10:10 p.m. (ET) / 7:10 p.m. (PT) in a rematch of the 2013 National League Championship Series.
- The Dodgers visit their N.L. West rival San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park at 10:15 p.m. (ET) / 7:15 p.m. (PT) on Tuesday, April 15th, which is designated as Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball.
- The Houston Astros welcome the Orioles to Minute Maid Park at 7:10 p.m. (ET) / 6:10 p.m. (CT) on Friday, May 30th for the eighth annual Civil Rights Game.
- Interleague series featuring prime rivals will be spread out over the season, and will be played in back-to-back two-game series with the host club shifting after two contests. The match-ups include: Cubs-White Sox (May 5th-8th); Phillies-Blue Jays (May 5th-8th); Rockies-Rangers (May 5th-8th); Mets-Yankees (May 12th-15th); Braves-Red Sox (May 26th-29th); Marlins-Rays (June 2nd-5th); Cardinals-Royals (June 2nd-5th); Brewers-Twins (June 2nd-5th); Diamondbacks-Astros (June 9th-12th); Padres-Mariners (June 16th-19th); Nationals-Orioles (July 7th-10th); Giants-Athletics (July 7th-10th); Reds-Indians (August 4th-7th); Dodgers-Angels (August 4th-7th); and Pirates-Tigers (August 11th-14th).
- The 2014 All-Star Game, to be hosted by the Minnesota Twins, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field.