As expected, the Cubs and their National League Division Series opponent, either the Mets or Giants, will be the last of the four games televised Friday and will have the first pitch shortly after 8:15 p.m. Central time that day.
For those of you on the West Coast, this is good news — prime time! If you’re in Eastern time... get ready to yawn through the late innings, since you’re almost certainly going to be up past midnight to see the end of this one.
I get it, up to a point, why these games have to start so late. MLB doesn’t want overlap of the Division Series games (in fact, there will be some overlap on Friday), and on days when all four series are going, one team’s going to have to start in what’s a later time slot in the USA’s (and Canada’s) two easternmost time zones. And since all four host teams on Friday are in ET and CT, one of the CT teams has to get the late game — and MLB isn’t going to put the Rangers on in prime time.
I’m not fond of late starts like this and neither was Blackhawks announcer Pat Foley, last April when the Blackhawks had several. Check out his epic on-air rant:
It is a bit earlier than I expected (I thought it would be after 8:30), and, fortunately, this will likely be the only late start for the Cubs. Game 2 on Saturday will also be a night game, at 7:08 p.m. CT, pretty much the normal home night-game time. Here’s the rest of the schedule, by date, for the division series round. Time zones as noted, convert if you are not in ET or CT.
As you can see, no times have been set beyond Sunday; those times, in particular the times for the Cubs’ Game 3 in either New York or San Francisco, depend on what happens in the A.L. series. The 8:15 time instead of 8:30 (or later) is probably an attempt to get the game as early as possible in ET in case the Mets are the opponent.
Lastly, you’ll note that the Cubs’ Game 1 Friday will be on FS1, while Saturday’s Game 2 will be on MLB Network. The broadcast teams have not yet been announced; I’ll post about them when that information is available.