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Cubs scheduled for 3 ESPN Sunday night games through July

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The Worldwide Leader announced 13 of its 2018 Sunday night matchups.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball truck parked outside Wrigley Field in 2017
Al Yellon

Last month, ESPN announced that the Cubs/Marlins Opening Day game would be its first regular-season telecast of 2018, beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT.

Tuesday, the network revealed 13 Sunday night matchups they’ll be carrying next year, covering dates in April, May and July, as well as the “Little League Classic” between the Mets and Phillies August 19.

The Cubs will be involved in three of these games:

Sunday, May 6 vs. Cardinals at St. Louis
Sunday, May 27 vs. Giants at Wrigley Field
Sunday, July 29 vs. Cardinals at St. Louis

There could be other Cubs games on Sunday Night Baseball added later; teams are limited to a maximum of six appearances per year on SNB. The May 6 and July 29 games will be on ESPN and the May 27 game on ESPN2.

The announcement that May 27 is confirmed as a night game will likely force a schedule change for the Cubs. That’s the last game of a five-game homestand and the Cubs are then traveling to play a game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh Monday, May 28 — currently scheduled for 12:35 p.m. CT. That would appear to be a violation of the labor agreement, which doesn’t allow for those sorts of short turnarounds when traveling to another city. I would expect the Pirates will have to move that May 28 game — which is on Memorial Day — to a night starting time.

ESPN also announced Tuesday that Jessica Mendoza and Buster Olney will be returning to the booth for Sunday Night Baseball in 2018, and said that “there will be additional commentator announcements in the coming weeks.”