Chicago Cubs: ESPN to broadcast seven Opening Day games next season


We’re not even close to Cactus League action and everyone’s eyes are already set on Opening Day. For the Chicago Cubs, the 2016 campaign will begin on the road when Joe Maddon returns to Los Angeles to battle with the Angels.

That match-up will feature former St. Louis Cardinals slugger, Albert Pujols squaring off against a team that he had tormented for the majority of his big league career. And then you have no choice but to notice the younger generation in both dugouts.

For Los Angeles, you have Andrelton Simmons and Mike Trout while Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler look to make sure their postseason run doesn’t stop when or if they reach the N.L.C.S. for the second consecutive season.

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Now according to, ESPN will broadcast seven games to begin the 2016 season with three games on the first Sunday of April and another four the following Monday. That includes the Cubs and Angels which is scheduled for a 10:05 p.m. eastern start time.

Starting things off will be two teams who had two of the best records in all of baseball ahead of the Cubs — the St. Louis Cardinals traveling to Pittsburgh to take on Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates. You’d have to think that Adam Wainwright will take the bump opposite Gerrit Cole.

Following that N.L. Central showdown will feature another former Maddon club as Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays head down to Florida to take on Chris Archer and his Tampa Bay Rays. That game will have a 4:05 p.m. eastern start time and will air live on ESPN2.

Rounding out the first day of regular season baseball will be the defending World Series Champions taking on Daniel Murphy and those dangerous New York Mets who took it upon themselves to end Chicago’s magical season.

Monday will put Dallas Keuchel and the A.L. Wild Card winning Houston Astros up against Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees to begin the afternoon, leading up to the Texas Rangers hosting the Seattle Mariners.

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Both the Rangers and Mariners came together for a  trade recently, swapping Leonys Martin, Anthony Bass going to Texas for Tom Wilhelmsen, James Jones and another player to be named later.

Before Anthony Rizzo and company take the field on the West Coast, the N.L. West will kick things off with Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers traveling to San Diego to take on James Shields and the Padres.

With Zack Greinke free agency, there’s no telling where he’ll end up later on this winter. But since we all know that the Cubs are interested in signing multiple pitchers, he should expect the North Siders to extend him an offer.

It’s doubtful that the Cubs would land both Greinke and David Price, but they are the front-runners for this year’s A.L. Cy Young runner-up. Hopefully, they’ll sign Jake Arrieta to a long-term deal on top of reeling in another big fish.