ESPN must have locked tonight’s Monday Night Baseball coverage in at the start of the season, because that’s the only reason you’d choose showing the LA Angels-Texas Rangers tonight at 7 PM ET, rather than go with the opener of the St. Louis-Pittsburgh series. But even though the Angels show no signs of life, they’ll get a little national exposure in the feature game of tonight’s daily sports schedule.
Texas is five games back of Oakland in the AL West, and bunched in a tight race for the wild-card. It appears the Rangers will joust with the third-place team out of the AL East (currently Baltimore) for the final playoff spot.
Over the weekend, TheSportsNotebook’s MLB coverage took a closer look at Texas’ hitting. The Rangers acquired Matt Garza last week and that’s certainly a big deal, but the offense has been a big problem.
Another feature that ran yesterday was our look at the Pirates’ bullpen, now that closer Jason Grilli is on the shelf. Pittsburgh’s pen will be tested as never before this season when they play a five-game series over the next four days against St. Louis. If you’re a subscriber to the MLB Extra Innings package, this is the game to watch.
TheSportsNotebook’s primary focus is still baseball, and will be through the World Series, but I know for a lot of fans, the moment NFL training camps open up, the world stops on its axis. The NFL Network provides your fix with a Training Camp Today feature at 8 PM ET.
Football coverage at TheSportsNotebook will start next week, as we start working our way through the college football conferences and go team-by-team in the NFL. In my Monday podcast at Prime Sports Network today, we’ll touch on some current news on the football front before delving into baseball. And then there will be a special Wednesday podcast after the MLB trade deadline passes, and myself and host Greg DePalma can assess the impact of the deals.