The Los Angeles Dodgers head into the 2014 season as one of the top contenders for a World Series and feature a roster with stars Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.
Because of this, they’ve become one of the more popular teams in terms of players, production and exposure and are beginning to reap the benefits. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Dodgers have been scheduled multiple times for ESPN’ Sunday night broadcasts:
The Dodgers will be on the first two ESPN Sunday night broadcasts, playing the season-debut March 30 against the San Diego Padres and on April 6 against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. They will also play July 20 against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in a rematch of the National League Championship Series.
ESPN moved the Dodgers’ United States opener from March 31 to a day earlier in order to feature the Dodgers for the beginning of the season. The team begins its’ season in Australia with a two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks as a part of MLB’s Opening Series 2014. They then head back to Los Angeles for exhibition games with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before heading to San Diego for their U.S. opening series. Kershaw is set to pitch the first night against the Padres, but will likely not be the starter for the following Sunday against the Giants.
Opening the season with consecutive Sunday night appearances will give the Dodgers’ national exposure in their quest for their first World Series title since 1988. The rematch with the Cardinals will be the second series against the team that defeated them in the NLCS last season. ESPN has the ability to choose their Sunday night broadcasts towards the end of the season depending on pennant races and the Dodgers may get a few more appearances.