MLB Opening Day, How to Watch, What Time and What Channel

Baseball is back! Following extensive negotiations, MLB will officially begin the 2020 season on Thursday night. The evening's action will kick off a weekend of baseball and provide a form of normalcy for many fans. Here's when the games take place.

There are two games highlighting baseball's return on Thursday. The New York Yankees will play the Washington Nationals during an early game, starting at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Fans can listen to the game on 106.7 The Fan for the Nationals feed and WFAN 660/101.9 FM and WADO 1280 for the Yankees. This battle is the first in the Nationals' quest to defend the organization's World Series title.

Opening Day continues with the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the San Francisco Giants. This game at Dodger Stadium takes place at 10 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Bay Area will provide the regional broadcast while fans across the country watch on ESPN. KNBR 680 AM and 104.5 FM will provide the radio call for the second game of the doubleheader.

While the teams are returning to the stadiums, the fans are not doing so just yet. Neither game will allow fans to attend due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. They will instead watch or listen from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

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The Nationals will not allow fans, but the organization will have a special guest on hand to take part in a time-honored ceremony. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will head to the mound and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He will likely do so while wearing his Washington Nationals face mask. Raised in Brooklyn, Dr. Fauci is a self-proclaimed Nationals fan and will have an interest in the outcome of Thursday's battle.

While Dr. Fauci expresses excitement about the return of his favorite team, fans in Los Angeles will celebrate a recent contract extension. The team announced on Wednesday that Mookie Betts agreed to a 12-year deal worth $365 million to remain with the Dodgers. The team acquired him in a February trade with the Boston Red Sox but only guaranteed one season. Agreeing to this deal — the biggest in MLB history — guarantees that Betts will remain with the team for the foreseeable future. Now he will make his long-awaited debut on Thursday night with a battle against the Giants.