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Wild Card, Division Series schedule, start times through Saturday released


Major League Baseball announced the start times for the two Wild Card games and the Division Series games through Saturday.

The takeaway: if you’re a fan of the Red Sox or Astros and you work a typical day job, be prepared to either take off work or else wait until Game Three to see any action, as both of the first two games of that series will begin in the afternoon. If you want to watch Game One of the Dodgers vs. NL Wild Card winner game on Friday and you don’t live on the west coast, boil some coffee and prepare yourself for a long night.

As the for Sox and Astros daytime games, Fox and Major League Baseball apparently felt that not having two playoff games going on at the same time was preferable to a larger audience being able to see the early game. I suppose they know what they’re doing as far as TV ratings and things go, but this will no doubt annoy some folks in Boston and Houston. As for the Dodgers first game: it’s a large country, time zones are a thing and, really, it’s way better for the folks in Los Angeles and either Phoenix or Denver to be able to see those games at a reasonable time than it is for east coasters, so I’m cool with that decision.

Here are the start times:

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.