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3/25/2013 11:31 A.M. ET

April on MLB Network features 26 live games & the premiere of MLB Now with Brian Kenny & Harold Reynolds

World Series Champion San Francisco Giants Face Rival Los Angeles Dodgers on MLB Network Showcase with Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Sam Ryan on April 2; MLB Network Strike Zone Channel Returns Friday, April 5

MLB Network's coverage of the 2013 Major League Baseball season begins with fifteen live hours of Opening Day coverage on Monday, April 1, featuring a sneak peek of the new studio show MLB Now with Brian Kenny, host of Clubhouse Confidential, and analyst Harold Reynolds at 8:00 p.m. ET and on Tuesday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Starting Wednesday, April 3, MLB Now will air weekdays from 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET.

Fresh off one of the most hotly contested MVP races in history, the cultural divide in MLB is more evident now than ever before. MLB Now will represent two different groups of baseball fans and how they watch the game today as Kenny, armed with his analytic acumen, will match wits with 12-year MLB veteran Reynolds on daily news across the league, including everything from second-guessing a crucial managerial move in a game to discussing whether or not a player should be signed to a long-term contract.

Kenny and Reynolds will welcome outside opinions each day, with live guest interviews via MLB Network's Cisco Ballpark Cam network and live polling on social media so viewers can give their take on the day's topics. New MLB Network host Kristina Akra, who served as a reporter covering the Washington Nationals for MASN in 2012, will appear across MLB Network's studio programming and make her MLB Network debut on MLB Now on Monday April 1.

MLB Network's Opening Day coverage begins on April 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET with Intentional Talk, hosted by Kevin Millar and Chris Rose, the return of The Rundown with Lauren Shehadi and Matt Yallof at 11:00 a.m., MLB Tonight at 1:00 p.m. ET with Greg Amsinger, Larry Bowa, Kevin Millar, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Bill Ripken, Ken Rosenthal, Paul Severino, Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Mitch Williams, followed by MLB Network's in-season highlights show Quick Pitch at 1:00 a.m. ET with Heidi Watney.

GRAMMY® nominated band OneRepublic will provide the soundtrack for MLB Network's coverage of Opening Week as "Counting Stars," the opening track off their third studio album Native, which will be released March 26th on Mosley Music Group/Interscope Records, will be featured across all of MLB Network's programming. A behind-the-scenes look at the video the band recently shot in MLB Network's Studio 42 is available here

MLB Network's live game schedule for the 2013 season will begin with the Tampa Bay Rays' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, April 2 at 3:00 p.m. ET, followed by the World Series champion San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers, called by Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Sam Ryan, on MLB Network Showcase at 10:00 p.m. ET. The remainder of MLB Network's April game schedule is available here, including the following matchups on MLB Network Showcase:

April 2:           San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers / Bob Costas, Jim Kaat & Sam Ryan

April 12:         Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals / Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz & Sam Ryan

April 18:         St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies / Matt Vasgersian, Jim Kaat & Sam Ryan

April 25:         Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees / Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz & Sam Ryan

April 30:         Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals / Bob Costas, John Smoltz & Tom Verducci 

MLB Network's commercial-free, highlights-focused Strike Zone channel will return on Friday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET, once again taking viewers on a high-speed trip around MLB on Tuesday and Friday nights during the regular season. When live game telecasts air on MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone brings fans to every game across the league, with up-to-the-minute highlights, live look-ins and updates. MLB Network Strike Zone is available on Bright House Networks, Consolidated Communications, DirecTV, DISH, Google Fiber, OpenBand, SureWest Communications and Time Warner Cable.

About MLB Network:

MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live games, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Jim Kaat, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 as the largest launch in cable television history and is currently distributed in more than 70 million homes throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.mlbnetwork.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.