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A little depressed that March Madness is over? We are too. Sigh. But don’t be too sad. April is a month of transition in sports, but that also makes it one of the busiest months with playoffs in a number of leagues, and other leagues kicking off.

March Madness, the NBA, and the NHL regular seasons come to a close, and MLB’s season starts (thank goodness…it seemed like it might not have happened—full stop). The NFL has made its offseason presence even more visible than usual during this year’s round of free agency, and it also pops up prominently in April with the draft scheduled for later in the month.

Add the Masters Tournament and UEFA Champions League into the mix, and there’s a little something for every sports fan to get excited about. 

Here’s the full line-up of sporting events you might want to add to your calendar as you plan your game day gatherings.

 

April 6

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals

3 p.m. ET: Chelsea vs. Real Madrid (Leg 1)

3 p.m. ET: Villareal vs. Bayern Munich (Leg 1)

 

April 7

The Masters (April 7–10)

Who doesn’t love the Masters? (You don’t have to be a diehard golf fan to get into the pomp, the drama, the action, and the glory.) Jon Rahm has the shortest odds to win this year. Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama’s odds are a little longer, but all anyone actually seems to care about is Tiger Woods’ epic comeback 14 months after nearly losing his leg in a very serious car accident. This guy has the heart of a champion and the will to win like few athletes we’ve ever witnessed in any sport. So who will take home the illustrious green jacket? (Fun fact: The winner doesn’t actually get to take the jacket home. We crack ourselves up.) All bets are off. But no matter who wins, don’t forget to enjoy a Masters tradition while you watch: pimento cheese, of course!

Check out our traditional pimento cheese dip recipe or try our bacon pimento dip. And to learn the mystery behind Augusta National’s famous pimento cheese sandwich, be sure to watch this.

MLB Opening Day

Right on the heels of the Masters tournament is MLB Opening Day. Who’s excited for baseball? We know we are. And also, who’s ready for stadium food? Again, we are. (When it comes to eating on game day, our philosophy is that our bodies can’t actually digest calories at all, so normal eating limits, etiquette, portion sizes, or any other appropriate and healthy habits can take a hike.) And if you can’t make it to the ballpark, bring your favorite MLB stadium food home with our killer list of MLB food.

4:10 p.m. ET: Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals

9:38 p.m. ET: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels

NBA

7:30 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

These two teams both appear to be headed toward top four seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Where exactly in that top four is far from decided, however, and this game can help determine that.

If you’re watching this game during dinner, might we suggest some coffee table picnicking with this taste of Milwaukee, Wisconsin? We’re all about bringing the local flavors of the game home.

 

April 8

MLB

7:05 p.m. ET: New York Mets at Washington Nationals

This is the game in which Max Scherzer is expected to make his Mets debut, and it comes against his former team at his old ballpark. It’ll be fun to see how the Nats and their fans welcome him back. Not to mention watching NL MVP favorite Juan Soto in action…

Looking for a taste of Nats’ Ballpark? Look no further than this DC-style Half Smoke.

NBA

7:30 p.m. ET: Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets

Coming just two days before the end of the regular season, this matchup might help determine who gets the home-court advantage in a potential No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game between these teams. No matter what happens, it’s bound to be an exciting game. 

 

April 9

NCAA Frozen Four Championship

8 p.m. ET: Michigan/Denver vs. Minnesota/Minnesota St.

This matchup will be determined two days prior in the Frozen Four semifinals, which include No. 1 seeds Michigan, Denver, and Minnesota St., and No. 2 seed Minnesota.

Boxing

Boxing also starts up in April, with some important matchups to keep an eye out for. We’ll be watching: Middleweight title fight: Gennady Golovkin vs. Ryota. Murata

UFC

10 p.m. ET: Featherweight title fight: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung

 

April 10

English Premier League

For you soccer fans out there (or “football” for everyone living or from outside the US), the English Premier League is always a thrill, especially when it’s a match between the top two teams. Here’s what we’ll be watching while we brunch: 

11:30 a.m. ET: Manchester City vs. Liverpool

Looking for a tasty libation to drink that oozes “Britain” to drink while you watch? Look no further than the classic of all classics, the Pimms Cup

 

April 11

MLB

7:05 p.m. ET: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees (April 11–14)

These AL East rivals both have top-four odds to win the pennant this year. This four-game set is a nice early-season measuring stick series for each team.

 

April 12

NBA

Play-in Tournament (April 12–15)

The matchups aren’t quite set yet, but the second year of the NBA’s (experimental?) play-in tournament kicks off on this day and continues through April 15. It’s as close to March Madness as you can get in professional basketball and we are all about it. 

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals

3 p.m. ET: Real Madrid vs. Chelsea (Leg 2)

3 p.m. ET: Bayern Munich vs. Villareal (Leg 2)

 

April 13

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals

3 p.m. ET: Liverpool vs. Benfica (Leg 2)

3 p.m. ET: Atletico Madrid vs. Manchester City (Leg 2)

 

April 16

NBA

The first round of the NBA playoffs get underway.

NHL

9 p.m. ET: Carolina Hurricanes at Colorado Avalanche

These teams are fighting for the top overall seeds in their respective conferences, and each have top-four odds to win the Stanley Cup. This is a fun late-season, cross-conference matchup.

While it’s a bit of a late game for those on the East Coast, if you are coffee table picnicking for this matchup, consider this Colorado specialty. A word of advice: It’s deliciously messy, so no one will fault you for eating it with utensils. 

Boxing

Welterweight title fight: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas


April 17

LaLiga

3 p.m. ET: Sevilla vs. Real Madrid

Ligue 1

2:45 p.m. ET: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Marseille

These Spanish and French league soccer games feature the top two teams in their respective leagues dueling it out in late-season meetings. So our most pressing questions are, of course: Which will you be watching, and are we dining on Spanish or French cuisine? Such good options! How do you choose?


April 18

MLB

10:10 p.m. ET: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers (April 18–20)

This three-game series has a number of storylines to follow: 1) It’s Freddie Freeman’s first game against his longtime team. 2) It’s a rematch of last year’s NLCS. 3) Both teams are among the favorites to win the NL again. The plot thickens…


April 19

Liga MX

8 p.m. ET: Pachuca vs. Puebla

This game comes in an important stretch for Puebla as one of the Mexican league’s top three teams. Puebla plays the other two teams, Pachuca and Leon, all within a four-day period. No stress at all…


April 24

NHL

6 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers

These two Florida teams are at the top of the Atlanta Division and have one last chance to size one another up before they enter the postseason.

NASCAR

3 p.m. ET: Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

If you ain’t first, you’re last. (We never tire of Ricky Bobby Talladega references. Ever. Sorry, not sorry.)


April 26

UEFA Champions League

Semifinal 1 (Leg 1)

 

April 27

UEFA Champions League

Semifinal 2 (Leg 1)

 

April 28

NFL

8 p.m. ET: NFL Draft (April 28–30)

Judging by fluctuating odds, the player to go first overall in this year’s NFL draft remains a toss up. Think you know who the Jacksonville Jaguars will take first overall? Put your money on it, and tune in to find out!

Tennis

Mutua Madrid Open (April 28–May 9)

We love this clay court Roland Garros warmup. Djokovic and Nadal are already set to play. Nadal, the reigning clay court king from Spain, has won this tourney five times, as recently as 2017. We are openly hoping to see him win this and Roland Garros as well. If it’s clay, it’s gotta be Rafa.

 

April 30

Boxing

Junior lightweight title fight: Shakur Stevenson vs. Oscar Valdez

___________

And that’s it for April! With all these different sporting events, we’re sure you’ll keep yourself sufficiently entertained all month long. And just think, once May comes, it’s a short wait for the Derby. The thoroughbreds emerge from the starting gate and kick off the Triple Crown on May 7! 

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