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Masters golf, NASCAR, MLB, NBA load weekend sports schedule

April 9 (UPI) — The 85th Masters headlines weekend sports action, but plenty of other elite athletes perform as part of national broadcasts Friday through Sunday. NASCAR, MLB, NHL and NBA seasons also continue through the weekend.

Eighty-eight golfers teed off for the Masters on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The major tournament runs through Sunday.

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World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, is favored to defend his title and win another Green Jacket.

Last year’s Masters was postponed to November from April, but the 2021 major returns to its traditional spring date. Augusta’s fairways also will again feature fans and vibrant flowers as the elite golfers test their skills on one of the toughest course on the PGA Tour.

The top 50 scorers through two rounds at the 2021 Masters advance to Saturday’s third round. The Masters airs on ESPN and CBS.

Masters Tournament

Johnson, world No. 2 Justin Thomas, No. 38 Jordan Spieth, No. 3 Jon Rahm, No. 5 Bryson DeChambeau, No. 12 Rory McIlroy, No. 6 Xander Schauffele, No. 10 Patrick Cantlay, No. 11 Brooks Koepka and No. 7 Patrick Reed are among the top contenders at the Masters.

CBSSports.com has a live stream throughout the tournament. The second-round stream airs from 9:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT Friday. The second-round TV broadcast is from 3 to 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday on ESPN.

Third-round coverage streams from 10:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT Saturday on CBSSports.com and airs from 2 to 7 p.m. EDT Saturday on CBS.

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The final round streams from 10:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT Sunday on CBSSports.com and airs from 2 to 7 p.m. EDT on CBS.

NASCAR at Martinsville

The Cup Series field took a weekend off and returns for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.

NASCAR used performance metrics to determine the starting grid for Saturday’s race. Joey Logano will start first, followed by Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the first three rows.

Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski also will start in the Top 10.

The race airs at 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on FS1.

Drives will circle the .526-mile track, the shortest in the Cup Series, 500 times for 263 miles Saturday. The first two stages of the race are 130 laps each. The final stage is a 240-lap sprint to the finish line.

Truex is the favorite to win the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. He has won two of his last three races at the track.

Keselowski, Elliott, Blaney, Logano, Hamlin, Harvick, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman also are among the Top 10 favorites.

No Cup Series driver has more than one win through 10 races this season. Logano won the Food City Dirt Race on March 29. Blaney, Truex, Larson, Byron, Busch, Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell also have 2021 victories.

NASCAR’s Xfinity Series will race in the Cook Out 250 on Friday at Martinsville. That event airs at 8 p.m. EDT Friday on FS1.

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MLB season

The second weekend of the 2021 MLB season features several games between top teams. The Washington Nationals battle the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers at 4:10 p.m. EDT Friday on MLB Network.

Joe Ross is expected to start for the Nationals. Fellow right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler will take the mound for the Dodgers.

The Houston Astros then host the Oakland Athletics at 4:05 p.m. EDT Saturday on FS1. Left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea will start for Oakland. Houston is expected to start right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.

The Philadelphia Phillies face the Atlanta Braves at 7:08 p.m. EDT Sunday on ESPN. Right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler will start for Philadelphia. Right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton will start for Atlanta.

Several other out-of-market games air this weekend on MLB Network. The San Francisco Giants host the Colorado Rockies at 4:35 p.m. EDT Friday. The Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Yankees at 1:10 p.m. EDT Saturday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates host the Chicago Cubs at 1:05 p.m. Sunday on MLB Network.

Friday

Golf

Masters Tournament: Second round streams from 9:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on CBSSports.com; TV from 3 to 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN

MLB

Nationals at Dodgers at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network

Rockies at Giants at 4:35 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

Phillies at Braves at 7:20 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

Athletics at Astros at 8:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

NHL

Penguins at Devils at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

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Rangers at Islanders at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Wild at Blues at 8 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

NBA

Grizzlies at Knicks at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBATV

Wizards at Warriors at 10 p.m. EDT on NBATV

NASCAR

Xfinity Series Cook Out 250 at 8 p.m. EDT on FS1

Saturday

Golf

Masters Tournament: Third round streams from 10:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on CBSSports.com; TV from 2 to 7 p.m. EDT on CBS

NHL

Panthers at Stars at 2 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

Bruins at Flyers at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Blackhawks at Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

Lightening at Predators at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Oilers at Flames at 10 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

MLB

Athletics at Astros at 4:05 p.m. EDT on FS1

Padres at Rangers at 7:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Phillies at Braves at 7:08 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

Reds at Diamondbacks at 8:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

NASCAR

Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on FS1

NBA

Lakers at Nets at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ABC

Sunday

Golf

Masters Tournament: Final round streams from 10:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on CBSSports.com; TV from 2 to 7 p.m. EDT on CBS

MLB

Angels at Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Cubs at Pirates at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

Yankees at Rays at 1:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

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Reds at Diamondbacks at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

Nationals at Dodgers at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (out of market only)

Phillies at Braves at 7:08 p.m. EDT on ESPN

NHL

Sabres at Flyers at 2 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

Penguins at Flyers at 7 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

Rangers at Islanders at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Wizards at Bruins at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

NBA

Celtics at Nuggets at 3 p.m. EDT on NBATV

Heat at Blazers at 10 p.m. EDT on NBATV

Moments from the 2021 Masters Tournament

Marc Leishman putts on the tenth hole Thursday on the third hole during the first round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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