The 2015 Major League Baseball season is finally underway, and this season looks to feature some of the game’s most interesting storylines. Will Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow hold up all season, or will he finally succumb to Tommy John surgery? Can the reloaded Boston Red Sox make some noise in the American League? With spring training finally over, answers to these questions sit just on the horizon for baseball fans all over the globe.
While baseball’s popularity knows no bounds, we’re well aware of the many restrictions holding fans back from catching their favorite teams’ games. Either you lack a subscription to cable TV, don’t have the convenience of frequenting a local sports bar, or simply have other obstacles preventing you from taking in some MLB action. To help solve this riddle, we’ve put together this simple guide on how to catch all 2,430 Major League Baseball games on tap over the next several months. So dust off your old mitt and grab your favorite team’s hat, here’s your online entry to the 2015 MLB season.
$20/$25 per month or $110/$130 annually
Major League Baseball’s official website (MLB.com) gives fans of the sport the opportunity to stream every single out-of-market baseball game, all season long — albeit, for a price. Stream availability throughout the season also includes this year’s MLB All-Star game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, as well as access to World Series streams. Moreover, service subscribers not only gain access to video streams each day, but also the accompanying audio feeds from both the home and away teams. Users also have the ability to stream HD feeds of each game, utilize the service’s DVR feature, view multiple games at once, and access the service via a slew of devices such as Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and Playstation TV.
And what about the price?
MLB.com offers two different subscription levels; a regular MLB.TV membership, as well as an MLB.TV premium account. Subscribers to the basic package have the option of shelling out either $20 per month, or $110 for an entire year. Alternatively, premium subscribers have the option to pay either $25 per month, or $130 for the entire season. Premium subscriptions grant users the added ability to stream games via a connected device, the option of choosing either a home or away video feed, and free access to the MLB At Bat smartphone application. One downside to the service is the fact it abides by a pesky set of blackout rules, rendering some games unwatchable depending on your viewing area. Aside from this single nitpick, MLB.TV proves a worthwhile investment capable of satiating casual and hardcore fans’ appetite for Major League Baseball.
MLB At Bat
Basic: free / Premium: $3 per month or $20 annually
MLB.com’s companion app is a perfect way to take MLB.TV — and all those out-of-market, regular season games — with you on the go. Premium subscribers get access to MLB At Bat included in their membership, while non-subscribers must pay either $3 per month, or $20 a year, to access the application’s streamable games. If paying $0.00 fits more in line with your monthly budget, MLB At Bat includes a free version of the application which allows users to access game scores, team schedules, and all sorts of MLB-specific news with no cost up front.
Free one month trial / $20 per month
Though Sling TV isn’t a specific online streaming option, the latest TV project from Dish Network provides cord-cutting MLB fans with a solid option for watching games. The introductory, $20-per-month package includes channels such as TNT, TBS, and ESPN, thus granting even basic users access to heaps of MLB action and coverage.
Furthermore, Microsoft’s Xbox One console recently gained access to a Sling TV application, with DISH Network offering One users a free 30-day trial of everything the streaming service offers. Though the trial lasts just 30 days, it’s more than worth checking out given the sheer amount of content users have access to. Do keep in mind the service requires physical cancellation before the 30-day trial ends, otherwise you’ll notice a one-month charge for Sling TV on your next bank statement.
Subscribe to: Sling
Free with cable subscription
Subscribers to compatible cable or satellite service providers have Web access to any MLB game airing on ESPN’s wide range of networks. Accessible via ESPN’s video client WatchESPN, fans simply input sign-in information pertaining to their cable or satellite provider and instantly have the ability to stream available baseball games, among a slew of other sporting events. The available games remain confined to what’s airing on ESPN, but WatchESPN still serves as a worthwhile solution for catching some baseball action.
An incredible resource for information about literally anything, Reddit boasts more than enough Major League Baseball-themed information to please any fan of America’s pastime. With the 2015 MLB season in full swing, expect a host of content related to big league ball, such as team and player interviews, monster home run videos, and outrageous memes. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing, and a curse. You’ll have no trouble finding MLB-specific pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites throughout baseball’s grueling schedule.
While Reddit is an excellent resource for anything and everything MLB, it’s incredibly easy to waste entire weekends poking around the rest of the site. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Though not a video option, ESPN offers baseball fans its signature play-by-play Gamecast presentation for each and every MLB game this season. Simply navigate to the MLB scoreboard page via ESPN’s website, click the game you’d like to follow, and the related Gamecast window should open. This feature shows real-time events including every strikeout, home-run-robbing catch, double play, and close call at the plate. Gamecast also lists each team’s stats, showcases highlight videos, and allows you to see what’s trending on Twitter.
Questionable streaming sites
Keep in mind most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links tends to be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering.
However, you must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer remains at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law.
Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links that could infect your computer with viruses.