How to watch Major League Baseball online

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How to watch Major League Baseball online

If this were a normal year, Major League Baseball would be commemorating the season’s halfway mark with the All-Star Game. But 2020 has been anything but normal. After a delay of more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, opening night will finally take place on Thursday, July 23 with a TV doubleheader of Yankees vs. Nationals and Giants vs. Dodgers on ESPN (click here for the full-season schedule).

But the game will look a lot different this truncated 60-game season. Both leagues will be using the designated hitter to protect pitchers. Spitting is forbidden, but pitchers will be allowed to carry a wet rag in their back pocket to use for moisture instead of licking their fingers. And some of the game’s marquee players—including Buster Posey, Ryan Zimmerman, Felix Hernandez, and David Price—won’t be on the field, having opted out due to concerns about health and safety.

Updated July 17, 2020 for the current season.

What hasn’t changed is MLB’s broadcast partners and the way they impact how fans can watch the games. Major League Baseball has always presented the biggest hurdle for sports-loving cable-cutters. Unlike the NFL, which still airs the bulk of its games on broadcast TV channels, MLB is predominantly a cable league. Of the six networks hosting nationally aired games over the 2020 season, only Fox can be accessed over the air. (Note: Games played in the week leading up to July 23 are part of July Summer Camp and do not count toward the 2020 60-game regular season.)

Watching locally televised games has been even tougher. Most teams have deals with a regional cable-only network, such as Fox Regional Sports Network or NBC Sports. Cord-cutting baseball fans have stood a better chance of connecting with an Aroldis Chapman fastball than catching their hometown team on broadcast  TV.

That’s finally starting to change as more streaming TV services expand their offerings. Several of these providers now include Fox Regional Sports Network and NBC Sports in their channel packages.

So it’s easier than ever before to follow your favorite ball clubs without a pricey cable subscription. Here’s how.

slingtv mlb TechHive

Sling TV includes Comcast SportsNet in its channel lineup in select markets, allowing fans to watch their hometown teams.

Over the air

Since broadcast baseball has largely gone the way of Sunday doubleheaders, there are few options for watching any game without a subscription of one kind or another. The Fox network, however, can still be had for free with a good indoor antenna. That will give you access to a bunch of Saturday afternoon games.

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