Nowadays, there are plenty of streaming services to choose from—hundreds, if we’re counting. So how’s a cord-cutting baseball fan supposed to pick the right streaming service for them?
Luckily, we’ve done a deep dive into the top streaming services for watching baseball, so you don’t have to. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best ways to watch everything from MLB games, to the College World Series, and all in between.
In a hurry? Check out these 3 streaming services that are great for watching baseball games without cable:
- DirecTV Stream: Pricey but packed with awesome features, DirecTV Stream is great for baseball fans because it carries all the channels you need to watch Major League Baseball. It’s also the only way you can get access to Bally Sports Networks. Since MLB is a largely regional league, this gives DirecTV Stream a significant edge over competitors.
- YouTube TV: YouTube TV has all the channels you’ll need to watch every major network carrying nationally-broadcast MLB games, the World Series, the World Baseball Classic, and the College World Series, and RSNs for local teams.
- MLB.TV: If you’re not willing to pay the high price tag which comes with most sports-centric streaming services, you can subscribe directly to the MLB’s official platform, MLB.TV.
Outside the US? Try a VPN. Here are our top VPN picks.
Our pick for watching baseball without cable: DirecTV Stream
DirecTV Stream is our top choice for watching baseball if you’ve cut the cord, mainly because it’s the best way to get the most amount of baseball content throughout the year. You’ll not only have all the channels you need to be able to watch MLB games, the MLB postseason, the World Series, and the College World Series, but it’s also the only way to get access to Bally Sports Networks, which have control over many teams' games.
Why DirecTV Stream?
DirecTV Stream is definitely on the pricier side when it comes to streaming services. In order to get the MLB Network, you’ll need to subscribe to the Choice plan, which doesn’t come cheap. However, if you’re a big baseball fan and when you consider that DirecTV Stream is the only place you can watch Bally Sports Networks, you may find that it’s worth the splurge.
Top 3 features
- DirecTV Stream offers 105+ channels in its Choice plan. ESPN, FS1, TBS, FOX, FS1 and MLB Network are all included in your subscription. It’s also the streaming service with the most Regional Sports Networks overall.
- You get an unlimited DVR. Missed a game you were keen on watching? DirecTV Stream offers all new subscribers unlimited DVR storage space, with your recordings saved for up to 9 months.
- You can stream on up to 20 devices connected to your home network. DirecTV stream offers plenty of sports, news, and entertainment channels for the whole family, and the fact that you can simultaneously stream on up to 20 devices at a time from home is a great selling feature for families. You can also stream on an additional 2 devices outside of your home network at the same time.
Read our in-depth review of DirecTV Stream.
When is live baseball season?
Major League Baseball (MLB)
MLB season begins in early spring, and ends in the fall, with a schedule of 162 games per team. For 2023, the MLB season will run from March 30, with the goal to end on October 1. The 93rd annual All-Star Game is set to take place on July 11 in Seattle, Washington at T-Mobile Park.
Nationally-broadcast MLB games will air across ESPN, TBS, FOX, FS1, and MLB Network, and you’ll need access to RSNs to catch your local team.
College World Series
The College World Series kicks off in Omaha at Charles Schwab Field Omaha on June 16, with the Final Championship Game on June 25 or 26.
All College World Series games are usually aired across ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
World Baseball Classic
FOX Sports owns the exclusive rights to the World Baseball Classic, which will be held from March 7 to March 20, 2023 in the US, Japan and Taiwan. You can check out the full schedule here.
How to watch the postseason without cable
The MLB postseason is set to start on October 3 and potentially conclude with a World Series Game 7 on November 4. Every 2023 World Series game will be broadcast by FOX, so you’ll either need to subscribe to a streaming service that has FOX channels and log in through the Fox Sports Go app, or you can tune in using an antenna.
Prior to subscribing to a streaming service for the purpose of watching the postseason, make sure to double check if FOX is available where you live. You should be able to check easily by entering your ZIP code on the streaming service’s site.
The perks of using an antenna to watch the postseason is that if you are within range of a FOX station, you could potentially watch games for free. You can use a tool like the DTV Reception Maps to figure out if you’re within range.
If you want to learn how to set up an antenna to access local channels like FOX, check out this article.
How to watch baseball during the offseason
During the offseason, MLB offers an “Offseason Package” where you can watch all the games from the previous season for just $24.99. You’ll also get access to bonus content including documentaries, World Series films and the upcoming years’ live Spring Training games.
Other options for watching baseball without cable
YouTube TV is another one of our top choices for watching baseball if you’ve cut the cord, mainly because it’s one of the cheapest ways to get the most amount of baseball content throughout the year. You’ll have all the channels you need to be able to watch nationally-broadcast MLB games, the MLB postseason, the World Series, the College World Series, and plenty of RSNs, too. You can see exactly which local channels and RSNs are available in your area by entering your ZIP code on YouTube TV’s website.
Within YouTube TV’s 85+ channels, you’ll find dozens of popular news, sports, and entertainment networks. You can also stream on up to 3 devices at once, and every subscription comes with unlimited DVR, so you can record as many games as you need to, and they’ll remain saved for up to 9 months.
YouTube TV has great device compatibility. You can watch on most web browsers, Android and iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, and plenty more.
Read our in-depth review of YouTube TV.
MLB.TV does exactly what the name says: it’s a streaming service where viewers can enjoy regular season out-of-market MLB games in HD quality, with stellar features like live in-game stats updates and a picture-in-picture window airing highlights from the game. You’ll also get access to MLB.TV’s on-demand content library, which has a growing number of original titles, season highlights, and more.
MLB.TV is supported on most web browsers, Android and iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and more.
There is, however, a catch with MLB.TV: local and national games are largely subject to blackouts. If a game is blacked out in your area, you won’t be able to watch the game live. Unfortunately, this happens quite often. You can check and see if a game is going to be blacked out by typing your ZIP code on the MLB.TV site.
On the plus side, MLB TV subscribers will be able to watch the game 90 minutes after it has aired. One potential way around this, though, is using a VPN to connect to a server in another state or country, which could help you overcome the blackout. If you need help picking a VPN, check out this article.
What channels air live baseball games?
Nationally-broadcast MLB games will air across ESPN, TBS, FOX, FS1, and MLB Network, and you’ll need access to RSNs to catch your local team. Every 2023 World Series game will be broadcast by FOX.
All College World Series games are usually aired across ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
World Baseball Classic games will air exclusively on FOX channels.
You can find schedules and options for your favorite teams on our league and team pages. Here’s how to access them:
- Scroll up to our header and select “How to Watch”.
- Click on “Sports”.
- Select “MLB”.
- You should see a full list of all the teams in the MLB. Pick yours, and there you go!
Best devices for watching baseball without cable
Some people think that cutting the cord means that you’ll now have to start watching baseball hunched over your laptop or smartphone. While you certainly can do this, it’s not the only way!
All the streaming services you can use to watch baseball that we mentioned above—DirecTV Stream, YouTube TV and MLB.TV—are compatible with most Smart TVs, web browsers, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire devices, and have apps for iOS and Android. You should always check the streaming service first to ensure it’s compatible with the devices you own, but for the most part, you shouldn’t have trouble watching baseball on most devices.
How to bet on baseball
Betting in baseball is quite popular. With hundreds of games to bet on during baseball season, it can be pretty exciting to participate. Here’s exactly how to bet on baseball:
- Pick a Sportsbook and sign up. Currently, the only way to place a bet for baseball is through a Sportsbook. Some popular options include DraftKings, 888Sport, and Caesar’s Sportsbook.
- Deposit some money into your account. There are generally certain rules about how much money you can deposit at a time.
- Place some bets. Once you’ve deposited money into your Sportsbook account, you’re ready to place some bets.
Before betting, make sure you read up on where sports betting is legal to ensure that you can legally bet where you live.
How to watch baseball outside of the United States
As mentioned before, local and national games in the MLB are largely subject to blackouts, meaning that you often won’t be able to watch many in-market games, which can be quite frustrating.
However, if you find yourself in this situation, or outside of the US and wanting to tune into a specific baseball game, you can do so using a VPN.
All you need to do is:
- Subscribe to a VPN service. Check out our list of top VPNs if you need finding the right one for you!
- Download the app and connect to a US-based server. You may have to experiment a little to find one that isn’t blacked out for the game you’re trying to watch.
- Sign into the streaming service you’re subscribed to.
- Go to the channel it’s playing on and enjoy!
Our takeaway: DirecTV Stream is the best way to watch baseball
Overall, there are plenty of great ways for cord-cutters to enjoy baseball all year long. DirecTV Stream is the best overall choice, since it carries all the channels you need to watch baseball, and it’s the only way you can get access to Bally Sports Networks. Since MLB is a largely regional league, this is a significant plus.
If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option without Bally Sports Networks but all the major baseball channels and still a ton of baseball content, we’d recommend YouTube TV. For baseball fans that only want MLB content and don’t care to pay for a load of other channels, we’d suggest going straight for MLB.TV.
Regardless of which streaming service you choose, we do recommend getting a VPN to overcome any potential blackout restrictions. Check out our list of top VPNs to find the right one for you.
Tara Khudairi • Author
Tara Khudairi is a freelance content writer and copywriter based in Toronto. Since 2014, she has contributed to brands and blogs alike to tackle popular topics relating to technology, personal finance, entertainment, travel and lifestyle. Whether it’s the latest streaming service or cryptocurrency, she’s passionate about making the complex simple. When she’s not busy typing away, you’ll find Tara watching Netflix’s latest true crime doc or a classic 90’s horror flick.
Desiree Wu • Editor
Desiree is a full-time Honours Business Administration student at Ivey Business School at Western University. She also served as an Editorial Intern at Flixed. Desiree is based in London, Ontario.