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How to watch Cubs, Mets, Phillies, Rays, A's, Brewers and more 2019 MLB baseball pennant races



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High fives for home runs!


Icon Sportswire
                                                

The wild card races are on. As the marathon 2019 MLB season reaches the final sprint, each league has plenty of teams with playoff dreams. In the AL Wild Card race the Rays, A's and Indians are very much alive. In the NL, six teams are battling for the two wild card spots: the Nationals, Cubs, Brewers, Phillies, Mets and Diamondbacks. Meanwhile the Indians are shouting in the distance of the Twins in the AL Central, and the Cubs and Brewers – now without injured 2018 MVP Christian Yelich for the rest of the season – – are nipping at the heels of the Cardinals in the NL Central.

But even if your team is not in the hunt, there's always the dinger. More home runs have been hit this year than any other season in history. Jonathan Villar broke the record on Sept. 11 in Baltimore by hitting the 6,106th homer this season, breaking the mark set in 2017. With plenty of baseball left to play, who knows how huge the new record will end up? Jorge Soler of the Royals and Eugenio Suarez of the Reds are all vying for the league lead.

heavy action live during the season's home stretch, you've got options. In the past you have a cable or satellite subscription (or season tickets) to catch your favorite team day in and day out. This year, however, baseball fans who happen to be cable TV cord cutters so can stream the action live, or record it to their cloud DVRs, throughout the summer and fall.

So where do you start? It depends on which team you follow and where you live.

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Live TV streaming service vs. MLB.TV

There are two major ways to stream TV subscription:

  • Subscribe to a live TV streaming service like Sling TV Blue, Fubo TV or YouTube TV (starting at $ 25 a month)
  • Subscribe to MLB.TV

Depending on where you live, one of the major live TV streaming services could carry the channel that has your favorite team. Those channels, called regional sports networks, deliver almost all regular season games live.

The downsides? Not every service service carries every RSN, and some teams are not available on any live TV service. There's also the price: While Sling TV Blue costs $ 25 a month, the rest are $ 45 and up.

The other option is MLB.TV, a separate service that carries every game played by every team live. It's great for hard-core fans in general, and its annual rates have dropped for the second half of the season, which also includes the playoffs and World Series.

The big catch with MLB.TV is the local blackout restriction: You can not watch your local team's games live. Instead, they are about 90 minutes after the game ends. If you're a Yankees fan in the New York area, for example, you can not start watching the Yankees game until an hour and a half after the final out. Other teams' games are not blacked out live, which makes MLB.TV ideal for fans who want to follow one or more of the 28 or 29 teams based in other cities, aka out-of-market teams.

Live TV streaming: Best for fans of the home team

Due to MLB.TV's blackout restriction, a live TV streaming service is the best bet for following your local team.

Many services carry the RSN that has exclusive rights to every regular season game. And most carry the major national networks – ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS – that regularly televise matchups from different teams around the league.

Here's how the RSNs stack up on each service.

RSN availability by team and streaming service

team
                                                                    
Regional sports network (RSN) name
                                                                    
Sling Blue ($ 25)
                                                                    
YouTube TV ($ 50)
                                                                    
Fubo TV ($ 55)
                                                                    
Hulu with Live TV ($ 45)
                                                                    
PS Vue ($ 50)
                                                                    
AT & T TV Now ($ 50)
                                                                    
Arizona Diamondbacks
                                                                    
Fox Sports Arizona
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Atlanta Braves
                                                                    
Fox Sports South
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Baltimore Orioles
                                                                    
MASN
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Boston Red Sox
                                                                    
NESN
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Chicago Cubs
                                                                    
NBC Sports Chicago
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Chicago White Sox
                                                                    
NBC Sports Chicago
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Cincinnati Reds
                                                                    
Fox Sports Ohio
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Cleveland Indians
                                                                    
SportsTime Ohio
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Colorado Rockies
                                                                    
AT & T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Detroit Tigers
                                                                    
Fox Sports Detroit
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Houston Astros
                                                                    
AT & T SportsNet Southwest
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Kansas City Royals
                                                                    
Fox Sports Kansas City
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Los Angeles Angels
                                                                    
Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Los Angeles Dodgers
                                                                    
Spectrum SportsNet LA
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Miami Marlins
                                                                    
Fox Sports Florida
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Milwaukee Brewers
                                                                    
Fox Sports Wisconsin
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Minnesota Twins
                                                                    
Fox Sports North
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
New York Mets
                                                                    
SNY
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
New York Yankees
                                                                    
YES
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Oakland Athletics
                                                                    
NBC Sports California
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Philadelphia Phillies
                                                                    
NBC Sports Philadelphia
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Pittsburgh Pirates
                                                                    
AT & T SportsNet Pittsburgh
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
San Diego Padres
                                                                    
Fox Sports San Diego
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
San Francisco Giants
                                                                    
NBC Sports Bay Area
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Seattle Mariners
                                                                    
Root Sports Northwest
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
St. Louis Cardinals
                                                                    
Fox Sports Midwest
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Tampa Bay Rays
                                                                    
Fox Sports Sun.
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Texas Rangers
                                                                    
Fox Sports Southwest
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Yes
                                                                    
Toronto Blue Jays
                                                                    
Sportsnet
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
Washington Nationals
                                                                    
MASN
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    
No
                                                                    

Some key takeaways:

  • None of the services carry the RSNs for the Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays or Washington Nationals. To watch those teams, you'll need cable, satellite, MLB.TV or another workaround.
  • The RSNs are only available to local subscribers.
  • Sling TV's RSNs are available only to customers with Sling Blue. Sling Orange customers do not get any RSNs.
  • The only service with Houston's Astros games is Fubo TV. Unfortunately, it lacks ESPN.
  • YouTube TV is the only service that carries MLB Network in its base package.

Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the products featured on this page.

Only Sling Blue has RSNs, but both have a variety of national networks with baseball. Sling TV's Orange plan includes ESPN and ESPN2, and the Blue plan includes Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS. The MLB Network is also available as part of the Sports Extra add-on which costs $ 5 a month for Sling Orange customers or $ 10 a month for Sling Blue customers.

You can bundle the Orange and Blue plans together to increase your baseball viewing options. The individual plans usually cost $ 25 a month but are currently discounted to $ 15 a month for the first month. Likewise, the bundled Orange & Blue plan usually costs $ 40 a month, but you can get it for $ 25 a month for the first month. See which local channels and RSNs are available in your area here.

Hulu with Live TV costs $ 45 a month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS but not MLB Network.

PlayStation Vue's $ 50-a-month access plan includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS , The $ 55-a-month Core plan adds MLB Network. See which local channels and RSNs you get here.

YouTube TV costs $ 50 a month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS.

Formerly DirecTV Now, AT & T TV Now's cheapest, $ 50-a-month Plus package includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, and FS1 and TBS. Neither the Plus nor the $ 70-a-month Max package, however, includes the MLB Network. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area.

FuboTV costs $ 55 per month and includes Fox, FS1 and TBS but not ESPN, ESPN2 or MLB Network. Check out the charts on this page PDF to see which RSNs it offers with local MLB coverage.

All of the live TV streaming services offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide .

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MLB
                                                

MLB.TV subscription: Best for out-of-market games

Major League Baseball's official streaming service is great for following your favorite team. But because of the 90-minute blackout described above, it's less useful for following the home team.

Here are MLB.TV's 2019 pricing options for the remainder of the season:

  • Pay $ 27 for the rest of the season to watch every out-of-market game live or on-demand, and the in -market (home) team with a 90-minute delay from the end of the game. And it's free for college students!
  • Pay $ 16 for the rest of the season to watch a single, out-of-market team. If you just have interest in watching your favorite team play, then this plan can save you a few bucks.

Both MLB.TV plans also include streams of home and away radio broadcasts. The radio broadcasts are not subject to the blackout rule, so you can listen to home team games live.

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MLB's At Bat app is a great way to watch games on your phone or tablet – get alerts on your watch. [19659003] Sarah Tew / CNET
                                                

MLB At Bat add-on

The MLB At Bat app is great on phones and even better on tablets. If you purchased at MLB.TV subscription (as outlined above), you can log in to your account and watch it live in the app you watch.

You can buy at At Bat subscription via the MLB At Bat app. It costs $ 20 a year (or $ 3 a month) and lets you listen to the home or away radio broadcasts – baseball is the only sport I can listen to on the radio – and watch one game per day during the season. You can not choose which game you want to watch; you're stuck with the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day.

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Originally published earlier this year. Updated with new pricing for MLB.TV and the 2019 pennant races.


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