CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert deal-hunting staff showcases the best price drops and discounts from reputable sellers daily. If you make a purchase using our links, CNET may earn a commission.

MLB 2022: How to Watch, Stream the Wild Card and Playoff Races

The jockeying for playoff position heats up and you can watch it live, no cable required.

Sarah Lord Writer
Sarah Lord covers TVs and home entertainment. Prior to joining CNET, Sarah served as the tech and electronic reviews fellow at Insider, where she wrote about everything from smart watches and wearables to tablets and e-readers. She began her career by writing laptop reviews as an intern and subsequent freelancer at Tom's Hardware. She is also a professional actor with many credits in theater, film and television.
Expertise TVs | Home Entertainment | Streaming | Computers Credentials
  • Member of Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association
Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Sarah Lord
Matt Elliott
11 min read
See at DirecTV Stream
DirecTV Stream ($70 or $90 a month)
Carries ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network, TBS and most RSNs
See at MLB.TV
MLB.TV ($25 per month)
Carries all out-of-market games (blackout restrictions apply)
See at ESPN Plus
ESPN Plus ($7 a month)
Carries one out-of-market game per day (blackout restrictions apply)
See at Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus (free Friday Night Baseball)
Two games every Friday
See at Peacock
Peacock Premium ($5 a month)
Carries one game every Sunday morning
See at YouTube
MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube
15 free games throughout the season
See at FuboTV
FuboTV ($70 a month)
Carries ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and 10 RSNs
See at YouTube
YouTube TV ($65 a month)
Carries ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network, TBS and 5 RSNs
See at Hulu
Hulu with Live TV ($70 a month)
Carries ESPN, Fox, FS1, TBS and 5 RSNs
See at Sling TV
Sling TV ($35 or $50 a month)
Carries ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS
See at NESN
NESN 360 ($30 a month)
Carries all NESN programing including most Red Sox games
See at Bally Sports Plus
Bally Sports Plus ($20 a month)
Carries most Brewers, Marlins, Rays, Royals and Tigers games

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is a marathon and as summer winds down, the leaders of the pack pull ahead. The Yankees, Astros, Mets and Dodgers have big leads in the East and West, appear to be locks for the postseason and are favorites to win their divisions. The standings are tighter in the Central, where races between the Guardians and White Sox in the American League and the Cardinals and Brewers in the National League could go down to the wire.

This year the Wild Card has three berths in each league, keeping plenty of other teams in the hunt. Contenders include the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays, Orioles and Twins in the AL and the Braves, Phillies and Padres in the NL. San Diego traded for Juan Soto at the deadline to gain a superstar, only to lose another when Fernando Tatis Jr. failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball fans have many ways to livestream their favorite team's games for the rest of the season without subscribing to cable, but the best option for one fan might not work for another. Selecting the right streaming service for watching baseball greatly depends on which team you follow and where you live. Veteran baseball streamers will note new options for 2022, including Apple TV Plus and Peacock, as well as Yankees games on Amazon Prime Video, Red Sox games on NESN 360, five more teams on Bally Sports Plus and a handful of games on YouTube

Juan Soto at the plate wearing a San Diego Padres uniform.

Juan Soto, one of the best hitters in baseball, was acquired at the trade deadline by San Diego Padres.

G Fiume/Getty Images

Live TV streaming service vs. MLB.TV

There are two major ways to stream MLB games day in, day out without a cable or satellite TV subscription:

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 of the regular-season games live. 

Most such services, however, carry only a handful of the 30 RSNs that show MLB games -- and they're typically the most expensive. DirecTV Stream carries the most RSNs, but you'll need to spring for its $90-a-month plan; its basic $70-a-month plan doesn't include RSNs. Sling TV, a service that costs $35 a month, doesn't have any RSNs for baseball. If you're a baseball fan who needs your team's RSN, a cable subscription might actually be cheaper than streaming.

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. MLB.TV costs $25 a month.

The big catch with MLB.TV is the local blackout restriction: You can't watch your local team's games live. Instead, they become available about 90 minutes after the game ends. If you're a Yankees fan in the New York area, for example, you can't start to watch the Yankees game until an hour and a half after the final out. Other teams' games aren't 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.

DirecTV Stream: 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, but availability varies by location and service. 

In addition to the RSNs listed below, live TV services carry most if not all of the major national networks -- ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS -- that regularly televise matchups from different teams around the league. Details are at the top of this article.

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

RSN availability by team and streaming service

TeamNetwork NameDirecTV Stream ($90)FuboTV ($70) YouTube TV ($65)Hulu with Live TV ($70)Sling Blue ($35)
Arizona Diamondbacks Bally Sports ArizonaYesNoNoNoNo
Atlanta Braves Bally Sports SouthYesNoNoNoNo
Baltimore Orioles MASNYesNoNoNoNo
Boston Red Sox NESNYesYesNoNoNo
Chicago Cubs Marquee Sports NetworkYesYesNoNoNo
Chicago White Sox NBC Sports ChicagoYesYesYesYesNo
Cincinnati Reds Bally Sports OhioYesNoNoNoNo
Cleveland Indians Bally Sports Great LakesYesNoNoNoNo
Colorado Rockies AT&T SportsNet Rocky MountainYesNoNoNoNo
Detroit Tigers Bally Sports DetroitYesNoNoNoNo
Houston Astros AT&T SportsNet Southwest and Bally Sports SouthwestYesYes (AT&T SportsNet Southwest)NoNoNo
Kansas City Royals Bally Sports Kansas CityYesNoNoNoNo
Los Angeles Angels Bally Sports WestYesNoNoNoNo
Los Angeles Dodgers Spectrum SportsNet LAYesNoNoNoNo
Miami Marlins Bally Sports FloridaYesNoNoNoNo
Milwaukee Brewers Bally Sports WisconsinYesNoNoNoNo
Minnesota Twins Bally Sports NorthYesNoNoNoNo
New York Mets SportsNet NYYesYesYesYesNo
New York Yankees YESYesNoNoNoNo
Oakland Athletics NBC Sports CaliforniaYesYesYesYesNo
Philadelphia Phillies NBC Sports PhiladelphiaNoYesYesYesNo
Pittsburgh Pirates AT&T SportsNet PittsburghYesYesNoNoNo
San Diego Padres Bally Sports San DiegoYesNoNoNoNo
San Francisco Giants NBC Sports Bay AreaYesYesYesYesNo
Seattle Mariners Root Sports NorthwestYesYesNoNoNo
St. Louis Cardinals Bally Sports MidwestYesNoNoNoNo
Tampa Bay Rays Bally Sports SunYesNoNoNoNo
Texas Rangers Bally Sports SouthwestYesNoNoNoNo
Toronto Blue Jays SportsNetNoNoNoNoNo
Washington Nationals MASNYesNoNoNoNo

Some key takeaways:

  • The RSNs above are typically only available to local subscribers. Refer to the individual service's details below to find out if you live in a place where you can receive a particular RSN. 
  • None of the (US-based) services carry the RSN for the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • DirecTV Stream's $90-a-month Choice package includes 28 of the 30 RSNs for baseball -- all but the Phillies and Blue Jays.
  • It's slim pickings for the other four services. FuboTV offers 10 RSNs for baseball, while Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV offer only five. Sling TV doesn't offer a single RSN.
  • YouTube TV is the only service that carries MLB Network in its base package. The others either charge more or don't carry it at all.

One other note: Fox Sports RSNs have been rebranded as Bally Sports, because the channels are no longer owned by Fox but Sinclair, which has since partnered with casino group Bally's to rename them. So, what was once Fox Sports Ohio is now Bally Sports Ohio and so on. 

If you're looking to watch your local team night in and night out, DirecTV Stream is your best bet. It offers by far the most RSNs of the live TV streaming services. Philadelphia and Toronto are the only MLB cities whose RSN is not offered on DirecTV Stream. FuboTV is second with 10 RSNs, giving you only a one-in-three chance of getting your local RSN to watch baseball.

DirecTV Stream is the priciest of the five major live TV streaming services, but it's also the one with the most RSNs. Its cheapest, $70-a-month Entertainment package includes ESPN, Fox, FS1 and TBS. You'll need to move up to the $90-a-month Choice plan to get MLB Network and any available RSN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area. 

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

Major League Baseball's official streaming service is great for following your favorite team if you live outside its TV market. Because of the 90-minute blackout described above, however, it's much less useful for following your local home team. 

MLB.TV subscribers also miss games that are broadcast nationally on ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS. Those games are blacked out on MLB.TV, which can be particularly irksome for fans of the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and other big-market teams that are frequently selected for national broadcasts.

MLB.TV normally costs $140 for the season, recently reduced to $65, but if you're a new subscriber the $25 monthly plan is a better deal at this point. As a subscriber, you can watch out-of-market games live or on demand, and the in-market (home) team with a 90-minute delay from the end of the game.

With MLB.TV, you can also listen to home and away radio broadcasts. The radio broadcasts aren't subject to the blackout rule, so you can listen to home team games live. MLB.TV also includes a ton of video content, including classic games, baseball documentaries and old This Week in Baseball episodes.

Even if you don't subscribe, you can still watch baseball with the MLB app. It offers one Free Game of the Day that anyone can stream live for free.

Read our MLB.TV review.

ESPN's stand-alone streaming service currently costs $7 a month or $70 a year, but is set to increase to $10 a month or $100 a year on August 23. It shows one game nearly every day of the six-month MLB season. The catch is that your local team's games are blacked out when they appear on ESPN Plus, similar to MLB.TV. Also, the games shown on ESPN Plus are not exclusive to ESPN Plus and are also available on MLB.TV.

Read our ESPN Plus review.

Other options for nationally broadcast games

The following two newcomers each have deals with MLB to carry select games exclusively this season. They join YouTube in offering select games throughout 2022. 

Apple is getting into live sports streaming. It will stream a baseball doubleheader every Friday night this season on its Apple TV Plus service. Apple TV Plus costs $5 a month, but you'll be able to watch live baseball games on Fridays without a subscription for free. Apple said that the games will be available to "anyone with internet access, for free, only on Apple TV Plus." Better yet, the games will be free from blackout restrictions so you'll be able to watch them no matter where you live and which teams are playing. The games are exclusive to Apple TV Plus, however, which means you won't find them on your local RSN if your local team is playing.

Apple has announced the schedule for both July and August

In an unusual time slot for the league, Peacock will carry an early MLB game each Sunday of the regular season. Of the 18 total games on the schedule, the first six start at 11:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. PT) and the final 12 at noon ET (9 a.m. PT). Each remaining game is exclusive to Peacock.

Like some of Peacock's other sports content, these MLB games won't be included as part of its free tier. They're reserved for Peacock Premium, which costs $5 per month. Here's the full schedule through Sept. 4.

As it has done for the past four years, YouTube will broadcast 15 games free to viewers on its platform. These games will be exclusive to YouTube and will not simultaneously air on regional sports networks in local television markets.

Upcoming YouTube games include:

  • Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers, Wednesday, July 27 at 2:00p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT)
  • Texas Rangers at Houston Astros, Thursday, August 11 at 2:00p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT) 
  • Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels, Wednesday, August 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET (1:00 p.m. PT)
  • Cleveland Guardians at Seattle Mariners, Thursday, August 25 at 4:00 p.m. ET (1:00 p.m. PT)
  • Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox, Thursday, September 1 at 2:00p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT)
  • Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs, Thursday, September 8 at 2:00p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT)

The games will be produced by MLB Network and can be found by searching for MLB in the YouTube app or visiting the league's YouTube channel.

Other live TV services

DirecTV Stream carries the most RSNs in its $90 tier but the services below also carry a few. If one of them has your home team, it could save you some money. The chart above has the details.

FuboTV costs $70 a month and offers 10 RSNs for baseball. It also includes ESPN, Fox and FS1 but not TBS. You can add the MLB Network for an extra $8 a month with the Fubo Extra Package or pay for the $80-a-month Elite streaming tier that includes Fubo Extra. Check out which local networks and RSNs it offers.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and offers five RSNs for baseball, along with all five channels for national broadcasts. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available in your area.

Hulu with Live TV costs $70 a month and carries five RSNs for baseball along with ESPN, Fox, FS1 and TBS, but not MLB Network. The service now also includes the Disney Bundle, which comes with ESPN Plus and Disney Plus. Click the "View all channels in your area" link at the bottom of its welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available where you live.

Sling Blue currently lacks a single RSN to watch baseball. You can, however, use Sling to watch national baseball broadcasts. Sling TV's Orange plan includes ESPN, and the Blue plan includes Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS. The MLB Network is available as part of the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $11 a month for either the Blue or Orange plan or $15 for the combined Orange-and-Blue plan. The individual plans cost $35 a month each, and the Orange-and-Blue plan costs $50 a month. See which local channels you get with Sling Blue.

Each live TV streaming service offers a free trial, allows you to cancel anytime and requires a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our live TV streaming services guide.

Red Sox games on NESN 360

The New England Sports Network, or NESN, has launched its own stand-alone streaming service, but it's only available to those who live in the area.

NESN 360 gives Red Sox fans in New England a way to watch their games without a cable subscription. The service costs $30 a month, or $330 a year and offers all NESN programming. NESN is the regional sports network of the Red Sox and Bruins, so fans of both sports will have plenty to watch year round. The app is available on Apple TV and Roku, as well as on iOS and Android devices. Those who already have NESN as part of their cable package can access the app for free. 
Despite being in New England, fans living in Fairfield County, Connecticut are not allowed to join, as it is outside of NESN's regional network. You can click the button below to scroll down and enter your ZIP code. This will let you know if you're eligible to sign up.  

Brewers, Marlins, Rays, Royals and Tigers games on Bally Sports Plus

Bally Sports has rolled out its own standalone streaming service for a handful of teams as well. Like NESN, it's only available to those who live in the respective areas.

The largest owner of regional sports networks nationwide, Bally Sports, currently offers a standalone streaming subscription for five of those teams under the Bally Sports Plus service. Only people who live in those five markets can subscribe. The teams (and markets) are:

  • Brewers (Milwaukee area)
  • Marlins (Miami area)
  • Rays (Tampa Bay area)
  • Royals (Kansas City area)
  • Tigers (Detroit area)

Currently none of the nine other Bally Sports teams (see the table above for the full list) are available to stream without a separate cable or live TV service subscription.

The service costs $20 a month or $190 for a year and includes live games as well as pre- and postgame coverage and original programming. Subscribers can watch via the Bally Sports app on phones and tablets (iOS, Android), on TVs via Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on BallySports.com. You can click the button below and enter your ZIP code. This will let you know if you're eligible to sign up. 

Yankees games on Prime Video

For Yankees fans in the team's market, Amazon will stream 21 Yankees games on Prime Video this season. While you don't need to live in the Bronx to stream these games, the area where they're available is limited -- New York state, Connecticut, northeast Pennsylvania, and north and central New Jersey. You'll need to be a Prime member, too (currently $139 per year). A list of games can be found here

MLB At Bat add-on

The MLB At Bat app is great on phones and even better on tablets. If you bought an MLB.TV subscription (as outlined above), you can log in to your account and watch games live in the app. There is a cheaper subscription option for use with the mobile app only, but it's limited in what it lets you watch.

You can buy an 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't choose which game you want to watch; you're stuck with the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day.