It may only seem like five minutes since the Washington Nationals wrapped up their maiden World Series in October 2019, but Major League Baseball (MLB) will be taking over screens across the country starting on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
This year’s curtain-raiser will see all 30 MLB clubs playing their first game of the season on the same day for the first time since 1968. That offers a mouth-watering prospect for baseball fans — the only conundrum being how to watch all the action. Luckily, we have that covered with our helpful guide detailing how to watch opening day action.
The schedule for MLB Opening Day is as follows:
- 1:10 p.m. ET / 10:10 a.m. PT: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
- 1:10 p.m. ET / 10:10 a.m. PT: Washington Nationals at New York Mets
- 2:10 p.m. ET / 11:10 a.m. PT: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
- 2:10 p.m. ET / 11:10 a.m. PT: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
- 3:05 p.m. ET / 12:05 p.m. PT: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
- 3:37 p.m. ET / 12:37 p.m. PT: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
- 4:07 p.m. ET / 1:07 p.m. PT: Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics
- 4:10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres
- 4:10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
- 4.10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT: Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins
- 4:10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT: Pittsburgh Pirates at Tampa Bay Rays
- 4:10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT: St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
- 4:10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners
- 7:10 p.m. ET / 4:10 p.m. PT: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
- 10:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. PT: Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks
Channels showing MLB Opening Day 2020
- MLB Network
- Regional sports networks
There are three nationally broadcast games scheduled for Opening Day 2020, all of which will be aired on ESPN. The network’s coverage begins with the Washington Nationals defending their title against the New York Mets at 1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 a.m. PT.
That’s followed by the San Francisco Giants visiting Dodger Stadium to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers at 4:10 p.m. ET/1:10 p.m. PT. ESPN’s coverage of the first day of the season will conclude with the Los Angeles Angels taking on last season’s American League Champions and World Series runner-ups, the Houston Astros, at 7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT.
Aside from nationally broadcasted games, MLB Network will provide drop-ins on the action from around the league. The channel will have exclusive live look-ins on all games in progress throughout the day, beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Baseball fans who want to watch their local teams will be reliant on regional sports networks from their local TV provider, which may be affected by blackouts.
Where are these channels available?
ESPN is available across the majority of major TV and cable services, including AT&T U-verse, Cox, DISH, Verizon Fios, Xfinity and all of these providers across the U.S. A range of streaming services, such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV, also carry the channel.
Many TV providers, including AT&T U-verse, CenturyLink Prism, Cox, Layer3TV and Verizon Fios, have MLB Network. And regional TV channels are accessible through local TV networks, cable services and some streaming providers, depending on location.
How watching on cable compares to streaming
Cable providers have traditionally delivered TV packages featuring entertainment, news and sports channels, but many are coming under pressure from streaming providers that offer access to some of the same options. That means swapping a cable box for an app on a smart TV, game console, media stick or mobile device, which enables subscribers to watch on the go and pay a much lower monthly subscription fee. As a result, the trend is on the rise, with cable subscription cancellations increasing by 32.8% in 2018 and U.S. viewers saving up to $104/mo. on average as a result, according to MarketScale data.
Most streaming services also offer recording services, also known as Cloud DVRs, in which YouTube TV leads the way with unlimited storage for up to nine months. Streaming providers also enable multiple simultaneous streams of content. For example, Sling TV’s Orange + Blue subscribers can watch up to four streams at the same time and YouTube TV users, three.
How to stream MLB Opening Day 2020
All three of the nationally broadcast MLB Opening Day match-ups will also be available to stream through ESPN’s apps and web players. Several streaming providers also offer access to the channel, including:
- AT&T TV – ESPN is available through several AT&T TV packages, starting with its Entertainment package ($60/mo.). However, unlike other streaming services, AT&T TV requires a two-year contract.
- AT&T TV NOW – AT&T TV NOW subscribers can enjoy MLB Opening Day on ESPN with several packages, the least expensive of which is its PLUS option ($65/mo.).
- Hulu + Live TV – MLB Opening Day is available on Hulu + Live TV as it includes ESPN in its $55/mo. channel lineup.
- Sling TV – ESPN is available through Sling TV’s Orange package ($30/mo.) Sling TV’s more comprehensive option, Sling Orange + Blue, also includes ESPN, delivers more channels and costs $45/mo.
- WatchESPN – The WatchESPN app provides free live streams of ESPN for those with a TV subscription featuring the channel. The Apple App Store and Google Play both have the app. Once downloaded, users will need to select their TV or streaming provider and sign in with their username and password.
- YouTube TV – YouTube TV’s single plan includes ESPN. Subscriptions cost $50/mo.
MLB Network will provide drop-ins on MLB Opening Day action. The channel is available through the network’s mobile app At Bat and its web player. It can also be watched through AT&T TV (from $65/mo.), AT&T TV NOW (from $110/mo.) and YouTube TV ($50/mo.), as well as a host of other pay-TV providers.
MLB.TV, a subscription service that enables viewers to watch every out-of-market MLB game is a great source for viewers interested in regularly viewing baseball. The service is available for $91/yr. for access to one team and $25/mo. or $119/yr. for all MLB teams. Amazon Prime Video subscribers can add MLB.TV for $25/mo. or $119/yr. to an Amazon Prime Video monthly subscription.
Is MLB Opening Day available for free?
The only way to watch MLB Opening Day for free is to sign up for a streaming service free trial. AT&T TV NOW, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV all offer a seven-day free trial.
The bottom line
MLB Opening Day promises to be an exciting day for baseball fans, with all the league’s teams in action. ESPN is the only place to go for coverage of the three nationally broadcast Opening Day games. These will be available through cable services and streaming providers that carry the channel and the network’s own apps. MLB Network and MLB.TV will also keep baseball fans up to date with drop-ins around the league. People who are only interested in watching the opening weekend of the season can do so for free by signing up for a trial of a live TV streaming service that enables access to ESPN.