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MLB is back: How to watch Yankees vs. Rays, Giants vs. Dodgers this weekend without cable

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Teams are still traveling and playing baseball despite COVID-19 outbreaks.

The coronavirus postponed the start of the baseball season and shut down nearly everything else, but now Major League Baseball is back for a 60-game sprint of a season. MLB also announced a newly expanded postseason — if it can find a way to complete the regular season first.

Many teams have seen their games postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks on the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. MLB is revising its scheduling to accommodate the situation, including playing seven-inning doubleheaders. The Marlins are playing again and they’re red hot, but the Cardinals are on the shelf after more positive tests, which caused this weekend’s series with the Chicago Cubs to be postponed. 

Aside from St. Louis and Chicago, the other 28 MLB clubs are all scheduled to play this weekend. You can’t head to the ballpark and attend a game in person, but there are plenty of ways to watch on TV. Here’s how you can watch the shortened 2020 season without cable.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will play in front of their home “fans” this weekend against the rival San Francisco Giants.

Read more: NBA restart: How to watch live games from the bubble without cable   

On Saturday, Aug. 8, three games will be shown on MLB Network and one game will be shown on FS1. Here’s the TV schedule:

Those who have the MLB app can also watch the Toronto Blue Jays versus the Boston Red Sox Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) with MLB.TV‘s free game of the day. 

Read more: MLB TV review: Is it worth the subscription during a shortened season?

On Sunday, Aug. 9, TBS, MLB Network and ESPN will each broadcast one game:

In addition, ESPN Plus will show the Houston Astros versus the Oakland A’s at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT), and the free MLB.TV game of the day for Sunday is the New York Yankees versus the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:10 p.m. ET (10:10 a.m. PT).

Other teams around the league will play on regional sports networks. 

The 2020 season may be drastically different than the usual six-month, 162-game campaign of past years, but the ways to watch regular-season baseball has not changed. The national networks that carry MLB games in normal seasons — Fox, Fox Sports 1, TBS, MLB Network and ESPN — are broadcasting games in 2020

You’ll be able to watch on your local regional sports networks such as local Fox Sports channels, the YES Network (New York Yankees), NESN (Boston Red Sox) or SportsNet LA (Los Angeles Dodgers). 

For cable TV cord cutters, many of the national channels are offered on five of the major live TV streaming services. You’ll want to check with each service to see if your regional sports network is offered.

To get all the national baseball channels you’ll need Sling’s Blue/Orange package that runs $45 a month, plus the Sports Extra add-on for an additional $10 per month to get MLB Network.

Read our Sling TV review.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes all the major national baseball channels. Depending on your team and area, you may also have your regional sports network.

Read our YouTube TV review.

FuboTV includes Fox, ESPN, FS1 and TBS in its $60-per-month Standard plan as well as some local regional sports networks, though those looking for MLB Network will need to look elsewhere. Note: ESPN is not currently offered but will be available at some point this summer, FuboTV says.

Read our FuboTV review.

AT&T TV Now’s basic $55-a-month Plus package includes ESPN, Fox, FS1 and TBS, but you’ll need to step up to the $80-per-month Max package for regional sports channels and potentially the $110-per-month Choice package if you also want MLB Network.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes most major national baseball channels, including ESPN, Fox and TBS. While some areas may be able to also get regional sports networks, the service does not have MLB Network.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

In addition to the services above there’s MLB.TV, the MLB’s paid streaming service. It will be available to stream out-of-market games with the league charging $60 for the entire, shortened season. 

Wrigley Field will host Cubs games this year. 

Regular season games are set to take place in each of the 30 teams’ respective home cities, with the exception of the Toronto Blue Jays. The only Canadian MLB team is playing home games in Buffalo, New York, home of the Blue Jays’ Triple-A club plays.

All baseball games, regardless of city, are set to be played without fans in attendance. 

The Subway Series is set to continue, even with the shortened season. 

To keep travel to a minimum, teams will play those in their nearest geographical areas, so expect mainly in-division play with interleague limited to just those in the opposite league’s division (AL East versus NL East, AL Central versus NL Central, AL West versus NL West). 

So the Nationals, as CBS Sports notes in its example, will only play against rival NL East teams with interleague games coming against AL East teams. This means, for example, that we won’t see the Houston Astros visiting the Yankees until the postseason, potentially.

In a bid to ensure games don’t go on for too long, extra-inning play will start with a runner on second for the batting team, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. This would continue every half-inning until there is a winner.

All extra-inning games will start with a runner on second base beginning in the 10th.

The pitcher’s spot in the batting order will become a designated hitter, with MLB adopting a universal DH for the 2020 season. 

More than half the teams will play in October this year. On the eve of the season, MLB and the Players Association agreed on expanding the playoff field from 10 teams to 16. All six division winners and all six division runner-ups will make the playoffs in addition to two wild card teams in each league. 

All-star Lorenzo Cain of the Milwaukee Brewers is the latest big-name player to opt out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns.

A number of players have already said they won’t play in the shortened season. Here are some of the current players who have announced that they will be sitting out: 

Twenty-one-year-old Nationals star Juan Soto missed the opening weekend after testing positive for COVID-19, but is back playing again following negative tests and a 10-day quarantine. 

Veteran Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves originally decided to opt out, but on July 29 announced he would return to play for the remainder of the 2020 season.

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