There's no denying that 2020 has been a very different year so far. Sporting events around the world have been postponed or cancelled and now things are slowly starting to ramp back up. The MLB 2020 season is now starting up, but things will look very different this year without any fans in the stands. After a ton of back and forth about the season, the MLB has agreed on having a 60-game regular season for 2020, with opening night kicking off on July 23.
The season will run through September and each team will play 40 divisional games (20 at home and 20 on the road), along with 20 Interleague games (10 at home and 10 on the road). With this, the teams will have just six days off, with the exception of the teams playing on July 23 who will have seven days off. In a normal season, teams play 162 games, which is a whole lot more than we will see this year.
After the regular season comes to an end on September 27, five teams from each league will advance to the post-season. There will be three division winners and two Wild Card winners. The two Wild Card teams will play eachother to see who advances. From here there will be a best-of-five Division Series, and then the two winners will advance to a best-of-seven World Series.
How to watch the MLB 2020 season from anywhere
When it comes to watching MLB games, there is no single great option that works for everyone. Below, we've outlined some of the streaming services you can try to keep up on all the action, but a VPN is one of the most useful ways to watch all the games, even for those living within the U.S. There are tons of blackouts and restrictions in place for these games, which is just a big pain.
That's where using one of thebest VPN services (Virtual Private Network) can be a lifesaver. They allow you to virtually change the ISP of your laptop, tablet, or mobile to one that's back in your home country, letting you watch as if you were back there.
VPN's are incredibly easy to use and have the added benefit of giving you a further layer of security when surfing the web. There are lots of options, and we recommend ExpressVPN as our #1 pick due to its speed, security, and ease of use. It can be used on a vast array of operating systems and devices (e.g. iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, Roku, games consoles, etc). Sign up for ExpressVPN now now and enjoy a 49% discount and 3 months FREE with an annual subscription. Or give it a try with its 30-day money-back guarantee. Looking for other options? Here are some alternatives that are on sale right now.
How to stream the MLB 2020 Season online in the U.S.
How you actually watch the MLB 2020 season will depend on what teams and games you want to watch, as well as where you are located. Using a VPN as mentioned above is a great option for people regardless of location, but if you want to try and avoid that, we have some other options as well. The MLB 2020 season will air games on ESPN, ESPN+, TBS, Fox, MLB Network, MLB.TV, and more. There are also some local channels for various teams, like NESN for the Red Sox, YES Network for the Yankees, and more.
- Sling TV - $30 per month - In order to get access to ESPN, you'll have to sign up for Sling TV's Sling Orange package. The service also lets you watch on three screens simultaneously and record live TV with its Cloud DVR.
- FuboTV - $54.99 per month - FuboTV offers access to six MLB team streams and happens to be the ONLY provider streaming the Houston Astros this year.
- Hulu with Live TV - $54.99 per month - As well as giving you access to ESPN, the service also includes its own Hulu Originals and supports a wide variety of streaming devices.
- YouTube TV - $65 per month - YouTube TV gives you access to ESPN as well as over 70 other TV channels and a free 14-day trial available.
- AT&T TV Now - $65 per month - AT&T TV Now may be more expensive than the competition but in addition to ESPN you also get access to HBO with your plan. The service allows you to watch over 45 live TV channels and you can also record up to 20 hours of content using its cloud DVR.
Subscribe to Sling TV now and get 3 days of access for free to try it out!
If the Houston Astros happen to be your favorite team, you'll need Fubo in order to be able to tune in and watch this year.
Of course, the MLB also has its own popular service, MLB.TV. There are three different plan options available, with prices starting at just $24.99 for one-month of access. You can sign up for the year at $59.99, or get access to just a single team's games for $49.99. There are a lot of blackout restrictions while using the service, though, so you may want to consider pairing MLB.TV with a VPN, like ExpressVPN mentioned above in order to be able to access your local games easier.
How to watch MLB 2020 season in the UK
If you reside in the UK and want to keep up with the MLB season this year, BT Sport is your best bet. The network will be airing a bunch of different games, so be sure to check out the full schedule for what you can and can't watch.
Are there any new MLB rules for 2020?
One of the big changes this year is that with the shortened season the MLB will be adapting the Minor League rule for extra innings. This means that every half-inning after the ninth will begin with a runner on second base. The designated runner will be the player whom made the final out in the prior half-inning. To keep things fair, pitchers won't be charged with an earned run if that player scores during extra innings. This rule will only apply to the shortened 2020 season, and will not be in effect during postseason.
Pitchers will now have a three-batter minimum, meaning that if a team opts to bring in a relief pitcher they must face three different batters before the team can remove them or change things up, unless they become injured. Finally, if a game needs to be cut short due to weather before the end of the fifth inning (where it's not considered official), the games will be continued at a later date, and not started over.
How is the MLB preventing spread of COVID?
From the MLB's site the organization has a bunch of new requirements for players this year to keep things safe. These include:
- Players will receive temperature/symptom checks twice per day.
- Antibody testing will be conducted once per month.
- Social distancing will be encouraged as much as possible both on the field and off. Players and other team personnel not participating in the game will be sitting in the stands, at least six feet apart.
- Non-playing personnel must wear masks in the dugout and bullpen at all times.
- No pregame exchange of lineup cards.
- No celebratory contact (high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.).
- No spitting or chewing of tobacco and/or sunflower seeds. Chewing gum is allowed.
- A ball will be thrown out once it has been touched by multiple players.
- Fights are strictly prohibited.
Should a player end up testing positive, the teams will place that player on a COVID-19 related injury list, which has no minimum or maximum length of placement. Teams can place players who test positive there, those who may have been exposed, and those who are experiencing symptoms. Players are not allowed to return until there are two negative COVID tests.
If there are COVID outbreaks in cities where teams are scheduled to play, the MLB has the right to relocate the teams to a neutral site for the safety of everyone.
Unfortunately, 14 players of the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19 following their weekend series with the Phillies. At this time, there's no information available about how this impacts the season or any other games, but we expect the MLB will have to address this sooner than later.
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