How to watch the MLB playoffs without cable

Cubs Playoff media center

Not able to watch the MLB playoffs because you don’t have cable? You don’t have to be stuck. There are a plethora of ways of keeping track of the game live. Baseball is a game of stats, so while visuals are nice, you have lots of other ways of being engaged with a live game.

I set up a media center with two monitors, laptop, and cell phone. A mission control of updates are running across all four screens.

Baseball-Reference: Batter vs Pitcher
Gives in-depth stats on how batters have done against the starting pitchers. This also lists all the relief pitchers. When it comes time to take a starting pitcher out of the game, it’s interesting to cross-reference the next batters up in the lineup against how they have done across the opponents relievers.

ESPN: MLB Gamecast
Their live updating stat ticker is immensely valuable. Every couple seconds it rotates through:

  • Probability of scoring 1+ run in the inning
  • Probability of scoring 2+ runs in the inning
  • Batter’s average against pitcher
  • Batter’s average with current count

1st column: My Cubs stream
Four reliable Cubs Twitter accounts that give you just the live information you need:

2nd column: Cubs keyword, min 2 favs
This column searches all tweets mentioning the word “cubs” with or without the hashtag. Minimum 2 favs. If you set it to one minimum fav, you get too much spam. 3 fav-minimum doesn’t refresh enough. Two is the sweet spot.

MLB Gameday
The core standard of game updates. Although, I might be dumping this for ESPN’s Gamecast. However, it’s nice to see when MLB releases new videos, but they tend to be only for when runs are scored–typically via homerun.

MLB Audio
Always running in the background is Pat and Ron on WBBM 720 radio.

CBS Gametracker
I’m not really sure what value I get out of this tracker. I do like their twitter stream. At some point, I might add some of the sources they use to my Cubs list.

Just a regular text editing program to compile ideas for future blog posts.

AIM instant messenger
Chatting with friends.

Instead of monkeying with your phone to text your friends, use the Messenger desktop application to text your friends that use iOS.

Fangraphs: Probables
Fun to see the probablity of winning or losing update throughout the game.

If I can get a live stream, I’ll have it on. However, it’s usually two pitches behind.

I don’t use Sports Illustrated’s Game Flash. It’s a piece of trash.

Do you use other services to keep track of baseball games? If so, I’d love to know. Please leave your tips in the comments or on Twitter.

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2 thoughts on “How to watch the MLB playoffs without cable”

  1. You can see in the Fangraphs Probables that the graph was dipping way down for the Cubs game–to about 10%. That’s probably why I started to take photos of my setup, because I wasn’t paying as much attention to the game at that point.

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