How to watch MLB’s Opening Day for free—and without cable

·6 min read
Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It might be hard to tell in some regions of the country, but spring has sprung at last—and there’s no clearer sign of that than the return of baseball. It’s opening day for Major League Baseball, but the game in 2023 is going to look at lot different than it used to.

During the offseason, MLB decided to shake up its rules to speed up the game and make it more exciting. That has divided fans so far, but it remains to be seen if it boosts viewership or attendance at the games.

For the first time since 1968, all 30 teams will hit the field today. And like last year, the post-season will feature 12 teams in the playoffs, heightening tensions, but keeping more fans invested.

Look, we won’t lie. The best way to experience Opening Day is sitting with a beer and a hot dog in the stands. If you can’t sneak away, though, there are plenty of other ways to watch.

When does Major League Baseball begin its 2023 season?

Opening day is Thursday, March 30. The first pitches will take place at 1:05 p.m. ET, when the Atlanta Braves face the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants take on the New York Yankees.

What’s the schedule for MLB opening day?

Here’s who’s playing as well as when and where you can watch. (The home team is listed second and note that all games will not be broadcast.):

San Francisco Giants vs. New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Bay Area and YES Network

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals, 1:05 p.m. ET on Bally sports Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Sports Network

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Wisconsin and Marquee Sports Network

Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 3:10 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Detroit and Bally Sports Sun

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Texas Rangers, 4:05 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Southwest

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, 4:10 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio and Bally Sports South

Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals, 4:10 p.m. ET on Bally Sports North

Toronto Blue Jays vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 4:10 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Midwest

New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins, 4:10 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Florida and SportsNet New York

Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros, 7:08 p.m. ET on ESPN

Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres, 9:40 p.m. ET on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountains and Bally sports San Diego

Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics, 10:07 p.m. ET on Fox Sports West

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET on Bally sports Arizona and Spectrum SportsNet

Cleveland Guardians vs. Seattle Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Great Lakes and Root Sports Northwest

Can I watch MLB Opening Day games for free?

That’s kind of a hit or miss question. Fox is scheduled to begin airing games nationally on Saturday, April 1. But some regional over the air channels might carry opening day games for the home deal. Check your local listings.

What’s the best way to watch MLB Opening Day games online?


The league’s official streaming service is the best way to catch Opening Day action, since the parent company of Bally Sports, which carries many of the games, has declared bankruptcy. That likely won’t disrupt viewership today, but TV rights to several teams could reverb back to MLB as early as next week, if payments aren’t made. AT&T SportsNet is also shutting down, which could mean a lot of early season shuffling. offers a seven-day free trial, after which you’ll pay $25 per month or more depending on the package you choose. You can pick between team-based or season packages. Note that there is a 90-minute post-game delay if you want to watch your home team play in-market.

Are there other options to watch MLB games online?


Fubo TV

This sports-focused cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There's a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $70–$100, depending on the channels you choose.


NBC’s streaming service won’t have Opening Day action, but it will be the home for Sunday morning games this season. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock does not include live sports.)

Hulu with Live TV

The free trial on this service is no longer offered, as well. It will cost you $70 per month.


After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $73.

Sling TV

Dish Network's Sling recently increased its prices. The lower-tiered "Orange" plan will now run you $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive "Blue" plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. (A $5 per month increase for each.) The seven-day free trial has disappeared along with the price increase, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.

DirecTV Stream

Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $70 per month and up after the free trial option.

Apple TV

The streaming service will kick off Friday Night Baseball on April 7 this year, with the Texas Rangers facing the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres visiting the Atlanta Braves. There’s a seven-day free trial, after which you’ll pay $4.99 per month.

What are the new MLB rules for 2023?

In order to make baseball more fast paced, MLB made a number of rule changes over the winter break. Here’s what you can expect from America’s pastime this year.

Pitch Timer – Don’t expect pitchers to shake off signals from their catchers as much this season. Once pitchers have the ball, they’ll have 15 seconds to deliver their next pitch. (That stretches to 20 seconds if there are runners on base). Batters, meanwhile, will get just one timeout per at bat—and must be in the batter’s box when there are eight seconds left on the pitch timer.

Pick-off attempts – Pitchers won’t have quite the same level of control over baserunners, either, as they’re limited to two pick-off attempts per batter. More and they’re charged with a balk.

Shift restrictions – Two infielders must be on either side of second base, preventing a team from stacking its infield when a batter tends to hit in one area. All infielders also must have both feet in the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber.

Bigger bases – First, second and third base will grow from 15-inches to 18-inches this season, meaning it’s a slightly shorter journey for runners. The league says the size increase was meant to reduce player injuries.

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