The best second-screen apps for watching Major League Baseball

After a more than three-month delay, Major League Baseball will finally start its 2020 season with an opening-night TV double-header on ESPN. While the games will be played with plenty of pandemic-provoked changes, including fan-free stadiums, a universal DH, and the absence of several high-profile players, the TV broadcasts will remain much the same.

You can enhance your quarantine viewing of games on your big screen by enlisting the aid of your small one. A second screen enhances your experience in ways that just aren’t possible any other way, delivering everything from analysis, player stats, and interactive features, to tools for communicating with other fans watching the game.

We’ve rounded up the six best second-screen apps that belong on your smartphone or tablet this baseball season. Download and install one or more of them to make sure you’re game ready when the ump yells “play ball!”

Updated July 17, 2020 for the abbreviated 2020 season.

MLB At Bat

MLB at Bat MLB Advanced Media, LP.

If you don’t use anything else this season, be sure to install at least the free “Lite” version of MLB at Bat.

As second-screen apps go, Major League Baseball’s At Bat remains the ace of the rotation. Even the free “lite” version has enough features to render any seamhead giddy, including breaking news, player stats, scores, standings, schedules, interactive rosters, and the ability to customize your homepage as a hub for your favorite team. You can also receive push notifications to alert you to game starts, lead and score changes, and in-game video highlights.

It’s worth ponying up for the premium features ($3 per month/$20 for the year, or free for MLB.TV subscribers). You’ll get access to a treasure trove of complete classic games in the video library, real-time box scores with pitch-by-pitch tracking, and each team’s live local radio broadcast for every game from spring training through the World Series. The last is particularly useful when you want to mute national network blowhards and tune in to your hometown broadcast team.

If the live games action isn’t enough to sate your baseball jones, you can even use your cable login to watch MLB network right within the app. (Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, and other Android tablets)

iScore Baseball

Scoring a game by hand is a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of baseball; but in our digital age, this pen-and-paper activity could easily go the way of flannel uniforms and Pullman cars.