Baseball fans will be gifted a bonanza from Major League Baseball this weekend, starting on Friday evening, when baseball’s MLB.tv streaming service makes every game played on the season’s final weekend available to watch live online — free and legally. The slate includes 45 games in all, including key matchups that could decide the second American League Wild Card spot, as well as crucial home field advantage in the marquee divisional series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.
Every game played from Friday, October 2, to the end of Sunday, October 4, will be streamed free through MLB.tv. For the full streaming info, see the final paragraph of this article.
The only two playoff spots left to be decided are the second of two Wild Card spots in the American League, and the American League West pennant. The Texas Rangers have a “magic number” of one in the AL West, meaning that if they win just one of their final three game set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Texas clinches the division.
Alternatively, a single loss by the second-place Houston Astros in their inter-league series against the Arizona Diamondbacks also hands the AL West to Texas.
But at the same time, the Astros, Angels, and Minnesota Twins are all scrambling to secure the second Wild Card berth in the American League. The Astros have a slim one-game edge over the Angels and Twins, who are tied at 83-76 entering the final MLB weekend of games.
The Twins play three games against the AL Central champion Kansas City Royals, who will likely be resting some of their starting players and being careful with their pitchers as they prepare for the playoffs.
Any combination of wins by the Astros and losses by the Angels eliminates Anaheim. The same math applies to the Twins. But if the Astros drop two of three to Arizona, they will need both the Twins and Angels to do the same in their respective series.
The Yankees clinched one of the two Wild Card spots on Thursday night by beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1 after losing the first three games of a four game set against their hated rivals, in Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees now need just one win to clinch home field advantage in the one-game AL Wild Card playoff scheduled for Tuesday night. The winner of that game plays — well, that has yet to be determined as well.
The Royals and Toronto Blue Jays go into the weekend tied for the best record in the American League with 92 wins each. The Blue Jays play their final three contests against the Tampa Bay Rays, giving Toronto a seemingly easier road to the best record than the Royals who must contend with the playoff-hungry Twins.
If the two teams end up tied in the win column, Toronto would win the tiebreaker, with four wins against Kansas City in seven games during the 2015 season, meaning the Blue Jays would face the winner of the AL Wild Card game in the AL Division Series starting Thursday.
In the National League, the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers are in a similar situation, tied at 89-70 heading into Friday. While New York plays the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles faces regional rival the San Diego Padres.
Because the St. Louis Cardinals have clinched the best record in the National League, the Dodgers and Mets will play each other in the NL Division Series — but whichever team finished with more wins gains home field advantage in the seven-game playoff.
In other words, the final weekend of the Major League Baseball regular season offers plenty of drama, and it’s all online to watch live for free (local blackouts excepted) via MLB.tv at this link, on mobile devices with the MLB AtBat app, or on set top boxes such as the Roku, Apple TV, or xBox.
[Images: Victor Decolongon / Stephen Dunn / Greg Fiume / Getty Images]