The World Series has returned, with the San Francisco Giants set to battle the Kansas City Royals for baseball supremacy.
And thanks to second-screen apps, you don’t have to be merely a passive viewer of the this year’s Fall Classic. These apps for your iPhone or iPad can enliven the experience, whether you’re watching on TV, streaming the games online—or you’re even lucky enough to attend in person.
Stream the game with MLB At Bat
For the first time Major League Baseball will live stream the series through its official app, MLB At Bat. If you’re an MLB.TV subscriber it’s included with your package.
For the rest of us, watching the games on the app will cost you $10, though that does include streaming access for all MLB games during the first month of the 2015 season, which usually is $25. You’ll have to authenticate with your cable or satellite subscriber to avoid national blackouts: the full list of supported providers is on the official MLB.TV site.
To avoid missing any pitches, it’s probably best to get all the sign-up details taken care of before the series starts (at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday), given there’s a couple of hoops to jump through and sometimes cable providers can be overwhelmed with too many people trying to authenticate at once—we saw that happen during the World Cup.
Keep score with iScore
Keeping score is a time-honored tradition in baseball. If you’re going to one of the games, keeping score not only helps you pay better attention during play, but you also get a cool souvenir to keep forever. Heck, maybe you want to keep score from home just for posterity. Grab iScore Baseball for a great digital scorebook.
It’s a little pricey at $10, though you can get a bundle with three other apps from the same developer that keep stats on basketball, football, and soccer for $28. It may come in handy during Little League season, and it even has an “iScorecaster” feature that lets others follow your stat-keeping in real-time.
Grab At the Ballpark for a cool in-game experience
The app connects to the ballpark’s iBeacons to check you in and unlock rewards, in-game specials, and most importantly, order food. (After all, you don't want to miss a moment of the action.) It also has info about each stadium and can even summon security if the people behind you had one-too-many of those $15 beers.
The amount of features and ordering options vary by stadium, though AT&T Park is pretty full-featured. If you’re not heading to a World Series game, put it on the list for next spring.
Show off your baseball IQ with MLB PrePlay
If you have predictive sports powers, then grab MLB PrePlay, a multiplayer game that pits you against others to correctly predict what's about to happen.
You can battle over details like what will happen on each pitch, batter, or of course who will win the game. There’s an elaborate system of in-game boosters, tickets, and other upgrades that can make it rather addicting if you’re a baseball fanatic.
The game is free, though it comes with quite the load of in-app purchase options, costing anywhere from $1 up to $100. If you haven’t tried it out, it could be a fun distracter if you’re not that into the games or your favorite team is a spectator this year.