It looks like 2021 will be another year focused on rebuilding and young-player development for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but two Rookie of the Year candidates in Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz, that development should at least be fun to watch.
In 2021, Pirates games will be locally televised on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, while some will be on MLB Network (out of market only, but those will also be on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh), and others may be nationally televised on ESPN, Fox or Fox Sports 1.
But if you don’t have cable, here’s how you can watch a live stream of every Pirates game in 2021, including options for both in-market and out-of-market fans:
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You can watch a live stream of AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, ESPN, Fox, Fox Sports 1 and 110-plus other TV channels on FuboTV’s “Starter” channel package. MLB Network is included in the “Sports Plus” add-on.
The “Starter” package costs $64.99 per month, and “Sports Plus” is $10.99 per month, but both can be included in your free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch every Pirates game live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV’s “Starter” package also comes with 250 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour lookback feature, which allows you to watch most games and events with three days even if you didn’t record them.
AT&T TV offers four different channel packages: “Entertainment”, “Choice”, “Ultimate” and “Premier.” ESPN, Fox and FS1 are included in every bundle, while AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh and MLB Network are included in the “Choice” and above bundles.
The “Choice” channel package is $84.99 per month, but you can pick any package and any add-on you want with your free 14-day trial.
Note that the free trial isn’t advertised as such, but your “due today” amount will be $0 when signing up. If you watch on your computer, phone or tablet, you won’t be charged for 14 days. If you watch on a streaming device on your TV (Roku, Fire Stick, Apple TV, etc.), you will be charged for the first month, but you can get still get a full refund if you cancel before 14 days:
Once signed up for AT&T TV, you can watch every Pirates game live on the AT&T TV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the AT&T TV website.
If you can’t watch a game live, AT&T TV also comes with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to unlimited hours for an extra $10 per month).
It costs either $24.99 per month to watch every out-of-market game (“All Team Pass”) or $109.99 for the year to just watch out-of-market Pirates games (“Single Team Pass”), but either option comes with a free seven-day trial:
Once you’re signed up for the MLB.TV Prime Video channel, out-of-market viewers can watch Pirates games live on the Prime Video app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, Xiaomi, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, most Smart TV’s, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. You can also watch on your computer via the Amazon website.
If you can’t watch live, all games are available on-demand by the next day.
Note: This is ultimately the same as the Amazon Prime option above, only you’ll watch games on MLB’s digital platforms instead of Amazon’s
You can watch all out-of-market, non-nationally televised MLB games via MLB.TV. It costs $24.99 per month or $129.99 for the year to watch every out-of-market game, or $109.99 for the year to just watch out-of-market Pirates games, but the monthly and yearly all-team options include a free seven-day trial (the single-team option does not):
Once signed up for MLB.TV, out-of-market viewers can watch Pirates games live on the MLB TV app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, various Smart TV’s, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. You can also watch on your computer via the MLB.TV website.
If you can’t watch live, all games are available on-demand by the next day.
This isn’t going to be an option to watch many Pirates games, but if you’re looking for a cheap way to watch a random MLB game daily, ESPN+ will have at least one out-of-market game every day during the regular season:
In addition to one live MLB game every day, ESPN+ also has college baseball and other college sports, UFC, international soccer and dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, out-of-market viewers can watch select MLB games live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Pirates 2021 Season Preview
As should be expected of a rebuilding franchise, the Pirates made little noise in free agency and traded away veterans suited for more competitive teams, dealing first baseman Josh Bell and righty pitchers Jameson Taillon and Joe Musgrove for a trove of 11 prospects.
They addressed the losses of Taillon and Musgrove in part by signing lefty starter Tyler Anderson and righty swingman Trevor Cahill to one-year pacts.
After an unproductive and injury-shortened 2019 campaign, Anderson returned to form in 2020, pitching to a 4.37 ERA across 11 starts and a pair of relief appearances.
“He’s a guy that we looked at and targeted and wanted to add him to our mix,” manager Derek Shelton said, according to MLB.com. “Adding another left-hander into our rotation is important, because it does break it up.”
Anderson posted a 4.30 ERA across his first three seasons, all with the Colorado Rockies, starting in 2016. He made just 5 starts in 2019 before, for the second time in his career, he hit the 60-day injured list with an injury to his left.
He told MLB.com that in 2020 he was able to stop worrying about how his body would react to pitching.
“You’re kind of walking out there not worried about pitching or getting outs. You’re kind of just walking out there worried about your health every day,” Anderson said, per MLB.com. “You can barely walk. So just to be able to go out there and be healthy and take the mound, you just have freedom of mind, some clarity.”
Barring injury, 2021 will mark the first full big-league season for third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, whom Baseball Prospectus ranked as MLB’s seventh-best prospect.
The 24-year-old’s levelheaded nature has stood out to Shelton.
“I think he’ll probably play 15 years in the big leagues and never change,” Shelton said, according to Forbes. “That’s who he is. He’s the same person every day, he was the same person every day when he came to the park last year and expect that to kind of go forward.”
Hayes made his MLB debut on Sept. 1 last season and played in 24 games. Across 95 plate appearances, he hit .376/.442/.682 with 5 home runs and 11 RBI. He’d never hit more than 10 homers in a season in the minors, reaching that figure across 492 plate appearances in 2019.
“I mean I feel like I’ve always had the power,” Hayes said, per Forbes. “I just feel like I wasn’t putting my body in a consistent position to hit the ball hard. I feel like I’ve always had stretches where I’ll hit the ball really hard, but it would be for a game or two and then for the next two, three games I wouldn’t.”
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