The Kansas City Royals showed signs of improvement during their first season under Mike Matheny, and now they’re hoping to take another step forward inside a crowded AL Central in 2021.
Royals games in ’21 will be locally televised on Bally Sports Kansas City (rebranded from Fox Sports Kansas City), while some will be on MLB Network (out of market only, but those will also be on Bally Sports Kansas City), 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 Royals game in 2021, including options for both in-market and out-of-market fans:
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AT&T TV is the only streaming service that includes Bally Sports Kansas City, so if you live in-market, this is the only way to watch every Royals game live online without cable.
There are four different channel packages: “Entertainment”, “Choice”, “Ultimate” and “Premier.” ESPN, Fox and FS1 are included in every bundle, while Bally Sports Kansas City 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 Royals 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 Royals 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 Royals 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 Royals 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 Royals 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 Royals 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.
Royals 2021 Season Preview
The Royals staggered to a 26-34 mark in the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 campaign, finishing in fourth in the AL Central. They haven’t posted a winning record since their victory in the 2015 World Series.
To remedy the dubious stretch, they were players in free agency, bringing in five veterans on major league deals.
The richest of those pacts belonged to lefty starter Mike Minor (two years, $18 million) and first baseman Carlos Santana (two years, $17.5 million).
After an All-Star campaign that saw him pitch to a 3.56 ERA over 32 starts for the Texas Rangers, Minor struggled in 2020, posting a 5.56 ERA across 56.2 innings split among the Rangers and the Oakland Athletics, though his FIP only jumped to 4.64 from 4.25 the previous season.
The 33-year-old owns a career 3.98 ERA across 248 appearances, 181 of them starts.
“Mike’s quiet, but he goes about his business,” manager Mike Matheny said in spring training, according to MLB.com. “And then the inherent part is his time and experience gives him a voice. When you are around the game that long, there are a lot of things that you’ve learned that younger players watch. So that’s leadership. It’s just a different style.”
Matheny added: “We’re going to need him to lead by taking the ball, going out and competing. And just like the rest of our players, and if our best players are committed to helping others out, it makes all of us better.
“That’s part of the requirement we’re putting on Mike Minor from the day that we began conversations with him.”
Kansas City also doled out the largest contract in franchise history, inking Salvador Pérez to an extension that guarantees $82 million over four years and could reach $93.5 million if the Royals exercise an option on a fifth season.
After missing all of the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, the catcher hit .333/.353/.633 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI across 156 plate appearances in 2020 and was named the American League comeback player of the year.
“Nobody loves to play baseball more than Salvador Pérez,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said, according to ESPN. “There are players that like it just as much, but nobody loves it more. Nobody can imagine him not being here.”
The six-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner out of Venezuela initially signed with the organization in 2006 at age 16. He’s been with the team since.
“It’s hard to believe where I’m coming from, where I grew up, to see the situation I have right now, it makes me feel super happy,” Pérez said, per ESPN. “My mother is going to be happy. I know my grandma is going to be happy. I know they’re excited for me to be here for four more years, maybe five.”
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