By Brad Tuttle
Updated: October 5, 2018 3:21 PM ET | Originally published: October 4, 2018

Now that the Major League Baseball tiebreaker and Wild Card games are completed, the 2018 MLB playoff series can get fully underway.

In the National League, two best-of-five series determine which team will play for the division championship: Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. In the American League, it’s the Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros and New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox.

If you’re wondering how to watch the 2018 MLB playoffs, the answer isn’t that simple. The TV broadcasts for the four division series are on at least three different channels, and none of them are free, over-the-air major networks.

Still, there are a few different ways to catch the action on TV or via live stream, and yes, there are possible ways to watch the MLB playoffs online for free — at least some of the games.

Here is the 2018 MLB playoff game schedule as we now know it, and everything you need to know about how to watch the Rockies vs. Brewers, Braves vs. Dodgers, Indians vs. Astros, and Yankees vs. Red Sox online for free.

What Channel Is the 2018 MLB Playoffs On?

The 2018 MLB division series games are being broadcast on a mix of the following channels: FS1, MLB Network, and TBS.

These are all pay TV channels, and some if not all of them are probably included in your package if you subscribe to satellite or cable TV, or have a live streaming TV service. If you don’t have cable, you could watch at least a few days worth of the MLB playoffs for free online by registering for a free trial of a streaming TV service with one or more of the channels airing games. The options include Fubo TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and Sling TV.

As you can see below, YouTube TV is the only streaming TV that includes all three of these channels in its base package. Here’s a breakdown of the channels broadcasting the 2018 MLB playoffs available on each service:

DirecTV Now: FS1, TBS (and MLB Network only with packages that cost $55 and up per month)

Fubo TV: FS1, TBS, (but no MLB Network)

Hulu Live: FS1, TBS (but no MLB Network)

PlayStation Vue: FS1, TBS (and MLB Network only with packages that cost $50 and up per month)

Sling TV: TBS with “Orange” package, FS1 and TBS with “Blue” package (but no MLB Network with either)

YouTube TV: FS1, MLB Network, TBS

All of these streaming TV services offer free trials of five to seven days for new subscribers. So it’s possible to sign up and live stream the 2018 MLB playoffs online for free for a few days before deciding if you actually want to become a paying subscriber. If you only want to watch baseball online for free, you must remember to cancel the service before the trial period ends.

If you don’t cancel in time, you’ll be billed in full for the first month. Sling TV is the cheapest streaming TV service, with its “Orange” or “Blue” package running $25 per month; you can also get all of the channels included in both packages for a total of $40 per month. Speaking of which, $40 per month is about what you can expect to pay for the base packages for all of the other streaming TV services highlighted above.

What’s the 2018 MLB Playoff Game Schedule Today?

Here is the 2018 MLB playoff schedule for each game in the National League Division Series and the American League Division Series, along with what channel is broadcasting baseball playoff games on each day:

Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Game 1: Thursday, October 4, 5:07 p.m. ET on FS1
Game 2: Friday, October 5, 4:15 p.m. ET on FS1
Game 3: Sunday, October 7, 4:37 p.m. ET on MLB Network
Game 4 (if necessary): Monday, October 8, Time TBD on FS1
Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, October 10, Time TBD on FS1

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Game 1: Thursday, October 4, 8:37 p.m. ET on MLB Network
Game 2: Friday, October 5, 9:37 p.m. ET on FS1
Game 3: Sunday, October 7, 8:07 p.m. ET on FS1
Game 4 (if necessary): Monday, October 8, Time TBD on FS1
Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, October 10, Time TBD on FS1

Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros

Game 1: Friday, October 5, 2:05 p.m. ET on TBS
Game 2: Saturday, October 6, 4:37 p.m. ET on TBS
Game 3: Monday, October 8, Time TBD on TBS
Game 4 (if necessary): Tuesday, October 9, Time TBD on TBS
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, October 11, Time TBD on TBS

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Game 1: Friday, October 5, 7:32 p.m. ET on TBS
Game 2: Saturday, October 6, 8:15 p.m. ET on TBS
Game 3: Monday, October 8, Time TBD on TBS
Game 4 (if necessary): Tuesday, October 9, Time TBD on TBS
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, October 11, Time TBD on TBS

Can I Live Stream MLB Playoff Games Any Other Way?

Yes, there are still other ways to live stream 2018 MLB playoff games. But they require you to pay in some form.

The MLB.TV live stream will have a simulcast of the National League games being broadcast on TV on the MLB Network. Live streams of the entire Yankees vs. Red Sox and Astros vs. Indians series are also available online at MLB.TV, as well as the TBS app.

Note, however, that to get these live streams, you must log in with a participating pay TV account. In other words, you generally have to be a subscriber to a satellite or cable TV service that includes the corresponding pay channels in your package.

The MLB.TV live stream costs extra on top of your monthly bill, too — you’ll pay $24.99 to access its live streams for the 2018 postseason. As for the TBS app, subscribers don’t pay extra to live stream the AL division series, but many fans complained that the app didn’t work well when they tried to use it to watch the Yankees Wild Card game against the A’s this week.

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