Leadoff the MLB season with these iPhone apps

Mar 1, 2011
Misc

Opening Day for Major League baseball is finally here! So which iPhone apps should you download to follow your favorite team and keep up with all of the action? Our lineup includes the offiical app from MLB.com and other heavy-hitters. MLB.com At Bat 11 MLB.com At Bat 11 ($14.99) represents the biggest change in the […]

Opening Day for Major League baseball is finally here! So which iPhone apps should you download to follow your favorite team and keep up with all of the action?

Our lineup includes the offiical app from MLB.com and other heavy-hitters.

MLB.com At Bat 11

MLB.com At Bat 11 ($14.99) represents the biggest change in the series so far; that may not be saying much, but still. Now focused more on your favorite team/teams, this year’s At Bat looks both familiar and refreshing. There also seems to be an emphasis on making buying tickets easier, with a clickable ticket at the bottom of each game. All the necessary goodies return, so you can still listen to a radio feed or watch any game, while the social networking-inspired “At the Ballpark” feature returns for a second year. All said, At Bat continues to not only set the bar for baseball apps but for sports apps in general, and is a must-have for any self-respecting baseball fan.

Baseball Prospectus

Surely a few stat geeks out there thought life couldn’t get any better after the Sept. 2009 release of FanGraphs Baseball, an app version of the website that’s loaded with tons of wonderful, non-traditional baseball stats. Life has indeed gotten better, though, with the February release of Baseball Prospectus 2011 (split into NL and AL versions, $9.99 each), an app with many of the same advanced stats that also boasts witty bios of hundreds of major league players and forecasts for every MLB team. The book’s Nostradomus-like PECOTA system not only makes an appearance, but the app allows you to sort projected stats – a big advantage over BP’s New York Times best-selling book. The only downside here is price, as it’s hard to imagine too many iPhone users splurging $20 on the whole package. At the same time the apps may be well worth it, and if a price drop is in the future (to, say, $4.99 each) then both versions of Baseball Prospectus 2011 will become must downloads for any “stataholic.”

Baseball Trade Rumors

MLBTradeRumors.com has shown over the past few years that whether it’s the day of the trade deadline, the middle of the Winter Meetings or the beginning of Spring Training, few baseball sites have as much pertinent information for baseball junkies to consume. Fans of the site, or those who always want to know the latest MLB news, would do well to check out the sites’ app, Baseball Trade Rumors ($2.99). While it may lack the flashy stats of previous apps mentioned here, Trade Rumors boasts a good deal of new content everyday and has established itself as one of sports blogging’s true successes. It has to be said this is the same content you can get for free in Safari, but the app features a much nicer presentation and is miles easier to navigate. More important than that, Baseball Trade Rumors offers filterable push notifications, making it just as useful as it is pretty.

Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’11

No matter where you manage your fantasy baseball team online, there should be plenty of complementary iPhone applications to help you pencil-in your lineups. A great, free option is Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’11. The official fantasy title of Major League Baseball, this app provides real-time score updates and lets you edit your lineup while on the fly. Like the television network itself, ESPN’s app releases may not be perfect but are still often the best options for sports fans. ESPN Fantasy Baseball 2011 is no different, as there’s little doubt it’s the best option for managing and tracking your ESPN fantasy baseball team. The rub comes in that the premium content – such as alerts and exclusive fantasy news – will cost you $4.99, though the initial free app is definitely good enough. Those looking for something different can check out Fantasy Baseball Monster ‘11 ($2.99), which lacks the content of the ESPN app, but allows you to manage teams from both the Worldwide Leader and Yahoo! Or, those who don’t want to read Matthew Berry’s celebrity stories mixed with occasional fantasy analysis can look into Baseball Draft Kit 2011 ($4.99), a draft kit with plenty of stats and outlooks for hundreds of players.

iBaseballCards

Archanet Technologies’ iBaseballCards ($0.99) is a contradiction – an app that allows you enjoy a baseball tradition, a tradition whose decline has been often been blamed on the wealth of new technology options. As long as you’re able to wrap your head around that, iBaseballCards is also a pretty snazzy and well-executed app. This app acts as a virtual catalogue, so instead of carrying around bulky binders you can access your cardboard gods via your phone, with features such as a wish list, a detailed info section and sorting options. Planned future updates include things such as more categories and interface enhancements, so this good thing looks like it will be getting better. A pricing guide of some sort is the one thing missing from this app, but even as is (and given its reasonable price) iBaseballCards is recommended for anyone looking to put their collection at their fingertips.

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