If you think watching baseball on TV is boring, or if you find your mind wandering during a long inning, the free iOS app MLB PrePlay will keep you engaged from the first pitch to the last. You don’t just watch — you compete against others to see who can earn the most points for correctly predicting what will happen next.
While you don’t win anything but bragging rights, the points and messages help make the game more interesting.
The app takes advantage of the second screen that many of us have out while watching a game. Instead of whiling away your time surfing on your iPad or texting on your iPhone, put your baseball acumen to the test and predict the outcome of each game and every at bat.
Before a Major League Baseball game begins, you can pick the winner and even guess how many innings a pitcher will throw. Guess correctly and you earn points.
But things really get interesting while a game is being played. Between each pitch, you predict the outcome of the at bat: hit or out. You can earn extra points by picking which kind of hit (single, double, etc.) or what kind of out (strike out, fly out, and so on). In between innings, you answer broader questions such as, “will this be a 1-2-3 inning?” (one in which no batters get on base).
The app ranks your score versus all other players in the particular game you are participating in, and you can post messages to other competitors.
PrePlay is similar to iVoteSports.com 2012 Baseball Edition that we reported on in April. But it has two big advantages: it’s free, and it tracks your results for you. With iVoteSports.com’s app, you predict what will happen during an at bat, but you have to self-report if you were correct.
PrePlay keeps you engaged on every pitch — and the action comes fast. You have only a limited time to respond. Miss your window to predict, and you have to wait until the next at bat. Paired with the actual ball play, there’s no rest during an inning. Who said watching baseball was a leisurely pastime?