The 15 Best Sports Podcasts of 2018

Need a sporting fix? Listen up

top 15 sports podcasts of 2018

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Podcasts have become a popular way for sports junkies to get their fix. With so many options to choose from, however, deciding which sports podcasts are worth listening to can be a daunting task.

We've taken the hard work out of the equation by listing some of the best sports podcasts below in alphabetical order.

31 Thoughts podcast

A Sportsnet Canada property, the 31 Thoughts podcast is highly entertaining and a great resource for hockey fanatics. Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman provide excellent insight into everything taking place on the ice and in the dressing room. 

What We Like:

  • Based north of the border, but gives attention to all relevant teams throughout the NHL.

What We Don't Like:

  • Humor isn't prevalent on this podcast, although that could be considered a pro if you're just looking to get the facts.
Around the NFL podcast

The signature podcast from NFL.com's catalog, Around the NFL gets you caught up on the most recent games and does a solid job of previewing all upcoming matchups from around the league. ATN is hosted by a crew of football scribes that mesh well together, creating an enjoyable dynamic.

What We Like:

  • This podcast showcases personalities and offers more than just your average, mundane rundown of the games.

What We Don't Like:

  • The hosts go off topic too frequently on some episodes.
Baseball Tonight podcast

Hosted by long-time columnist and TV reporter Buster Olney, Baseball Tonight regularly features other ESPN personalities, along with beat reporters from various cities.

With frequently-released episodes (sometimes more than one per day in-season) covering the latest happenings around the game, as well as the occasional outside-the-box deep dive on an interesting topic, this is a worthwhile listen for both casual and serious baseball fans.

What We Like:

  • It's obvious that Olney and team put a significant level of preparation into each episode.

What We Don't Like:

  • Occasionally, the audio quality of several guests and sometimes even that of the host can be distractingly poor.
DFA podcast

Even the most successful big league teams seem to have a revolving door policy in their clubhouse at times, as evidenced by the always-busy MLB transaction wire. This holds especially true in the summer months leading up to the non-waiver and waiver trade deadlines in July and August.

Baseball Prospectus writer Bryan Grosnick and R.J. Anderson from CBS Sports break down every call-up, trade, or event on the DFA Podcast, analyzing what they really mean for the clubs and players involved.

What We Like:

  • DFA even focuses on minor transactions that usually get ignored by other shows.

What We Don't Like:

  • A positive can also be a negative, as many of these minor transactions may only be interesting to hardcore fantasy players or fans of a particular team.
Effectively Wild podcast

Brought to you by Fangraphs, Effectively Wild is a well-rounded baseball podcast with an expected slant towards advanced analytics and growing trends in how the game is managed both on the field and in the front office.

Hosts Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan do a good job of keeping things interesting, mixing a bevy of topics in each episode alongside the occasional industry insider guest.

What We Like:

  • Despite being hosted by Fangraphs writers, you don't have to be sabermetrically-inclined to enjoy this podcast.

What We Don't Like: ​

  • Advanced metrics could be explained a bit more.
Executive Access podcast

A baseball podcast with a different spin, MLB.com's Executive Access takes a peek behind the curtain to give its listeners more than just a glimpse into the front-office folks responsible for constructing their favorite club's roster.

Former longtime Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand interviews GMs, team presidents, and other key decision makers for a behind-the-scenes look that fans don't often get to see or hear.

What We Like:

  • Longform interviews with front office baseball personnel whom, aside from short sound bytes, fans don't typically get a chance to hear from as often as they'd like.

What We Don't Like:

  • In some cases, it would benefit the casual fan by providing more background information on the guests.
Fantasy Focus Football podcast

Fantasy Focus Football stands out among a sea of options for those virtual GMs watching their players in action from a bar stool or a BarcaLounger. Hosted by ESPN fantasy gurus Matthew Berry and Field Yates, alongside reputable injury analyst Stephania Bell, the almost-daily show breaks down draft and waiver wire strategies, as well as the coming week's matchups.

This podcast helps provide an edge in today's ultra-competitive fantasy football landscape, one of the main reasons it consistently ranks near the top of the iTunes podcast rankings throughout the season.

What We Like:

  • The frequent episodes help ensure you aren't digesting stale information.

What We Don't Like:

  • Much of the show's structure seems geared towards novice fantasy owners, which can test the patience of advanced players.
Men in Blazers podcast

Hosts Michael Davies and Roger Bennett are all about soccer, and the steady growth in their podcast's popularity is no fluke. Men in Blazers does their part to promote the sport to newer fans in the States by focusing on the passion and excitement of the English Premier League, looked upon by some as the golden standard of soccer fandom. 

What We Like:

  • They have a deep-rooted interest in growing the game in the United States, and that's never more apparent than when they talk about the U.S. teams.

What We Don't Like: ​

  • Some popular leagues don't get attention on this podcast.
R2C2 is UNINTERRUPTED

Co-hosted by veteran pitcher CC Sabathia and sportscaster Ryan Ruocco, R2C2 is a bit of a hidden gem in the sports podcast arena. With a who's who of Big Apple baseball on the guest list and an upbeat and humorous approach, the affable left-hander and Ruocco combine for a very enjoyable listen.

What We Like:

  • You don't have to be a New Yorker or a fan of the Yankees to enjoy this podcast, as they cover a fairly wide range of topics.

What We Don't Like:

  • Sabathia is now a free agent, so his future in the Bronx as well as on this podcast are uncertain.
Rotoworld Football podcast

An authoritative resource for fantasy football news and advice, Rotoworld's NFL podcast broadcasts that same tried-and-true knowledge many daily and season-long players have come to rely on. Don't put in those waiver claims or submit those lineups until you've listened to the latest episode first.

What We Like:

  • The podcast's direct approach when providing important information is refreshing and avoids a lot of unnecessary chatter.

What We Don't Like:

  • Not much. This is what a true fantasy football player should want in a podcast.
The Adam Schefter podcast

When it comes to the NFL, ESPN's Adam Schefter has been one of the main go-to sources for years thanks to an impressive network of insider contacts and his penchant for breaking news first.

Although his podcast incorporates some of what he's become well known for, Schefter does much more than just recap the games and look forward to the next week's slate. If you like shows that dissect the personalities under the helmets and shoulder pads, we suggest giving this one a try.

What We Like

  • The interviews are some of the best found on football podcasts.

What We Don't Like:

  • Episodes aren't released frequently enough during the season.
The Bill Simmons Podcast

Known for establishing Grantland and later The Ringer, Simmons has been a force in the sports podcast world for quite some time. His show does a nice job of casually mixing sports with music, movies, and other celebrity chatter without getting too far away from the subject at hand. This podcast often has an impressive guest list, including many prominent athletes. 

What We Like:

  • Simmons covers the NBA better than a lot of other multi-sport podcasts.

What We Don't Like:

  • For those of you not interested in sports teams from New England, the podcast can occasionally seem a little Boston-heavy. 
The Rich Eisen Podcast

A one-time fixture on SportsCenter dating back to the mid-90's, Eisen has since become an oft-seen face on the NFL Network. The podcast is basically just a rebroadcast of his radio show, which is unsurprisingly dominated by football but isn't exclusively pigskin talk. 

What We Like:

  • Eisen's easy-going and dry sense of humor really shines through during the show's interviews.

What We Don't Like:

  • It's technically not a podcast.
The Sports Reporters podcast

A popular Sunday morning staple for decades, The Sports Reporters featured a roundtable of notable sportswriters from across the nation. A stark contrast to the sports debate shows of this generation, this weekly ESPN show often gave us informative and measured discussion without a lot of yelling or forced hot takes.

Although no longer on the air, The Sports Reporters has been revived in podcast form and is hosted by original panelists Mitch Albom, Bob Ryan, and Mike Lupica. 

What We Like:

  • The spirit of the original TV show is captured quite well.

What We Don't Like:

  • Political discussions occasionally overshadow the actual sports topics.
The Woj Pod

Perhaps nothing creates a buzz in the NBA world quicker than a "Woj bomb", the moniker given to a breaking report from league insider Adrian Wojnarowski. The Woj Pod takes things a step further, offering in-depth interviews from around the league, with guests ranging from your favorite point guard to commissioner Adam Silver. 

What We Like:

  • When a big story breaks, Woj often books the principal characters involved quicker than most other outlets.

What We Don't Like:

  • Although an excellent reporter, the host could stand to be a little more lively when conducting an interview.