Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell locked up the No. 1 seed, and New York Mets utility man Jeff McNeil clinched a playoff berth Monday as the MLB The Show Players League neared the conclusion of the regular season.
The final few games will be played Wednesday, when the last four spots in the eight-player postseason field will be determined.
Snell (24-5) went 3-1 on Monday to overtake Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo for the top spot. Gallo (23-6) lost both of his Monday games to drop down to the second seed.
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (21-8) posted two wins in three games Monday to clinch the No. 3 seed over McNeil (21-8) on a runs-scored tiebreaker. McNeil enjoyed a 3-1 night to seal the No. 4 seed.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. (19-10) had already concluded his regular-season action over the weekend, and he wound up tied for fifth with Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux (19-10) and Chicago Cubs utility man Ian Happ (19-10).
Lux dropped all three of his Monday games while Happ went 3-1.
Chicago White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (18-10) and New York Yankees right-hander Tommy Kahnle (18-10) share eighth place.
Giolito went 1-1 on Monday, and Kahnle posted a 1-2 mark.
Snell opened with a 7-3 win over Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Jon Duplantier before falling 3-2 to Minnesota Twins right-hander Trevor May (18-11). The Rays lefty then closed with a 4-1 victory over McNeil and a 7-6 decision over San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence (11-18).
The last regular-season games will air Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2, with Kahnle opposing Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (14-14) before Giolito squares off with Cincinnati Reds left-hander Amir Garrett (17-11).
Kahnle and Giolito would each clinch playoff berths with wins Wednesday, due to the total-runs tiebreaker, with Happ getting eliminated in that scenario. Smith and Lux are all but mathematically assured of advancing.
The online tournament utilizing the “MLB The Show 20” game features one player from each of the 30 major league teams. The charity event is helping fill some time for players and fans with the baseball season shut down indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All players are squaring off once in a 29-game round robin over three weeks. Each regular-season game lasts three innings, and there are extra innings when needed.
The postseason will start Friday with two of the four quarterfinal matches. The other two quarterfinals and both semifinals will be contested Saturday, and the World Series will be played Sunday.
The playoffs will utilize a best-of-three format until the World Series, which will be best-of-five.
Sony Interactive Entertainment and Major League Baseball, in cooperation with the players association, will donate $5,000 on behalf of each player to a Boys and Girls Club in his community. A total of $175,000 will be donated, including the World Series prize of $25,000.
MLB The Show Players League standings, through Monday (x-clinched playoff spot):
x-1. Tampa Bay Rays’ Blake Snell, 24-5
x-2. Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo, 23-6
x-3. Toronto Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette, 21-8
x-4. New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil, 21-8
T5. Baltimore Orioles’ Dwight Smith Jr., 19-10
T5. Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, 19-10
T5. Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ, 19-10
T8. Chicago White Sox’s Lucas Giolito, 18-10
T8. New York Yankees’ Tommy Kahnle, 18-10
10. Minnesota Twins’ Trevor May, 18-11
11. Cincinnati Reds’ Amir Garrett, 17-11
T12. Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader, 17-12
T12. Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto, 17-12
T12. San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr., 17-12
T15. Kansas City Royals’ Brett Phillips, 15-14
T15. Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jon Duplantier, 15-14
17. Houston Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr., 14-14
18. Oakland Athletics’ Jesus Luzardo, 14-15
T19. Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, 13-16
T19. St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter, 13-16
T19. Atlanta Braves’ Luke Jackson, 13-16
22. San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence, 11-18
T23. Miami Marlins’ Ryne Stanek, 10-19
T23. Seattle Mariners’ Carl Edwards Jr., 10-19
25. Los Angeles Angels’ Ty Buttrey, 8-21
T26. Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana, 7-22
T26. Detroit Tigers’ Niko Goodrum, 7-22
T26. Pittsburgh Pirates’ Cole Tucker, 7-22
29. Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, 6-23
30. Boston Red Sox’s Eduardo Rodriguez, 2-27
–Field Level Media