Have you ever wondered what would happen if 30 Major League players -- one from each team -- played each other in an online league on “MLB The Show?” Well, we’re all about to find out.
Starting Friday, 30 players are putting their virtual talents to the test in the first “MLB The Show” online league. Participants include 11 onetime All-Stars, five World Series champions and eight players age 25 or younger. The league will consist of 29 games for each player, one against each of the other participants, and will run for approximately three weeks. The top eight players will then advance to the “postseason.”
The “MLB The Show” players league will provide fans an opportunity to watch their favorite players play the video game, while also allowing them to interact with them through various streaming services.
While the competition will provide something for baseball fans to watch during social distancing, it will also be done for a charitable cause.
Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Sony Interactive Entertainment will donate $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to a Boys & Girls Club affiliate in their team’s community. The stakes of the competition are enhanced, with the championship player earning an additional $25,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club in his community. That adds up to a total of $175,000.
All 30 teams will be represented in the “MLB The Show” players league, with each of them playing as their respective teams with the 2020 roster. Although it was a small sample size, Reds reliever Amir Garrett announced his presence with authority by winning a four-player tournament two weeks ago.
AL East: Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Dwight Smith Jr. (Orioles), Blake Snell (Rays), Eduardo Rodriguez (Red Sox), Tommy Kahnle (Yankees).
AL Central: Carlos Santana (Indians), Brett Phillips (Royals), Niko Goodrum (Tigers), Trevor May (Twins), Lucas Giolito (White Sox).
AL West: Ty Buttrey (Angels), Lance McCullers (Astros), Jesús Luzardo (A’s), Carl Edwards Jr. (Mariners), Joey Gallo (Rangers).
NL East: Luke Jackson (Braves), Ryne Stanek (Marlins), Jeff McNeil (Mets), Juan Soto (Nationals), Rhys Hoskins (Phillies).
NL Central: Josh Hader (Brewers), Matt Carpenter (Cardinals), Ian Happ (Cubs), Cole Tucker (Pirates), Amir Garrett (Reds).
NL West: Jon Duplantier (D-backs), Gavin Lux (Dodgers), Hunter Pence (Giants), Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), David Dahl (Rockies).
The players will play 29 games, one against each other participant, over the next three weeks. Each game will be three innings, giving the players an opportunity to play multiple games in one day. Every game will have its own individual online stream. MLB Network talents Robert Flores and Heidi Watney will provide transitions between the games.
Standings and schedules will be generated daily on www.mlb.com/playersleague, with season-end awards scheduled after the regular season.
The top eight players will advance to the postseason, which are scheduled to begin on April 30. In the postseason, the Division and Championship Series will be a best-of-three. The World Series will be a best-of-five battle to determine the first champion.
Where to watch
Over the next few weeks, the league will be livestreamed on MLB social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), MLB Network's Twitch site, "MLB The Show" social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), the clubs’ social media accounts and MLB.com. Each player will also stream it from their individual Twitch or YouTube accounts.
Aside from those streams, in order to provide a full gameday experience, MLB will provide a live stream in which it will select the best one-on-one matchups and look into other game results and friendly banter.
Flores will provide commentary between and during games in addition to providing transitions between games over the course of the season with Watney.