With 5-0 day, new No. 1 tops Players League ranks

April 25th, 2020

(Rangers) has dominated most of the chatter around the MLB The Show Players League with his relentless approach and discipline at the plate. But for the first time since the virtual Opening Day two weeks ago, there’s a new player atop the standings.

With a 5-0 day, (Rays) improved to 19-3, jumping ahead of Gallo, who is 19-4 through his first 23 games. Snell has won 17 of his last 18 games, most of them in dominant fashion.

“That was big,” Snell said about his 5-0 night. “I was happy that I could come out with the wins. I was pretty locked in today. I was able to score some runs and I was really confident in the pitching. I think I gave up two runs in five games, so I’m really excited about that.”

Snell rolled through his five games on Friday, beating Luke Jackson (Braves), Jesús Luzardo (A’s), Niko Goodrum (Tigers), Josh Hader (Brewers) and Carl Edwards Jr. (Mariners). One person who Snell had been unable to beat was Amir Garrett (Reds), who made sure to remind him of that as he joined the featured stream with Snell and MLB Network’s Robert Flores.

“Blake has been killing it. I’ve been peeping and trying to scout,” Garrett said. “Blake got worked by the champ twice though, so I don’t see him in that light. But he’s doing his thing.”

Snell quickly reminded Garrett that the Reds reliever beat him on a bunt in extra innings, which caused an interesting debate on whether it was right to bunt in a video game. Regardless, a rematch between those two would make for great television.

But in order for that to happen, Garrett, who came into the night with a 12-8 record, needs to have a good end to the regular season. Friday was a good start as Garrett went 3-1, moving to 15-9 and into a tie for the last playoff spot with Baltimore’s Dwight Smith Jr.

“It’s been a grind for the kid,” Garrett told Snell. “Today I was 3-1. It was a pretty easy day for me.”

It’s been a grind for a lot of the players contending for a postseason spot, and Friday's action only made the last couple of days of the regular season even more compelling. Tommy Kahnle (Yankees) went 2-0 on Friday, improving to 13-7 and moving into a tie with both Smith and Garrett.

Josh Hader (Brewers) and Jon Duplantier (D-backs) also went 3-1 on Friday, pushing their records to 13-11, putting them just two games behind Smith, Garrett and Kahnle for the eighth seed.

“I’m starting to figure out this hitting thing a little bit,” Hader said. “I just need to be patient at the plate.”

Welcome to the club, Josh.

Luzardo and Juan Soto (Nationals) were also in action on Friday, but were unable to gain ground in the playoff race, as Soto went 2-2 and Luzardo went 1-3.

No. 42
Garrett has been known to wear a full uniform when he streams his league games, but he added a nice touch on Friday. Garrett revealed that the uniform he was wearing was his No. 42 jersey and hat, which he would’ve worn on Jackie Robinson Day last week.

Garrett also said that he was wearing Jordan shoes, because he “wanted to be like Mike.”

Go get ‘em
MLB Network’s Robert Flores asked Snell and Luke Jackson (Braves) about their experiences facing Mike Trout, which led to Jackson sharing that Trout was the first batter he ever faced at the big league level.

“He was my debut,” Jackson said. “I didn’t throw a pitch in the vicinity of the zone. I think I threw four pitches out of the batter’s box or over the catcher’s head and I walked him on four pitches.”

Saturday’s games to watch
There’s a full slate of games on Saturday with 13 players set to play, including Snell with three more games. Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), Lucas Giolito (White Sox), Gavin Lux (Dodgers) and Soto are other playoff contenders in action.

Aside from all the action on Twitch, Brett Phillips (Royals) and Jeff McNeil (Mets) will play each other at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Giolito and Hunter Pence (Giants) will follow Phillips and McNeil as the other featured game.

One other game to watch will be Tatis vs. Soto, which should have a fun back-and-forth and plenty of entertaining celebrations.

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 Network will provide a livestream in which it will select the best one-on-one matchups and look into other game results and friendly banter.