Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Players League QFs continue at 3 ET on ESPN2

@juanctoribio
May 2, 2020

During the three-week regular season, the 30 participants in the MLB The Show Players League delivered countless celebrations, fun back-and-forth banter and an incredible amount of hilarious moments. The league served as a fun distraction as we continue to wait for the return of real baseball, while also giving the

During the three-week regular season, the 30 participants in the MLB The Show Players League delivered countless celebrations, fun back-and-forth banter and an incredible amount of hilarious moments.

The league served as a fun distraction as we continue to wait for the return of real baseball, while also giving the players an opportunity to showcase a different side of their personalities with the fans.

But with the regular season of the MLB The Show Players League coming to an end, it's now time for the top eight players to duel it out for the virtual World Series. Will top-seeded Blake Snell take home the trophy, even though the difficulty is set on veteran? Will Joey Gallo mash his way to a championship and prove that everything really is bigger in Texas? We'll find out once and for all this weekend.

The action began Friday night, when the first pair of quarterfinals saw Snell and Jeff McNeil advance to the next round. The other two quarterfinal matchups will be shown today at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2. After that, the semifinals follow, with one matchup set for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and the other series set for 8 p.m. ET on FS1. Then it’s on to the best-of-five virtual World Series, which will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday on ESPN.

Let's take a look at the remaining quarterfinal matchups.

2. Joey Gallo (Rangers) vs. 7. Ian Happ (Cubs)
Saturday, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2

It didn't take long for Gallo to establish himself as one of the favorites. He opened the season on an 11-game winning streak, leading people to believe that he had a legitimate shot at running the table. But as the regular season went on and his playoff spot all but clinched, Gallo suffered a couple of losses. He would be the first to tell you -- and he actually has -- that he lost some motivation at the end of the regular season, but that will surely change heading into the postseason.

Happ, on the other hand, went 9-9 in his first 18 games, but he then decided to fly the "W" flag in his background and play "Go Cubs Go" after every win. That strategy helped the Cubs utilityman string together 10 straight wins, helping him clinch a playoff berth. Happ could play the role of that Wild Card team that isn't better than the top seeds, but just finds a way to get it done.

3. Bo Bichette (Blue Jays) vs. 6. Lucas Giolito (White Sox)
Saturday, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2

This could turn out to be a really fun series by two really fun players. Bichette's personality started to shine as the league went on, even flashing a Vladdy Jr. sweater after the Blue Jays slugger came through in the clutch for Bichette.

Bichette struck out just one time during the regular season, which is nothing short of incredible. If you play the game, you know. As for Giolito, he punched his ticket to the postseason on Wednesday with a 6-3 win over Amir Garrett on ESPN2. Bichette hopes to carry that momentum into the postseason, even though I'm sure he'll miss having play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti on his stream.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.