With just under one week remaining in the regular season, the playoff race is heating up in the first-ever MLB The Show Players League.
This week provided a lot of good games and a plethora of funny moments between the participants. But as we get close to the finish line, let’s take a look at where players stand in the last power rankings of the season.
• Players League standings, schedule, video
1. Joey Gallo (Rangers, 19-4)
Last week: 1
Gallo lost just three games this week -- and it still somehow feels like a disappointment. That said, Gallo is the most dominant player in the league and his league-leading 117 runs scored are pretty absurd.
2. Blake Snell (Rays, 14-3)
Last week: 2
Snell has been one of the most entertaining players in the league, and he’s backing it up with some stellar play. The Rays’ left-hander is 12-1 in his last 13 games, making him one of the clear favorites heading into the last week.
3. Gavin Lux (Dodgers, 16-6)
Last week: 3
Lux is hitting .520 (13-for-25) with his virtual self, so he might not want this league to come to an end anytime soon.
4. Jeff McNeil (Mets, 15-6)
Last week: 7
Like a true Met, McNeill is flying under the radar despite having the best record in New York and one of the best records in the league. His dog, Willow, is still the best.
5. Bo Bichette (Blue Jays, 12-4)
Last week: 4
Bichette has still not struck out during the MLB The Show Players League -- not once! As someone who plays the game and strikes out about 17 times every nine innings, this Bichette stat hits differently.
6. Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres, 15-7)
Last week: 9
Tatis has scored 111 runs, and he hit seven (!) home runs in one inning against Matt Carpenter (Cardinals). But despite all those homers, the young shortstop still hasn’t hit two grand slams in one inning, so this round goes to his dad.
7. Lucas Giolito (White Sox, 14-7)
Last week: 10
Giolito has played his way into playoff contention and has beaten some of the top players. Snell was not one of those players, as the Rays left-hander blew out Giolito on national TV.
8. Dwight Smith Jr. (Orioles, 15-9)
Last week: 5
Smith went 9-7 this week, meaning he will have to finish the regular season strong in order to make the playoffs. If Smith makes the playoffs, he would immediately become the champion in our book.
9. Tommy Kahnle (Yankees, 11-7)
Last week: 21
It was only a matter of time before Kahnle figured out that his lineup is stacked, and that certainly happened this week. The Yankees reliever has won eight of his last 10 and the Bronx Bombers are creeping into the playoff picture.
10. Jesús Luzardo (A’s, 12-8)
Last week: 13
Luzardo told the story of him striking out Bichette when they were kids and then he went on to beat the Blue Jays shortstop. That sounds like someone who’s gaining some confidence in the league.
11. Trevor May (Twins, 12-9)
Last week: 12
Bichette beat May so badly on Tuesday that the Twins reliever wanted to turn into a full-time commissioner. “It’d be a bad look if the commissioner won the league, don’t you think? We don’t want to ruin the integrity of this league, that’s No. 1.”
12. Amir Garrett (Reds, 12-8)
Last week: 6
Garrett is 5-5 in his last 10 games and he didn’t retaliate when Cole Tucker hit him on the first pitch of the game. Garrett, who won the first-ever players tournament last month, might need an intervention.
13. Juan Soto (Nationals, 10-9)
Last week: 29
Soto went 9-3 this week and is now 10-9 heading into the last week. The Nationals won’t let anyone forget that they were 19-31 at one point last season, so maybe Soto had everyone right where he wanted them after his 1-6 start.
14. Josh Hader (Brewers, 10-9)
Last week: 20
Hader has a negative run differential, which is usually not a good sign. But he’s 10-9 with 10 games remaining. Crazier things have happened.
15. Jon Duplantier (D-backs, 10-9)
Last week: 16
We’ve decided: Duplantier wearing overalls during his stream does earn him some points in these power rankings. Quietly, Duplantier has had some of the most entertaining streams of the tournament.
16. Brett Phillips (Royals, 11-12)
Last week: 17
Barring a big week, Phillips’ season will likely end next week. But we’re all winners after hearing his famous laugh multiple times this week.
17. Ian Happ (Cubs, 9-9)
Last week: 8
Happ went 3-6 this week and fell out of the Top 10. Not a Happ-y week for the Cubs utilityman.
18. Luke Jackson (Braves, 10-10)
Last week: 19
Jackson wore “Bloodfang” armor worn by characters in the video game World of Warcraft. The actual outfit deducts him a few spots in these rankings, but the courage to wear it on his stream earns him a significant bump.
19. Matt Carpenter (Cardinals, 9-10)
Last week: 15
Maybe Carpenter and the Cardinals won’t get a bunch of clutch hits, after all.
20. Lance McCullers Jr. (Astros, 9-13)
Last week: 26
McCullers moved up six spots this week, strictly because of his amazing burrito story. If you missed it, a delivery driver took a whole bite out of McCullers's burrito, and his reaction was amazing.
21. Hunter Pence (Giants, 8-11)
Last week: 23
Pence needs a minor miracle to get back into the playoff picture.
22. Ryne Stanek (Marlins, 7-13)
Last week: 28
Stanek played much better the second week, but the real question is: Did his dog, Goose, pee on the carpet again?
23. Rhys Hoskins (Phillies, 10-13)
Last week: 11
Hoskins is 1-9 in his past 10 games, proving that it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia.
24. David Dahl (Rockies, 5-13)
Last week: 22
Dahl has played half his games at Coors Field and has only managed to score 15 runs. Come on, man.
25. Ty Buttrey (Angels, 4-14)
Last week: 24
Buttrey won four games this week, so maybe enlisting the “video game Mike Trout” is finally paying off.
26. Cole Tucker (Pirates, 3-16)
Last week: 27
In his game against Garrett, who challenged the Pirates' dugout during a fracas last season, Tucker hit the leadoff hitter. All Tucker did was shrug and say that the hit-by-pitch was “For the homies.” Garrett thought it was funny and quickly found out Tucker was not “one of the nice ones.”
27. Niko Goodrum (Tigers, 6-13)
Last week: 14
Goodrum allowed 16 runs in an inning to Smith, which is bad for the Tigers infielder. But it was great for everyone else because it created the best phone call of the week.
28. Carlos Santana (Indians, 3-15)
Last week: 30
Santana is still relaxing and listening to music as he plays his games, but at least he has a couple of wins now. And yes, the TVs are still intact.
29. Carl Edwards Jr. (Mariners, 4-14)
Last week: 18
Edwards got no-hit about 100 times this week.
30. Eduardo Rodriguez (Red Sox, 2-15)
Last week: 25
“Where’s E-Rod” was the popular question today as the Red Sox starter has apparently given up. After watching his first 10 games, we can’t really blame him. We’ll miss the Eduardo Rodriguez background on his stream, though.
Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.