Arlington, Texas — Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo will begin play in the quarterfinals of MLB The Show Players League on Saturday, May 2, against the Cubs’ Ian Happ beginning at 2:00 p.m. CST on ESPN2. The matchup is part of the league’s playoffs spanning May 1-3, with all games over the weekend being televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1.
Gallo, who finished with the second-best regular season record following the Wednesday night conclusion of the Players League, is the tournament’s second seed going into the quarterfinal round of the eight-team playoff bracket. The playoff format for MLB The Show Players League, which consists of 3-inning contests, will feature best-of-three quarterfinals and semifinals matchups, followed by a best-of-five championship final. Gallo’s quarterfinals series on Saturday will be televised on ESPN2, and a potential semifinals match with the White Sox’ Lucas Giolito or the Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette would immediately follow the completion of the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Gallo has a .458 (22-48) batting average, 1.333 slugging percentage, and 1.814 OPS figure while batting as himself in the competition. Those marks, as well as his 13 home runs and 26 RBI, are the most of any other position player in the Players League while performing with their video game likeness. The Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr., who had 8 home runs and 19 RBI, was the next-closest individual in those categories.
Gallo finished with a 4-3 record against the other playoff opponents during the regular season, including losing his season finale against Happ by a 6-5 score. He opened the Players League with a 10-0 record, out-scoring opponents by a 65-19 margin during that win streak. He had a 10-4 record at the new Globe Life Field, recording a pair of walk-off wins.
The virtual versions of Willie Calhoun and Rougned Odor each turned in impressive performances throughout the round robin, with both players earning nods as finalists for the “In-Game MVP” award. Calhoun slashed .596/.558/1.489/2.047 with 12 home runs and 27 RBI, and came up in the clutch with a walk-off home run on April 20 that lifted Gallo to a 3-2 win over Tatis Jr. and the Padres. Among players on the ballot for In-Game MVP, Calhoun ranked second in hits (28) and OPS while placing third in RBI and home runs. Odor compiled a .525/.556/1.375/1.931 slash line and finished second among award finalists in runs scored (23). Both Calhoun and Odor totaled zero strikeouts over a combined 87 at-bats, joining Elvis Andrus (59 AB) and Todd Frazier (45 AB) as Gallo-controlled batters to avoid striking out while appearing in all 29 games of the league’s regular season.
The Players League is the first-ever competitive league of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s MLB The Show, solely featuring Major League players. The effort jointly launched by Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) features 30 players representing their Major League Clubs in an online event to engage fans around the world and raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. Each participant played in a round-robin format (i.e., playing every team one time) for a total of 29 regular season, three-inning games.
MLB, the MLBPA and SIE will donate $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to a Boys & Girls Clubs affiliate in their team’s community. The stakes for the competition are enhanced with the league champion earning an additional $25,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club in his community.
MLB THE SHOW PLAYERS LEAGUE PLAYOFF TV SCHEDULE AND FORMAT
• Friday, 9pm CT on FS1: Quarterfinals A and B
• Saturday, 2pm CT on ESPN2: Quarterfinals C and D, then Semifinal B
• Saturday, 7pm CT on FS1: Semifinal A
• Sunday, on ESPN: Championship Series
• Quarterfinals: Best of 3
• Semifinals: Best of 3
• Championship Series: Best of 5
GALLO'S PLAYERS LEAGUE GAME-BY-GAME LOG
Date Opponent Score Result
4/10 May (MIN) 4-0 Win
4/10 Snell (TB) 11-2 Win
4/10 McCullers Jr. (HOU) 9-4 Win
4/10 Garrett (CIN) 6-0 Win
4/14 Buttrey (LAA) 4-0 Win
4/14 Jackson (ATL) 11-1 Win
4/14 Rodriguez (BOS) 7-6 Win (Walk-off, Guzmán HR)
4/14 Hoskins (PHI) 5-2 Win
4/16 Stanek (MIA) 2-0 Win
4/16 Bichette (TOR) 6-4 Win
4/16 Lux (LAD) 5-4 Loss
4/16 Santana (CLE) 7-3 Win
4/19 Carpenter (STL) 2-1 Win
4/19 Smith Jr. (BAL) 5-0 Win
4/19 Goodrum (DET) 5-2 Win
4/19 Dahl (COL) 3-1 Win
4/20 Tatis Jr. (SD) 3-2 Win (Walk-off, Calhoun HR)
4/20 Giolito (CWS) 2-1 Loss
4/20 Duplantier (ARI) 4-2 Loss
4/20 Hader (MIL) 8-2 Win
4/23 McNeil (NYM) 9-2 Win
4/23 Phillips (KC) 5-2 Loss
4/23 Edwards Jr. (SEA) 1-0 Win
4/26 Tucker (PIT) 9-1 Win
4/26 Kahnle (NYY) 2-0 Win
4/26 Pence (SF) 3-0 Win
4/26 Luzardo (OAK) 6-3 Win
4/27 Soto (WAS) 4-3 Loss
4/27 Happ (CHC) 6-5 Loss
TEXAS INDIVIDUAL PITCHING STATISTICS
Starters Corey Kluber: 8-1, 7 SO, 13 GS
Lance Lynn: 7-0, 10 SO, 12 GS
Mike Minor: 3-1, 4 GS
Relievers José Leclerc: 1-1, 6 SV, 12 SO, 16 G
Nick Goody: 2-1, 6 SO, 13 G
Luis García: 1-1, 1 SV, 6 SO, 11 G