MLB Launching Virtual League on 'The Show' Featuring Stars From All 30 Teams

Jordan Cohn
April 10, 2020 - 9:44 am

We've seen mega statistics website Baseball Reference run a simulated baseball season using the "Out of the Park Baseball" video game. We've seen SNY, the TV home of the Mets, simulate the regular season using "MLB: The Show" with real announcers. Popular baseball simulation game "Strat-O-Matic" has gone ahead and run every game of what should have been the 2020 season.

What all these simulations are missing, though, are the actual stars that make baseball so exciting. Major League Baseball now has a fix for that.

According to what league sources told ESPN, all 30 teams will be represented by players in a 29-game regular season played out on "MLB: The Show", the same game used by SNY to simulate Mets games. Notable names that will partake are breakout 2019 rookies Fernando Tatis Jr. and Bo Bichette, former Cy Young winner Blake Snell, 13-year veteran Hunter Pence and MVP candidate Juan Soto.

The full list of player representatives is as follows:

Jon Duplantier (Arizona), Luke Jackson (Atlanta), Dwight Smith Jr. (Baltimore), Eduardo Rodriguez (Boston), Ian Happ (Chicago NL), Lucas Giolito (Chicago AL), Amir Garrett (Cincinnati), Carlos Santana (Cleveland), David Dahl (Colorado), Niko Goodrum (Detroit), Lance McCullers Jr. (Houston), Brett Phillips (Kansas City ), Ty Buttrey (Los Angeles AL), Gavin Lux (Los Angeles NL), Ryne Stanek (Miami), Josh Hader (Milwaukee), Trevor May (Minnesota), Jeff McNeil (New York NL), Tommy Kahnle (New York AL), Jesus Luzardo (Oakland), Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia), Cole Tucker (Pittsburgh), Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego), Hunter Pence (San Francisco), Carl Edwards Jr. (Seattle), Matt Carpenter (St. Louis), Blake Snell (Tampa Bay), Joey Gallo (Texas), Bo Bichette (Toronto), Juan Soto (Washington)

This is about as realistic an experience as we can possibly ask for considering the current state of our nation and of the world. We'll even be able to see the Soto Shuffle -- yes, it's included in the game -- by Soto himself! However, he'll face some stiff competition. Snell, Pence, May and McCullers Jr. were all featured on MLB's list of the best gamers in the league, though most of the focus in their gaming experience is on shooting and combat games.

Better still, ESPN reports that MLB, the union and Sony will donate $5,000 so that each player can contribute to their local teams' Boys and Girls Club affiliate. Whoever takes home the main prize in the tournament will gain an extra $25,000 to donate.

The first game is scheduled for Friday night at 9:00 pm ET as Blake Snell faces off against Amir Garrett. Snell has not played against the Reds over the past three seasons, meaning he'll have to prepare for some new faces. However, he has faced new Reds star Nick Castellanos nine times throughout his career, striking him out three times and allowing him on base only once after a walk.

Some of the games could potentially be televised on the teams' broadcast partners, according to ESPN's sources. All games will be streamed on Twitch, whether by the individual players participating or by the teams they represent. Games will be played every single night at 9:00 pm ET, meaning we'll never have a night off from virtual MLB action.

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