Major League Baseball hosts virtual season in MLB The Show

With the 2020 season postponed indefinitely, Major League Baseball is getting creative by hosting a virtual season in MLB The Show 20.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into everyone’s plans. 2020 is on hold as most major institutions have temporarily shut down in an effort to contain the outbreak. Major league sports have not been immune to the effects either as most have been suspended, cancelled or postponed. This includes Major League Baseball, which has delayed the start of its season.

With no end in clear sight and a thirst for sports to get our minds off the tragic news, some leagues have had to get creative. The NBA has been hosting player-driven tournaments in NBA 2K20. Following suit, Major League Baseball has partnered with Sony Interactive Entertainment to host its own player-driven league in MLB The Show 20.

Kicking off today, Friday, April 10, will be the first MLB The Show online league featuring 30 Major League players, each representing their team. The tournament will utilize MLB The Show 20‘s Custom League mode, which essentially allows up to 30 players to participate in an online season.

Each of the 30 teams will be featured in the MLB The Show players league, with each team being represented by a player on its real-life roster. Here are the participating players:

AL East: Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Dwight Smith Jr. (Orioles), Blake Snell (Rays), Eduardo Rodriguez (Red Sox), Tommy Kahnle (Yankees).

AL Central: Carlos Santana (Indians), Brett Phillips (Royals), Niko Goodrum (Tigers), Trevor May (Twins), Lucas Giolito (White Sox).

AL West: Ty Buttrey (Angels), Lance McCullers (Astros), Jesús Luzardo (A’s), Carl Edwards Jr. (Mariners), Joey Gallo (Rangers).

NL East: Luke Jackson (Braves), Ryne Stanek (Marlins), Jeff McNeil (Mets), Juan Soto (Nationals), Rhys Hoskins (Phillies).

NL Central: Josh Hader (Brewers), Matt Carpenter (Cardinals), Ian Happ (Cubs), Cole Tucker (Pirates), Amir Garrett (Reds).

NL West: Jon Duplantier (D-backs), Gavin Lux (Dodgers), Hunter Pence (Giants), Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), David Dahl (Rockies).

The season, which will run for approximately three weeks, will consist of 29 games for each player, one against each of the other participants. The top eight players will advance to a postseason, which is scheduled to begin on April 30.

Each game will be three innings in length and will have its own individual online stream. In the postseason, the Division and Championship series will be a best-of-three, with the World Series being a best-of-five to determine the champion.

League games will be livestreamed on the MLB social media accounts (TwitterFacebookYouTubeTwitch), MLB Network’s Twitch site, MLB The Show‘s social media, the clubs’ individual social media accounts and MLB.com.  Stats for the league will be tracked here.

Additionally, Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Sony Interactive Entertainment are donating $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to a Boys & Girls Club affiliate in their team’s community. The championship player will earn an addition $25,000 donation to the Boys & Girls club in his community.

During times of need, sports are usually there to provide us with a bit of distraction. Due to the nature of coronavirus, that hasn’t necessarily been the case, with all sports pretty much shutdown. However, it’s amazing that we at least live in a time where video games like MLB The Show and NBA 2K allow for some sort entertainment and relief from the constant barrage of corinavirus news. It may be virtual sports, but it’s still a distraction and it’s cool to see our favorite players participating.

MLB The Show 20 prides itself on being the most realistic baseball sim on the market. That means those playing as the Marlins, Orioles, or Tigers are at a clear disadvantage. Who do you think will emerge from the MLB The Show online league as champion?