As sports fans across the country brace for what could still be months of delays, Sony and the MLB are set to launch the baseball season anyway, in MLB The Show 20 that is. The NBA, MLB and even Nascar have already begun holding eSports events for beleaguered fans everywhere where real-life players are manning the controls in order to negate COVID-19 woes. Sony and the MLB have decided to make things even more official with today’s new announcement of a full 30-player competitive league with a regular season, playoffs, and even a virtual Work Series. All the details are down below.
MLB The Show 20 Baseball Season:
In an announcement made this morning by Major League Baseball, Sony, and the player’s association, MLB The Show 20 on PlayStation 4 will now be the host of a new virtual baseball season starring actual MLB players at the controls. According to today’s announcement, each team will be played by a single active representative for said squad in a 29-game regular season ahead of an eight player/team postseason and finally, a best-of-five World Series which is scheduled for May 2nd.
Even Playing Field:
To ensure an even playing field, much of the game’s player customization options will be regulated. The MLB The Show 20 baseball season will work as follows. Each of the games will play out across three innings while batting and pitching difficulty settings will be locked to Veteran and All-Star respectively. MLB The Show 20 actually simulates the real-world possibilities of the umpire making the wrong call, but that feature will be turned off in favor of perfect officiating accuracy. There’s no DH (designated hitter), or the the ability to guess pitches and call out balks in the upcoming virtual baseball season either.
Virtual Baseball Season Schedule:
The regular season is expected to wrap up on April 30 before the eight-team, best-of-three postseason leads us to the aforementioned World Series in early May. The games will take place at 9 p.m. each night and will stream all over the place including the actual players’ social accounts as well as via MLB and MLB The Show 20 official channels:
The first match up kicks off tonight between Blake Snell’s Tampa Bay Rays and Amir Garrett’s Cincinnati Reds. Reports suggest the league is in talks with major broadcasting networks to televise the games while select matchups (the games on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) will be “prime time streams” with commentary from MLB’s Robert Flores and reporter Heidi Watney. Major League Baseball, Sony, and the MLB Players’ Association will donate $5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club in each team’s city while the virtual World Series Champion will net an additional $25,000 donation.
Well, it’s not real but at least the baseball season will start to some degree. This will give baseball fans something to watch and certainly works as a great promotional campaign for MLB The Show 20. The donation part of this can only be a positive thing despite it feeling somewhat light considering we are talking about a bunch of multi-millionaires and massively rich corporations. The MLB certainly isn’t the NBA, but Kevin Love donated almost this much by himself to the Cavs’ arena staff a few weeks back, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Here’s more details on which players are representing each team in the new virtual baseball season:
National League Players:
- NL East: Luke Jackson (Atlanta), Ryne Stanek (Miami), Jeff McNeil (New York Mets), Juan Soto (Washington), Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia).
- NL Central: Josh Hader (Milwaukee), Matt Carpenter (St. Louis), Ian Happ (Chicago Cubs), Cole Tucker (Pittsburgh), Amir Garrett (Cincinnati).
- NL West: Jon Duplantier (Arizona), Gavin Lux (Los Angeles Dodgers), Hunter Pence (San Francisco), Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego), David Dahl (Colorado).
American League Players:
- AL East: Bo Bichette (Toronto), Dwight Smith Jr. (Baltimore), Blake Snell (Tampa Bay), Eduardo Rodriguez (Boston), Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees).
- AL Central: Carlos Santana (Cleveland), Brett Phillips (Kansas City), Niko Goodrum (Detroit), Trevor May (Minnesota), Lucas Giolito (Chicago White Sox).
- AL West: Ty Buttrey (Los Angeles Angels), Lance McCullers (Houston), Jesús Luzardo (Oakland), Carl Edwards Jr. (Seattle), Joey Gallo (Texas).
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