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Rays' Blake Snell Surges Toward Top Seed in Saturday's MLB The Show League

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIApril 19, 2020

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws during spring training baseball camp Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Only eight teams will advance to the MLB The Show Players League playoffs, and it's safe to say Blake Snell will be one of them. The Tampa Bay Rays hurler was his dominant self Saturday, going 3-1 on the night to take a four-game lead on Bo Bichette and Dwight Smith Jr. in the American League East.

That one loss was eating at Snell (13-3) by the end of the night.

"It was a tough day. We went 3-1 today," Snell said on his Twitch stream after wrapping up. "I don't know why it was so tough today, but it was. I've got to bring the energy like I used to."

His only loss Saturday came by way of Fernando Tatis Jr. (9-3), who's four-win night pulled him into a tie with Gavin Lux for first place in the National League West.

Here's how the action shook out Saturday:

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Ty Buttrey, Los Angeles Angels (1-11)

vs. Soto (WSH): 3-0 Loss

at McCullers Jr. (HOU): 1-0 Loss

at Dahl (COL): 1-0 Loss

vs. Phillips (KC): 14-1 Loss

     

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals (5-7)

at Rodriguez (BOS): 11-5 Win

vs. Snell (STL): 4-0 Loss

at Tatis Jr. (SD): 17-1 Loss

vs. Hoskins (PHI): 3-0 Loss

     

David Dahl, Colorado Rockies (4-7)

vs. McCullers Jr. (HOU): 2-1 Loss

at Phillips (KC): 3-0 Win

vs. Buttrey (LAA): 1-0 Win

at Luzardo (OAK): 1-0 Loss

     

Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies (8-4)

at Tucker (PIT): 2-0 Win

vs. Rodriguez (BOS): 2-0 Win

vs. Snell (TB): 2-1 Loss

at Carpenter (STL): 3-0 Win

     

Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics (6-6)

vs. Phillips (KC): 4-0 Win

at Soto (WSH): 3-1 Loss

at McCullers Jr. (HOU): 6-2 Loss

vs. Dahl (COL): 1-0 Win

     

Lance McCullers Jr., Houston Astros (5-7)

at Dahl (COL): 2-1 Win

vs. Buttrey (LAA): 1-0 Win

vs. Luzardo (OAK): 6-2 Win

at Soto (WSH): 3-0 Loss

     

Brett Phillips, Kansas City Royals (6-6)

at Luzardo (OAK): 4-0 Loss

vs. Dahl (COL): 3-0 Loss

vs. Soto (WSH): 4-3 Win

at Buttrey (KC): 14-1 Win

     

Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox (2-10)

vs. Carpenter (STL): 11-5 Loss

at Hoskins (PHI): 2-0 Loss

at Tucker (PIT): 3-2 Win

vs. Tatis Jr. (SD): 3-0 Loss

     

Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays (13-3)

vs. Tatis Jr. (SD): 5-1 Loss

at Carpenter (STL): 4-0 Win

at Hoskins (PHI): 2-1 Win

vs. Tucker (PIT): 6-0 Win

     

Juan Soto, Washington Nationals (4-7)

at Buttrey (LAA): 3-0 Win

vs. Luzardo (OAK): 3-1 Win

at Phillips (KC): 4-3 Loss

vs. McCullers Jr. (HOU): 3-0 Win

     

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres (9-3)

at Snell (TB): 5-1 Win

vs. Tucker (PIT): 1-0 Win

vs. Carpenter (STL): 17-1 Win

at Rodriguez (BOS): 3-0 Win

     

Cole Tucker, Pittsburgh Pirates (2-10)

vs. Hoskins (PHI): 2-0 Loss

vs. Tatis Jr. (SD): 1-0 Loss

vs. Rodriguez (BOS): 3-2 Loss

at Snell (TB): 6-0 Loss

     

With three days left in pool play, Snell and Texas Rangers star Joey Gallo seem like the only locks to make the postseason. After that, things get a bit dicey.

Trevor May (7-5) and Lucas Giolito (7-4) are still battling things out in the AL Central, while Jeff McNeil (8-3) and Rhys Hoskins face a similar situation in the NL East. The Cincinnati Reds' Amir Garrett has a one-game lead on Chicago Cubs infielder Ian Happ, but in an NL Central that's yet to see much competition, Garrett could wrap that one up with another big night.

The toughest division race at the moment comes down to Lux and Tatis in the NL West. While Lux has been one of the top players in the tournament, Tatis made a major statement Saturday.

His 17-1 drubbing of the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter moved him all the way up to third in runs scored (26), which serves as the first tiebreaker should it get to that point.

Only the top eight overall teams will make it to the postseason. As pool play enters its final stretch, only two of those teams have established themselves.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET with all games streaming live on Twitch.

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