Blake Snell, Jeff McNeil Advance to MLB The Show Players League Semifinals

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 2, 2020

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at Charlotte Sports Park on February 26, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Twins defeated the Rays 10-8. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell and New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil advanced to the MLB The Show 20 Players League semifinals with 2-0 best-of-three series wins over Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., respectively.

Both series featured fireworks, with Mets outfielder J.D. Davis ending Game 1 of the McNeil vs. Smith series with a walk-off two-run homer:


.@JeffMcNeil805 starts the playoffs with a #WALKOFF. 🔥 https://t.co/0Va0Ov4HY8

In Game 2, McNeil hit a home run as his virtual self, and teammate Brandon Nimmo came through in the clutch with a homer as well.

McNeil will meet Snell in the finals after the 2018 American League Cy Young winner swept Lux.

That 2-0 series win looked unlikely in Game 2 when the Dodgers led 3-0 at home going into the third and final inning. Like McNeil, Lux also went yard as himself.

But Snell went to work in the top of the third, scoring two runs before an out was recorded. Lux got two more outs, but Brandon Lowe eventually walked up to the dish with two runners on.

Lowe then took Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly deep down the right field line for a game-winning home run.

Lux scratched out a run on an RBI single in the bottom of the third, and his virtual self was the winning run at the dish with one out and a runner on first. Lux struck out, but Pederson hit a single to put runners on the corners. However, an infield popout ended the 5-4 loss.

McNeil and Snell will now face off in the semifinals. Four other players remain on the other side of the bracket: Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ.

All players who participated in the 30-team league (one player per team represented each franchise) will get  $5,000 in his name to their local Boys & Girls Club, with the league winner tacking on an extra $25,000.

Here's a look at the remaining playoff matchups and schedule.

Playoff Matchups and Schedule

Semifinal Matchups

4. New York Mets 2B Jeff McNeil (21-8) @ 1. Tampa Bay Rays LHP Blake Snell (24-5)


Quarterfinal Matchups

7. Chicago Cubs OF Ian Happ (19-10) @ 2. Texas Rangers OF Joey Gallo (23-6)

6. Chicago White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (19-10) @ 3. Toronto Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette (21-8)



The Happ-Gallo and Giolito-Bichette matchups are happening Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN 2, with the first semifinal to follow at 4 p.m.

Then the second semifinal will take place at 8 p.m. ET on FS1 Saturday.

ESPN will showcase the finals Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The quarterfinals and semifinals are best-of-three series, and the finals are best-of-five. The top eight in the 30-team league advanced to the playoffs.