Gavin Lux lost his quarterfinal matchup with Rays pitcher Blake Snell, two games to none, in the MLB The Show Players League playoffs, which began Friday night.
Snell won the first game 3-2 at Tropicana Field, thanks to virtual home runs by Austin Meadows and Mike Zunino against Walker Buehler. Virtual Lux homered in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, and took a 3-0 lead with three outs to play, but Kenley Jansen allowed a home run, triple, and double before recording two outs, then Joe Kelly came in to walk a batter, then a three-run homer that proved to be the winning blow for Snell. The Dodgers rallied for a run in the bottom of the third, but the Rays held on for a 5-4 win.
Snell was 24-5 during the regular season, earning the top seed in the postseason. Lux, the No. 8 seed, was an underdog to the tune of +240 in this quarterfinal matchup, per BetOnline. Before the playoffs began, BetOnline gave Lux 11-1 odds to win the championship.
Lux finished the regular season at 19-10, tied with Dwight Smith Jr., Lucas Giolito, and Ian Happ, but fell to the eighth seed by scoring fewer runs over the course of the season than all three.
Smith beat Jeff McNeil in the other quarterfinal matchup Friday, and will face Snell on Saturday. The semifinals will be best-of-3 series, split on Saturday between ESPN2 (1 p.m. PT) and FS1 (5 p.m.), with the other participants determined from the remaining two quarterfinal matchups earlier Saturday (noon PT) on ESPN2.
The championship series, this one best-of-5, will be played Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and will be televised by ESPN.
Links & news
- Jayson Stark at The Athletic wrote about various things we missed with no baseball in April. Among them was a major league executive gushing about the Dodgers: “You could have picked any record except maybe 25-0, and it wouldn’t have surprised me. That team is the showtime Lakers, and it’s bad for baseball that we don’t get to watch it.”
- MLB and the Umpires Association reached an agreement Friday on a pay structure for the 2020 season. ESPN has more details.
- Robert Arthur at Baseball Prospectus says it’s better for Major League Baseball to return too late than too early: “Re-opening in the wake of a pandemic is not like a light switch that, once flipped, will return our society to normal.”
- In some semblance of baseball normalcy, a major league player was punished for PEDs on Friday. Indians pitcher Emmanuel Clase, the headliner Cleveland received for trading Corey Kluber to the Rangers in December, was suspended 80 games for testing positive for Boldenone.