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PSA Plays MLB The Show: Takeaways from one week of action

Taking a look at the league as a whole to find some notable starts to the 2020 season.

We’re through a full week of our season in MLB The Show, and we have some storylines that need to be discussed. Josh will have a thorough recap of how the Yankees fared through the first week (they started out well with a three-game sweep of the Orioles to start the season), but here’s how things are looking so far around the league as a whole.

We’ll start with the AL East, where the Yankees hit a bump after that opening series sweep. Through April 2, the Bombers were neck-and-neck with Boston atop the division after Gerrit Cole labored in his second start as a Yankee. The righty allowed eight hits over 6.1 innings against the Rays in what was a 3-2 loss. Cole allowed three runs and still struck out 10 batters, but that’s two starts already this season where he’s allowed three runs, and one of those starts was against the Orioles. Still, 21 strikeouts in 13 13 innings isn’t too shabby, but we’d like to see more of the Cole from May through October last season.

Speaking of the Rays, pencil in Blake Snell for an early candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. After a lackluster 2019 that was littered with injuries, the lefty has made two starts this season, tossing 16.2 innings without allowing a run. That’s right, Snell is posting a K/9 of 11.34 and has been nearly unhittable so far. The one catch would be his control, as his 4.32 BB/9 could be improved. Then he would truly be untouchable. We’ll see how this start holds up through the rest of the season.

In the AL Central, looks like Tim Anderson is coming for another batting crown. The shortstop is batting .477 through the first week of the season, but is still trailing the ageless wonder Nelson Cruz, who is hitting .488. But despite Cruz’s efforts, the Twins are struggling out of the gate after making a few notable offseason moves, like acquiring Josh Donaldson. Minnesota is 3-4 and chasing Cleveland for first place, and has put Miguel Sano on the trading block.

In the AL West, it turns out Mike Trout is looking to return to his 2012 self and conquer the stolen base world. After swiping 11 bags in 2019, Trout is already up to four through the first week of the season, tops in the American League. Right behind Trout? That would be teammate Brian Goodwin, who has three. I know we mentioned Giancarlo Stanton stealing a base on two attempts through the first two games of the regular season, but he hasn’t had one since, so that potentially wild early-season trend can be put to bed.

Just in case you were questioning how realistic this simulation would be, I direct you to the Mariners, who have already made a trade. Jerry Dipoto send third baseman Joe Rizzo to the Rockies for second baseman Peter Van Gansen. That’s the THIRD trade Seattle has made already this season. We’ll have to keep an eye on this.

In the National League, the standings look about how you would expect them to, with the Dodgers leading the West, the Nationals and Braves tied atop the East and the Cardinals and Cubs battling atop the Central. In the Central, Kris Bryant is on a tear, leading the league in home runs with six and posting an OPS of 1.422. That’s good for a 1.1 WAR, tied with the Nationals’ dynamic duo of Juan Soto and Trea Turner, who are both off to scorching starts to the season. On the pitching front, the Nats are also getting crazy production from Anibal Sanchez, who has allowed just one run through his first 13.1 innings of work. He currently leads the National League in ERA.

Quick note on the injury front, since that’s always at the forefront in Yankees Universe: Aaron Hicks suffered a strain calf, but not to worry. He’s considered day-to-day. If this is truly a video game and not based in reality, it will truly be day-to-day without any setbacks.