MLB The Show is a frustrating, yet extremely entertaining game. It lets you bring your love for collecting baseball cards to virtual life. In the game, there are several ways to collect cards. They include defeating other real people online to increase your rating in a designated season, playing offline and completing a series of missions, completing real life flashback moments in baseball history, and several other game modes.
This year, I finally completed the entire collection for all New York Yankee players in the game. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include everyone in Yankees history (Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez aren’t included, among others), but there are still plenty of players to build a super exciting team to bring to online gameplay. The all-time Yankees team may very well be the best in the game. I wanted to put that to the test.
I challenged my friend, Zach Hayes (Contributor and Editor at SouthSideSox), to a seven-game series where he used all the best cards from the Chicago White Sox, and he accepted. I feel obligated to include that there were a few things here that gave me a bit of a competitive edge.
First, while I was playing on the amazing PlayStation 5 while Zach was still competing on the PlayStation 4. Basically, my system just works faster and smoother. Second, I’m playing on a 4K, one-millisecond response time, ASUS gaming monitor. And, well, Zach is playing on his television. No matter how great of a television he has, that’s another big disadvantage.
Now with all those caveats in mind, here were the lineups for Game 1 of our series:
All-time New York Yankees
1. Mickey Mantle (CF, 99 overall)
2. Babe Ruth (RF, 99 overall)
3. Lou Gehrig (1B, 99 overall)
4. Giancarlo Stanton (LF, 98 overall)
5. Jorge Posada (C, 95 overall)
6. Gleyber Torres (2B, 97 overall)
7. DJ LeMahieu (3B, 97 overall)
8. Andrew Velazquez (SS, 96 overall)
9. Gerrit Cole (P, 99 overall)
All-time Chicago White Sox
1. Tim Anderson (SS, 99 overall)
2. Yoan Moncada (2B, 99 overall)
3. Frank Thomas (1B, 99 overall)
4. Yasmani Grandal (C, 97 overall)
5. Luis Robert (CF, 98 overall)
6. Harold Baines (RF, 95 overall)
7. Andrew Vaughn (LF, 98 overall)
8. Minnie Miñoso (3B, 99 overall)
9. Lucas Giolito (P, 99 overall)
There is some necessary context to be added to these rosters. You may be confused why somebody like Velazquez ended up on this otherwise-elite roster, or why Vaughn cracked the White Sox lineup. It’s because players who were top prospects can get high overall cards and a player who had in-season hot streaks can be rewarded with a high overall card as well. Either way, we both used close to the best cards for each of these teams.
Game 1 wasn’t all that exciting. Giolito and Cole held down their opponents in their short appearances. Cole went five innings with six strikeouts, while Giolito threw four while striking out one. In the bottom of the seventh in a 2-2 game, Velazquez delivered an RBI single to plate Torres. In the bottom of the seventh, Giancarlo Stanton padded the 3-2 lead with a single to score Babe Ruth (a normal sentence in the world of The Show). Those two runs ended up being the difference as Mariano Rivers shut the door in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.
The lineups were the same in Game 2, except Gavin Sheets (RF, 97 overall) replaced Vaughn and the starting pitching matchup was Corey Kluber (92 overall) against Dylan Cease (99 overall). The Yankees offense delivered much more this time around, while the White Sox stayed silent, falling victim to a lethal combination of sinkers, cutters, and slurves. There were only five runs in this 5-0 victory, but the hits came in the fashion of five solo home runs from Ruth, Gehrig (2), Torres, and Velazquez.
This was just a foreshadowing of the rest of the series for Gleyber Torres, who absolutely smashed the ball in the next two games. For Velazquez, it was his second straight game of providing solid contributions. I could have gone with Gleyber at shortstop and put somebody like Wade Boggs or Joey Gallo in the lineup at third base, but I wanted to hammer down the shortstop defense.
Velazquez may not have the big name, but he sure did come through strong in these first two games.
Gleyber also got it going late in the game and slugged this homer in 2019-esque form.
Those were my favorite highlights of game, but the best performance came from Kluber. He gave the ‘pen the game off, throwing a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts. Pure domination. Thanks to him and five solos, I took the 2-0 lead with the offense starting to hit its stride. If you’re interested to see how Games 3 and 4 went, tune back in later this week.