Astros: McCullers splits first online players league games

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Lance McCullers Jr. #43 of the Houston Astros reacts after walking Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox (not pictured) with the bases loaded to score J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox (not pictured) in the seventh inning during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Lance McCullers Jr. #43 of the Houston Astros reacts after walking Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox (not pictured) with the bases loaded to score J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox (not pictured) in the seventh inning during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. played his first games in the MLB The Show online players league.

MLB announced on Friday that a players league in the MLB The Show video game was taking place, with one representative from each of the 30 MLB teams participating. Lance McCullers Jr. is the Houston Astros player in the tournament, and he played his first games on Friday evening.

The games are broadcasted online via the individual players’ Twitch accounts and also on various other social media platforms operated by the league, teams, and MLB The Show. Each player will play one three-inning game against each of the other 29 participants between now and April 28, with an eight-team playoff beginning April 30.

McCullers played his first four matchups on Friday, coming out with a 2-2 record. He defeated Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez 7-0 and Minnesota’s Trevor May 5-4, but lost 9-4 to the Rangers’ Joey Gallo and 5-0 to the Rays’ Blake Snell. The loss to Gallo was particularly heartbreaking as the slugger mounted a seven-run rally in the final inning.

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Settings are consistent across all matchups, with pitching difficulty set at All-Star and batting difficulty set to Veteran. This would account for the high-scoring matchups we saw in the first round of games, as the batting is set at a less difficult level than the pitching to evidently facilitate these high-scoring and thus more entertaining matchups.

There will be games played every evening beginning at 8 p.m. Central Time. There’s talk of even broadcasting some of these matchups on television, but there’s nothing in place for that as of yet. For now, you’ll have to tune in on social media to watch McCullers’ progress.

The matchup schedule is only posted through Monday, April 13, and McCullers is not scheduled for any matchups through that date. It’s likely he’ll play another round of games at some point during the week, and we’ll keep you updated via Climbing Tal’s Hill’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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