Blue Jays relievers are working to “seek justice” over Tim Mayza’s low MLB The Show rating

Photo credit:(Mary Altaffer/AP)
Clarke Corsan
1 month ago
It’s that time of year again — the time when the video game and baseball worlds collide for an annual reaction to MLB The Show’s player ratings release. 
Blue Jays fans and Tim Mayza himself might be feeling some frustration upon seeing his overall rating in “MLB The Show 24.” Mayza, one of baseball’s most reliable left-handed relievers, has been given a surprisingly low overall of 69 in the popular video game.
Mayza earned a 72 overall rating for the 2023 edition of the game. At 32 years old, age isn’t a major concern— especially for a reliever of Mayza’s style. So, after a strong 2022-23 season with 53.1 innings pitched, allowing just 9 earned runs on 50 hits and posting a 1.52 ERA, it begs the question: Why the drop in rating?
For reference, Kansas City Royals’ lefty reliever Will Smith earned a 77 overall rating after a season of 57.1 innings pitched, giving up 28 earned runs on 44 hits with a 4.40 ERA. Listen, I’m not trying to knock Smith, but is the large gap in player rating justified? I say no, so, why did “MLB The Show” miss the mark? Here’s what might be at play:
  • The Reliever Downplay: Video games, like the real-world spotlight, often prioritize starters and flashy hitters. Relievers, despite their crucial role, can be undervalued in simulation ratings.
  • Statistical Weight: While Mayza excels at limiting walks and generating weak contact, his strikeout numbers may not be as eye-popping as some other relievers. Games often heavily weigh strikeouts when determining pitcher ratings.
  • The Human Element: Sometimes, ratings fail to capture the intangibles – Mayza’s ability to perform in high-pressure situations and his deceptive sidearm delivery can throw off hitters’ timing, factors difficult to quantify for a video game. Baseball is an incredibly nuanced game, which is going to be hard for any developer to incorporate. 
Alas, Blue Jays fans aren’t the only fanbase with issues regarding player ratings. Miami’s Luis Arraez was given a 78 rating after winning his second consecutive batting title and leading all of baseball with a .354 batting average. Guys like Bryce Harper have also been snubbed (in fans’ opinions) from receiving a just rating. 
Mayza is a southpaw specialist, a clutch performer, and a bit of a diamond in the rough for the Blue Jays bullpen. While “MLB The Show 24” has seemingly underestimated his contributions, real baseball fans and the Jays organization understand his worth. And who knows, maybe another good season could force the game developers to reconsider his rating for next year’s edition. The truth is, we’ll never know exactly what the process is when it comes to giving each player their rating, and this may just be extra motivation for a reliever on a team looking to be a force this season.


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