Yesterday was Opening Day of the 2020 MLB season, or at least it should have been. But even though there’s no baseball currently going on, we here at SGO still want to know what the MLB season may have looked like should it have started as originally scheduled. So today we simulate the 2020 season using OOTP 21, and we are going to share those results with you.
SGO Simulates the 2020 MLB Season
Before we get into the results, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind. First, this sim uses the schedule of games that were slated to commence starting on March 26. Second, we also took into account real-life injuries. Thankfully the folks over at OOTP Developments do a good job already of taking this into account, as many players who are currently injured (i.e. Luis Severino, Chris Sale, Mike Clevinger) are already listed on the IL.
However, we have also taken into account other injuries that have knocked players out for all of 2020. This means that we have deleted certain players, including Andres Munoz (Padres) and Noah Syndergaard (Mets), so that they won’t tamper with the sim. Lastly, we did not control any team during the sim. We started the game as an umemployed GM, and we watched the whole thing play out.
With that said, let’s get into the results.
Regular Season Results
In the American League, three of the five teams that made the 2019 MLB Playoffs will return to the postseason in 2020. In the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays won the AL East with a record of 90-72. The Rays were lead, in part, by their powerful 1-2 punch of Blake Snell (13 W, 3.49 ERA) and Tyler Glasnow (12 W, 2.58 ERA), as well as Mike Moustakas (38 HR, 90 RBI), who was acquired by Tampa in July.
In the AL Central, the “Bomba Squad” in Minnesota won the division crown for the second consecutive year. The Twins won 102 games, with Miguel Sano cranking 50 home runs. And in the AL West, the Angels beat out the Astros for the division crown. The Angels won an astounding 113 games, with Mike Trout (.320, 44 HR, 127 RBI) and Anthony Rendon (.287, 32 HR, 123 RBI) leading the charge. Cleveland (89 W) and Houston (88 W) took the two AL Wild Card spots.
In the NL East, the Atlanta Braves took the division crown for the third consecutive season. Atlanta won 91 games en route to winning the NL East. Meanwhile, St. Louis, who beat the Braves in the NLDS in 2019, won a league-high 104 games to win the NL Central crown. The Cardinals’ rotation came through in a big way, as right-handed pitchers Jack Flaherty (17 W, 3.08 ERA) and Carlos Martinez (14 W, 2.93 ERA) helped the Redbirds win the NL Central for the second consecutive season.
The NL West was the tightest division in baseball. And in a bit of a shock, the San Diego Padres won the NL West by one game, beating out the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Diego won 93 games to clinch the division, while the Dodgers won 92 games en route to a NL Wild Card spot. As for the second NL Wild Card spot, 162 games were not enough to decide a winner. Both the Phillies and the Reds finished 2020 with identical 84-78 records, meaning that a 163rd game needed to played to determine who would move on. And in that game, Cincinnati prevailed, taking the second Wild Card spot.
Here are the full standings for both leagues, as well as the league leaders:
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won the AL Pennant, defeating the Rays in six games to move on to the World Series. Meanwhile in the National League, Atlanta finally got their revenge for 2019, sweeping the Cardinals in the NLCS to move on to play in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1999. And in the World Series, the Braves came out on top, defeating the Angels in six games to win their first World Series since 1995.
Here are the full results from the playoffs simulation: