OOTP 2019 MLB Season Simulation

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That wonderful time of year is upon us once more.

Opening Day is… almost here. But that isn’t why we are here today.

The true kickoff to the baseball season for a lot of fans is the yearly release of Out of the Park Baseball. This year is a milestone for the game, marking the twentieth iteration, and it’s crazy to take a step back and realize the first version of the game was released just prior to my graduating high school.

With the yearly release of the big two baseball video games (OOTP, along with MLB: The Show) we also get out first chance to see how things could possibly play out. In last year’s sim by Josh, the Braves underperformed considerably. The team ended up at 75-87, well off the 90-72 pace put up by their real-life counterparts.

As with Josh’s sim last season, this one-off was done with default rosters and settings, and with no control over any team.

So, what could 2019 possibly hold in store for us?

1Starting Point

Our starting point.

Right out of the gate, we’ve got an interesting lineup generated, with the key difference being Johan Camargo getting the nod at shortstop over Dansby Swanson. Also an interesting rotation, with the injuries of the past couple weeks not quite added into the system yet, Soroka/Foltynewicz/Newcomb kick things off.

Let’s dive into the season itself:

2May 1st Update

Rough start in Philadelphia.

Ok, so I guess 15-15 isn’t the worst start in the world, and they’re only 3.5 games out in the NL East, despite being in third place.

Starting RF Rafael Ortega because of Nick Markakis and his intercostal strain is… Problematic to say the least. Here’s where that lack of depth we preached all season comes in to play.

3June 1st Update

Mick Narkakis, folks.

Ok, maybe it’s time to get concerned.

The month of May was not kind to the Braves.

After recovering from two injuries in April, Markakis once again found himself on the Injured List with an oblique strain in late May. It’s almost like a 36-year-old who has played roughly 5,000 ML games was destined to breakdown physically at some point.

Elsewhere, Ronald Acuña and Freddie Freeman are doing the things that they do while the Julio Teheran is… Not good. I guess that means he is aldo doing the things that he does, as well.

4All-Star Break Update

All hail King Soroka.

And we’re right back where we started heading into the All-Star Break – .500 and third place.

Markakis is finally healthy and back in the lineup. Josh Donaldson also finally joined the party and turned it on big time in May, earning a trip to the All-Star Game alongside Acuña. Freddie likely would have joined them but he missed a couple of weeks in June with a hand injury.

Starting pitcher for the NL by the way? Dallas Keuchel, who ended up signing with the Nationals a week into the season for $4.56M. Also of note: Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned, apparently standing beside his claim he was willing to set out the entire season. Rumors swirled in May he was possibly headed to Baltimore, but nothing came of it.

5August 1st Update

That Injured List looks less than ideal.

The sky is falling.

In a two week span to end the month of July the Braves lost Kevin Gausman for the season with a ruptured UCL and Ender Inciarte for the year with a broken kneecap.

Two counter at least one of those moves, the Braves went out and acquired Trevor Cahill from the Angels for Brian McCann. An interesting move that is only going to *spoiler alert* get more interesting.

Somehow, despite all this, the Braves are still four games over .500 at 57-53 and only 3.5 games out of the wildcard race behind the Diamondbacks. On top of that, they are also tenth in the Weekly Power Rankings.

6September 1st Update

GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY, THAT’S CRISTIAN PACHE’S MUSIC!

The Trevor Cahill Experiment did not go well. He got absolutely bombed in his first start, pitched a two-hit gem in his second start… And then went less than two innings in his third start before leaving with elbow inflammation that is putting him on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

The move to counter that injury? The ML call-up of top prospect Cristian Pache, folks.

The three-headed monster of Acuña, Donaldson, and Freeman continue to carry the offense, while Soroka remains the anchor of a depleted starting rotation.

7End of Season Update

That 2018 injury luck finally caught up with them.

So close.

As you can see from the injured list, Acuña went down with an injury. It was an oblique strain on September 17th that ended his season. With that, the season was over. Any chance of sneaking into the playoffs just wasn’t gonna happen with Adam Duvall as a starting OF.

As for elsewhere in the league, it played out about as you would imagine — Dodgers over Indians in the Series.

The Phillies were obviously the biggest disappointment. The easy thing would be to pin it on Bryce, but he hit 33 homers and had a four-win season. Hoskins and Realmuto were garbage and killed their season.

If you’re interested in awards, here’s how they finished up:

American League
MVP: Jose Ramirez
Cy Young: Gerrit Cole
ROY: Willians Astudillo

National League
MVP: Noah Syndergaard
Cy Young: Noah Syndergaard
ROY: Victor Robles

The only Braves player to take home hardware was Ozzie Albies picking up a Gold Glove at 2B.

Following the season, the Braves declined the options on Teheran and Flowers.

Guess what though? They picked up the option on Markakis.

That’s the most Atlanta thing ever.

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