With Major League Baseball — and the sports world — on hiatus, many turn to other forms of entertainment. For those who enjoy sports, stats, and video games, here are MLB simulations focused on the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics.
Welcome to the world of MLB simulations on Baseball-Reference, ML BotBall, and Strat-O-Matic. I will be your host throughout the very interesting world of “fake” — but yet so real — baseball.
All of the managers, coaches, and players are the same as if the actual baseball season had been played. Yet, we are in three different baseball worlds with three different baseball paths.
The Baseball-Reference simulation utilizes the video game Out of the Park (OOTP) 21. ML BotBall also works with a video game, MLB The Show 20, and streams several games each day on its website, while having the worthy cause of raising money for “Meals on Wheels.”
Meanwhile, the Strat-O-Matic “simulation” is just what you think it is, as long as you know what Strat-O-Matic is. For those wondering, Strat-O-Matic, which tabs itself as the “original fantasy sports games,” is a card game that determines results based on dice rolls.
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Through April 3, 2020, the simulation baseball season is in its infancy, but it is gaining steam, as many fantasy baseball players are actually playing their seasons as if the simulations are the real thing.
The Bay Area teams have had mixed results in the simulations, but the Oakland Athletics have played to an impressive 7-1 start on Baseball-Reference.
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Marcus Semien is having an MVP start to the season, as he has an MLB-leading five home runs to go with a 1.171 OPS for the A’s, who are tied with the Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins for the best records in the league.
The A’s are also atop the Strat-O-Matic AL West with a 6-2 record. One of the reasons for their success thus far this season has been Sean Manaea’s 14 scoreless innings. The ML BotBall standings have Oakland at 5-3 and tied for the AL West lead with the Mariners.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants, who have fared much better on Baseball-Reference than in the other simulations, are out to a 4-3 start, just 0.5 games behind the Diamondbacks for the NL West lead.
Among the starters, Wilmer Flores (9-for-22, three doubles, one home run) leads the team with a 1.140 OPS, and Brandon Belt is the team leader with two homers. The Strat-O-Matic and ML Bot Ball Giants have had frustrating starts to their respective simulation seasons.
Second baseman Mauricio Dubon has already committed two errors for the 1-5 Strat-O-Matic Giants, but San Francisco’s squad on ML Bot Ball has had the even worse start — 0-7. To make matters worse for the Giants, the only undefeated team in any of the three simulations is the 8-0 Diamondbacks.
The simulation baseball seasons have been exciting to watch and monitor, as they feel like the closest we will all be getting to baseball for at least a month and maybe longer.