I’ve been a baseball fan as far back as I can remember, and for me that fandom didn’t end when the season did. I was always a numbers guy, so in middle school I made up the rules to my own baseball (and football) games using dice to simulate results, and latched onto fantasy baseball shortly after. When the baseball season ended and I still needed my fix, I turned to Strat-O-Matic, the much more advanced version of my simple dice game. As I entered college I discovered baseball sim games on the computer, starting with Baseball Mogul and ending with Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP). I’ve been playing OOTP to get me through the long baseball offseason for at least ten years, and every new iteration becomes more and more immersive. The newest version (OOTP 18) is out, so I decided to project the results for one of my ottoneu leagues (League #530) with an OOTP simulation of 2017 (hat tip to league-mate Brent Daily for the idea!).
My first step was to setup a new 2017 standard MLB game in OOTP, and then simulate until the end of the season. I remember season sims in the past taking 15-20 minutes to complete, but this time it took me just a couple minutes to run through the entire season. From there I outputted the individual batting and pitching season statistics (OOTP makes it easy to export almost any level of data you could want), and calculated the FanGraphs points totals. The last step was assigning games and innings for each team’s roster, and calculating the resulting team points totals. See below for the results:
|20 Points Per Dollar||1,917||11,488||5.99||1,500||7,085||4.72||18,573|
|Fat Lee Adama||1,944||11,500||5.92||1,500||6,724||4.48||18,224|
|Dottie Hinson’s Stunt Double||1,944||11,139||5.73||1,500||6,853||4.57||17,992|
|Greg Bird’s 1.000 OBP||1,944||10,927||5.62||1,500||6,570||4.38||17,497|
|Yasmanchester by the Sea||1,944||10,157||5.22||1,500||6,328||4.22||16,485|
Bear in mind, I ran just a single season simulation to get these results, I didn’t have the time (or inclination) to run multiple simulations, so think of these projections as one possible 2017 universe. In this particular universe, and quite likely in most possible futures, Harrisburg Mayflies runs away with the title. My own team, Chicago Whales, finishes a disappointing seventh. Also note that the league wide offense is even higher than ’16 levels, and the pitching is much worse. One interesting dynamic in this league is that the bottom two teams beginning this season will be relegated, with the two top finishers from a feeder league taking their place. That means Greg Bird and Yasmanchester could find themselves being kicked off the island.
Now that I’ve shown the projected standings, let’s take a look at the top FGPts performances from this OOTP simulation:
Not too many surprises on those lists, with the most notable exceptions of Nomar Mazara (he hit 51 homeruns!) and Michael Lorenzen (who saved 39 games in 84 innings for the Reds). Players who had poor seasons include Giancarlo Stanton (4.51 PPG in only 75 games), Stephen Strasburg (4.34 Pts/IP), and Madison Bumgarner (4.26 Pts/IP).
Just for fun, here were the MLB standings for this simulation (click to enlarge):
The results look pretty sane to me, though the Twins winning 88 games and the Cubs and Dodgers both failing to win 90 games are surprising.
Lastly, here is the MLB leaderboard:
Does this OOTP simulation represent a likely outcome? Or does it show the darkest timeline? We’ll have to wait and see!
Justin is a life long Cubs fan who has been playing fantasy baseball for 20+ years, and an ottoneu addict since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @justinvibber.