Out of the Park Baseball 17 Sims the MLB Season
My name is Corey Andress, and I’m the Global Digital Strategist over at Out of the Park Developments, and I’m here today to share our ‘official’ season predictions to celebrate the start of the 2016 MLB season! These predictions are based on our incredible sim engine, and numerous seasons were simmed to assure accuracy. Let’s see what we can get right this year!
Before we get into the fun stuff, on behalf of the OOTP development team, we’d like to say thank you to OperationSports and your amazing community of members who continue to support us on a year-to-year basis. It’s your passion that drives us forward, and we’ll continue to innovate and improve! As a token of our appreciation, and to celebrate what is sure to be an exciting MLB season, we’re also giving away three (3) copies of OOTP Baseball 17 for Steam (PC/Mac) to the OS community! All you have to do to qualify is to mention who you think will win this year’s World Series in the comments below, and we’ll pick 3 lucky winners by Friday April 8th.
Thank you for your support and feedback, and thanks for supporting OperationSports as well!
There’s a lot to digest heading into the 2016 season. The Cubs seem loaded with talent, the Mets have a ton of pitching depth, and the Jays still possess one of the best hitting lineups in recent memory. To top it all off, it’s an even year, meaning San Francisco fans have a lot to be excited about, and getting two big-named starting pitchers doesn’t hurt either. Needless to say, the drama is high, and the lines have been drawn. Let’s see how it all plays out in OOTP 17’s sim engine:
The two biggest surprises of the season seemed to be the relative dip in quality that the defending champion Kansas City Royals displayed throughout the year, only winning 83 games, and the upstart Houston Astros did not find the magic that made them successful in 2015, struggling to find consistency on the mound and only managing 74 victories.
The Toronto Blue Jays continued their offensive dominance, winning 96 games, the AL East, and held the best record in the American League. The Cleveland Indians won 95 games, and the AL Central, and were backed by the best pitching numbers overall in the American League. The young and surprising Seattle Mariners won the AL West, and the other surprise of the season, the Chicago White Sox, won one of the two Wild Card spots. The Angels picked up the final Wild Card spot, backed by an incredible year by Mike Trout.
On an individual level, Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson had killer years, and Chris Davis had a monster year as well with 51(!) HR’s and 126 RBI’s. While Odor and Prince Fielder had big years as well, Texas struggled as a team to put wins together.
As mentioned before, Cleveland had a huge year on the mound, with Anderson and Carrasco having 2 shutouts a piece, and Corey Kluber leading the AL in both Wins and ERA. Stroman also won 18 games, and R.A. Dickey seemed to find the fountain of youth and a 17 Win season.
What’s more shocking, is the display of Cody Allen, who won the AL Cy Young award after posting 41 Saves, a 1.47 ERA and 8 Wins.
The NL was as competitive as ever, with 5 teams finishing with over 85 Wins, and two teams in the NL West finishing with over 100 wins.
While there were no real surprises in terms of playoff squads for 2016, with perennial favorites mostly making it through, what WAS shocking was the dominance of the NL West teams, especially the Los Angeles Dodgers. The San Francisco Giants kept their dream of an even year Championship alive, but still missed winning the division by 7 games! The Dodgers dominated every facet of the game, winning 109 games for the best record in the Majors.
The Washington Nationals, New York Mets and Chicago Cubs wrapped up the other playoff spots in the NL.
Bryce Harper just missed out on a Triple Crown, and a pair of Giants - Joe Panik and Brandon Belt, had huge years in terms of batting stats, with Panik winning the NL batting crown.
While all of the major players had huge pitching seasons, the definitive story was Clayton Kershaw, who won 24 games, the pitching Triple Crown (ERA/W’s/K’s) and both the NL MVP & Cy Young awards - a big reason why his Dodgers won 109 games!
In an incredible shock to start off the 2016 Playoffs, the Washington Nationals went into San Francisco and put the Giants’ dream of an even year title to an end. The Giants were in control for most of the game before vet Sergio Romo, who had 41 saves during the season, blew another great playoff performance by Madison Bumgarner.
The Angels beat the Sox 6-3 in a game that saw Albert Pujols hit a HR and gather 3 RBI’s.
In a stunning upset, the Angels beat the offensive Jays, even after the Blue Jays took a 1-0 series lead behind 3 Jose Bautista HR’s. The rest of the series felt the impact of David Price’s off-season absence, as the Toronto pitching staff couldn’t stop Mike Trout and his 2 HR’s in the series.
Cleveland also trailed their series 1-0 after Felix and the M’s handed Corey Kluber a rare loss, before the Indians exploded for a 20-2 win in Game 2. The Mariners could never recover as they lost the next 3 games.
In the National League, the Nationals couldn’t put their win over the Giants to good use, as the Dodgers rolled over them in three straight victories. The Cubs got revenge over the Mets for last year as Jake Arrieta won 2 games in a closely-contested series.
In a series where no game was decided by more than two runs, the Angels saw their hopes of an all-Los Angeles World Series fall short. The Indians continued their strong pitching efforts that saw Anderson, Carrasco and Kluber all pick-up victories. Carlos Santana was the series MVP.
The other Los Angeles continued their historic dominance with a shocking sweep over the Chicago Cubs, with the Curse of the Billy Goat once again rearing its ugly head. Kershaw won another 2 decisions, making his playoff disappointments seem like a decade ago, and Joc Pederson was the series MVP, in a series that saw the Dodgers score an impressive 27 total runs in 4 games.
In what can only be described as an upset for the ages, the Cleveland Indians proved that a deep pitching staff is once again the answer to post-season success. They also proved that not everything in Cleveland is destined to fail on the big stage.
The Indians stormed out of the gates with a victory over Kershaw in Game 1 with a 10-4 victory, led by key hitting from the entire lineup - a game that saw no Home Runs from Cleveland. In Game 2, the Indians got a strong performance from Carrasco before almost blowing the game late, holding on for a 6-5 win.
Game 3 brought yet another gem from Cody Anderson, who pitched a complete game, 3 hit masterpiece, holding the Dodgers to only a late-game Puig HR in a 5-1 victory. Game 4 was a duel between Kershaw and Kluber, a matchup that proved worth the hype, as Kershaw brought the Dodgers back from the brink of elimination with a 6-3 victory and another 2 HR’s from Puig.
Cleveland would not be phased however, as Carlos Carrasco set out to win the Championship in front of the Cleveland fans. He did so, posting his second World Series victory, and claiming the series MVP to top it off, giving up only 3 runs in a fifth and final game. An upset considering all of the success the Dodgers had all throughout the 2016 campaign.
So there you have it! OOTP 17 thinks Cleveland will beat the Dodgers in the 2016 World Series. What are your thoughts? Post below for a chance to win one of three (3) copies of OOTP 17 for Steam, and let us know what you think of the game and our 2016 MLB season simulation.
Stay tuned to more from us in the near future, and let’s hope the 2016 season is one to remember.