Opening Day is over and the 2019 Major League Baseball season is underway. The last two years, Out of the Park Baseball correctly predicted the participants in the World Series, as well as the eventual winner. Can OOTP 20 make it a perfect three-for-three?
Our friends at MLB Network featured the results of our season sim, which involved 1,000 run-throughs of the 2019 season to produce our picks this year. We also forecast season expectations for three players who will be closely watched this year: Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper, San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado, and eagerly anticipated Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., the son of a Hall of Famer.
The American League
OOTP 20 sees the American League East division producing three-fifths of the AL’s playoff teams, with the Boston Red Sox again taking first place and the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays securing the Wild Card spots.
The Cleveland Indians will again take home the Central division crown (their fourth in a row) while the Houston Astros will pull off a three-peat as West division champs. However, Houston will emerge as the AL pennant winner, denying Boston a chance to defend its 2018 World Series championship.
The National League
OOTP 20 says “East is beast,” as the NL East will also produce three-fifths of the NL’s playoff teams. After a disappointing 2018, the Washington Nationals will win their division, with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets taking the Wild Card slots.
In the Central, the St. Louis Cardinals will win their first division crown since 2015 while the Los Angeles Dodgers will take home their seventh straight division title in the West. However, Los Angeles will fail to appear in its third straight World Series because Bryce Harper’s former team will make the trip instead.
In the World Series, the Washington Nationals will end decades of fan frustration going back to the days of the Montreal Expos as they defeat the Houston Astros to win the championship.
Harper, Machado, and Guerrero, Jr.
Bryce Harper’s presence won’t be enough to get the Philadelphia Phillies back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. OOTP 20 sees him putting up these stats:
.257/.395/.494 slash, 33 HR, 96 RBI, 5.5 WAR
Likewise, hot free agent Manny Machado won’t be able to help the San Diego Padres end a streak of futility that extends back to 2006. However, he’ll still put up some solid stats:
.281/.345/.494 slash, 30 HR, 98 RBI, 3.8 WAR
Meanwhile, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is expected to play 133 games for the Toronto Blue Jays and make an immediate splash with these numbers:
.285/.350/.468 slash, 21 HR, 70 RBI, 3.1 WAR
Other players’ seasons
Giancarlo Stanton is projected to hit 47 home runs — his New York Yankees teammate Aaron Judge is expected to knock 40 dingers, giving the team two of the top three home run hitters. The Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo is sandwiched between them with 43.
If more advanced stats are your thing, the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout is expected to tie Jose Ramirez of the Atlanta Braves with 7.5 WAR. The Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yellich is projected to post 6.5 WAR.
Full season standings
Here’s how OOTP 20 sees the full standings shaping up, along how each team fared in those 1,000 sims:
|Teams||Avg. Wins||Playoffs||Wild Card||Division Series||LCS Trips||World Series||World Series Wins|
|Boston Red Sox||99.8||984||239||904||546||312||178|
|New York Yankees (WC 1)||93||844||630||589||262||120||57|
|Tampa Bay Rays (WC 2)||85.8||457||418||228||92||42||18|
|Toronto Blue Jays||78.8||117||115||53||21||5||2|
|Kansas City Royals||73.7||36||24||23||3||1||1|
|Chicago White Sox||64.3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Los Angeles Angels||81.9||225||179||109||44||18||4|
|Atlanta Braves (WC 1)||89.4||600||415||391||181||80||34|
|New York Mets (WC 2)||89||602||447||394||181||82||39|
|St. Louis Cardinals||86.5||478||92||425||165||73||28|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||94.6||899||50||873||523||279||143|
|San Diego Padres||77.7||50||34||31||12||5||1|
|San Francisco Giants||70.8||4||4||2||0||0||0|