Sports Reference Blog

Baseball-Reference Simulating 2020 Season with Out of the Park Baseball 21

Posted by Alex Bonilla on March 26, 2020

Today would have been Opening Day across Major League Baseball, with all 30 teams scheduled to start their seasons.  With the season on hold, we don’t get to find out how those games would have turned out. Or do we?

To help our users get their fix of new baseball, we are simulating the 2020 season using Out of the Park Baseball 21 and posting the results on  Starting today, we’ll update the site each day around noon ET with the results of that day’s games. Check out player pages across the site to see their simulated stats update as the season progresses.  Additionally, we’ve set up a daily digest page where you can see each day’s scores and the current standings, as well as team and league pages with all the simulated statistics pulled together into one place.

OOTP is a full-featured simulation with a lot of settings, and we asked for your help on Twitter with a few decisions we needed to make.  Your feedback was overwhelming that you wanted to see free agents like Yasiel Puig sign with teams and that you want to see the game’s AI make trades throughout the season.  We have disabled injuries in the simulation, though, since no one wants to risk having a superstar player suffer a major injury and end up missing from the simulation.


82 Responses to “Baseball-Reference Simulating 2020 Season with Out of the Park Baseball 21”

  1. Stray Corrado Says: We need individual game box scores with this.



  3. Ed Clayton Says:

    Can we get box scores from this simulation? My favorite part of the day is waking up and reading the box scores.

  4. Neil Weinstein Says:

    Can we get the boxscores added to the daily log? Also, where's Even White?

  5. Ben Says:

    Pls keep the good stuff coming

  6. Andy Rosenthal Says:

    Is it possible to get box scores for each game? For the first few days I can figure out what happened, but as it gets further along, that gets more difficult.

  7. John Says:

    Why is Luis Robert not on the White Sox Opening Day roster?

  8. Dan Says:

    Is there a place to see boxes for each game?

  9. Austin Says:

    How were the stats determined? Can we see the player ratings?

  10. Daniel Crocker Says:

    Are there full boxscores of the sims?

  11. Mark Says:

    0-3 Orioles... this thing should manage my money.

    Can we have it re-adjust player service time? Asking for a friend. Go Jays go!

  12. Nathan Driver Says:

    It’s hard to take these seriously when it doesn’t even have Dansby Swanson as the Braves starting shortstop.

  13. Dylan Turner Says:

    Any chance we can get boxscores with this? I would probably check every day, if there were boxscores. 

  14. Alex Moggridge Says:

    This is the best thing ever. But PLEASE won't you show the box scores/game logs? That would be at least half of the fun. Please please?

  15. Jose Vargas Says:

    Does this account for any injuries or would it assume all is well?


  16. SAUL WISNIA Says:

    Any chance you'll be able to run boxscores?

  17. Jason L. Says:

    Thanks for this, I look forward to it every day. I do have a question: is there any plan to post "box scores" from the simulated games?

    Thanks again.

  18. John W. Wood Says:

    How did Mauricio Dubon and Alex Dickerson fail to make the Giants roster? Dubon was projected to start at second base and play some center field. Dickerson was to platoon with Pence in left field.

  19. Bob Shaevel Says:

    Was there a way to insert obvious rookies such as the White Sox' Luis Robert using projected stats?

  20. David Guidi Says:

    I love the project, but you've got to fix the Braves lineup.

    The standard lineup against RHPs should be as follows (this is not the ideal, but how I think Brian Snitker would actually do it):
    (1) Acuna - RF (2) Albies - 2B (3) Freeman - 1B (4) Ozuna - LF (5) d'Arnaud - C (6) Camargo - 3B (7) Swanson - SS (8) Inciarte - CF (9) Pitcher.

    If you're changing lineups according to pitcher handedness, the lineup against lefties:
    (1) Acuna - CF (2) Albies - 2B (3) Freeman - 1B (4) Ozuna - LF (5) Duvall - RF (6) Camargo - 3B (7) Swanson - SS (8) Flowers - C (9) Pitcher.


  21. Joshua Mould Says:

    Hi, my name is Joshua Mould and I'm the Founder of the Sports Analytics Club at Villanova University and I really like that you're simulating the season like this, I have been playing OOTP baseball since 2012 and I wanted to be able to do something with the simulation that you are doing so I wrote some code in R to import the batting and pitching stats from the simulated stat pages and calculate fantasy points from it given a formula and player names from the team. This enables my club to potentially do a Fantasy Baseball league off of your sim stats. Thank You!

  22. Viet Trieu Says:

    mcmahon should be starter not hampson hoffman would be long releivver so much wrong in this simulation

  23. Steve Chernicoff Says:

    How about league leader boards (BA, OPS, HR, RBI, SB, ERA, etc.) for the simulated season? Possible to get play-by play game accounts, or at least “how they scored” summaries?

  24. Mark Bland Says:

    Since you all are doing the simulation, would it not be wise to injuries enabled? I mean, you are allowing the AI to make trades, and to be honest as an OOTP user, the AI makes some pretty ignorant trades at times. So, if trades are enabled, then injuries should be as well. Just my thoughts.

  25. Marc Jacobson Says:

    Where’s Zach Eflin, who was the Phillies’ #3 starter last year and would have been #4 this year? Instead the simulation has both Pivetta and Velasquez in the rotation whereas only one of them would have been in the rotation as both are awful.  Eflin does not appear to have been traded to another team in the simulation and his player page media references include one that says he’s a lock for the rotation once the season starts. Eflin had a 1.6 WAR last year and if he’s not in the Phillies rotation in the simulation, the simulation is kind of meaningless. Thanks.

  26. Nick Says:

    Are the simulationsnext day’s pitching match-ups available?

  27. Mike Kowalczyk Says:

    As a Tiger fan I cannot understand the roster being used. On the pitching side, Zimmerman and Turnbull should be in the starting rotation, but they are not even on the roster. Martin was evidently signed as a free agent, although Greiner will likely be the actual #2 catcher, with Rogers #3 if needed. With no disabled list, why is Jones not on the roster as the starting CF?

  28. Mark Says:

    Where’s Luis Robert in this simulation?

  29. AJ Says:

    Is there a link to watch the games? :)

  30. Tom Austin Says:

    Awesome idea!

    but turn injuries on. it's in the game!

    Tom Austin

  31. Chris Jones Says:

    Any chance we can get a Player Positions column?

  32. Austin Says:

    Any way to change it so we don't have MadBum going 11 deep against the Giants? Losing him and having baseball taken was hard enough but to see him do that in a sim is salt in the wound.

    A Sad Giants Fan

  33. Tim Brown Says:

    Hi, I am enjoying the simulated season! Will players like Clevinger and Carrasco become active on the Indians at some point? 

    Thanks, Tim

  34. Richard Wittig Says:

    This is wonderful! Just found it 4-8-20.
    1. If a "regular" is not playing for several days in a row, how can we find out why?
    Example: Dansby Swanson.

    2. Will the OOTP 2020 that I can order have the same rosters as this simulation?


  35. Luke Tietz Says:

    Can we get Blown Saves added in?!

  36. Dale Mahoney Says:

    I don't see a way to click from the AL to the NL or vice versa, although you can always just edit the URL in the browser window.

  37. rick Says:

    was wondering if you show the simulated season out of the park baseball 21

  38. Mark Says:

    So, the 2020 sim season is underway. The question Ok have is why is Luis Robert not the stating CF for the Chicago White Sox. Instead Jaycob Brugman? How is this even feasible? Should have started the aim with projected lineups and starting rotations.

  39. Lee Dembart Says:

    The simulation is a great idea, but can you please give a fuller explanation of how it works? For example, how are the starting lineups determined for each team for each game? Also, commenters keep asking here to see the box scores, which are the major missing item in what you provide. Can you please either add the box scores to the daily display or explain why not? Thanks.

  40. baysfan Says:

    Why is not Yoshitomo Tsutsugo playing?

  41. Ty Says:

    King Felix not make the Braves MLB squad?

  42. AndyInSunnyDB Says:

    How come Aaron Judge isn't being simulated but Justin verlander is?

  43. Scotty G Says:

    Fun project and a great idea. 

  44. Sox fan Says:

    Thanks for doing this; Keeps me entertained

  45. Greg Lewis Says:

    This simulated season is great fun but it would be helpful to know how the rosters and lineups were chosen and who (if anyone) manages the teams.  I’m an Atlanta Braves fan so I’m pleased to see they are doing well, but there a lot of issues - mostly with lineup but a few with the roster.  The most glaring is Swanson not being the everyday shortstop, but Duvall’s lack of playing time is an issue as well.  Who is making the lineup decisions?

  46. Tim Says:

    Great idea. I noticed that there aren't many substitutions. I know injuries have been turned off in the configuration, but there's not much pinch hitting or defensive substitutions taking place. The only pinch hitters appear to be for NL pitchers.

  47. Knobster Says:

    Looking at the KC Royals, I am befuddled. Brett Phillips with 5 home runs? Kevin McCarthy and Greg Holland have started games? Is the game using openers for most teams?

  48. Sky Says:

    What time are the scores posted?

  49. Joe Says:

    Where is Luis Robert on the ChiSox?

  50. Jake Says:

    Go Reds!!  Best thing since ...well.....last season!  You should throw in some non critical stuff like attendance. Put a rain delay in here and there. Put some ejections in the box too. Can't get too serious because it's all about fun. It would be cool too to toss in some highlights ( old clips of Votto taking a walk or Dietrich striking out or Lorenzen smacking a home run. 

  51. NJtoTX Says:

    Now I know it's screwed up. No Astros in the top 37 in HBP. Only Altuve and Maldonado have been hit twice and Reddick hasn't been hit at all.

  52. Barrett Says:

    Is there somewhere we can see team lineups before the games start?

  53. Cameron Says:

    I like keeping up the simulated transactions, however, today the transactions page for the season has been cut down the end of March. All of the April transactions are missing (i.e. the Alex Wood and Steven Matz extensions), but I was able to see them yesterday. Curious as to why this is and how I can fix it.

  54. Mike Lynch Says:

    Thanks for the heads up Cameron. This should be fixed now. Sorry about that!

  55. Mike Lynch Says:

    sorry, not available

  56. Don Cundy Says:

    Why are you using OOTP. it is flashy but not very realistic. there are several other sims that produce more realistic outcomes. ie Dave Koch PC Baseball, Diamond Mind Baseball, and many others. Thanks for listening.

  57. Jacob Courville Says:

    I like the simulation but Fiers getting DFA’d by the A’s is ridiculous. That man has a chance to be the opening day starter 

  58. AJ Says:

    Thank you for this simulated season which gives me an opportunity to check in with my Cincinnati Reds everyday! The last two days the play-by-play (which I eagerly look forward to) has been corrupted with other games. May 5th showed the Cardinals/Padres play-by-play, and May 6th was a mixture of the Reds/Mets and the Rockies/Tigers. I would love to be able to go back and see those play-by-plays.

  59. Tim Says:

    Why isn't Ryan Zimmerman listed in the Nationals' season stats?

  60. CrazyCurtPhilly Says:

    How come Scott Kingery is not on Phillies after 4/1.... if there any area for transaction roster moves in simulated season?

  61. Cory Says:

    Thanks for doing this! Quick question: will this project continue if/when the season resumes?

  62. Alan Florjancic Says:

    20 year OOTP guy here. Not sure how I missed this, but between you guys and Baseball Prospectus, I've got two OOTP 2020 seasons to follow....

    The only thing I'd have done differently would have been to keep the injuries on. They are a huge part of baseball, and could have really shifted the season...

  63. Greg Lewis Says:

    Why was Nick Markakis DFA’d.  He’s Atlanta’s primary lefty PH.   Was that a computer decision or a human one?  O’Day doesn’t make much sense either.   I’m not really complaining since it’s just a simulation - I’m just trying to figure out how much human managerial decision making is involved.  If the computer makes the decision, can it be overridden?  


  64. Greg Lewis Says:

    Why was Nick Markakis DFA’d.  He’s Atlanta’s primary lefty PH.  O’Day doesn’t make much sense either.   I’m not really complaining since it’s just a simulation - I’m just trying to figure out how much human managerial decision making is involved.  If the computer makes the decision, can it be overridden?  


  65. Michael Ayres Says:

    The Cubs stats? Quintana 0-6? Two time all-star Contraras batting .176? Daniel DeScalzo batting .455? And on and on... Cubs would very likely out of the playoffs this year, but not 9 games under after 50 games. Must be basing the stats on the last months of '18 and '19. Otherwise, keep it going!

  66. Glen Hammel Says:

    Nice idea, but the execution is terrible. The lineups and pitching usage seem largely random. The rosters have additions teams would never make while other players just seem to have vanished. There's no mention in the transactions what became of the Indians actual backup catcher (Sandy Leon), but you have them trading their #2, #6 and #26 prospects for Robinson Chirinos. Logic like that makes it a complete waste of time.

  67. Stephen Says:

    Anyone else look at the HBP count out of curiosity? I was going to say that this isn't realistic if the Astros aren't getting plunked every game, but they have had 22 HBP so far. I didn't look at every division, but most teams are under that, except for the AL West--they're all just plunking each other left and right. Is it just me, or is 15-25 HBP for each team a little high only 40-some games into the season? That's about every other game or more for every MLB team...

  68. Patrick Says:

    Love this concept. Please nudge Rocco and tell him that Arraez should be playing ahead of Adrianza and Rosario should be playing ahead of Cave. Not sure where we got Hanley Ramirez...

  69. Tim Barnes Says:

    Love the sim season. A group of us are doing a fantasy baseball season and we are calculating daily stats.  Noticed May 15 Pirates Mets game boxscore comes up as Rockies instead. Not sure if you can fix this.  Thank you!

  70. David Hill Says:

    Is there a way to see the standings and leaderboards for the simulation, or am I just missing it?

  71. melvin bailey Says:

    aquino not playing

  72. Melvin A. Bailey Says:

    were is aquino playing

  73. Stephen Says:

    David, for the standings, go to:
    For the leaders, go to
    At the top (or bottom) of both pages, you can click on other things, like 'transactions.'

    On another note, B-R, please tell me you're going to do a simulated All-Star game, based on how the players perform in this 2020 simulation.

  74. Jerry G Says:

    Seems to me that roster moves are being made that aren't identified. For example, Pirates 3B Colin Moran seems to have disappeared, and suddenly replaced by Ke'Bryan Hayes, yet no moves were listed.
    Why does no one get optioned, or at least reported as such?

    Why are some teams making bulk player releases in May?

  75. Tom J Stebner Says:

    Love this site. At least we have "some" MLB. Thanks !!

  76. MICHAEL B Says:

    Right now, Yankees OF Tauchman is leading the AL in OPS.

  77. Paco Says:

    Everyone is being way too critical, think of everything that happens every season that nobody could predict? Ootp has been the best baseball sim for over a decade, things are very rarely implausible in the game.

  78. Scott Says:

    Nick Senzel has disappeared. Kevin Keirmier has suddenly appeared on the Cubs. The problem with the simulation is that the best players for many of the teams aren't playing and the starting pitchers are not being used like they currently are in MLB. (Many starters do not get a 3rd time through the order or get pulled after the first baserunner the 3rd time through). The sim should simulate that.

  79. Melvin A. Bailey Says:

    where is aquino hrd

  80. Ed Ceraso Says:

    Can someone please explain to me which version of Jacob deGrom this program is using? Is it locked on a 3-day period just before his TJ surgery or something???

  81. Marc E Jacobson Says:

    The simulation is kind of meaningless since it has Phillies playing with one hand tied behind their backs by sending Kingery to AAA after hitting .333, trading for Munoz (who has stunk), and then, instead of recalling Kingery, acquiring Cozart (who hit .124 last season) to spell Munoz.

  82. Tyler Hicks Says:

    I'm thinking the simulator is a Mariners fan. No other logical reason exists for them playing. 600 ball