MLB 2020 season simulation: Astros remain in last place; Syndergaard signs long-term extension with Mets


Major League Baseball was supposed to launch the 2020 regular season four weeks ago, on March 26. The spread of the novel coronavirus, however, forced MLB to delay Opening Day to some unknowable future date that is dependent on the effectiveness of the containment strategies imposed across the country in recent weeks. 

Because we could all use a distraction these days, we’ve decided to pass time by simulating the season on Out of the Park Baseball 21. Along the way, we’ll be providing updates on what’s happening in our fictional league, similar to what we did on Opening Day. 

With that in mind, here are the would-be standings and five developments to be mindful of from the week that was (and wasn’t). 

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OOTP21

1. Thor, Glasnow, Semien get extensions

There were a slew of long-term deals signed during this week. Noah Syndergaard (five years, $103 million), Marcus Semien (five years, $125 million), and Tyler Glasnow (five years, $55 million) will all be staying with their current teams. The Mets also locked up Steven Matz, giving him a three-year deal worth $24 million. It’s worth noting that in this exercise, unlike real life, Syndergaard and his right elbow are hearty and hale. 

2. Astros continue to toil in last; make trade with Nationals

The Astros are still scuffling. They’re now 8-17 on the season, giving them the third-worst record in the majors. The Astros did shake things up a little, trading right-handed pitchers Ryan Pressly and Jose Alberto Rivera to the Nationals for catcher Yan Gomes. The Nationals will be rolling with Kurt Suzuki and Welington Castillo behind the dish. 

3. Cleveland to go forth without Ramirez

Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez will miss seven weeks due to an oblique strain. Ramirez suffered the injury running the bases. Cleveland will miss his bat, as he’s hitting .343/.409/.616 on the year. Terry Francona will try to weather the storm by turning to Christian Arroyo and Mike Freeman.  

4. Merrifield’s hitting streak ends

Royals outfielder Whit Merrifield had his 21-game hitting streak come to an end during the week. That is, to date, the league’s longest hitting streak, with second place belonging to Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, who notched a hit in 16 consecutive games. Merrifield is hitting .337/.391/.465 on the season.

5. Mondesi hits for cycle

Merrifield’s Royals teammate, shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, hit for the cycle against the Orioles, going 4 for 5 with four runs batted in and three runs scored. Mondesi is off to a good start to the season. He’s hitting .266/.317/.596 (139 OPS+) with five home runs and 13 doubles-plus-triples in 24 games. Mondesi is the first player to hit for the cycle in our simulated season.

Hitting performance of the week

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong had a tremendous game against the Rockies, going 4 for 6 with a pair of home runs. DeJong drove in five runs and notched 10 total bases. The Cardinals won a titled affair by 12-5 score. In case you were wondering, yes, the game was played at Coors Field. 

Pitching performance of the week

Clayton Kershaw, who has been featured here before, authored the finest outing of the season. Kershaw one-hit the Pirates, striking out seven and issuing zero walks. Kershaw faced two more than the minimum, having also plunked Bryan Reynolds. Adam Frazier was the only Pirate to record a knock. The Dodgers won in a 10-0 boat race.





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