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Simulating the 2020 Marlins—Week 1

Miguel Rojas celebrates a virtual Jonathan Villar home run

The 2020 Marlins regular season has been shoved off its axis and will inevitably be shortened to far fewer than 162 games. But technology is a beautiful thing, ain’t it? Across the internet, we can peek inside the alternative universes in which this much-anticipated campaign is being simulated precisely on schedule, featuring many of the players who were projected to make an impact for the real-life Fish.

At the end of each week, I will do a roundup of how the Marlins are performing.

MLB The Show 20

Okay, so this was just a one-off. On Thursday afternoon, Rhys Hoskins and Miguel Rojas created their own Opening Day, representing the Phillies and Marlins, respectively. Starting lineups released in advance, a rendition of the national anthem...clever presentation.

Their first attempt at gameplay—shortly after 4:10 p.m. ET—failed due to a lost network connection. The second try failed when the players paused too long to answer fan-submitted questions, resulting in an unintentional forfeit. Unfortunately, that wiped out a Jonathan Villar home run in his virtual Marlins regular season debut:

The game they actually completed was a hard-fought pitchers’ duel.

Sandy Alcantara matched zeroes with Aaron Nola, with the latter helped by some sloppy Marlins baserunning. Bryce Harper broke the tie with a tape-measure solo shot off Brandon Kintzler in the top of the eighth, then added some insurance with another RBI the following inning. Final score: 2-0. On the bright side, Sterling Sharp and Monte Harrison made their first-ever appearances as major leaguers.

The video below includes all three attempted games. You may prefer to skip forward to the 27:24 mark.

As Marlins exec Jason Latimer explains to Ed Moran of Front Office Sports, the idea for this was born shortly after Major League Baseball announced the suspended season. Latimer wouldn’t commit to coordinating any future MLB The Show matchups.

With all due respect to Miggy Ro, if the Marlins want a better chance to win, they ought to consider replacing him with a more skilled gamer on the roster like Brian Anderson or even Rule 5 Draft pick Sterling Sharp.

Baseball-Reference

Corey Dickerson has started off hot in Baseball-Reference’s OOTP 21 simulation
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Baseball-Reference, meanwhile, is simulating the entire 2020 MLB schedule using the game Out of the Park Baseball 21 (OOTP 21). Results are published daily at around noon ET.

What kind of crazy 40-man roster gymnastics allowed the Marlins to activate Eddy Alvarez, Tommy Eveld, Matt Kemp, Dylan Lee and Trevor Rogers for the start of the season?

Confused but not complaining—the early returns are promising! Through Sunday’s action, the Marlins are 3-1, paced by Corey Dickerson’s .500/.563/.714 slash line. Check out the updated individual player stats.

Stats through the simulated games of March 29
Stats through the simulated games of March 29

Strat-O-Matic

Similarly, the Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.

Lots of granular details inside the box scores. The Marlins drew a fairly disappointing Opening Day attendance of 26,435, for example. They won that game, but lost Brian Anderson to an injury. He hasn’t played since.

Strat-O-Matic has Miami getting off to a 2-2 start.


Next up

  • March 30-April 1 vs. Nationals
  • April 3-5 at Braves