Baseball Reference 2020 MLB Simulation: Top Stories From Opening Day

Jordan Cohn
March 27, 2020 - 2:51 pm

The Baseball Reference rabbit hole just got a little bit deeper.

Maybe you've already checked out Baseball Reference to see how many home runs Aaron Judge hit in his rookie season or who led the Majors in ERA in 1984 or which dead-ball era legends hit over .400 in a season. Or maybe you dug even deeper, building a custom list of players through the Play Index in order to find out how many players over 6'5" have stolen at least 20 bases in a season (Dave Winfield and Corey Hart, if you were curious).

But now, you can see not only the stats and the history but also the hypothetical simulations of the 2020 season. Because of the delay, Baseball Reference must have been dreaming of updating the millions of figures on the website and decided to post the simulated results of each game as initially scheduled using outcomes from the game Out Of The Park '21.

Here are some of the biggest stories that came out of the action on the Opening Days of various teams. Check out the full slate here.

Scherzer Wins Epic Faceoff Against DeGrom, 1-0

This one seems like a pretty realistic simulation. Scherzer tossed eight scoreless innings against the Mets on Opening Day, striking out nine and allowing only five hits. It was just enough to outlast DeGrom, who was nearly as impressive with seven innings pitched, 12 Ks and one ER. Adam Eaton hit a solo shot and produced the lone run in this classic pitchers' duel.

Yankees Club Four Home Runs in Gerrit Cole's First Win, 10-5

Brett Gardner launched two home runs to go along with one each from Miguel Andujar and Luke Voit as the Yankees offense got off to a strong start in Aaron Judge's absence. Gerrit Cole struggled a decent amount, going 6.2 innings with 10 strikeouts but surrendering four earned runs.

Chicago Cubs Offense Explodes in 14-3 Victory

The Brewers gave up 14 runs to the Cubs as Anthony Rizzo pounded two home runs and Kris Bryant added another long ball. Christian Yelich went 1-4 with a two-run double in his long-awaited return, but Yu Darvish (5.1 IP, 7 K, 1 ER) and the explosive Cubs offense was too much to overcome. Javy Baez chipped in with two hits and four RBI.

Astros Overcome Offseason Drama, Win 11-4 Over Angels

Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Yordan Alvarez (twice) all hit home runs in an overwhelming display of offense, earning Justin Verlander (7.1 IP, 10 K, 2 ER) and the Astros their first win of the season. Shohei Ohtani earned the loss in relief, allowing six runs (four earned) in 2.2 innings of work.

Cardinals-Reds Postponed Due to Bad Weather

OOTP '21 even accounts for bad weather, and the opening game of the 2020 season at Great American Ballpark was rescheduled to Saturday, March 28.

Top Performers

Through the first two games of the season (some games have only played once), four players are tied for the league lead with three home runs apiece (Nolan Arenado, Yordan Alvarez, Chad Pinder and Justin Upton).

Jacob DeGrom struck out 12 in a loss, and sits atop the leaderboards while Walker Buehler and Robbie Ray picked up 11 punch-outs in their 2020 debuts.

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