OOTP Simulator Season #1: Managing Foibles

As part of a promotion, I received a copy of OOTP 11 to preview, and they asked me to run a simulated season and record the results. I wanted to do this multiple times in order to get a decent average number of wins, but unfortunately I’ve yet to find that sort of capability on OOTP. Nevertheless, I wanted to see how the results of 2010 would pan out and how the Marlins would fare in the simulated year. What follows are the interested results of the first OOTP Simulated Season attempt!

First off, the game rocks

I can say so just based on the brand new things that are being offered. Among my favorites were the inclusion of significantly better statistics of the advanced kind. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the statistics leaderboards for both leagues and saw, on the fifth box to the right, wOBA ranked in order. The game similarly introduced other cool statistics such as FIP and Zone Rating (in terms of runs). I’m not sure whether this is like the Revised Zone Rating used by The Hardball Times before they dropped their statistics or if this is closer to Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), but any defensive statistic in runs is better than no statistic.

You can even export stats, even in CSV or as a SQL dump, so you can play around with the raw data on its own. I’m still a bit disappointed that there does not seem to be a way to import large amounts of data from the sortable stats into spreadsheet format. This is something I’ve seen in other baseball sims, but it does not seem to available to me as of yet.

I’ve yet to explore many of the options available in the game, but it seems like a blast. I’ll be forming a couple different leagues, in particular a normal league with a universal DH. Should be fun to see.

OOTP Simulation #1

Tm W L Win% GB
PHI 97 65 .599
ATL 95 67 .586 2
FLA 91 71 .562 6
NYM 90 72 .556 7
WSN 67 95 .414 30

That’s a pretty interesting NL East final standings table. Here are some interesting thoughts on the standings:

- Four teams won 90+ games in the NL East, while the Washington Nationals won just 67.

- The two favorites for the NL West crown, the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, ended fourth and fifth in the division. The Rockies were .500, while the Dodgers lost the most games in NL.

- The Houston Astros won 84 games and ended second in the NL Central.

- The Baltimore Orioles actually were well ahead of both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays early in the season before falling back to .500. Tampa won the wild card, while the New York Yankees took the AL East.

- The AL Central came down to a play-in game, and the Chicago White Sox took it over the Cleveland Indians. Both teams entered that game 80-82, meaning the Central was won by a team under .500.

The Marlins winning 91 games seemed pretty surprising to me. I went ahead and ran some numbers to calculate WAR for the Marlins’ players. Here are some of the significants:

Position Players

Player PA wOBA wRAA Defense WAR
Hanley Ramirez 712 .400 41 -14 5.8
John Baker 476 .379 19 -12 3.1
Jorge Cantu 566 .374 20 -11 3.0
Chris Coghlan 523 .384 23 -8 2.9
Cameron Maybin 350 .362 9 4.4 2.6
Dan Uggla 468 .351 8 -2 2.3
Gaby Sanchez 659 .354 13 0 2.3

Pitchers

Player IP K BB HR FIP WAR
Josh Johnson 143 133 43 6 2.74 5.0
Ricky Nolasco 213.33 178 52 29 3.98 3.9
Anibal Sanchez 200.67 177 71 23 3.94 3.7
Clay Hensley 162 131 74 24 4.83 1.3
Leo Nunez 75.33 78 40 9 4.23 0.4

Some thoughts on this team:

- Overall, the team projected to score 863 runs and allow 787 runs (53 runs worse than average on defense, by the way), giving them a Pythagenpat winning percentage of .543, good for an 88-74 record that was three games worse than what they actually got. The team actually scored 876 runs (a bit better) and allowed 748 (a good deal better). Chalk that up to timing.

- The National League was actually a really high run-scoring environment, on the order of 4.74 runs per game. I don’t now how that turned out given the presence of the pitcher hitting, but it happened. We’ll see how some of the other sims work out.

- The manager running these Marlins made some weird choices. Midway through the season (or perhaps early in the year), Chris Volstad was sent to the minors, where he pitched over 100 innings there. Nate Robertson also pitched only 76 innings while also splitting time in Triple-A New Orleans. These moves made little sense given the fact that they also sent Clay Hensley out there for 162 innings.

- Dan Uggla was no stranger to this odd treatment. Uggla suffered no injuries but was not given an opportunity to play. Instead, somehow the Marlins squeezed 300+ PA for Emilio Bonifacio (.323 wOBA, 0.4 WAR) and minor league outfielders Scott Cousins and Jai Miller. Interestingly enough, the team moved Chris Coghlan down to second base and actually played Bonifacio in left for 20 or so games, perhaps running a field test in preparation for the following year.

- Apparently they used scouting reports for Hanley’s defense back from 2007. In the two years since that awful year, he’s drastically improved, but this sim season has him hitting -14 runs on defense in short, dragging him from a 7-WAR star to a “measly” 5.8 WAR.

If you all are interested, I can definitely continue doing this. I figure it will be fun given OOTP’s new stats and easy-to-use interface. My one wish is that it had sortable stats that could be exported to Excel, as I prefer to do my silly sim evaluations using Excel rather than running it through MySQL. If you think you’d be interested in the game, do go ahead and check it out here. You can go and download and purchase your copy right there. Enjoy, I know I’ll be doing so.

Topics: Miami Marlins

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