Last year, my prediction that the Diamondbacks would shock the world and win the World Series didn’t really pan out. So, rather than comb over mounds of baseball statistics, assess every roster, and formulate another semi-educated guess, I figured that I’d let my new copy of MLB 18 The Show do all the work for me. Normally, something like this would be done prior to the season, but I wanted to let the first live rosters come out so everyone’s opening day rosters were up to date. Once that was released, the simulation began and the rest is history. So, what did a full season simulation of PS4’s annual baseball game predict would happen? Let’s take a look!
2018 All Star Game
Let’s fast forward to the first noteworthy moment where I stopped the simulation; the All Star Break. Dallas Keuchel got the starting nod in the 2018 ASG after sporting a 12-2 record with a nasty 1.82 ERA. For the NL, it was Clayton Kershaw getting the start, coming in with a 15-3 record and a 2.42 ERA. The AL’s leading vote-getter at closer was Boston’s Craig Kimbrel, who posted a 1.41 ERA to go along with 26 saves. Kenley Jansen, the top closer chosen for the NL, had a similar ERA at 1.32, but notched 32 saves. Click here to see the full list, with stats, of AL and NL pitchers chosen for the 2018 All Star Game. Like the hitters, which I will get to in just a second, there were many familiar names chosen in the simulation, but there were also a few pretty big surprises. For example, Miami’s Wei-Yin Chen and Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson were chosen by The Show’s fans, with Chen boasting a 10-4 record and a 2.23 ERA. Nelson didn’t fare quite as well as Chen, but still holds a 7-4 record and a 2.68 ERA, good enough to get an ASG appearance.
Where the AL might have had an edge in pitching, the NL more than makes up for it on the offensive side. Five of the nine players in the starting lineup for the NL are hitting above .300, with Bryce Harper just below the mark at .299. The NL’s leading offensive vote-getter, Paul Goldschmidt, raked in the first half of the season, hitting a cool .348 with 19 dingers and 71 RBI. On the AL side, Aaron Judge led the voting with a .306 batting average to go along with 20 home runs and 68 driven in. The Yankee’s Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton were both placed on the 60-day DL in May, leading them to miss the ASG. Sanchez, who was the leading vote-getter amongst AL catchers, was replaced by Mike Zunino, who only batted .224 but hit 16 homers and drove in 43. Stanton was replaced by Michael Brantley. Click here to see the lineups and reserves for both sides, along with their statistics thus far at the unofficial halfway point of the season. Now for the fun stuff; trades, rewards, and the playoffs.
ASG Results: AL def. NL 6-5
The simulation-version of the MLB trade deadline wasn’t quite as exciting as the real thing, but even in a simulation, there were some very interesting trades pulled off, including one that was a real head-scratcher to say the least. The first trade to go down saw the Mets deal Michael Conforto to the Dodgers for two minor league prospects. The Orioles dealt closer Zach Britton to the Reds for infielder Jose Peraza and an additional two minor league prospects. Twins unloaded Miguel Sano, sending him to the Mets for two minor league prospects. The Pirates sent Starling Marte to the Indians for a minor league pitching prospect. And finally, in the biggest head-scratching, downright insane trade of the season, the Yankees sent the oft-injured Greg Bird AND top prospect Miguel Andujar to the division-rival Rays for catcher Wilson Ramos and a low-level minor league prospect. Really Cashman? Or should I ask, really simulation?
Regular Season Awards
Most Valuable Player
AL: Aaron Judge (.281, 50 HR, 122 RBI)
NL: Clayton Kershaw (22-5, 2.77 ERA, 276 SO)
AL: Chris Sale (16-10, 2.55 ERA, 317 SO)
NL: Clayton Kershaw (22-5, 2.77 ERA, 276 SO)
AL: Jose Altuve (.340, 26 HR, 85 RBI)
NL: Paul Goldschmidt (.328, 26 HR, 105 RBI)
Reliever of the Year
AL: Xavier Cedeno (51 saves, 1.99 ERA)
NL: Kenley Jansen (53 saves, 0.90 ERA)
Rookie of the Year
AL: Miguel Andujar (.272, 16 HR, 61 RBI)
NL: Jordan Patterson (.287, 18 HR, 78 RBI)
The Brewers and Cardinals had to play game 163 to determine who would take the NL Central crown, and in what many would consider an upset, it was the Brewers who would prevail and win the division. This simulation had some great down-the-stretch races, as well as some that were never really competitive to begin with. In what was, by far, the biggest division win of the simulated season, the Indians, at 99-63, won their division by a whopping 25 GAMES over the 2nd place 74-88 White Sox. The tightest race, aside from the aforementioned NL Central, was actually the race for the NL Wildcard, which the Cardinals nabbed by a game from the upstart Phillies, who finished with an impressive record of 91-71, good for 2nd in the NL East. In the American League, the Yankees, Indians, and Astros all took care of business to win their divisions, with the Red Sox and Angels set to collide in the one-game wildcard. The NL saw the Nationals, Brewers, and Dodgers all win their respective divisions, with the Rockies and Cardinals as the two wildcard teams. Click here to see the full regular season standings and see exactly how each division played out. Now, for the road to the World Series.
AL: Red Sox def. Angels
NL: Cardinals def. Rockies
AL: Yankees win the series 3 games to 2 over the Indians
AL: Astros win the series 3 games to 0 over the Angels
NL: Nationals win the series 3 games to 1 over the Brewers
NL: Dodgers win the series 3 games to 0 over the Cardinals
AL: Yankees win the series 4 games to 2 over the Astros
NL: Dodgers win the series 4 games to 1 over the Nationals
Yankees win the World Series 4 games to 3 over the Dodgers
World Series MVP: Didi Gregorius (.379, 3 HR, 8 RBI)
World Series Winners: New York Yankees
There you have it! According to the full season simulation on MLB 18 The Show, the New York Yankees will win the 2018 World Series. As a Mets fan myself, I can’t say that I love the outcome, but despite this being a completely random simulation, this scenario is definitely possible. I thought the simulation was fairly realistic, despite throwing in a bit of a preposterous trade and a long-shot playoff team or two. Lets hear from you! Do you agree with the simulation? Could the Yankees make yet another run at a World Series, or do you think it will be a different team this year winning the crown? Drop a comment below and let me hear your thoughts! As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!