I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really looking forward to baseball season this year. After the Bears’ disappointing season and the Bulls limping their way to the end of another lackluster season, I’m excited to be pulled into another heartbreaking season by my beloved Cubs.
Of course, EA Sports like to use their Madden games to predict the Super Bowl winner every year, so I figured it would be fun to take it a step further and predict an entire MLB season. Using MLB 10: The Show’s Season mode, I simulated the entire 2010 campaign, and while some of the results are what anyone who follows the sport would expect, others aren’t so believable.
Everything is here: All-Star lineups, year-end awards, and, of course, the World Series champion. So with baseball underway today, let’s look at a little PlayStation prognostication.
1B – Lance Berkman
2B – Troy Tulowitzki
SS - Hanley Ramirez
3B - Mark Reynolds
LF - Matt Holliday
CF - Matt Kemp
RF - Andre Ethier
DH - Prince Fielder
C - Brian McCann
SP - Johan Santana
1B - Nick Johnson
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Derek Jeter
3B - Alex Rodriguez
LF - Johnny Damon
CF - Hideki Matsui
RF - Ichiro Suzuki
DH - Evan Longoria
C - Joe Mauer
SP - Felix Hernandez
OK, so it’s quickly apparent that this simulation had some kooky results, to say the least. In the NL, the exclusion of Albert Pujols in the starting lineup will require some sort of debilitating injury or alien abduction on his part, and Tulowitzki getting the nod over Chase Utley or even Dan Uggla seems far-fetched. Not because he isn’t talented, but because he’s primarily a shortstop. Just sayin’.
Also, is it just me, or are there a lot of current and former Yankees on the AL roster? Not too different from recent years, I suppose, but take a look at first base. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Nick Johnson won’t be getting the start over his teammate Mark Teixeira. I’ll go on a different limb and say that he spends more time hurt than playing baseball. Nationals and Marlins are fans quietly nodding in agreement.
For what it’s worth, the American League won home field advantage with a 4-1 victory in what is now traditional fashion.
NL MVP: Manny Ramirez – .347 BA, 38 HR, 124 RBI, 1.069 OPS
AL MVP: Evan Longoria – .307 BA, 50 HR, 141 RBI
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay – 20-3, 2.17 ERA, 214 K
AL Cy Young: Javier Vazquez – 20-5, 2.65 ERA, 271 K
NL Rookie of the Year – David Freese
AL Rookie of the Year – Tony Sipp
Three of these you can make a case for: Manny Ramirez certainly wouldn’t be the oldest player to win an MVP, though that would be a Herculean task with Pujols in the same league. Evan Longoria seems to be setting himself up to win a couple over the course of his career, and Hallady is my personal pick to win the NL Cy Young.
The rest are as long a shot as you could possibly line up. Javier Vazquez is definitely capable of striking guys out, but 271 is well past his career high, and I can’t imagine him putting up a career-best ERA in the wind tunnel that is the new Yankee Stadium. He’s not getting younger, and he’s never won more than 16 games. Does not compute.
As for the rookies, they’re both players that their respective organizations are excited about. That being said, there’s going to be pretty stiff competition from what looks to be an exciting rookie class in both leagues. In the NL, Freese would have to overcome the massive hype surrounding Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg. In the AL, Sipp will see heavy competition from fellow pitcher Neftali Perez, a hard-throwing Rangers reliever.
NL West Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers (99-63)
NL Central Champions: Chicago Cubs (94-68)
NL East Champions: Philadelphia Phillies (100-62)
NL Wild Card: Atlanta Braves (95-67)
AL West Champions: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (85-77)
AL Central Champions: Minnesota Twins (94-68)
AL East Champions: New York Yankees (107-55)
AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox (90-72)
Philadelphia over Chicago (3-1)
Los Angeles over Atlanta (3-2)
New York over Los Angeles (3-2)
Boston over Minnesota (3-1)
Philadelphia over Los Angeles (4-3)
New York over Boston (4-2)
New York over Philadelphia (4-1)
Nothing too out of the ordinary here. In the NL, I’m hoping the game ends up being right about the Cubs winning the division, but I wouldn’t count on it. Though I must say, it hurts when even a game thinks they’re incapable of advancing past the first round. It’s hard to argue the results of the AL, except that maybe the Wild Card will be a toss-up between the BoSox and the Rays.
With the way that Halladay and Vazquez pitched this (virtual) season, it’s easy to see why their respective teams meet up for a World Series rematch, though I’d hope that a series between two great teams wouldn’t end in just five games.
So there you have it: the 100% accurate, totally infallible prediction for exactly how the 2010 season will play out, as provided by my copy of MLB 10: The Show. OK, probably not, but I’ll definitely have a lot of fun coming back to this post during the season and tracking its accuracy.
And hey, if you’ve read this far it’s definitely because you’re a hardcore baseball fan. Why not drop us a comment with a few predictions of your own?