Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brewers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 2
Reds 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 2 10 0

For the second time in three games, defensive miscues cost the Milwaukee Brewers (24-24) dearly, and the Cincinnati Reds (23-24) took advantage in registering a 2-1 victory at Great American Ball Park.

That was the result today as Strat-O-Matic games of Glen Head, N.Y., continued its announced plan to simulate the entire 2020 Major League Baseball season on a day-by-day basis for as long as actual game play is on hold.

Help set the lineup, batting order for the simulated Reds:

Have you ever dreamed of your opportunity to “manage” the Reds? Now is your chance. Learn more below!

The sim Reds scored both of their runs in the first inning. Mark Payton led off with a single (his first of three hits in the game), and Phillip Ervin followed with a single. Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun mishandled the ball for an error, allowing Payton to advance to third and Ervin to second. Mike Moustakas then followed with an RBI single against Milwaukee ace Brandon Woodruff, scoring Payton and moving Ervin to third.

Cleanup hitter Freddy Galvis then grounded into a double play, scoring Ervin from third. The inning ended without further damage. The second Reds run was unearned because had Braun not errored Ervin’s hit, Ervin would not have been in the position to score from third on the double-play grounder.

In Friday’s 9-5 sim Reds win, Milwaukee errors led to five of the Reds’ nine runs being unearned.

On the other hand, the defense was a key for the Reds. Center fielder Travis Jankowski, just recalled earlier in the day when Nick Castellanos was placed on the disabled list and inserted immediately into the lineup by commenter/manager Jon Davis, made a fantastic catch that Strat-O-Matic characterized as a web gem to end the game. Had Jankowski not made the catch, Justin Smoak would have been at least at second base representing the tying run against Raisel Iglesias, who earned his 10th save.

On a day when the simmering sim Reds offense was held in check, Reds pitching picked them up. Starter Anthony DeSclafani shut out Milwaukee over six innings, and the only run the Brewers scored was an eighth-inning solo home run by Luis Urias off of Pedro Strop.

Joey Votto reached base on each of his four plate appearances, with two singles and two walks.

The win was the sim Reds sixth in the last seven games, all on the last homestand. The first-place Cardinals were swept by Philadelphia in a three-game set, allowing the Reds to pull within two games of first place. Commenter/manager Jon Davis’ managerial record improved to 3-0, and he will have priority for the lineup for Tuesday’s game at Cleveland. The Indians have the most wins, 32, of any team in the Strat-O-Matic 2020 season simulation. Jesse Winker, who has been unavailable for the past four games due to injury, will return to action Tuesday.

Sunday’s results mean that only two games separate first-place St. Louis and fourth-place Cincinnati in the National League Central division. The Cubs broke a losing streak and defeated San Diego, pulling within one-half game of the lead. Milwaukee’s loss to Cincinnati was its third straight after a seven-game winning streak.

Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:

B-Pinch Hit For Sogard In 7th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Black In 7th Inning

A-Pinch Hit For Desclafani In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Vanmeter In 7th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Strop In 8th Inning

Standings following the May 17 games:

Cardinals 25 22 .532 0.0
Cubs 25 23 .521 0.5
Brewers 24 24 .500 1.5
Reds 23 24 .489 2.0
Pirates 18 27 .400 6.0

The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds traveling to Cleveland Tuesday to meet the Indians in the first of a short two-game series. Wade Miley will pitch for the sim Reds, while righthander Mike Clevinger pitches for Cleveland. The Indians have the second-highest team batting average in the simulation, .287, second only to Colorado’s .294.

News/Notes from around baseball

One of the things we would have during the season in the game threads was a section comprised of news and notes for the day. While there’s a lot less going on these days in the baseball world than usual for this time of year, there still are some things that are worth highlighting. When there are, we’ll be adding them to these daily simulation threads.

Jeff Passan’s look at the safety plan at ESPN

We’re going to dive into this a bit more this coming week here at Redleg Nation, but this morning Jeff Passan of ESPN took a bit of a deep dive into what it would take to get MLB’s plan to actually work, and just how difficult it will be. You can read the entire piece here. He walks you through what a day would be like for a player, and it’s really something else with what they have to do immediately upon waking up, and then all the way through a typical game day.

Rawly Eastwick’s 1972 season in the minors and a wild piece of baseball history

Rawly Eastwick’s 1972 season for the Trois-Rivieres Aigles, the Reds Double-A team at the time, got the nod for the best relief season in the farm system for the 1970’s. The future closer for The Big Red Machine’s two World Series championships made 66 appearances that year with 119.0 innings thrown and 20 saves. It was a heck of a season and a sign of what was going to come. But in the research for the article, Doug Gray found a rather amazing situation in professional baseball history with ties to the Reds that same year.

Reds Farm System Season of the Decade: Rawly Eastwick’s 1972

Some obscure baseball trivia about Jackie Robinson

David Laruila’s Sunday Notes over at Fangraphs is full of outstanding information today, so you really should be sure to check it out. But he had a tidbit on Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Kansas City Monarchs that I’d never seen before that really felt worth sharing today.

It is well known that Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Many are also aware that Robinson had been playing for the Negro League’s Kansas City Monarchs when Branch Rickey signed him to a contract two years earlier. Less known is the compensation involved in that deal.

According to renowned Negro League historian Phil Dixon, there was none.

“[Robinson] was essentially stolen from the Kansas City Monarchs,” Dixon told me recently. “The Monarchs never received one dime for his contract. They had two white owners, J. L. Wilkinson and Tom Baird, and Branch Rickey knew that the two couldn’t fight for their players, because if they did, it would signal to America that these white men were trying to stop Negro League players from getting into the big leagues. So the Monarchs didn’t fight that war. They were originally going to file a lawsuit, but instead gave Jackie their blessing.”

Per Dixon, the Monarchs never sold another player to the Dodgers.

Help set the lineup, batting order for the simulated Reds:

Have you ever dreamed of your opportunity to “manage” the Reds? Now is your chance.

Strat-O-Matic has agreed to allow Redleg Nation to submit the Cincinnati Reds’ lineups for each day’s simulated game. We want all of our readers who want to participate to get involved.

Here is how it will work:

  • In each wrap up of that day’s simulated game, Redleg Nation will post the opposing starting pitcher for the next game. You will know who the pitcher is and whether he is left-handed or right-handed, and you can use that information in creating a lineup for the next game, and submitting it in the comments below. “Splits” such as performance vs. left-handers or right-handers are replicated in the Strat-O-Matic game algorithm, and therefore should be considered.
  • We will accept lineups from every reader who wants to submit one. The lineup that will be submitted to Strat-O-Matic each day will be the one that receives the most positive replies (in effect, “yes” votes) from readers other than the submitter. In case of ties:
    • First tiebreaker: Lineup submitted by the reader who has had the fewest number of opportunities as a “manager.”
    • Second tiebreaker: Lineup submitted earliest in the comment thread. (So get your lineup in “early” each day.)
  • What is “early?” Redleg Nation posts these articles daily between 5 and 6 p.m. Eastern time. Strat-O-Matic’s deadline for us to submit a lineup for the next day’s game is midnight. On most days, we’ll do this before “bedtime,” which is typically between 10:30 and 11 Eastern time.

All players’ batting stats

All players’ pitching stats

Batting and pitching player stats by team

Have fun with this! If you have any questions, please post them in the comment string below. Here are the “managerial records” of our Redleg Nation participants to date:

Jon Davis 3 0 1.000
Peter Onte 2 1 .667
BK 7 4 .636
Gonzo Reds 2 2 .500
James Owens 2 2 .500
Redsfan4life 2 2 .500
Doug Gray 1 1 .500
RedsEuphoria 1 1 .500
Tomn 1 1 .500
AirborneJayJay 0 1 .000
Don 0 1 .000
Jeff 0 1 .000
Mark Moore 0 1 .000
Tom Mitsoff 0 1 .000
VaRedsFan 0 1 .000
Melvin 0 2 .000

About Strat-O-Matic

Strat-O-Matic has been in the sports simulation business since the 1960s. A USA Today article contained this explanation:

Strat-O-Matic and other baseball simulations use statistics from the previous season to create “cards” for each player on a roster. The team managers select the batting order and the starting pitcher. From there, a series of dice rolls and calculations determines the outcome of each at-bat.

Strat-O, as it’s known to longtime players, first gained its immense popularity as a board game. The company has since expanded to a downloadable Windows version and one that’s played online. A few years ago, it introduced Baseball Daily – a new iteration that combined the player cards from the previous season with statistics from the real season being played at the same time.

Unlike many video games, the Strat-O-Matic results are based on algorithms that account for players’ performance based on statistics that their statistical experts project for each player in the 2020 season. It’s not a game played with a joystick that relies more on the skill of the person with the video game controller in his or her hand.

The simulation software will keep comprehensive statistics for all teams for the season, so we’ll be able to track year-to-date leaders in many statistical categories. Our current plan is to provide statistical leader summaries here at Redleg Nation each Sunday. You can follow the season at, where they plan to post the results from each day’s schedule at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

31 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    “Starting to come together, Pepper … starting to come together.”
    – Lou Brown, Indians Manager, The Movie Major League

    • Mark Moore

      Sliotar – I needed that quote today!

  2. Don

    I saw on Strat-o-matic site that Galvis is on a 14 game hitting streak.

    Clevinger is going to be a hard pitcher to score on so Miley better pitch as good as Disco did today.

    Clevinger 2019vsplits
    AVG LNB 219, RHB 198
    OBP 301, 236
    SLG 346, 315
    SO/W 2.64,10.56

    Another game which need heavy left handed lineup.

    I would assume Jon will get a lineup in before Monday night.

    Payton – LF (deserves to start every sim game for now)
    Votto – 1B (getting on base the last few games)
    Winker – DH (no need to play the field)
    Suarez – 3B (need his power even through start goes against the stats)
    Moustakas – 2B
    Galvis – SS
    Ervin – RF (highest avg on team and need his defense)
    Barnhart – C
    Jankowski – CF (left handed bat and need defense)

  3. Jon Davis

    Oh Yeah! Three in a row I am ecstatic so glad to see the pitching come through on a day when the bats were quiet. Although not
    unexpected given who was on the mound for Milwaukee. Now I’m bummed not just because of the off day but because Tuesday could be another rough day for the offense. The lineup to me seems pretty obvious outside of 3B do we sit Suarez? He was been cold and he is 0 for 6 vs Clevinger in favor of Vanmeter, who isn’t exactly lighting it up. My gut says no gotta play Suarez giving him a day off here and there fine but he has to be in the lineup almost every day. Winker at DH is almost too obvious with Jankowski in CF for the defense.

    1. Payton – LF
    2. Ervin – RF
    3. Winker – DH
    4. Galvis – SS
    5. Moustakas – 2B
    6. Suarez – 3B
    7. Votto – 1B
    8. Barnhart – C
    9. Jankowski – CF

  4. Jon Davis

    Now that the lineup is in, well done for now, a lot of time to reconsider especially if the roster changes. Which brings me to some questions I have for you Tom, if you don’t mind.

    1. I’m guessing the roster is a standard 25 man like normal?

    2. Who is currently on the roster? I went through the team stats and
    I have 27 guys, when you take out Aquino, Castellanos & Akiyama. Since I can account for the rest of the hitters I’m guessing that 2 of the pitchers are either in minors or DL’d. The only 2 who haven’t pitched recently are Bowman & Mahle? Am I right? Did I just answer my question?

    3. In respect to the Rules there is no releasing or waivers or trades right? So the guys with no options like Dietrich are tricky because if we bring them up they can’t be removed correct?

    4. You mentioned Dietrich and

    • Jon Davis

      Sorry that’s weird last question got cut off.

      4. You mentioned Dietrich and Schebler is there anyone else who is out of options? On the pitching side?

      Ok Tom thank you for your time and hard work

  5. Don

    I posted this early today on yesterday’s results thread and I believe Tom agrees based on his comment.

    From what I can find from Tom(&Red Leg Nation), Strat-O-Matic, Spotrac and Baseball Reference about the current Sim Reds Roster

    Hitters on 26 man roster without options.
    Ervin, Casali, Galvis, Barnhart,Suarez,Moustakas,Votto

    Hitters on 26 man with options
    Winker(can play Tuesday May 19) ,Payton,VanMeter, Senzel,Farmer, Janikowski

    Akiyama (Can return on Wednesday, May 20)
    Castellanos(Can return on Wednesday, May 27)

    Pitchers on 26 man without options

    Pitchers on 26 man with options
    Bowman, Iglesias, Castillo, Lorenzen

    Pitchers that can be called up (all have options)
    Ryan Hendrix,Joel Kuhnel,Tyler Mahle,Justin Shafer,Josh D. Smith

    Hitters that can be called up
    D. Dietrich – no options
    A. Blandino – options
    S. Schebler – no options
    A. Aquino – options

    After the 2 game Indians series with off days on both ends, the Reds schedule is 17 games (May 22 to June 9: 7 home(4 Padres & 3 Pirates), 4 @ Cubs, [email protected],4 home vs Cubs) in 17 days before the next off day so there has to be an 8 man bullpen just like it has been.

  6. BK

    I’ve compared preseason OPS projections for both Dietrich and VanMeter at Zips, Steamer, ATC, and TheBAT. I also looked at their numbers in the baseballreference simulation. Here’s what I found:

    Zips: DD, .801 … JVM, .753
    Steamer: DD, .762 … JVM, .749
    ATC: DD, .754 … JVM, .764
    TheBAT: DD, .796 … JVM, .727
    Baseballreference sim: DD, .805 … JVM .656

    In our sim, JVM has 67 plate appearances and a .577 OPS through, today. Three of the four projections systems had DD outperforming JVM this year. DD is also outperforming JVM at baseballreference in their sim. Looks like we can expect a bump in performance with DD.

    The weakness on the team thus far has been the right side of the infield. Votto has an OPS of just .684 (although his OBP is .362) and Moustakas is at .720 bolstered by recent improvement. DD’s projections are better than both Votto and Moustakas actual performances. If nothing else, he probably strengthens our bench a bit. The downside is he can’t be removed if once we add him.

  7. Melvin

    Personally I like bringing Dietrich up. In the real Reds world and sim Reds world we are in “win now” mode. Championship teams have strong usually powerful benches. Eventually on most days I’d like to see the option of Dietrich from the left side and Aquino from the right late in games.

    • Jon Davis

      I agree, if all things are equal, I would rather have Dietrich instead of Vanmeter at this point, but the whole being stuck with him has me questioning whether it is worth the risk, just like BK said. I think Don has it right given that we will have to carry an extra RP, makes sense to just send Jankowski when Akiyama returns, rather than make a second move later. Other moves I am thinking deserve consideration in order to optimize the roster:

      1. Dietrich up & Vanmeter down
      2. Blandino up & Farmer down
      3. Aquino up & Senzel down


      • Tom Mitsoff

        We’ll let the community vote on these ideas. Everyone keep in mind that Dietrich is on the team for good if we promote him.

  8. Melvin

    First one I like Jon. Leave Senzel up. Farmer down for Aquino. That’s my two cents. Well maybe one cent depending on who you talk to. Lol

  9. Mark Moore

    Don’t bring up DD. Nice guy, but we really can’t afford to be stuck with him at this point.

    • Melvin

      I like ya Mark. You’re a good guy and smart. Don’t like diagreeing with you and most of the time I don’t….just this time…haha. Championship teams, which we are aspiring to be, have to take chances and GO FOR IT. 🙂 We’re close. I can smell it. This is one way of doing that. If we were in rebuilding mode it would be different.

    • VaRedsFan

      We aren’t really stuck with him are we? If he is doing good, no brainer, stays on the roster. If not, DFA…if he clears waiver, fine. If not, no big deal

  10. BK

    I prefer Dietrich up and VanMeter down. Jankowski goes back down when Akiyama comes off the IL. I suggest we give Senzel and Farmer a little more time, but the leash is getting shorter. They should largely be in bench roles at this point, so we’ll see if they can get some pinch hits. Both are versatile and have some pop in their bats, we just need to see some more hits and walks.

    • Gonzo Reds

      I prefer Van Meter up and Dietrich to stay down as I don’t want to be stuck with Dietrich and his awful average. Not like we can release him. Also no interest in Blandino since he hit .250 with no power last year. I’m ok with status quo actually and then we have to make a spot for our Japanese superstar in a couple of days. Who to move down a toss up between Farmer and Van Meter.

      • BK

        Here’s how five projection systems (Zips, Steamer, ATC, THE BAT, and Depthcharts) compare Dietrich & VanMeter:

        OPS: 4 prefer Dietrich (.779 to .748 on average)
        OBP: 3 prefer Dietrich; one has them tied (.326 to .321 on average)
        AVG: 4 prefer VanMeter (DD averaged .242 to JVM’s .248)

        There is virtually no difference between VanMeter and Dietrich’s projections for AVG or OBP. Dietrich has an edge in power. Based on the projections, if both were to get 200 future plate appearances we can expect:

        – VanMeter to get one additional hit
        – Dietrich to reach base two more times than VanMeter
        – Dietrich’s power will produce about 6 more bases than VanMeter

        We also know VanMeter is significantly underperforming each of these projections at this point.

      • BK

        We need to have Farmer or Blandino on the roster to play SS defensively. We can get by sticking a player with no prior experience at 1B where few balls are hit on occasion (still not ideal), but we would get punished playing a non-SS at such an important position.

      • Melvin

        BK, as always you make some good points. I’ve though about the need for a backup short stop on our team. My thinking is the reality is that in a sim world we don’t really need one hardly at all. Galvis is doing great, playing every day, and is a switch hitter. In a pinch, we do have one player besides Farmer who does have major league experience there, who because of that shouldn’t already give us the worst defensive rating. That player is Suarez. We have plenty of guys who can fill in at 3B in a pinch. If Galvis were to get hurt of course we would probably call someone up. That’s why I favor Farmer down and Aquino up for the same reason as having Dietrich up. Mostly for left and right handed power pinch hitting as we don’t need either one to play much but do need the threat of power off the bench from both sides.

  11. CFD3000

    My vote: JVM stays in Simcinnati, DD does not get a callup. That OPS is too dependent on home run streakiness. Streaks are tough to conjure in a dice roll world.

  12. Don

    The debate on DD vs JVM is interesting as in this SIM, these are players which will get one or three PH ABs a week. No players need off says for “rest” in this sim.

    Comparing SIMS for the entire league batting totals
    Strat-O-Matic vs Baseball Reference
    Hits, 12716 vs 12203
    2Bs, 2407 vs 2497
    3Bs, 270 vs 217
    HRs 1640 vs 1709
    RBIs, 6067 vs 6242
    BB, 4652 vs 4541
    K’s, 11705 vs 12495
    Total Bases, 20583 vs 20261
    Hit by Pitch, 125 vs 587

    The Strat-O-Matic SIM has a higher amount of singles, walks, 3Bs and total bases with fewer doubles and HRs than the baseball reference sim.

    Projected HRs and HBP should be a lower priority vs average and walks in the Start-O-Matic sim for a higher OBP.

    To me the Strat-O-Matic sim favors JVM than DD in contrast DD would be better in the Baseball Reference (closer to the preseason player projections) sim than JVM.

    I would think staying JVM is playing the odds with the Strat-O-Matic sim.

  13. Melvin

    I believe the biggest reason we need Dietrich over VanMeter is for having a left handed power threat off the bench for pinch hitting. We don’t need either one to play very often with the guys we have already. He just fits in “the puzzle” for our team better. In my opinion the worst case scenario is that he couldn’t be that much worse than VanMeter but could possibly help out the needs of our team in a greater way if for no other reason than the intimidating factor knowing he’s available in a close game. Since we are in the “win now” mode and have championship aspirations Dietrich being a veteran with experience is a plus as well.

    • Don

      in real life with real players that can be intimidated, that would make sense. Also in real life the team can waive DD if he plays like the last 5 months of 2020. I am not sure if “intimidation” exist in a computer random number dice rolling simulation or if it comes into play for the computer when selecting the next pitcher to enter the game.

      Trying to play the odds of the simulation based on what the simulation has delivered today as results so far.

      For all of MLB in 2019, 61% of all hits were singles, 16% were HRs
      In Strat-o-matic 2020 so far, 66% of all hits are singles, 13% are HRs.

      In 2019, 60% of JVM hits were singles, 38% of DD hits were singles.

      Strat-O-Matic is a singles hitter game, not a HR game like real live baseball (assuming the 2020 ball is juiced like 2019 regular season).

      The roster should be constructed to take advantage of the tendencies of the simulation.

  14. Melvin

    Yeah. I understand where you’re coming from and have thought about that. I’m not sure anyone understands Strato completely. I just think that VanMeter and Farmer would not be as much help in pinch hitting roles playing once in a great while as Dietrich and Aquino all things considered. Again, we have a great group of guys already so that’s all we would need them for. Good healthy debate. I know we all want to be championship caliber.

  15. VaRedsFan

    We aren’t really stuck with DD are we? If he is doing good, no brainer, stays on the roster. If not, DFA…if he clears waiver, fine. If not, no big deal

  16. Melvin

    Thats what I thought originally but evidently that’s not the way it works in Strato sim.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’ve been monitoring the daily transactions since the sim league started, and there has never been a player released, nor any trades. Just players placed on injured list, recalled from minors and optioned to minors.

  17. Melvin

    I’m sure you’re correct no doubt. Too bad there is not a list of rules somewhere by Strat-O-Matic that we can reference.

  18. Tom Mitsoff

    Guys, at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, I counted three votes to keep VanMeter, and two votes to replace him with Dietrich.

    I have Jon’s lineup and will submit to Strat for Tuesday’s big game. The Indians have been beating other teams up for most of the sim season. Let’s keep our win streak going!