Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Reds 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 3 0 9 14 1
Indians 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 6 9 0

Shogo Akiyama returned from the 10-day injured list with four hits, including one which sparked a go-ahead four-run rally in the seventh inning, leading the Cincinnati Reds (25-24) to a 9-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians (32-19) at Progressive Field.

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 trailed 3-2 after six innings, but Akiyama led off the top of the seventh with a single against Indians lefty Oliver Perez. Akiyama is now leading the Strat-O-Matic universe with a .359 average. One out later, right-hander Adam Cimber was summoned to face right-handed-batting Phillip Ervin, who foiled that strategy with a single. Then, three straight left-handed batters did damage against Cimber.

Jesse Winker doubled, scoring Akiyama to tie the game, but Ervin was thrown out at the plate trying to also score from first base. But with two outs, switch-hitter Freddy Galvis followed with a double to score Winker and put Cincinnati up by a run. Joey Votto capped the inning with a two-run homer, his third of the season, to give the sim Reds a 6-3 lead they would not relinquish.

The victory put Cincinnati over .500 for the first time in the sim season, and allowed the visitors to sweep Cleveland in the brief two-game series. The win is the team’s fifth straight under the leadership of Redleg Nation commenter/manager Jon Davis, and eighth win in the past nine games. Both streaks are season bests.

First-place St. Louis lost to Atlanta, while the Reds and Cubs both won, making the NL Central race even tighter if that was possible. The Reds win and Milwaukee’s loss to the Yankees moved Cincinnati past the Brewers and into third place, only a half-game behind second-place Chicago and one and a half games behind the Cardinals.

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

B-Subbed Defensively (CF) For Payton In 9th Inning

A-Subbed Defensively (C ) For Leon In 5th Inning

Standings following the May 20 games:

Cardinals 27 23 .540 0.0
Cubs 26 24 .520 1.0
Reds 25 24 .510 1.5
Brewers 25 25 .500 2.0
Pirates 19 29 .396 7.0

The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds off Thursday, returning to Great American Ball Park Friday for the first of four against the San Diego Padres. It also starts Cincinnati’s second streak of 17 straight days without a day off this month. Sonny Gray will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Zach Davies pitches for the Padres.

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.

The MLBPA could break the standoff by thinking big picture

Buster Olney has a piece at ESPN (ESPN+ subscription required to read the entire piece) about how the players association could use the leverage that they have right now in negotiations with the owners to take care of some long-term issues now, before the collective bargaining agreement is up after next season.

Minor League Baseball is in a lot of trouble

This morning at Doug Gray wrote about how there are some real problems that minor league baseball is facing and how the landscape for it could change forever.

But shortly after that one was published, JJ Cooper at Baseball America had up another piece that looked at the on-going problems, as well as the negotiations and potential outcomes between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, essentially describing the way that many teams are acting as “the wild west” as most teams are breaking rules simply trying to survive what everyone believes is coming down the pipe in short order for the minors. Teams are going to be gone, leagues are going to be altered, levels are going to be changed, and Major League Baseball is going to have a lot more control over what’s happening in the minors moving forward.

The collapse and rebound of the sports card industry

Did you collect baseball cards in the 1980’s? If so, you know just how big things were back then. That stretched into the early 90’s, too, before things started to get out of control and the market sort of collapsed on itself. But today things are back to where they once were.

The hobby and the industry have never been so healthy and are in great shape,” said David Leiner, global general manager of The Topps Company, which has MLB’s card license. “We’re seeing a significant spike in interest in trading cards, in baseball cards in particular.

That’s what was told to Bill Shea of The Athletic for a piece he wrote this morning about the resurgence of the sports card industry. It’s an interesting story for those of you who once collected, or still collect cards.

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

Jon Davis has priority for submitting Thursday’s lineup, and he will try to extend the Reds’ win streak to six. 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 5 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.

39 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    Perhaps Jon Davis would like to share with us some of the ways he is motivating his players to play their best ball of the year to date. 😉

    • Don

      Tom, the streak started with your suggesting to bring up Payton when Akiyama went on the IL and Payton was put into the lineup. You deserve a lot of the credit. That move sparked the team.

      Time for another 17 games in 17 day stretch. Hope they can keep winning.

      it was a different Don that posted in the “Several states give the “all clear” to resume sports without fans” that mentioned MLS, This Don is not a fan of soccer.

    • Jon Davis

      Man I wish I had some big secret or that I was really a big part of the recent success. It’s times like this I wish I was more prone to delusion at least then I could convince myself I was responsible. I just look at the patterns and the numbers both real and simulation and then if need be go with my gut.

  2. Robert

    I have the ToppsBunt app. If you are a fan of baseball, download the app and get started collecting. You don’t have to spend a dime, if you don’t want to.
    Once on, make a trade with me (user name is Vandyfan1) and mention in the trade that you are a redlegnation fan.

  3. RedsEuphoria

    Man, Tom I am glad you made the move to call up Peyton. All the guy does is either hit and get on base, or if he doesn’t get any hits he walks consistently.

    I remember telling some people (not on this forum but on another) that Peyton should have been set to make the 25-man roster if everything went right during spring training. While that was a contentious topic at the time, as quite a few people disagreed with me, I think this simulation lately is proving why he is such a potentially valuable asset. Akiyama-Payton back-to-back in the lineup is nearly impossible to stop from getting on base, and you follow that up with a bunch of sluggers and you got a lineup that’s almost impossible to shut out.

    I sure hope that David Bell (or someone in the Reds organization) considers how valuable Mark Payton’s bat at the top of our lineup could be, and that he makes the 30-man roster in the event we have a season this year. Good luck to any pitcher trying to stop Akiyama and Payton at the top of the lineup!

    • RedsEuphoria

      *Payton, I notice I spelled it wrong a few times.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      There’s a pretty good chance with larger roster and taxi squad that Payton will stay with the Reds all season, however long it is. If they keep him all year, as a Rule 5 draft pick, he will then remain on their roster after the season.

      Of course, there will be new rules, guidelines and contingencies enacted when and if the season starts.

  4. Mark Moore

    I bought myself a full boxed set of Upper Deck cards for the 1990 season last year. My wife wrapped it and it was under the Christmas tree. It’s sitting on the shelf next to me with the 1990 Reds and a few other select cards separated out.

    My intent was to submit a piece to His Lordship Doug Gray about the memories from 30 years ago, but I haven’t written it because … well … this whole mess has got me befuddled to say the least.

    I was really hoping for a 30-year repeat of at least playoffs (I know the wire-to-wire and sweep are pretty lofty dreams). Now I’d settle for watching some live 2020 ball with these guys.

    • Gonzo Reds

      I bought an unopened box of 1989 Upper Deck cards when I worked at Toys R Us back in the day. It’s still sealed so jealous you are playing with your cards! 🙂

  5. Jon Davis

    Oh Yeah! Five in a row! I am the Greatest quarantine simulation Manager for the 2020 Reds EVER! I always promised myself that if I ever reached the pinnacle that I would go out on top. For that reason I am announcing my retirement from the simulation of the game I love. I have nothing more to prove and I want to spend more time with my family.

    • Jon Davis

      Ok I have been informed by a few members of my family that I haven’t done anything, I’m stupid and that I am ridiculous. So I have decided that I will not be retiring after all and instead would like to spend less time with my family after all.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Jon, we highly disagree with your family 😉 but we are glad that you will continue to be part of the community that will mastermind a miraculous surge to greatness for the 2020 sim Reds!

      • Jon Davis

        Thanks Tom that is nice to hear but in fairness to my family I was being pretty ridiculous when I saw the email today saying we had won again. For example I demanded everyone call me Sparky.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I will do so at least through Friday afternoon, Sparky. 😉

  6. Jon Davis

    In all seriousness Yes kudos to Tom he has been a great General Manager or President of Baseball Operations or Reds Czar. I don’t know what his title is but I do know he has done a great job making our job as manager easier.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Reds czar sounds pretty cool. 🙂 But you should really say thank you to Doug Gray, who listened to a crazy idea that one of his writers had about covering this simulated baseball season. He decided to give it a try to see how it would go.

      • Jon Davis

        Ok I like Doug outside of him continuing to bring up the Pete Rose thing. For the record I completely agree with him I am just tired of the crazy tweet chains and what not with him arguing with people about it. But I digress so if you are the Reds Czar then what is Doug?

      • Doug Gray

        I’m just going to go ahead and say that I’m simply Czar Doug, and it’s been something I’ve been claiming for a few years now.

        But since I add and edit all of the Baseball News and Notes stuff every day in these articles (yes, I know it’s weird that I type things like “Doug Gray wrote this at today” in them – it’s just for appearance sake since Tom is listed as the author of the articles and it’s just a lot easier this way), I’ll also accept News and Notes Czar.

      • BK

        I think that makes Doug the owner of the Simcinnati Reds … how ironic; Doug is now a simulated MLB owner.

  7. BK

    Tom, I noticed on today’s transactions that the Tigers sent Jordy Mercer down to the minors, today. With 7+ years of ML service, he’s not eligible to be sent down per normal rules. Can we confirm whether we can send Dietrich down if we called him up? The inability to drop him seemed to be the driver to keeping JVM up vs. DD. He’s one of 4 current Reds that have homered off of Davies.

    Faithful bench coach!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      You have a point there. I will try to get an answer. They are usually very good about getting back on questions.

    • Jon Davis

      Yes, nice catch BK. I would be very interested in the answer to this question.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Here is what I got from my contact at Strat-O-Matic. He relayed the question from BK, and here is the response he received:


        Yeah I’ve just been saying sent down for every transaction. Guys like that (Dietrich) who would declare free agency or need to be waived etc I’m trying not to call back up but will if I don’t think they would get claimed by another team. Dietrich probably would so I would be hesitant to send him down if they want to call him back up later


        Not sure it fully answers the question, but it does seem to say that players such as Dietrich can be sent down if desired.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Dietrich up for next OF injury is fine (although Janikowski was pretty good) since we now know we’re not stuck with him, just can only call him up once. Still prefer JVM over him since he can play 2B also.

      • Melvin

        Dietrich played 1B, 2B, 3B, and LF last year.

  8. Melvin

    Yep. Tom gets the all around good guy award in my book. Special thanks to Doug as well.

  9. Jon Davis

    Ok well possible roster moves aside I will just go ahead and make a lineup and if need be make adjustments later. Catcher is usually the easy spot in the lineup but today I am conflicted Barnhart is the LHB vs Davies and he has a HR off him but Davies’ splits aren’t very extreme and he has a .190 AVG in 23 career PAs. Casali has been very good this year deserving of more playing time so I am going to go with my gut and play Casali. Oh DH you came and made my life so much easier and now you are gone too soon. I have 4 OFs but only 3 spots, ok this far into the season if you are hitting over .350 you are playing, Akiyama & Ervin are in. That leaves Winker vs Payton, do I go with the Winker who is 4 for 7 against Davies including a HR? Or the guy with the .986 OPS who is better defensively? Tough one going to have to go with my gut and go with Payton. Man BK now I wish you hadn’t mentioned Dietrich don’t know where he would play. Ok here is my current lineup for Friday for now.

    1. Akiyama – LF
    2. Payton – CF
    3. Ervin – RF
    4. Votto – 1B
    5. Suarez – 3B
    6. Moustakas – 2B
    7. Casali – C
    8. Gray – P
    9. Galvis – SS

    • BK

      Good lineup and nice catch that Barnhart has struggled against Davies every year the one game from last year. While Casali hasn’t faced Davies, he actually was a little better against RHP last year although the split is narrow. Likewise, Davies has pretty narrow splits.

      Let’s get 6 in a row. I’ve heard rumblings that you are being considered for the Reds sim HOF as is Tom for his role as GM.

      Doug on the other hand, as the record clearly shows above took control of the team for a day and that’s a no-no for an owner. So, I doubt he gets in. But that said, I’m thankful he hasn’t furloughed me or relegated me to Tier 3 with COVID testing.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Doug is a kind, benevolent czar.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Got it, Sparky. Let’s go for six straight!

  10. Darrin

    If anybody is familiar with modern cards, I am the proud owner of a Winker Topps chrome update superfractor auto RC, it’s a beauty.

  11. Michael Smith

    After reading this thread I assume Doug walks around all day narrating his day

    • Doug Gray

      Doug also has theme music that plays when he walks around. It’s incredible.

      • Michael Smith

        Love it Doug!!! First question is what is the theme song? Second question is does Morgan Freeman or Timothy Olaphant narrate your day?

      • Doug Gray

        It’s just the score from 28 Days Later. But it’s actually Gilbert Gottfried that narrates my weekends, while Bobcat Goldthwait handles the weekdays.

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Off-day update: Cardinals and Brewers both won today, and the Cubs lost. That means our sim Reds are tied for second with Chicago and Milwaukee, two games behind St. Louis.