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

Javier Baez was nearly a one-man wrecking crew for the Chicago Cubs (35-30) in their 9-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds (31-33) 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!


Baez hit a two-run double in a four-run Cubs fifth inning, and then slammed a three-run home run against Raisel Iglesias in the top of the ninth to give the visitors a four-run cushion.

The Cubs’ four-run fifth was aided by Eugenio Suarez’s team-leading 12th fielding error, leading to three of the four runs in the inning being unearned. It was one of three key turning points in the game.

Chicago had a 6-1 lead after four and a half innings, but the sim Reds fought back. Freddy Galvis hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-2, and Tucker Barnhart and Shogo Akiyama followed with walks. Jesse Winker belted a double, scoring Barnhart, but Akiyama was thrown out at the plate trying to make it a 6-4 game. That was key play number two, because had Akiyama been safe, Winker would have been standing at second with Suarez coming to the plate.

In the bottom of the sixth, Suarez led off with a walk, and the red-hot Mike Moustakas launched his 12th home run to make the score 6-5.

Baez’s three-run, two-out blast in the ninth off Iglesias was key turning point number three. Cincinnati put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but Craig Kimbrel struck out Winker to end it.

Winker with three hits, and Akiyama and Galvis with two each led the Cincinnati offense. After another shaky Luis Castillo outing, the sim Reds bullpen shut down Chicago until Baez’s ninth-inning blast.

The defeat was the Reds’ third straight.

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

C-Pinch Hit For Tepera In 7th Inning
E-Subbed Defensively (CF) For Sadler In 8th Inning

A-Pinch Hit For Castillo In 5th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Payton In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Bowman In 7th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Dietrich In 8th Inning
G-Pinch Hit For Iglesias In 9th Inning

Standings following the June 5 games:

Division-leading St. Louis fell to Pittsburgh, meaning that the Reds remain six games back from the division leaders.

NL Central WON LOST PCT GB
Cardinals 37 27 .578 0.0
Cubs 35 30 .538 2.5
Brewers 32 31 .508 4.5
Reds 31 33 .484 6.0
Pirates 27 36 .429 9.5

The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds on Saturday hosting game three of the four-game set with Chicago, with Sonny Gray pitching for the Reds, and right-hander Yu Darvish pitching for the Cubs.

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.

How much money do MLB Players actually make?

Over at FiveThirtyEight today, Travis Sawchik looked into just how much money a baseball player makes. With the phrase “billionaires vs millionaires” being thrown around a lot, it’s worth looking at. The Major League Baseball Players Association doesn’t represent just the players on the active 25-man roster. It represents all players on the 40-man roster.

Of the 1,453 players to accrue at least one day of service time last season, 590 (40.6 percent) have made less than $1 million in career earnings, according to the MLBPA’s breakdown. The median career earnings of that group was $357,718.

And as noted later on in the article – that is before taxes or fees (to agents, clubhouse dues, union dues). Of course, the rest of us pay taxes, too – so it’s not entirely fair to bring up that as if it’s something others don’t also have the burden of paying. Still, if you’re going to cite “millionaire”, it’s worth acknowledging how much one is actually bringing in. There are certainly plenty of millionaires among the players. But there’s a very large portion of players in the players association who make less money than people you are probably friends with each year.

MLB announcers will not travel for road games

Baseball certainly isn’t the first sport to do this, as we’ve seen it happen over the last few years for other sports – particularly college sports for non-high profile teams and events – but games will be broadcasted remotely for road teams, who will use a video feed while calling the games. This goes for both television and radio announcers according to Bruce Levin of 670 The Score.

While there are some things that will certainly be more difficult – observations that can be made at the ballpark in real time that if the camera guy can’t see/isn’t seeing won’t be, by-and-large, the difference in what you are used to hearing and what you will hear, won’t change much. Announcers will adjust, and likely do so very quickly. They’re professionals.

How are the simReds performing?

The Hitters

The Pitchers

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:

Commenter/
“Manager”
WON LOST PCT
Jon Davis 6 2 .750
Peter Onte 2 1 .667
BK 7 4 .636
James Owens 3 2 .600
Gonzo Reds 3 3 .500
Redsfan4life 3 3 .500
Doug Gray 1 1 .500
RedsEuphoria 1 1 .500
Tomn 1 1 .500
Melvin 1 3 .250
Don 1 4 .200
AirborneJayJay 0 1 .000
Jeff 0 1 .000
Mark Moore 0 1 .000
VaRedsFan 0 1 .000
Tom Mitsoff 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 Strat-O-Matic.com, where they plan to post the results from each day’s schedule at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

35 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Akiyama RF
    Lorenzen CF
    Winker LF
    Castellenos 3B
    Moustakas 2B
    Suarez 1B
    Galvis SS
    Casali C
    Gray P

    • Melvin

      Well Castillo did okay until the 5th didn’t he? Suarez another error. We have to stop the bleeding as we’re starting to sink. The guy who make out the card for Suarez must have considered his injury. For that reason I’m inserting him at 1B and moving Castellanos to 3B where he has played before. At least there’s not much chance he (Suarez) will make any more errors there. We still need his bat in the lineup. Speaking of lineups I’m not going to “stack” mine but rather I’m going to “stagger” mine (lefty righty lefty righty). Strato rarely lets a starter go more than 5 innings anyway and this may make it more difficult for relief pitchers. I AM stacking the top with some of our best hitters and OBP guys thus far. Castellanos at #4 coming on strong. Suarez down to #6 as he’s cooled off but still valuable. Winker three hits last so he gets the nod over Ervin this time. Moose on a HR tear. This should be a very good lineup. We need to win.

    • Melvin

      Akiyama .374 BA .430 OBP
      Lorenzen .371 BA .436 OBP
      Winker .310 BA .372. OBP

    • Jon Davis

      I like the lineup and almost went with Castellanos at 3B and Suarez at 1B, but my gut wanted Lorenzen, Winker and Payton in the lineup so someone had to play 1B and in another tough call I went with Suarez over Castellanos.

      That is an interesting hypothesis I wonder how many of his errors were throwing errors? Maybe Tom can find that out.

    • BK

      In 5100 career innings at 3B Suarez grades out neutral. More recently, last year he was slightly below average. He has no experience at 1B (important in how the simulation assigns defensive ability).

      Castellanos has about 4400 career innings at 3B and grades out of his career as below average. He last played 3B in 2017 and was well below average. So bad, in fact, he was moved to play corner outfield.

      In real life, I believe ether Castellanos or Suarez could play 1B. The skills are there, it would simply be a matter of working on positional nuances in practice. In the simulation, we’ve seen Castellanos make 2 errors at 1B–one cost us a game. Our GM, Tom, has also explained that players without positional experience get the lowest possible grade in the sim.

      I’m disappointed in Suarez’ defense. But the question is do we have a better option? Suarez brings enough offensively that we are forced to keep him in the lineup. If he’s in the lineup, he needs to play at 3B–it’s his best spot. Playing two guys out of position is a lot more likely to burn us than putting guys at a defensive spot where they are at least descent. Taking a risk by playing someone out of position at 1B (where statically the ball is rarely hit) is much more likely to pay off than weakening our defense at 2B, SS or 3B.

      • Melvin

        I’ll talk more with you later when I have my laptop. Just lost all I typed using my phone. Lol

      • Melvin

        Okay BK. I’m at my laptop now. It’s late but i can’t sleep right now anyway. First I want to reiterate that I enjoy and respect your comments and suggestions. You’re obviously very “baseball wise”. We’ve talked about this before. It’s a continuing discussion not just between us but several others as well. I know that Castellanos, because he has never played 1B in real baseball, according to Strato, automatically has the lowest defensive rating. Honestly, again, I’m just not convinced that means all that we think it does. I’m just not convinced we understand Strato and there are things, the way they’re calculated, that haven’t been told to us. I’m not complaining but just think that’s the way it is. It’s their program. I know he has two errors at 1B one of which was very costly in the end of the game. However we don’t really know it’s because he was playing 1B. He may very well have made a game ending error in the outfield. He as 4 errors and half are out there. As I mentioned before Strato itself subbed in Castellanos early in a game when Votto was HBP and then he proceeded to play the rest of the game and hit a 3 run homer to basically win it for us. There were several people who had 1B experience that Strato chose not to use. Tom, you, I and others have used him there. I know it’s a risk. I guess i’m just not convinced it’s as big a risk as we think. When it comes to Suarez, something is unusual about that. I’m convinced more and more that it must have something to do with his injury and Strato decreased his ability card dramatically. Twelve errors is a lot even in an entire season and we aren’t even half way through. The next one to him only has 4 (ironically it’s Castellanos) then only one after that has 3 (Galvis). Everyone else has 2 or less. It could be, if it is indeed because of his injury, and most if not all of his errors are throwing, that he is already playing out of position just as much as Castellanos. If that is the case we in essence already have two people playing out of position. If we move Castellanos to 3B, although he’s not great by any means defensively, it should at least take away his automatic lowest defensive rating so in reality we could be better off because we would only have one person playing out of position instead of two. Making less throws at 1B can only help Suarez. If we are going to try something like this now is the best time when Votto is out. It’s important to keep Suarez in the lineup. He leads the team in runs scored, second in hits, 1st in home runs, and RBI while being second only to Votto in walks 34 to 38. We have to remember, that, although the numbers don’t show it yet, Castellanos is beginning to hit like we thought he would and should be in the lineup. We just have too many good outfielders not to think about exploring other possibilities especially with the players who have infield experience . Defense is very important. I know that and weigh that in when making decisions about who to play. We do have so many good hitting outfielders though and I think it’s worth a risk to try someone at 1B who may never have played there before. We are talking about 1B though. Playing someone who has never played infield say at SS or 2B or maybe even 3B is not something I would do unless I had no choice. I’m not endorsing that. I do think in sim baseball, since we can’t actually see someone play, it has a lot to do with trial and error. There is more to say but I’ll stop for now. I will say after writing all of this, that if Suarez and Castellanos both make errors tomorrow, I might just go hide in my closet for at least a day or two. Maybe longer. 🙂 Seriously I would like for others to give their opinion. Thanks again BK for being a very important part of our little dream sim world. You have my support as I know I have yours.

      • BK

        Thanks Melvin … I sincerely wish us all a lot of luck, today.

        I found an answer to how Strato makes in-game substitutions as I spent a little time this morning reading their discussion board. Strato makes in-game subs in accordance with the pre-game depth chart.

        During the 5/28 game, Strato subbed Castellanos into 1B when Votto was injured. Castellanos was chosen over Farmer, Dietrich and Casali–all of whom actually played 1B in the majors in 2019.

        Why did Strato choose Castellanos? By 5/28, Votto had started every game at first except for: VanMeter (1 start), Farmer (1 start) and Castellanos (7 starts). In short, we (the Reds sim managers) changed the depth chart. One of the things Strato allows managers to do is establish the depth chart. Of note, in Castellanos second 1B start on 4/22, Strato moved him off 1B and back into the outfield fairly early in the game. Not a definitive answer, but I believe that’s why Castellanos was subbed into 1B on 5/28.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Very interesting, BK! I did not know that. That would explain a lot of what we see in the box scores in terms of substitutions.

  2. BK

    We’ve had some tough luck recently, but need to keep putting up strong lineups so we’ll be ready when the breaks come our way. Yu Darvish has traditional splits against hitters. He doesn’t walk many batters and he averages giving up less than 1 HR per start. Recommended lineup:

    CF – Akiyama (our best sim hitter)
    RF – Ervin (.421 OBP and .921 OPS; must play every day)
    LF – Winker (.364 OBP and .822 OPS; ideal match up)
    3B – Suarez (.350 OBP and .883 OPS)
    2B – Moustakas (.790 OPS and career .905 OPS vs. Darvish)
    1B – Dietrich (.400 OBP in limited sim action; career 1.538 against Darvish)
    C – Barnhart (1.000 career OPS vs. Darvish
    P – Gray
    SS – Galvis (.313 OBP; we’ll put his speed at the back end of the lineup)

    Let’s get another win streak going! Go Reds!

  3. Gonzo Reds

    I good with any lineup as long as Aquino is in it. Remember he is 2-5 with 2 HR’s against Darvish… this game is partially why we activated him for Farmer.

    • Melvin

      I’m not sure we did activate him. Don’t think so. Could be wrong.

      • Gonzo Reds

        We did and Tom gave me the option of my first lineup with Aquino but I had already gone to bed so my backup went in without Aquino. That’s why I really want to see how this matchup goes.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        When we tried to activate Aquino, Strat-O-Matic said they are following actual rules. Those rules state that a player must stay in the minors 10 days (I believe) after being optioned. The exception is if someone on the major league roster goes onto the injured list, and he could have been called up for that reason.

        But when Votto went onto the injured list, the group voted to just replace him with Akiyama’s activation a day later instead of bringing someone up one day and optioning someone else the next.

        That’s a long way to say that Aquino is not presently on the team. He is not eligible for recall until June 6, I believe.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Also, if you remember my comments from earlier in the week, Winker is awful against Darvish. So using BK’s lineup except for Aquino in for Winker:

      CF – Akiyama
      RF – Ervin
      LF – Aquino
      3B – Suarez
      2B – Moustakas
      1B – Dietrich
      C – Barnhart
      P – Gray
      SS – Galvis

      BK since you did most of the legwork… if you want to swap Aquino in for Winker you have my vote. Otherwise, I’ll submit this lineup for votes.

      • Gonzo Reds

        With no Aquino grrr.. I’ll vote for BK

      • BK

        I would have inserted Aquino, but he’s not on the active roster. I noticed that he had the two big flies last year, too.

        For me, it came down to Winker or Payton. Winker is O-8 career vs. Darvish, which really isn’t much of a sample size especially when there is only 1 K in the mix. In other words, he’s putting the ball in play, just not having average luck in the small sample.

      • Melvin

        Don’t be mad at me Gonzo. I voted to bring Aquino up in the injury situation and send Farmer down later. 🙂

  4. Don

    My lineup is all lefties but Castellanos at 1B as Darvish has a split which has is very strong for left handed batters. If Votto was not on the IL, it would be all lefty starters. I think Suarez’s errors are putting the team in bad positions to many times. His hitting it not winning more games than his fielding is loosing for the team. The team needs a shake up in the lineup in the hopes to overcome a bad streak.

    Akiyama – CF
    Payton – RF
    Winker – LF
    Muostakas – 3B
    Castellanos – 1B
    Galvis – SS
    Dietrich – 2B
    Barnhart – C
    Gray – P

  5. Jon Davis

    Well that sucked but I stand by my statement and will continue to take the Cubs and Dodgers, if you all want. I am starting to get really annoyed by the Suarez defense thing to the point where I have considered moving him to 1B. The other thing I am starting to notice is that real life matchups seem to mean less than sim matchups so I am going to start putting a bigger emphasis on them. I was torn at quite a few spots like at C between Barnhart and Casali but went with my gut. With all that said here is my suggested lineup.

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

  6. Gonzo Reds

    Tom have a question… can we move someone else up to the 40 man roster or are we stuck with it as it is?

    Why do I ask? Well, with our limited stat guys like Aqi, Peyton, Lorenzen (all OF’s) doing so well… it makes me wonder… wouldn’t it be nice to have more of them in the infield? Cut Blandino for instance that hit .250 in limited play and is basically useless for us to bring up for one of our up and coming shortstops that Strat-o-Matic might have hit like the guys I listed above… if it’s possible it’s worth a shot!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I believe we are stuck with what they have made available. They have not made cards for all of the 40-man roster. The only names we have available are the ones that we have listed in previous days and weeks. However, I will send a note to Strat to see if they can confirm that. I was thinking recently how nice it might be to try Tyler Stephenson at catcher. 😉

      • Gonzo Reds

        I agree those are the 4 we should start working up. We just have to figure out who we want to send down. Remember tho we have to keep in mind that Votto will be back. I’m going to guess that they will build each players card from the last year of minor league baseball stats so perhaps that would be good to research then we can throw out which hitter and which pitcher to start with and who to send down.

        Man will be good to have a couple of new live arms in the pen that has been getting lit up.

    • Jon Davis

      Oh I do like this idea maybe give Tyler Stephenson an extended look or on the pitching side we could consider Lodolo or Greene? Other names that spring to mind Garcia, India and maybe Davidson on the infield or Santillan, Gutierrez or Thornburg on the pitching side.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Here is the answer from Strat-O-Matic:

        “Yes, definitely! They can bring up anyone.”

        This offers us some very interesting options!

        None of this will be good for Saturday’s game, but we can begin the discussion here. I am going to suggest that we recall Tyler Stephenson, Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene and Jose Garcia.

      • Melvin

        You did say ANYONE right? Does that mean we can “recall’ say Dave Concepcion, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Ceasar Geronimo?

      • Don

        I would agree to bring up
        Tyler Stephenson, Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene and Jose Garcia

        We should agree to start Stephenson and Garcia for an extended period of time to see what they have (at least 10 games starting if not 20 everyday regardless of the pitchers the team faces) so that they are not just pinch hitters.

        Garcia would mean sitting Galvis (one of the SIM Reds most consistent offensive players), another option would be put Galvis as 2B, move Moose to 3B and to relegate Suarez to a pinch hitting role so his defense does not hurt the Sim Reds anymore.

        There are limited options for players to send down without releasing them.

        This are my roster moves (based on SIM stats only , A lot of these would never be done in real life)

        1) Stephenson up – Designate for assignment Barnhart
        2) Garcia Up – Send down Senzel (has options)
        3) Lodolo up – Castillo down (has option and worst starting pitcher on Sim Reds)
        4) Greene up – Designate for assignment Miley (2nd Worst Starter)

        Other moves to suggest
        5) Farmer Down – Aquino up
        6) Sims – designate for assignment – Bring up Ryan Hendrix
        7) Reed – designate for assignment – Bring up Josh D. Smith
        8) Lorenzen down (by far worst relief pitcher for Sim Reds) – Bring up John Kuhnel

        This last one, I would think not a lot of others will agree with the Lorenzen move. This is my thinking/reasoning/argument for this move. The Sim Reds outfield of Akiyama, Ervin, Winker, Payton, Castellanos and Aquino (mainly PH) is strong enough on defense and offense to not need Lorenzen to play the field. Lozenzen has been and is to much of a relief pitching liability to the Sim Reds.

        Until Votto comes back from IL this would be the roster

        Outfielders
        Akiyama
        Winker
        Ervin
        Castellanos
        Payton
        Aquino

        Infielders
        Moose
        Galvis
        Garcia
        Suarez
        Dietrich

        Catchers
        Stephenson
        Casali

        Starters
        Gray, Bauer, Disco, Lodolo, Greene

        Bullpen
        Stephenson, Strop, Bowman, Garrett, Bowman, Iglesias, Hendrix, Smith, Kuhnel

        When Votto is ready to come off the IL, either DFA Dietrich or option Payton (hate to do this move but Payton should see very little time as a starter with a healthy Akiyama, Ervin and Winker hitting with a higher AVG and higher OPB) It is a numbers game.

  7. Gonzo Reds

    Draft coming up. Was just watching an interview with OU SP Cade Cavalli. His fastball is in the 94-100 range and he has 4-5 pitches. The latest draft on MLB TV has us taking a high school CF with Cavalli going next to the Giants. I’m really hoping we take Cavalli. With our park, we can attract free agent hitters but not pitchers. Pitchers we need to continue to grab early in the draft.

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    At 10:21 p.m. Eastern, I count one endorsement each for Melvin, BK and Don. The first tiebreaker is the person who has had the least opportunities, and that is Melvin. We have to break this losing streak. Go Melvin and sim Reds!

  9. Melvin

    Okay then guys. It’s about time we beat the snot out of the Cubs. Let’s do it! Whatya think? 🙂

  10. Michael Smith

    Anyone have any theories on why strato hates Luis Castello?