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

Two big offensive innings helped the Cincinnati Reds (43-45) snap a three-game losing streak and defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers (58-30) by a 7-3 score at Dodger Stadium.

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!


After being limited to one hit in two of the first three games of the series, sim Reds bats remained largely silent until a three-run fifth inning. Starter and winner Wade Miley led off with a single against Los Angeles starter and loser Dustin May. An out later, Shogo Akiyama walked, Joey Votto singled to load the bases, and Eugenio Suarez delivered home two runs with a single. Mike Moustakas capped the inning by scoring Votto from third on a sacrifice fly.

Leading 3-1 in the top of the eighth, the Reds left little doubt about the outcome of this one by scoring four more times. The first six sim Reds batters in the inning reached base, with the big hit coming from Akiyama, facing former Reds left-hander Alex Wood. With the bases loaded, Akiyama hit a slow grounder to third base that Justin Turner errored by throwing the ball away at first base. The play was scored as an infield hit with one RBI for Akiyama, with Turner’s error allowing the other two runners to score and Akiyama to wind up at third. Phillip Ervin then capped the inning with a sacrifice fly, scoring Akiyama, who had four hits to break out of what had been his first mini-slump of the sim season.

Cincinnati benefited from 10 walks issued by Dodger pitching. Akiyama and Votto, the top two hitters in the order, reached base five times each between hits and walks. The sim Reds touched up their former teammate Wood for four hits and three walks in only an inning and two-thirds of pitching.

The victory allowed the Reds to avoid a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers put a bit of distance between themselves and their closest competitors by taking three of four from the Cubs, who now sit two games behind the NL Central division leaders. The Reds are five games behind and in fourth place.

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

B-Pinch Hit For Miley In 6th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Winker In 7th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Garrett In 8th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Sims In 9th Inning

A-Pinch Hit For May In 5th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Kelly In 7th Inning
G-Pinch Hit For Hernandez In 9th Inning

Standings following the July 2 games:

NL Central WON LOST PCT GB
Brewers 47 39 .547 0.0
Cubs 46 42 .523 2.0
Cardinals 45 43 .511 3.0
Reds 43 45 .489 5.0
Pirates 35 51 .407 12.0

The 2020 schedule has the Reds moving to Chase Field in Phoenix Friday for the first game of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Luis Castillo, author of a one-hit, complete-game shutout his last time out against the Washington Nationals, pitches for the sim Reds. Right-hander Zac Gallen will start for the D-backs.

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.

Two Cincinnati Reds players have tested positive for COVID-19

In case you missed it earlier, two Cincinnati Reds players have tested positive for COVID-19. Neither player arrived in Cincinnati as the players reported yesterday to prepare for the upcoming season. The identity of the players is not yet known, as teams are not allowed to release that information. The players themselves can identify if they choose.

Two Cincinnati Reds players test positive for COVID-19

The Cincinnati Reds will be a playoff team in 2020

Jose De Leon is rocking a strong mustache game

Those glasses are crushing it, too.

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

Since Melvin was the victorious Redleg Nation commenter/manager today, he has priority for Friday’s lineup. 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
Peter Onte 2 1 .667
Jon Davis 9 5 .643
BK 9 6 .600
James Owens 3 2 .600
Gonzo Reds 6 5 .545
Redsfan4life 5 5 .500
RedsEuphoria 1 1 .500
Tomn 1 1 .500
Doug Gray 1 1 .500
Melvin 2 4 .333
Don 2 5 .286
AirborneJayJay 0 1 .000
Jeff 0 1 .000
VaRedsFan 0 1 .000
Mark Moore 0 2 .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.

30 Responses

  1. Redsfan4life

    Good job Melvin. Get us a long winning streak started.

  2. Jon Davis

    Current Roster
    (* = player has NO options)
    (+ = LHP or LHB)
    (^ = Switch Hitter)

    Our current 26 man roster is:
    C – *+Barnhart, *Casali
    IF – *+Votto, *+Moustakas, *Suarez, *^Galvis, Rodriguez
    OF – +Akiyama, Lorenzen(18), *Ervin, *Castellanos, +Payton, +Winker, Senzel
    SP – *Bauer, *Desclafani, *Gray, *+Miley, Castillo
    RP – *+Reed, Iglesias, *+Garrett, *Sims, *Strop, *R. Stephenson, Lorenzen, Kuhnel

    Guys on the 40 man roster not on active roster
    C – Stephenson, Farmer
    IF – Garcia, +Vanmeter, Blandino
    OF – Aquino, +Jankowski, *+Schebler
    SP – Mahle, Santillan, DeLeon, Antone
    RP – Bowman, Hendrix, Shafer, +Smith

    Finally here is a list of relevant non 40 man players
    C – Chris Okey
    IF – India, Davidson, Colon
    OF – +Friedl, +Powell, Barnes, Fairchild, +Hannah, +Siani
    SP – +Lodolo, Greene, Gutierrez, +Naughton, +Raley, Solomon, Lillie, +Sanmartin
    RP – Thornburg, +Biddle, Romano, +Finnegan, Carpenter, Alaniz, Powers

  3. Gonzo Reds

    This is why we let our pitchers bat! LOL Just say no to DH!

    One bad thing this game… Rodriguez is no longer perfect… Otherwise, our PHs did a great job today.

    Ok, Melvin, keep it rolling… about the only suggestion I might have, and I’d keep the same players in the lineup, would be to move Winker up to 3 and slide everyone else down a slot. He seems to do better at the top of the lineup with his good OBP ahead of the big boppers rather than down in the 5 hole.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. AlfRod is no longer batting a 1.000. Bummer. Our pinch hitting order is still doing pretty good though. Thank for the advice Gonzo. The same players definitely. Still contemplating the order. May just let it ride.

  4. Melvin

    Great game today. Miley is really pitching well down the stretch for us. Good defense along with 14 hits and 7 runs. Even Lorenzen had a scoreless inning today. Votto now hitting .393 since the IL and total OBP .391. That was a “Votto” game today on base 5/6 times. We gained ground on the Cards and Cubs. The Brewers days are coming. I hope they beat up on the Cards and the Rays do the same to the Cubs. We need to really play well against the D-Backs and catch or possibly pass those two and then focus on the Brew Crew. Need Castillo to keep it going and get a long winning streak. It’s not impossible to finish out winning. Go Reds (sim)!

  5. Don

    way to go Melvin. Start a weekend sweep of the D’backs.

    In the SIM Gallen has over a 1K/inning rate in the SIM and only walks a little over 2 a game (average 5 2/3rds per start) while giving up an an AVG of 1HR per start.

    His 2019 real lift splits were slightly reverses so a balanced lineup (not all lefties) should be the plan.

    The same lineup as you started for today’s game would be good.

    If Castillo can avoid the walks (the curse of Reds Sim Pitching) he will be solid and it will be a low scoring game.

  6. Melvin

    This will be the lineup tomorrow unless I change my mind. As always any comments or suggestions welcome. You are all my advisors/coaches.

    Akiyama CF
    Votto 1B
    Suarez 3B
    Moose 2B
    Winker LF
    Castellanos RF
    Barnhart C
    Castillo P
    Galvis SS

    • Mark Moore

      That’s about as “standard” as it gets. I’m in for this lineup. I still say Strat-o hates us and is fixing the sim games …

    • Jon Davis

      Nice win Melvin! That lineup looks perfect to me. On a side real life note, I now really like Jose De León.

    • Redsfan4life

      My question would be why are we not hitting the pitchers 9th?
      When Senzel plays I understand him hitting 9th as he has speed. I understood Billy hitting 9th when he was here. But I really don’t get a guy like Galvis hitting 9th. He isn’t much faster than a catcher. Question is for everyone not picking on you Melvin as I to have submitted lineups with Galvis hitting 9th.

      • Melvin

        Good question. I’m thinking about both sides. Will let you know.

      • BK

        Here’s an article from Baseball Prospectus that tried to look at this question from a math perspective. Spoiler alert: there’s very little difference in season long outcomes whether the pitcher hits 8th or 9th according to the article.

        https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/26045/baseball-therapy-hit-the-pitcher-eighth/

        So, why do teams sometimes do it? The idea is that your best hitters are at the top of the lineup. By hitting a position player 9th, you have a much better chance of having someone on base than if the pitcher hits 9th. This next article is an explanation from Joe Maddon. He had some different reasons (thought it was better for breaking in a young player as an example). The math showed it paid off well for the Cubs.

        https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/13004137/why-manager-joe-maddon-bats-pitcher-eighth-chicago-cubs-lineup

        If everyone is healthy, C, P and SS will be the weakest hitters in our lineup. So those are the candidates for 7, 8 and 9. Galvis is faster than our catchers(small edge over Casali, bigger edge over Barnhart), but he is no speedster (about middle of the pack on the Reds). Source for those facts:

        https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/sprint_speed?year=2019&position=&team=CIN&min=10&sort=6&sortDir=asc

        More importantly, Galvis doesn’t walk much. Hitters that bat in front of the Pitcher don’t typically see as good of pitchers. To me this favors a more patient hitter. Galvis, with the lowest OBP in the Reds lineup, should hit 8th or 9th. In my opinion, 9th better fits his low OBP skill set. In contrast, both Barnhart and Casali are much better OBP guys than Galvis which makes them good fits for the role of the patient hitter needed in front of the pitcher. Bottom-line: I think it’s a strategy that fits our players skill sets.

        https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/13004137/why-manager-joe-maddon-bats-pitcher-eighth-chicago-cubs-lineup

        With pitchers getting pulled earlier than ever, there’s not as big of a penalty for batting the pitcher 8th as there used to be. Expect to see it more.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Interesting info, BK. Personally, I would not bat a .268 hitter (Galvis) ninth, with a sub-.200-hitting pitcher ahead of him.

  7. Melvin

    There is one MAJOR change I will be making. I hope you guys are okay with it. I guess I’ll just come right out and say it………………I’ve decided to coach 3B.

      • Melvin

        With so much on the line. I want to have more of a hand in what’s going on. 🙂

      • Mark Moore

        Straight outa “Little Big League” 🙂

      • Melvin

        Yeah. We’re gonna try some things. We’re gonna have a little fun.

  8. Melvin

    Gentlemen, I’ve thought about and considered all of your comments and suggestions and they all are appreciated . Concerning the pitcher batting 8 or 9, I understand about the speed factor and having two speedsters together. However in this case Castillo is not likely to get on. Instead a more likely scenario is Glavis gets a bit and gets bunted over with his good speed and gets knocked in by Aki or Votto. It’s for this reason I’m gonna switch them in the order this time. In the unlikely case where we would need a PH (Castillo will pitch a complete game), all four who PH today have speed. I’m gonna leave Suarez at #3. He leads in RBI and I want him right behind our two super hitters.

    • Melvin

      Another factor that went in to my decision is that Galvis is second on the team in RBI so hitting behind the pitchers would not get him many opportunities. I would hit him 5 or 6 in the lineup but he seems to do better for whatever reason in the bottom third.

      • BK

        A better explanation for Galvis RBI totals is opportunity. He’s tied for second on the team with Moustakas. He’s also second on the team in plate appearances. He’s simply had more chances. RBI are a function of opportunity: hitting ability and plate appearances with guys on base.

        A downside to batting a hitter 9th is that it may lead to a starter be pulled earlier than necessary if they are pitching well. Bauer averaged over 6 innings per start last year. Castillo was just a shade under 6 innings per start. These are the two starters where it makes the most sense to bat them 9th, minimizing the chances their spot comes up in a key moment in either the 5th or 6th inning when PH for them is more of a judgement call for the Manager.

      • Melvin

        One might ask the question: How many RBI would he have had he not been batting behind the pitcher so much?

      • BK

        Right, hitting 9th has certainly costs Galvis RBI opportunities. But point of batting him ninth was to create more opportunities for our best hitter, Akiyama, who consistently hits leadoff. That is the tradeoff we’re trying to make.

        Consider the following for the players we have mostly batted in the top 3 positions of our lineup. On average (sim MLB average is 11.33%):

        – Akiyama drives in a run in 13.95% of his PA
        – Winker drives in a run in 12.36% of his PA
        – Ervin drives in a run in 12.16% of his PA
        – Suarez (team leader) drives in a run in 14.54% of his PA

        Galvis is still driving in a run in 12.61% of his PA even hitting 9th in most games. Barnhart has an .342 OBP which is a good bit above average. We’ve been successful at leveraging what each player does best. Galvis is a good hitter (just a shade below league average in OPS). But, he’s just our 7th best hitter in most lineups.

        I’ll note that Casali’s OBP has dropped below Galvis, so perhaps they should be flipped when we face a LHP for the time being.

        Bottom line: I like your lineup. It fits our starting pitcher well, especially given that he is on a hot streak. That is important, too.
        But if we build the bottom of the order to maximize RBI opportunities for Galvis, we may not be making a good tradeoff as we may be taking them away from Akiyama. Because Akiyama is a much better hitter (top 10 in sim MLB), he’ll convert many more of those opportunities.

      • Melvin

        BK, I appreciate all of your stats and thoughts. Honestly I still don’t see that much of an advantage if at all in batting Galvis 9th. Why not have the best of both worlds in that Galvis could have his chance at RBIs, then the pitcher bunt him over, then Aki or Votto knock him in. Barnhart is slow and hard to sacrifice over. It’s pretty much takes a perfect bunt. I’m not saying the pitcher batting 8th is the reason we haven’t been winning like we should be any means. However, if we were 20 games over .500 instead of struggling at around .500 that unconventional argument would have a stronger foundation and would be cause to leave well enough alone. It’s all about chemistry too even in the sim world. To further my point, the possibility of that one extra AB for Galvis instead of a pitcher/PH, could mean the difference in a game. In crunch time, like we’er in now, I’m looking for every possible advantage I can get. In my mind using the “Lou Peniella” strategy is best which is having a guy with decent speed hit in front of the pitcher if possible so it would be easier to sacrifice him over. In our lineup most days, that’s Galvis. The fact that he is a good RBI guy too is an extra added plus.

      • BK

        No problem Melvin … I was really trying to explain the thinking behind why more teams have used the “pitcher batting 8th” tactic. Honestly, I’ve probably overused it on the days I’ve managed. Perhaps it’s led to the starter being pulled earlier than optimal. The Reds actually used this a lot last year. Cubs and Nats, too.

        I think it can be a small advantage, but it has to be with the right players. I don’t think Barnhart is so slow that he’s difficult to bunt over, but I may be wrong. Looking at the speed charts, there are several ML position players slower than him.

        Having read here over the years, I’ve been convinced by several articles there’s no such thing as an RBI guy. It’s all about opportunity and the skill to take advantage of the opportunity.

  9. Melvin

    Tom, please just switch Galvis and Castillo in the order. Thanks

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Affirmative. Change made, lineup submitted. Good luck coaching third!

      • Melvin

        They’d better listen and watch my signs both at the plate and running the bases. They wiil. 🙂