‘Out of the Park Baseball’ simulation predicts a wild World Series, Dodgers victory – CBSSports.com
The 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will begin on Tuesday night. This could indeed be a series to remember, as the Astros and Dodgers finished with two of the top-three records in baseball.
For those wondering how the Fall Classic will play out, we asked the team behind the “Out of the Park Baseball” video-game series to provide a full simulation. (You can check out more about OOTP here — and do note that they’re having a World Series sale, allowing you to purchase a copy of “OOTP 18” for $13.60.) Now is an opportune time to roll out the results.
Because there’s lingering concern about Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, the OOTP team decided to include him in the series — but only as a DH and pinch-hitter. Nonetheless, the 10,000 simulations saw the Dodgers win the championship some 56.5 percent of the time. It is, perhaps, a good sign that despite the Dodgers’ extra 1,300 series wins, they’re projected to win only 3,000 more games — meaning, in so many words, that a close series is expected.
The OOTP team also provided us with a breakdown from a seven-game series. Here are the highlights.
Game 1 (series even at 0-0): The Astros take a 3-1 lead thanks to a fifth-inning Alex Bregman home run off Clayton Kershaw, who is unceremoniously pulled from the game soon thereafter. The Dodgers find a way to make it 4-3, but their bullpen gives up the lead and the Astros take Game 1 by a 7-3 score.
Game 2 (HOU leads 1-0): Justin Verlander’s postseason dominance goes by the wayside, as he’s pulled in the second inning after allowing six runs. Yu Darvish, on the other hand, records a quality start. Kenta Maeda pitches a pair of scoreless frames in relief, and the Dodgers knot the series with a 9-3 win.
Game 3 (series even at 1-1): With Seager installed as DH, the Dodgers pile on four runs against Charlie Morton. Rich Hill can’t make those runs stand up, though, and Maeda later allows the go-ahead run to score, giving Houston a 5-4 victory and control of the series.
Game 4 (HOU leads 2-1): A wild mess of a game. The Dodgers jump ahead 5-0, but allow the Astros to claw back into it, to the point where the score is 6-5 heading into the seventh inning. Austin Barnes helps put the Dodgers up 8-5, yet the Astros are able to score a run in each of the final three innings of regulation, including a solo shot by Carlos Correa against Kenley Jansen that sends the game into extras. It’s there that Jose Altuve hits a ball just over the left-field wall to grant the Astros the 9-8 win and a 3-1 series lead.
Game 5 (HOU leads 3-1): Kershaw bounces back from a so-so Game 1, allowing just a run in 7 ⅔ innings of work. Cody Bellinger and Barnes help the Dodgers build a five-run lead, and that’s that. Dodgers stay alive.
Game 6 (HOU leads 3-2): A pitcher’s duel. Verlander and Darvish both allow a run over eight innings. Jansen locks Houston down in the top of the ninth, and Bellinger wins it in the bottom of the frame with a walk-off home-run. Just like that, we have a Game 7.
Game 7 (series even at 3-3): The Astros pounce early, taking a 4-1 lead as the game heads into the bottom of the fifth. Yet again it’s Bellinger who plays the hero, as he hits a two-run shot to close the gap. Barnes — yes, again — then delivers an equalizing double. In the bottom of the ninth, with the game still tied, Yasiel Puig hits a walk-off home-run to left-center field that ensures the Dodgers their first World Series parade in nearly 30 years.
What do you think — would you be happy if this is how the World Series played out? At minimum, Puig would probably provide a bat flip that launched a thousand thinkpieces. Whether that’s a good thing or not, well, that’s a topic for another time.