Previously in this series, we created a new OOTP 16 game feature the best teams of 1985 and 2015 and then simulated up to the All-Star break. In this post, we’ll take a look at some custom reports and finish the regular season.
One of my favorite features of OOTP is that it doesn’t just stick you with pre-determined reports and then force you to deal with them like in a console baseball game. The game actually allows you to create a large number of custom reports and save them for later. You can even export some reports to an html page, allowing you to copy/paste the reports into a spreadsheet and then really go hog wild. We’re going to create two reports for this league that I usually create for any league I create.
The first is a report designed to give us a mix of important pitcher ratings, traditional stats, and advanced stats. We’ll access the report that shows us all the players at the MLB level, first. This is accomplished by accessing the Player Info menu and then choosing “List All MLB Players”. Change the Position drop-down box to “All Pitchers” and then change the View to “Pitcher Ratings”. Here you can see almost all of the ratings for all of the pitchers or you can play around with the 15 default views OOTP gives you. The reason I start with Pitcher Ratings is so that this is my base template to work from. By selecting the View menu again, you can click “Customize” and we’re given a variety of items we can add to the report (the screen capture below is just one section of the menu).
By removing many of the ratings I don’t think are that critical for our purposes, such as ratings vs. left-handed batters or right-handed batters, and then adding stats to the report, like ERA, ERA+, FIP, and WAR, I created the report seen in this link. I also usually create a similar report for hitters. As you can see, it’s possible to over-crowd the report screen so you have to prioritize what data or ratings you want to see. Thankfully, OOTP also has a helpful “Write report to disk” option under the “Report” drop-down menu. This will export the report to a browser window and, by copying the report, pasting it to a spreadsheet and doing a little spreadsheet ninja’ing, I can share the raw information with you via a spreadsheet (sorted by WAR) located here. I’ll explain why I think Dalton Pompey and other prospects are doing so well at the end of this series but, for now, let’s play some more games.
Standings for the end of July are located over here, if you care to view them. This is only 2 weeks into the season after our last update, so I’ll skip straight to September 1st. Thanks to a tip from a friend, I realized that our post template here at BttP would respond much better to my screen captures if I cut out the Wild Card standings, so this will be the format for the standings captures going forward.
While 2015 teams continue to pull ahead in the divisional races, the 1985 Mets and Blue Jays are still very much in the race for a wild card spot.
The game’s Coke addiction continues and it appears that a bug back in May is causing the issue. Coke’s pitching log shows an appearance against the Cubs while on the Cubs’ roster during an interleague game against the Yankees on May 4th. He recorded no stats but I wonder if there’s some sort of dividing by zero going on in his stats which is causing him to dominate the leaderboards for qualifying pitchers in stats that reward low numbers, like ERA, WHIP, and BB/9. Hitters in the AL continue to feast on pitchers and Brian McCann is leading the way with a .374 wOBA. You can now view the September 1st tabs in the stats spreadsheet without me quietly judging you. As you can see, Rickey Henderson is hitting significantly better than Dalton Pompey, but Pompey is crushing the league on the defensive side of the ball, recording a 19.4 Zone Rating, second only to Alex Gordon. Which brings me to something I’m not so pleased about in the latest release of OOTP.
These are Alex Gordon’s defensive ratings in OOTP 16.
He scores a perfect 80 in range and arm, and a plus score on avoiding errors. He also receives the highest rating at playing left field and can cover right if absolutely necessary. On first glance, these seem perfect since Gordon is possibly the best defensive left fielders in baseball right now and he has a canon for an arm, except that isn’t really how defensive ratings work in OOTP. The way defensive ratings actually work in OOTP is that the top ratings form the player’s defensive “tools”, if you will, and they travel with the player regardless of which outfield position they’re playing (infield ratings have their own set of numbers and you’ll see which ever ratings apply to the position the player is set to). The positional ratings are just a composite score that combines the player’s experience at the position with their ratings at the top. As a player plays a position, they pick up more experience and their rating at the position improves, assuming their range, error, and arm ratings are good enough for the position (the same idea works for the infield even though they have different ratings in the infield). The reason I take issue with Alex Gordon being handed one of the best outfield range scores is because this means that, if I played him in center field over a period of time, he’d become one of the best center fielders in the game because he’d reach as many balls as the elite center fielders in the game and he’d hit much better than most center fielders. Gordon hasn’t spent much time in center, so we don’t have a great grasp on how well or poorly he’d do there, but it seems to say something that the Royals moved him to one of the lowest spots on the defensive spectrum when he didn’t play well at third base. Likewise, we know that Jason Heyward, who also received an excellent outifled range rating, isn’t as good at center field as the best center fielders in the game right now, except he could be if we just played him in center field enough in OOTP. I’d like to see the defensive ratings get another look in future versions of OOTP, or I’d at least like to see defenisve ratings that don’t allow clever managers to make cheap moves. You can always go into the player editor and just change ratings if you don’t like them, but I really don’t want to do that for every outfielder in the game to even things out.
Now that my rant is out of the way (and, just to point out, I actually like that players can change positions in OOTP if they have the ratings to support it) let’s look at another fluke in our league. Keep in mind that AL East hitters in this league are getting the benefit of playing most of their games in 4 very hitter friendly parks. This could be part of why Brian McCann is crushing the ball even though his ratings make him profile as a walks and home runs guy without an impressive contact ratings. When I went to investigate the actual park factors of various parks in this league, I discovered another small fluke in the structure of our league:
For every other team in this league, OOTP assigned the correct home stadium (OOTP actually offers you the choice of nearly any professional stadium a major or minor league team might play in or you can create your own). Unfortunately, something about having both Blue Jays teams in this league caused it to assign the Blue Jays’ old home stadium to Jays teams. Rogers Centre is normally available but is nowhere to be found here, at least I’m unable to find it under any name I associate with this particular stadium. It shouldn’t make a huge difference, since both parks favor hitters, but this is just one of those flukes I encounter from time-to-time in OOTP and learn to live with.
Instead of carrying on about stadiums and defensive ratings, let’s play more baseball as something special happened down the stretch in the AL East.
The 1985 Blue Jays surged to pass the Yankees and force a Toronto vs. Toronto match-up in the first round of the playoffs. Unfortunately for 1985 baseball fans, the Mets faded down the stretch, posting just a 14-19 record over the final month and change, allowing the Cubs to slip past them. If the Cubs had managed to win more than 8 games in April, it might not have been much of a race, though. A big part of the Mets’ success was the dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Sid Fernandez, two pitchers who are built to pitch in the 2015 environment where striking batters out is important. The 1985 Cardinals almost avoided a 100 loss season by going 41-45 from July 1st onward but winning just 19 games in the first 3 months of the season put them in quite a hole.
Rickey Henderson was able remember how to be Rickey Henderson and overcame the usurper Dalton Pompey and capture the AL WAR crown as well as lead the league in stolen bases and wOBA. It’s kind of exciting to see how well the young talent from the 1985 teams did in this season, and it wasn’t all 2015 rookies succeeding. Lenny Dykstra (22), Eric Davis (23), and Darryl Strawberry (23) all posted solid seasons with Dykstra and Davis excelling. Among other 2015 rookies of note, Kris Bryant’s ratings were still very raw so he only posted a .667 OPS with 20 HR. Joc Pederson, on the other hand, developed a very patient approach that allowed him to post a 157 OPS+ and he led the NL in home runs. For reference, here is a link to the 1985 leaderboards on Fangraphs.com.
Returning to the curious case of George Brett, I also discovered that he caught a bad break on the randomly generated splits that OOTP creates for historical characters. He rates so poorly vs. left-handed pitchers that it almost certainly was part of his trouble.
The spreadsheet for this final update includes stats for a slew of players who weren’t called up before September 1st, like Joey Gallo, Roberto Osuna, and Cecil Fielder. Here’s the link one last time.
Next time, we’ll sim through the post-season and I’ll finish up with some final notes on OOTP and what we’ve learned.Next post: Off the Board: The TV Christmas Specials Draft
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