MLB The Show's simulation for the 2021 season
Ahead of the real thing, we decided to simulate the 2021 season on MLB The Show 20 (the new game doesn't launch until next month) to see how the year shakes down. Here are the results from the virtual season:
Note: Rosters were based on Opening Day projections. Injuries and trades were disabled.
Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and Aaron Judge combine for 122 homers to help New York cruise to a second division title in three years.
Red Sox: J.D. Martinez (41 homers) and the club both bounce back after a miserable 2020, but the team still falls well short of the playoffs.
Rays: Randy Arozarena follows up his incredible debut with a 35-homer campaign. Chris Archer ends up being Tampa Bay's best starter, posting a 2.94 ERA over 165 2/3 innings.
Blue Jays: Toronto's offense ranks 10th in runs scored but the team is done in by miserable pitching. The staff finishes 27th in ERA ahead of only Pittsburgh, Texas, and Baltimore.
Orioles: Trey Mancini caps his incredible comeback season with 28 homers and a .761 OPS. He's one of the few bright spots for a team that finishes in a tie for MLB's worst record.
White Sox: Eloy Jimenez's extended absence doesn't hinder the offense as the club ranks first in average and second in runs. Jose Abreu follows up his AL MVP by crushing a career-high 40 home runs.
Twins: The Bomba Squad ranks second in the majors in homers, with Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, and Mitch Garver going deep at least 30 times. Despite the offense, Minnesota misses the postseason for the first time in three years.
Indians: Cleveland's starters post the fourth-best ERA thanks to electric seasons from Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac. Jose Ramirez carries the offense in Francisco Lindor's absence, posting a career-high 1.072 OPS.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera reaches the 500-homer plateau, adding another milestone to his Hall of Fame career. Casey Mize struggles, posting a 5.42 ERA over 113 innings.
Royals: It's a disappointing year for Kansas City despite an encouraging offseason. Andrew Benintendi is solid, slashing .260/.342/.403 while adding 19 home runs, the second-highest mark for his career.
Astros: Another playoff appearance for Houston despite an underwhelming offseason. Yordan Alvarez leads the club with 46 homers after missing last season, while Zack Greinke anchors a pitching staff that ranks seventh in ERA.
Athletics: Matt Chapman returns to his All-Star level with 36 home runs and 96 RBIs. Trevor Rosenthal has no issues replacing Liam Hendriks, collecting 46 saves in 53 appearances.
Angels: Mike Trout is back in the postseason for the first time since 2014. The Angels rely on a solid pitching staff and AL saves leader Raisel Iglesias to reach the 90-win plateau for the first time in seven seasons.
Mariners: Seattle's future looks bright after finishing above .500 for the first time since 2018. Kyle Lewis follows up his AL Rookie of the Year with 32 homers and a .959 OPS.
Rangers: Texas finishes in a tie for the worst record in the majors. Joey Gallo only manages 26 homers and strikes out a career-worst 217 times.
Mets: New York is back in the postseason for the first time since 2016 and claims its first division title since 2015. Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso combine for 81 homers while Jacob deGrom strikes out a career-high 305 batters.
Braves: Atlanta's pitching ranks sixth in the majors in ERA but a sputtering offense has the Braves outside the playoff picture for the first time since 2017. The bottom half of the lineup struggles, resulting in the team ranking 21st in runs scored.
Phillies: Bryce Harper produces another solid season with 37 homers and a .940 OPS, though it isn't enough to get the Phillies back into the playoffs. Harper has yet to reach the postseason since signing in Philadelphia.
Nationals: Juan Soto continues his ascent into superstardom, finishing with a career-high 46 home runs, 114 RBIs, and 33 doubles. Max Scherzer becomes the 19th member of the 3,000-strikeout club.
Marlins: There's no Cinderella run into the postseason, but Miami does finish with a winning record in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2008-09.
Brewers: Christian Yelich bounces back in a big way, hitting 30 home runs and 35 doubles to lead Milwaukee to a second division title in four years. Corbin Burnes strikes out 218 over 180 1/3 innings
Cubs: Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant help lead the team to an unlikely playoff berth in potentially their final season together in Chicago. The Cubs' pitching is surprisingly good, finishing ninth in ERA.
Cardinals: Nolan Arenado's addition isn't enough as St. Louis posts the fewest runs scored and home runs in the majors. The Cardinals' 74 wins are the fewest for the franchise since 1997 (excluding the shortened 2020 season).
Pirates: Not finishing last is likely a disappointment for Pittsburgh as it costs them a chance at a higher draft pick. Ke'Bryan Hayes leads the club in homers, RBIs, and OPS.
Reds: A disaster for Cincinnati. The offense ranks 28th in runs scored and the pitching staff is 24th in ERA. It's the worst season in Reds history, and just the second time the team has lost more than 100 games.
Dodgers: Fresh off a World Series win, Los Angeles sets the franchise record in wins, eclipsing the mark set in 2019. The team's incredible pitching staff allows 78 fewer runs than the next best team.
Padres: San Diego underperforms under lofty expectations but still manages to sneak into the postseason. It's just the second time in franchise history the club makes the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
D-Backs: Madison Bumgarner bounces back following a miserable first season with Arizona. While the pitching staff is the club's strong point, the offense's struggles lead to a losing record. Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar combine for just 34 homers.
Giants: San Francisco is unable to find much magic in what is likely the final year with some of its core players. Buster Posey manages just 10 homers and a .710 OPS in his return after sitting out 2020.
Rockies: Colorado's season goes as poor as expected. The offense ranks 27th in runs and 29th in homers - only two players hit more than 20. German Marquez is one of the few bright spots, pitching to a 3.04 ERA over 216 innings.
AL wild card: Angels over Athletics
NL wild card: Cubs over Padres
ALDS: Yankees over Angels (3-1)
ALDS: Astros over White Sox (3-2)
NLDS: Dodgers over Cubs (3-1)
NLDS: Brewers over Mets (3-2)
ALCS: Astros over Yankees (4-2)
NLCS: Dodgers over Brewers (4-0)
World Series: Dodgers over Astros (4-3)
AL MVP: Mike Trout, Angels
NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves
AL Cy Young: Shane Bieber, Indians
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, Mets
AL Rookie of the Year: Bobby Dalbec, Red Sox
NL Rookie of the Year: Sixto Sanchez, Marlins